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Health Talks at Lewisham Library

Dr Gostling describing Diabetes type 1.jpg

From October to December, Lewisham Library ran the Autumn sessions of their popular Health Talks series and Lewisham CCG was proud to support and participate in the weekly events.

The sessions were held 19:00 - 20:00 on Tuesday evenings, with a variety of speakers. These included Public Health, Healthwatch, charities and Community Development Groups, e.g. Greenwich Co-operative Development Agency. We had four speakers on the programme: 

• Anne McBride, Diabetes Peer Support Facilitator Neighbourhood 2 (Central Lewisham) – ‘What? How? And who can help?’ 

• Dr Esther Appleby, Clinical Director – Lung Cancer: What? Why? And can it be treated?’

• Erfan Kidia, Deputy Head of Medicines Management – ‘Spreading Infection’

• Dr Charles Gostling, Clinical Director - ‘Diabetes: on the clinical front line’

Each talk was a mix of presentation and Q&A session. All balanced in a way that was easy to digest by anyone without a background in medicine. 

Erfan explained the importance of using antibiotics only when necessary, to decrease the risk of resistance. He described the expected lengths of colds and flus and highlighted the role of pharmacists as a great source of health advice. 

Charles and Anne both talked about diabetes, offering valuable information on Type 1, Type 2, medication, risks factors and prevention. As well as promoting the National Diabetes Prevention Programme Healthier You.  

The library is a more relaxed setting for many in the community. Making it an ideal location to connect with residents on some key health issues. This is reflected in the feedback we have received: 

Perpetua Egan, Macmillan Engagement Lead - South East London said:  

The talk (Dr Esther Appleby) was very well delivered, and gave me a good understanding of lung cancer in the borough of Lewisham’.

Health Talks founder, Eleanore Richardson, had the following to say: 

"I started the Health Lectures after chatting with a colleague in cancer research who realised there was a major gap in information that the general public understood about breast cancer. Working in libraries I saw this as an excellent opportunity to reach out to the public and offer clear, digestible information about the biggest health issues affecting the borough from local experts. 

We've now completed three seasons of Health Talks and covered topics such as cancer, diabetes and antibiotic resistance. We have connected health professionals with social sector workers, members of the public and the library all in a neutral space that is accessible to all. Our next series of lectures are scheduled for after Easter and will run until the summer, but we are already looking for our next selection of speakers so please do get in contact if you would like to get involved or learn how to set up your own lectures at a library near you."

We will be working with Lewisham Library for the next series of Health Talks. If there are any topics you’d like to see featured, please contact them here: