Sefton Adult Mental Health And Wellbeing Consortium (SAMHAWC) campaign puts spotlight on eating disorders

A SEFTON-wide initiative to improve the mental health and wellbeing of residents,  put the spotlight on the problem of eating disorders at its latest event.

A training programme for voluntary and community sector staff working with adults  facing mental health difficulties was held at the Bowersdale Resource Centre in Seaforth.

The event was organised by the Sefton Adult Mental Health And Wellbeing Consortium (SAMHAWC), a partnership of eight health and wellbeing organisations in the borough supported by South Sefton and Southport and Formby Clinical Commissioning Groups.

It was delivered by Beat, a UK charity for people affected by eating problems or difficulties with food, weight or shape.

According to Beat, estimates suggest that more than 1.6 million men and women in the UK have eating disorders, but the charity stresses, that with the right support, they can be treated and full recovery is possible.

The training programme covered the background to eating disorders, the signs and  symptoms and causes and risks.

The event also focused on the sources of help available to people affected by the  condition, and how delegates can help to develop support strategies to set them on the road to recovery.

George Harvey of SAMHAWC partner Venus, the co-ordinator of the event, commented: “This was a lively and absorbing programme which provided delegates with a wealth of useful information on the theory behind eating disorders.

“They will now be able to put this to good use in their day-to-day roles, when they come across people affected by what is widely acknowledged as a serious and growing problem in this country.”

Over the past year SAMHAWC has been running a number of promotional campaigns around mental health issues including alcohol awareness, tackling stress and suicide prevention.

The eight partners in the consortium are Sefton CVS, Venus, the Swan Centre, Parenting 2000, Netherton Feelgood Factory, Expect, Compass Counselling and Age Concern Liverpool and Sefton.

Sefton supports Give Up Loving Pop (GULP) health campaign

This month sees the launch of the Sefton GULP Campaign.  Across Sefton, 24.7% of reception age children are overweight or obese, rising to 35.2% at year 6 and 69.7% of adults. And whilst dental health is better than some of our neighbouring local authorities, 22.7% of five year olds still have decay in their milk teeth.

Children and young people are consuming more than three times as much sugar as the maximum recommended daily intake, most of which comes from sugary drinks.  A recent World Cancer Research Fund study found that our young people are drinking three bath tubs of sugary drinks per year!

The recommended daily maximum is no more than five cubes of sugar for 4 to 6 year olds, no more than six cubes for 7 to 10 year olds per day and no more than seven cubes for 11 years and older, including adults.  Now bear in mind that one can of Cola can contain nine cubes alone, this is before we have considered any added sugar contained within food and other drinks.

Sugar is not necessary in the diet and especially when consumed in the form of sugary drinks can cause a whole host of health issues, from tooth decay, to obesity, heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Excess sugar intake has also been linked to certain cancers.

An easy way to reduce sugar intake is to cut out or reduce sugary drinks.  And this is why along with Food Active, Sefton Council are running a borough-wide campaign to encourage residents to Give Up Loving Pop (GULP).

The GULP campaign is aimed at young people and families to encourage them to switch from sugary drinks to water or milk.  The Sefton campaign involves working with schools through the delivery of PSHE lessons at both Key Stage 2 and 3, along with school assemblies suitable for all year groups.  Sefton Council and Food Active have teamed up with Everton in the Community to deliver theory and physical activity sessions to year 5 and 6 students across schools in the borough.  Using community coaches to deliver health messages, such as GULP, has been shown to be effective in changing behaviour.

During April we will be challenging students, teachers and parents to give up sugary drinks. Residents can sign up the challenge via a website and will receive encouraging emails, there will be a prize draw for those who let us know whether they were successful or not.

Sefton schools will also be challenged to enter an inter-school competition.  Primary schools classes will be asked to design and deliver an assembly to the rest of the school to encourage reduced consumption in sugary drinks, whilst secondary schools will be asked to design a campaign based on soft drinks industry tactics. With just one entry per school, the students must choose which entry to take forward.  A panel will judge the entries with a prize-giving ceremony at the start of June.

