Community events help to shape ’people powered’ futures

The NHS is working with local communities in the Black Country to host a series of workshops to help shape healthier, happier futures for residents.

The People Panels, which are taking place throughout May, provide local people, representatives of specific communities, healthcare professionals, providers and decision makers with a space to raise topics and issues that matter most, for a shared conversation which will lead to wiser, shared action.

More than 50 people attended the first workshop, which took place at The Hub at Ashmore Park in Wolverhampton on Friday 12 May, and more than 30 people attended the second workshop which took place at Tipton Sports Academy Social Club in Sandwell on Tuesday 16 May.

Attendees were invited to bring forward their question, idea, project, or specific challenge for discussion, to encourage creative and action orientated conversation and help lead to a collectively informed action.

People in the Black Country are encouraged to sign up for remaining People Panels, which are
taking place on following dates:

• Walsall - Monday 22 May, Willenhall Chart Centre, 12.30pm-3.00pm
• Dudley - Tuesday 23 May, Kingswinford Community Centre, 12.30pm-3.00pm

Great Barr local, Darryl Magher, attended the People Panel in Sandwell. He said: “The People Panel offers a safe, friendly environment to share your experience, issues and concerns about services you have received.

“There are opportunities to be engaged and involved at the heart of decision making which can shape the services that are needed locally and better those that affect our own lives.

“A real energy is seen from all partnership bodies to ensure that our voices are heard – and the coffee and biscuits ay bad either!”

Dr Ananta Dave, Chief Medical Officer for the NHS Black Country Integrated Care Board, added: “In the Black Country we serve a population of more than 1.2 million people and it’s vital that everyone has the chance to help shape the services we provide now and in the future.

“The People Panels are powered by representatives of our diverse communities and provides a safe and inclusive space for people to share their honest views and opinions, where they will be heard.

“Since launching the People Panels last year, participants have brought forward and initiated conversations on a wide range of matters including prevention, communications, integration, cost of living, health inequalities and access.

“With your help we can improve our health and care system and make sure all voices are heard and valued, so I would encourage everyone to get involved. We want people of all ages, genders, and languages to come forward and have their say.”

For more information on the People Panels and to sign up, visit the Black Country ICB website.


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