Sefton and Liverpool CCGs pause their plan to merge

Clinical commissioning groups in Sefton and Liverpool are pausing their plan to merge the three organisations.

NHS South Sefton CCG, NHS Southport and Formby CCG and NHS Liverpool CCG have made the decision so they can spend more time considering the implications of a merger for their patients, staff and partners.

Governing body members agreed the pause at a joint meeting on 6 June 2017 and their decision will now be recommended for approval at their next governing body meetings.

The three CCGs were required by NHS England to submit their formal merger application by July 2017, ahead of any agreed organisational change from April 2018. Governing body members have instead agreed to delay submitting their application and revisit their proposal in a year’s time. Importantly, this step takes account of the increasing challenges and demands placed on the NHS as a whole and, in particular at this time, by the three local health commissioners.

At the tri-governing body meeting, members agreed that the original July 2017 application deadline would divert the CCGs’ efforts away from their priority work over the coming year – a crucial period for each CCG.

So, this additional time created by a pause will allow the CCGs to concentrate their efforts in two areas. Firstly, in ensuring the CCGs continued focus is on improving financial and health service performance for the distinct populations they serve in line with their individual statutory duties, whilst secondly, developing a more considered and robust business case that clearly demonstrates the benefits of merging to their GP practice members, local residents and other key partners.

Membership of the North Mersey Local Delivery System (LDS) means the CCGs will continue to work together on system wide programmes that benefit and affect the populations they serve. Good progress and pace has already been made, without the upheaval that organisational or structural change would bring to the CCGs at this present time.

Current areas of joint work include work to transform hospital services. Other areas for future closer collaboration will now be explored and could include RightCare benchmarking, continuing healthcare and funded nursing care.

You can find out more about the CCGs from their websites:

www.southseftonccg.nhs.uk or www.southportandformbyccg.nhs.uk and www.liverpoolccg.nhs.uk.

Hear more about your local NHS (CCG Governing Body Meeting – 30-31st March)

Clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) in Sefton have announced the dates of their next governing body meetings and are encouraging anyone with an interest to go along.

The CCGs’ hold their bi-monthly governing body meetings in public, so people can hear them discussing and making decisions about local health services.

Doctors, nurses and other health professionals who make up the committees will discuss a range of issues including the performance of the services they commission, like hospitals and community care.

Rob Caudwell, local GP and NHS Southport and Formby CCG chair, said: “The governing body is a formal meeting and it’s a way for people to find out more about what we’re doing. They can also ask us any questions ahead of the meeting getting underway.”

Andy Mimnagh, local GP and NHS South Sefton CCG chair, said: “The meetings are also a chance for residents to meet some of the doctors and other professionals that make up the governing body and to listen in on the discussions taking place.”

The NHS Southport and Formby CCG meeting will take place on Wednesday 30 March at The Family Life Centre, Ash Street, Southport at 1pm. Papers will be made available here beforehand: www.southportformbyccg.org.uk/?page_id=343.

The NHS South Sefton CCG meeting will take place on Thursday 31 March at Merton House, Stanley Road in Bootle at 1pm. Papers will be made available here beforehand: www.southseftonccg.org.uk/?page_id=212.

Anyone who is interest in attending is asked to

Ask Your Pharmacy week launches in Sefton

Pharmacists in Sefton’s two clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) will be reminding residents about the range of services available in local chemists, and encouraging them to make appropriate use of NHS services during Ask Your Pharmacist week (9-15 November).

Often, people make unnecessary trips to the GP or even A&E, when their neighbourhood chemist could help instead. In recent years, pharmacists have expanded their role, and now provide a wide range of clinical and public health services, within easy reach of the people who need them most. However, whilst most people go first to their chemist for medicines and medicines advice, many don’t know about the range of other healthcare services on offer in chemists.

NHS South Sefton CCG and NHS Southport and Formby CCG have made this easier with their Care at the Chemist scheme, providing fast expert advice and medications for a wide range of conditions, without the need for a doctor’s appointment.

Mr Wear, who has been visiting Ryders Chemist in Formby since 1988, said: “I have been coming here a long time now and the pharmacists have always been approachable. I use Care at the Chemist a lot and find it extremely useful, the advice they give is invaluable and it can save a lot of time rather than getting an appointment at the doctors.”

Susanne Lynch is the CCGs’ head of medicines management and the Sefton mum of two and uses Care at the Chemist if her boys are under the weather.

Susanne said: “Our Care at the Chemist service helps keep people up to speed with what is now on offer on their doorstep in pharmacies – a uniquely accessible healthcare professional workforce who can deliver expert medicines advice and an expanding list of public health services.

“Your local pharmacist is a good first contact point for advice on many common health concerns – it is certainly mine. While most people will go first to their pharmacist for medicines advice, many don’t know about the range of other healthcare services provided by pharmacies on their doorstep and the level of expertise there.  Pharmacists are available without appointment and are able to deal with a wide range of ailments, as well as offering uniquely accessible advice on maintaining and improving your health.

“Here in Sefton we promote this regularly through our Care at the Chemist scheme but this awareness week will promote this wider and will hopefully alert patients to the services on offer at the chemists on their doorsteps.”

Activities are planned across the country during Ask Your Pharmacist Week including health checks in shopping centres, community talks, chemist window displays and visits to chemists by local dignitaries.

Anyone of any age who is registered with a Sefton GP can get Care at the Chemist. Simply call into your chemist and ask to be registered onto the scheme. It is best if you use your usual chemist but if you are using one that does not know you; you will be asked to bring proof of identity.