Working together – Sefton and Liverpool CCGs

During March the governing bodies of NHS South Sefton, NHS Southport and Formby and NHS Liverpool Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGS) are expected to agree steps to come together through a formal merger from 1 April 2018.

It follows a series of discussions between the governing bodies beginning in November 2016 exploring the benefits of becoming a single commissioning entity for Sefton and Liverpool. A resulting proposal setting out the steps towards a merger will be presented at the three CCG governing body meetings during March.

The governing bodies believe a merger is the best way to strengthen local commissioning and improve outcomes for our different populations. They feel they will be able to better maximise of the resources and assets available to them by consolidating clinical leadership and working more efficiently during this financially challenging time for the NHS.

Already their transformational programmes – Shaping Sefton and Healthy Liverpool – are coming together through the North Mersey Local Delivery System, and a merger will unite this work.

Dr Rob Caudwell, chair of NHS Southport and Formby CCG, said: “Together we believe we will be able to do more to improve the health of our populations, by maximising our collective resources and assets to strengthen our work as commissioners during this challenging time for the NHS.”

Dr Andrew Mimnagh, chair of NHS South Sefton CCG, said: “Importantly, this single commissioning organisation will only be effective if it retains the local focus and progress made by each CCG since we were established in 2013, continuing to work closely with our member GP practices, council partners, wider communities and distinct populations.”

Dr Nadim Fazlani, chair of NHS Liverpool CCG, said: “By retaining the local talent, skills, experience and focus of the existing organisations, our patients will benefit from a stronger CCG, capable of meeting the challenges we’re facing in the NHS, to ensure we continue to commission high quality healthcare into the future.”

NHS England and the CCGs’ member GP practices will need to formally approve a merger, and talks with these parties will begin in April 2017.

Southport groups team up to map out key defibrillator sites

GROUPS across Southport are teaming up to help create a map of106  key defibrillator sites available to the public.

Members of the British Heart Foundation (BHF), Southport Links Rotary Club and North West Ambulance Service (NWAS) have been working together in Southport on a project that will map out Heart Defibrillators in the local area.

Since the beginning of the year they have located 106 Defibrillators within the Southport area. The project was developed from the Southport Group of the BHF and the group were pleased and relieved when they were offered help with the project by Southport Links Rotary Club.

The joint initiative are now in the process of working with NWAS to create a map which will enable both the public and NWAS to locate a defibrillator in the event of a cardiac arrest.

The BHF group and Southport Links Rotary Club are determined to support the NWAS in giving confidence to the local community by spreading the message that anyone can use a Defibrillator.

A spokesperson for the British Heart Foundation said: “The machines are simple and designed to give step by step guidance to people who may have never used one.

“If you come across someone who has had a cardiac arrest, it’s vital to call 999, start CPR and Defibrillation. If these steps can be put into practice within 4 minutes the patient has a 60-70% chance of survival.

“With every minute that passes without CPR the chances of survival decrease by 10% per minute.

“Although the group has tried very hard to trace each Defibrillator in the tow the may be some which they are do not know about.

“The BHF Southport group is always looking for volunteers to fundraise and raise awareness of Heart Disease. The local group has now been re-formed with that aim.

“ If you are interested in supporting the BHF Southport group in any way please contact Hayley Gough on 07768980727.”

Sefton CCGs support National No Smoking Day

A holiday illness was a wake up call to quit for Jayne who works for health commissioners in Sefton and she is now encouraging others to join her on national no smoking day.

Jayne Williams, a senior member of the admin team at NHS South Sefton Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and NHS Southport and Formby CCG hadn’t planned to stop smoking but took up the decision after a family holiday when she became unwell. Having developed a sore throat and a cough which led to a severe chest infection, Jayne decided to bin the cigarettes for good and has not smoked for over two months now.

