One hundred people who are living on Walney Island in Barrow had the opportunity to discuss their health and wellbeing needs coming out of lockdown. The majority of people fed back that they enjoyed walking in Walney’s beautiful environment as it got them out, kept them busy and helped with their physical fitness.
The HARRI (Health, Advice, Recovery, Resilience, Information) engagement vehicle visited the area last month which allowed residents to speak to health, care and community professionals about their needs and find out more about local services in their area with 10 residents accepting a health check.
Age UK also spoke to people about a Digital Inclusion project they are running for older people. Fifty-four people, aged 40 and over, took part in a survey about their Health and Wellbeing and Digital Inclusion. The majority of those who answered the survey said they would like to see better access to their GP including being able to speak to them more frequently, shorter wait times when calling to book an appointment, more support with GP apps and more frequent MOTs. Most residents said they were confident using technology including a smartphone, tablet or iPad.
Maxine Baron, Development Lead for Barrow Integrated Care Community (ICC), said: “This was an excellent opportunity to work with other agencies following the lifting of COVID regulations, listening to our community about their health and wellbeing, digital inclusion and the future development of Earnse Bay as a community asset.
“The feedback from the survey will form part of a plan around personalised care (Integrated Care System health coaching and Patient Activation Measures) and co-production for an optimal ageing and health inequalities project. Barrow ICC, Barrow and Millom Primary Network (PCN) and other local agencies are working together with the community on the project to improve the health and mental wellbeing of local people across Barrow. It will also be used to address digital exclusion and help develop key skills as an element in supporting people to improve health and wellbeing. We intend to build community and digital champions across Barrow to work closely with people who need additional support.”
Rob Jones, GP Registrar for Barrow and Millom PCN, added: “The opinions of the local population are vitally important for planning primary care services. We wanted to get out to see the residents of North Walney to get their thoughts on what would improve their wellbeing. We also used the opportunity to let people know the great services already available in the area and offer opportunistic blood pressure checks. The weather was beautiful and we got some really useful feedback that will be given back to GP practices locally."
The following partners were involved on the day: Age UK, Furness Carers, Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service, Cumbria Police Community Team, Mind in Furness, Cumbria County Council Community Development Team, The Well Communities, Barrow Integrated Care Community (ICC), Lancashire and South Cumbria NHS Foundation Trust, Walney Community Trust, Life Leisure and colleagues from Barrow Primary Care Network.
The event was carried out following the government’s coronavirus (COVID-19) guidance around distancing and wearing masks. The Partners will be taking the HARRI vehicle to other venues across Barrow over the next few months to engage further with residents.
You can find out more about the Optimal Aging project here
As part of the project, all community champions and digital champions will be DBS checked.