Global health summit returns to Cumbria

Global health summit returns to Cumbria
Gareth Presch

Gareth Presch

Health experts from across the world will meet again in Cumbria to work on new ways to improve health and social care for communities everywhere.

The first World Health Innovation Summit (WHIS) took place in Carlisle last year, since when the movement has taken off rapidly, now active in more than 20 countries, with more being visited this year.

It was the idea of Carlisle-based health professional Gareth Presch, an NHS worker turned innovator who has pulled together a pool of the world’s top talent and visionaries in the health industry.

Summits were staged in Greece and Thailand last year, and as well as returning to Cumbria on March 2-3 at Harraby Community Centre, Carlisle, WHIS will also launch in India, Brazil, USA, Ireland, Morocco and regionally across the UK.

Gareth says: “I’m excited as we are bringing a host of local, national and international innovators to Carlisle once again.

“What’s great about this year is that our local community knows what to expect and what WHIS delivers to local business and the wider impacts of social value, while creating new jobs and opportunities.

“There’s something very special about WHIS and I think that is represented in its growth in the UK and abroad.

“The summits are only the beginning of the community engagement process that we support and we’ll be showcasing a number of innovative ideas that have emerged since last year’s event.”

WHIS has already proved to be far more than a discussion group. The id-sos card has been launched, providing medics with a potentially life-saving electronic health record of card holders.

WHISKids is delivering health, wellness and mindfulness in schools, WHISatwork deals with stress management in local businesses, WHIS supports Cumbrian GPs with innovative models of care via alternative therapies, and monthly health and wellness events at Hayton Castle have created job opportunities.

On top of that, last year’s WHISCumbria event was estimated to have brought more than £40,000 into the local economy.

Award-winning Gareth adds: “Our motto is #togetherweinspire and we feel we’ve got plenty to be inspired about as there are so many great examples of innovation in Cumbria. WHIS gives us the opportunity to showcase those innovations on a global platform.”

Cumbrian speakers at the Harraby summit include Helen Render and Richard Lambert (TIC TOC), Helen Teasdale (Music Makers), Keith Adams (Laughter Yoga), Dr Suresh Rao (North Cumbria University Hospitals) and Katherine Rutherford (Happy Mums Foundation).

On the evening of March 2 a networking evening with light entertainment will be held at the Old Fire Station, Carlisle.

Ten per cent of all ticket sales will go to Eden Valley Hospice and Carlisle Youth Zone. Full ticket details can be found at