Health campaigners are calling on Maryport people to help draw up plans to care for the town’s frail, weak and dying residents following the decision to close community hospital beds.
Ewanrigg Local Trust and Save Our Beds campaigners will hold a drop-in event on Thursday for people to discuss future care for the town’s most vulnerable people.
The event is open to everyone and organisers are keen to hear from those providing care and people who themselves have terminal illness and wish to have a say in their own future care.
It also wants to guide people in taking steps to plan their own futures, including writing down their end-of-life wishes.
Kate Whitmarsh, Ewanrigg Local Trust development officer, said: “Local people expressed most concern about what happens to our palliative patients when the hospital beds close.”
She said it was now time to put that concern into action.
Thursday’s event, at Ewanrigg Community Centre from 4pm to 6pm, is the first in a series of events.
Residents will be asked to share their experiences and to offer ideas of what they feel is needed in the town given the fact that the battle to save beds appears to be lost.
Kate said: “We still need to influence healthcare and we need proposals.
“One thing we know for certain is that all of us will leave this earth. We are trying to create a culture in which it is okay, and normal to talk about death.”
Save Our Beds chairman Bill Barnes said: “We hope that some of the hundreds of people who have been involved in the Save Our Beds campaign will join in as they did during the fight to keep our beds as an extension of the amazing work they have already done.”
Next week’s free public event coincides with national Dying Matters Week.
Mrs Whitmarsh added: “Having spoken to hundreds of residents and medical professionals we have a few simple ideas that we think will help improve palliative care. The event will be an opportunity to have energetic conversations and get your input into our community plans.”