PEOPLE can find out first-hand how the NHS in north Cumbria is developing at an event later this month.

The event, called A Conversation About Our NHS, will take place at Whitehaven Golf Club, on October 30 and will give an opportunity to the community to find out what developments are taking place.

The Ven Richard Pratt, Archdeacon of West Cumberland and independent chair of the Working Together Steering Group, said there has been a lot of positive changes 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 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,” said the archdeacon.

“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.”

Dr Pratt said the event will allow the community to find out first-hand about developments in the NHS, as well as allowing healthcare leaders to have open discussions about how

“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 healthycommunities, 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 or calling 01768 245437.