KEIGHLEY doctors’ surgeries are getting crafty to liven up their waiting rooms.

Kilmeny Group Medical Practice and Long Lee Surgery have invited local arts and crafts groups to set up shop.

The groups offer people the chance to do something a little different while waiting to be seen by GPs or nurses.

The surgeries say the initiative is part of innovative efforts to rejuvenate the “traditional boring and depressing waiting room experience”.

So far, a range of activities have been tried out at the two surgeries.

Barbara Klempka, who runs the Long Lee and Thwaites Brow Village Hall art group, took members to Long Lee Surgery to get creative in the waiting area.

Patients were fascinated to see the range of work the group carried out, and they were able to try painting, needlework and crocheting.

One of the regular art group members said: “This group makes a huge difference to my life, a chance to meet friends have a natter and a cup of tea and it really helps me get motivated to get out of the house!”

The sessions were highlighted by Bill Graham, Community Innovation and Development Lead for Modality Partnership, umbrella group for the surgeries.

He said: “Here at Modality we want to improve our patient’s experiences, and we have been working with some great local groups to bring them into our surgery waiting areas.

“We’ve tried this out with a roaring success at two of our local surgeries and we hope to arrange some more.

“At Kilmeny Surgery we invited the Hainworth Knitters to drop a few stitches in the waiting room and their chatter raised some laughter getting some patients into stiches of giggling!

“Our Executive GP Partner, Dr Andy Parsons, dropped in to say hello and was delighted to find out one of the knitters was a patient of his.”

Dr Parsons said: “It’s a great way to spend time chatting and doing something different like knitting. Activities like this can really promote good health, particularly as you get a bit older.”

Modality Partnership, which is responsible for several GP surgeries in the Keighley area, is getting more involved with community groups as part of the Social Prescribing initiative.

Social Prescribing involves offering social and leisure activities to patients for some ailments as an alternative to pills and medical treatment.

Email to find out more about the arts and crafts sessions.

Modality Partnership is the first GP-led ‘super-partnership’ in the UK, overseeing dozens of practices across the country.

The Hainworth Knitters offer great company and a chance to knit or learn about knitting, on Wednesdays from 1-3pm at Hainworth Community Centre.

Long Lee Art Group meet at the Village Hall, next to the Long Lee GP centre, on Tuesdays and Fridays from 1.30pm-3.30pm. Call Barbara Klempka on 01535 669914 for further information.