Cumbria Crack

NHS staff across the Solway area join runners at Watchtree Nature Reserve to launch new health partnership

Dr Richard Massey (third from left, in blue tee-shirt) and Senga (sat on the floor at the front with her son James), along with members of the community, celebrating the launch of the health partnership

Seven GP practices across Keswick and Solway have agreed to work together with Watchtree Nature Reserve to improve the health and wellbeing of their population.

Surgeries in Keswick, Aspatria, Wigton, Silloth, Kirkbride, Caldbeck and Dalston have formed the Keswick and Solway Primary Care Network from the 1st July.

Dr Richard Massey is the new Clinical Director for Keswick and Solway Primary Care Network and said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for us to build upon the great achievements that have been made over the past two years in developing eight Integrated Care Communities in North Cumbria. We now have this support to drive forward collaborative working across our Primary Care Networks to strengthen our teams and work with our communities”

Each Primary Care Network will be given additional funding to develop new initiatives and improve patient care. Included in this will be the opportunity to grow and diversify the Primary Care workforce with additional new roles such as Clinical Pharmacists, Physiotherapists and Social Prescribing Link Workers.

Dr Massey added: “In making this commitment we are agreeing to focus our efforts on proactive work to improve the health and wellbeing of our population. Watchtree Nature reserve is a fantastic example of an inclusive and accessible community asset. We would like to develop stronger ties with the team here and find new ways to encourage our communities to make use of the reserve.”

Each GP surgery in the Network already has a Living Well Coach. This new role is supporting people to take control of their health and wellbeing and signposting patients to other sources of support.

Senga Grave from Watchtree Nature Reserve said: “We are thrilled that Keswick and Solway Primary Care Network have encouraged their communities to experience Watchtree and its array of activities. We look forward to working together and continue to promote nature, health and wellbeing.”

Watchtree Nature Reserve is a not-for-profit charity that merges nature with health and wellbeing, and has an abundance of green space that is teaming with wildlife. It encourages outdoor activities within the local community through weekly events such as:

  • a popular 5k and 10k run every Sunday at 9:30am
  • a walk-fit group that is on the second and fourth Sunday of every month at 10 am
  • a Walking For Health group on Mondays at 10 am
  • a Ready Steady Mums walking group on Tuesday at 11am
  • as well as all of this they have an impressive fleet of bicycles to hire and are available for all abilities 7 days a week

Senga added: “All of these activities are free and are run on a ‘just turn up’ basis, so there is no pressure to be there every week.”

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