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Hundreds gather to celebrate best of local health innovation

The celebration of innovation event gathered together health and social care professionals, third sector organisations, service users and members of the public to highlight the work that has taken place over recent years, as well as offering a chance to hear about some exciting new developments.

It was part of a new project where NHS, Voluntary sector, patient representatives and local councils in Pennine Lancashire – made up of East Lancashire and Blackburn with Darwen – are working together to change the way health and social care is delivered in the area.

A famous face from Corrie’s cobbles opened proceedings; Gareth Berliner, who plays ‘Macca’ on Coronation Street, has been performing stand-up comedy across the UK and internationally for eight years, taking his successful solo shows to comedy festivals. The actor took time out to attend and share his personal experiences of depression, living with a long term condition and how he overcame its obstacles.

On the day the Cathedral was themed and split into zones of health and wellbeing. Teachers Tim and Kerry Meek, along with their daughters Amy (11) and Ella (9) lead mini-workshops at the Ordnance Survey Stall, and gave a talk about their incredible experiences of travelling the UK. In 2014, they sold their house, quit their jobs and went off on family adventure, in order to complete 100 Family Adventures – everything from sub-zero camping to coasteering – and making some radical life changes.

The event also hosted Suco Suco Samba – a drum and dance troupe for people in recovering from addiction formed by East Lancashire support group ‘Juice’.

Visitors also had the opportunity to get a free health check or take part in a mini-fitness demonstration including the use of a state-of-the-art ‘Wattbike’ and rowing machine.

There were demonstrations of the North West Ambulance Trust’s telecare services, virtual visits designed to reduce social isolation, health Skyping and 3D printing of prosthetic hands.
Information was also available on social prescribing schemes, smartphone and app developments and much more.

Mark Youlton, Accountable Officer for NHS East Lancashire Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “I’m delighted the event was such a success. There was a tangible buzz in the cathedral with over two hundred visitors, exhibitors, speakers and other guests.

“It was important for us to take this opportunity to share some of the stories of people who use our services, highlighting some of the innovative ways of working that we are introducing. I always find it a humbling experience to see what our communities do for the benefit of others – a big thank you to all who participated and attended the event.”

Graham Burgess, NHS Blackburn with Darwen Clinical Commissioning Group chair, said: “The event was for everyone who has an interest in health and social care and what the future holds. The programme of events and activities on the day was comprehensive and wide-ranging and showcased the wealth of innovation that exists locally.”

To get involved in the debate around helping to shape the future of health and social care in Pennine Lancashire, log onto the campaign website, like the Facebook page or follow on Twitter.