PEOPLE who live and work in Wharfedale are being asked to come along to a Well Wharfedale community event next week for an evening of conversation about health and wellbeing in the local area.

Local GPs, council officers, voluntary sector organisations and other health professionals are working together to look at how care is delivered in Wharfedale and how they could do things differently, and they want local people to get involved.

The event is being held by the Wharfedale Community Group and is taking place on Thursday, June 21 from 7pm to 9pm at King’s Hall and Winter Gardens on Station Road, Ilkley, with refreshments being provided.

Dr Caroline Rayment, a GP at Grange Park Surgery in Burley-in-Wharfedale and a member of the Wharfedale Community Group said: “I’m delighted to be part of the Wharfedale Community Group and I’m looking forward to hearing what local people have to say about care in Wharfedale.

“We are trying to change from being a traditional medical model - where doctors and nurses see you when you are unwell - to a more community need based model that looks at ways of improving wellbeing and promoting ways to keep both physically and mentally well. We want to improve preventative health care and work better with the voluntary sector.

“We cannot do this without working closely with local people, voluntary organisations and the wider health and care system. Some of these services may be provided by your local GP practice, some of this work may take place in local schools, such as improving resilience, for example, and some of this may be achieved by working with the voluntary sector (who already do so much in our local communities).

“A good example of this kind of working already in action is ‘social prescribing’, where GPs put you in touch with community groups to help you with issues that may affect your health and wellbeing, for example, bereavement support or local social groups to reduce isolation.”

The event is being held to enable patients, carers and members of the public to share their experiences about living or working in the area, and their thoughts on how their wellbeing could be improved.

Dr Graeme Summers, a GP at Ilkley Moor Medical Practice and a member of the Wharfedale Community Group added: “Instead of asking local people what they think of our plans, we’re inviting them to create the plan with us and be a big part of it. Local people have a big contribution to make, this is an opportunity to join the conversation and come forward with ideas and actions.

“Perhaps you’re worried about debt and think more advice should be available, or should be provided in a different way, or maybe you are concerned that your work/life balance is out of sync and you are interested in discussing ways to help you with your wellbeing. You could have spotted a gap in services and have some ideas about what we can do to put this right or have an opinion on what we can do to improve men’s health. There are lots of ways we can all work together to support positive health and wellbeing for the people of Wharfedale.

“We are hoping that this will be a lively event, where professionals and local people can explore the challenges we face together and identify different approaches, led by our local communities.”

Well Wharfedale will be an informal and friendly workshop-style event that will offer the opportunity for all local people to share their views. There will also be a chance for people to listen to the thoughts of others and make their views known by a vote at the end of the evening.

Light refreshments will be provided before the meeting and anyone interested in attending can find out more and put their name down to attend by emailing Alternatively, people are welcome to attend on the evening without booking a place.