New Health Group gives voice to West Cumbrians

A new voice for health care has been formed. West Cumbrian’s Voice for Health Care had its inaugural meeting on September 18 when the constitution and committee were agreed. The Voice is for anyone over […]

A new voice for health care has been formed.

West Cumbrian’s Voice for Health Care had its inaugural meeting on September 18 when the constitution and committee were agreed.

The Voice is for anyone over 16 who supports their aims and who live and work in West Cumbria.

The group is non-party political.

The aims of the group are to ensure that the people of West Cumbria (Allerdale and Copeland) have easy and equitable access to health and social care services.

It will work in partnership with the community, third sector organisations and the statutory sector commissioners/providers to address the challenges facing the delivery of health and social care services in West Cumbria.

It aims to encourage the statutory sector to work towards greater integration of health and social provision in the area.

A spokeswoman said: “With the geographical isolation of West Cumbria this needs fully functioning and sustainable acute services at West Cumberland Hospital.

“To further these aims we hope to bring all the different groups, patient voices, etc., together so everyone understands the problems facing our health system and can work together to find the solutions.”

The emphasis of the group is all services from cradle to grave.

The Success Regime was also launched at the same meeting and recognises that the issues apply system-
wide and can only be solved by collaboration, with local people, staff and partners ensuring that we are all involved in the development of local health and care services.

The Success Regime hopes to have an agreed vision by March 2016.

Their spokeswoman admitted the time frame is short. She said: “To be effective we need more support on the office side, PR, website development. We hope to have some funding for this but offers of help would be welcome.

“Everyone in the community can be involved. We would like to develop community champions, something the Campaign Group identified as important, who could organise meetings to ensure all our community has the opportunity to influence the decisions about our health care, working with Healthwatch to ensure the fullest consultation and engagement.”

The committee is Dr Jan Den Bak (Chair), Carole Woodman (secretary), Mahesh Dhebar, Liz Clegg, Chris Wood, Jon Ward and Dr Barrie Walker.

Contact Carole (sandcwoodman@outlook.com) for more information and offers of help and Liz Clegg if you want to become a member (cross.lizzy@btinternet.com).