Healthwatch Cumbria hosted the first meeting of the West Cumbria Community Forum the aim of which is to bring together health and social care leaders and representative of local communities in west Cumbria to increase collaboration and ensure that communication and engagement is improved.
The meeting was independently chaired by The Venerable Dr Richard Pratt, Archdeacon of West Cumberland.
Around 30 people sat down together to consider the key issues that the forum will need to look into at its forthcoming meetings.
Over the past several months Healthwatch has been gathering the view, experiences and concerns of local people. David Blacklock Chief Executive of Healthwatch Cumbria presented the key theme and issues that the community has expressed.
At future meeting these issues will be discussed in greater detail to ensure that Health and Care leader are fully aware of the views of local communities and take these into account before they make key decisions about the shape of services in the future.
David Blacklock said
” What’s really matters is that local people are asked what’s important to them and what their views are and that they are listened to and taken account of before decisions are made. In the coming months formal consolation about service changes will have to take place and it’s crucial that the views of local people have been incorporated into the proposals that are to be consulted upon.
Today was an important first step in building trust and transparency between communities and organisations and I hope that this continues”.
Please see below for more detailed notes from the meeting.