A special public event is taking place in Whitehaven on Wednesday 30 October, to discuss how the local NHS is developing.

Everybody is welcome and the event will be an opportunity for the local community to have conversations with NHS colleagues, enabling everyone to learn and influence what is happening with our NHS.

The event will embrace a “World Café” style to allow people to drop in at any point throughout the afternoon, and to join conversations that they are keen to participate in.

The Venerable Richard Pratt, Archdeacon of West Cumberland and independent chair of the Working Together Steering Group said:

“Over the last three years we have seen lots of positive developments in north Cumbria, both to the way that health services are delivered, and also to the way that the community is involved to make a real difference to this delivery.

“People from both the community and the NHS have been committed to the Working Together process, and this has enabled innovative ways of thinking to tackle the difficulties of providing maternity and other services at West Cumberland Hospital. Working Together has been key to sustaining services at West Cumberland Hospital, and will continue to help services to be sustained in the future.

“In Working Together we are trying to overcome challenges not just in maternity, but also telehealth, stroke prevention, children’s health and recruitment and retention – the list is constantly growing and there is clearly lots to do.

“We are now looking at how this will progress, so that these good relationships with the community can continue, and to allow people to find out first-hand about developments in the NHS. The event will also allow our healthcare leaders to have open discussions about how services are evolving.”

Professor Stephen Singleton, Director of the Learning and Improvement Collaborative in north Cumbria, is helping to facilitate the event and said:

“There is clearly excitement in the community to learn and to help overcome the challenges that the local NHS is facing, and this event will be an opportunity to embrace that energy and to start looking forward and planning the work to be done. Interest from the local community is incredibly valuable as it not only allows people to tell us what they need and to scrutinise our thinking, but is also vital to us building healthy communities, as people can learn and share messages in their networks.”

Professor John Howarth, who is a practicing GP and deputy chief executive of North Cumbria Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust said:

“Our NHS is going through some exciting changes across north Cumbria: our acute and community Trusts have now merged, we have welcomed a new provider of mental health services, and we are developing more care closer to where people live through Integrated Care Communities - not to mention the development of a new cancer centre for north Cumbria. We really want to involve our wider communities as these projects are developing to see what it means for all of us who use these services.”

The event is being held at Whitehaven Golf Course, starting at 1.30pm, and will be split into sessions that run from: 1.30pm to 3.00pm, 3.30pm to 5.00pm and 6.00pm to 7.30pm.

Members of the public can get further information by emailing communications.team@northcumbriaccg.nhs.uk or calling 01768 245437.