Jayne said: “I have smoked since I was 16. My children have been trying to get me to stop for some time, even showing me pictures of smoker’s lungs, but I just ignored them, I really enjoyed smoking and didn’t think about the long term effects. When we got back from the holiday in the New Year, I was really unwell and was prescribed two courses of antibiotics. Once the coughing stopped and I could breathe properly again, it made me think seriously about what smoking was doing to me and how bad it was for my health. I was also worried about getting breathing problems at a later age.

jayne smoking
Jayne Williams, senior CCG administrator 

“So I decided, that’s it, I’m going to go cold turkey and stop for good. I didn’t use nicotine patches or anything, which is tough going but I’m very proud of myself so far.

”It’s now been 63 days. I do miss it and still get cravings but I’ll never smoke again. I would urge others to think about stopping, even if it’s been years. I am already feeling a lot better and healthier in myself.”

Talking about the health benefits of stopping smoking, Jenny Kristiansen, respiratory lead at the CCGs, said: “As I see many patients with breathing conditions I know from them that giving up smoking can be life changing. It is well known that quitting can improve your breathing, give you more energy and it can add years to your life. There is plenty of support out there in Sefton for those who are considering it.”

There are plenty of options available to those people who need some help to quit such as nicotine replacement therapy, Varenicline (Champix) and Bupropion (Zyban). You can speak with your GP or an NHS stop smoking service about the help available.

By contacting Smokefree Sefton on 0300 100 1000 you can find your nearest Stop Smoking Clinic where you can get help support and access to treatments that suit your individual needs to kick the habit for good.

Meet your new Locality Representatives

Healthwatch Sefton can announce that its members have now decided who they want to represent the consumer champion in the borough to ensure local decision makers and health and social care services hear the views of people throughout Sefton.

Each of the new locality representatives will serve a three-year term of office and their responsibilities involve: acting as a point of contact for residents living in their local area; letting Healthwatch Sefton know of any issues local residents have when using health and social care services; and supporting Healthwatch Sefton with engagement activities.

Among other specific duties, the representatives are also expected to attend steering group and community champion network meetings, promote Healthwatch Sefton’s aims and objectives, and help build effective relationships with their CCG locality counterpart to streamline communications between the two organisations.

Voting for the role of locality representative began last November with Healthwatch Sefton’s community membership of more than 1,000 choosing their preferred candidates to uphold the aims and objectives of Healthwatch Sefton.

Healthwatch Sefton has a number of statutory functions which include: gathering the views and experiences of Sefton patients and residents, as well as promoting and supporting the involvement of people in the commissioning and provision of local health and social care services.

The four representatives in the NHS Southport and Formby CCG locality are:
North Southport – Brian Clark (OBE)
Central Southport – Anne Major
South Southport – Ken Lowe
Formby – Nigel Booth

The four representatives in the NHS South Sefton CCG locality are:
Bootle – vacant
Maghull – Maurice Byrne
Crosby (including Hightown, Waterloo and Thornton) – Diane Foulston
Seaforth, Litherland and Netherton – vacant

If you live in any of the localities mentioned above and want to contact the Healthwatch Sefton locality representative, then you contact them via 0151 920 0726 ext 240 or email: info@healthwatchsefton.co.uk

Also, as there are two localities with a vacant role, Healthwatch Sefton would like to hear from any of their other members interested in taking on the position. Alternatively, anyone living in either the Bootle, or Seaforth,R Litherland and Netherton localities (or has a good knowledge of those areas), and would like more information on how to become a member of Healthwatch in order to be considered for a role, should email: info@healthwatchsefton.co.uk, or call 0151 920 0726 ext 240.

Have a brew and raise money for Cancer Research UK

PEOPLE across Sefton are being invited to host a Cancer Research UK Coffee Morning and help raise money to fund life-saving research.

Every day, 110 people are diagnosed with cancer in the North West. And that’s why the charity is calling on people across the region to join together with friends, colleagues and family for a cuppa and a natter while raising funds to help beat cancer sooner.

The charity is encouraging everyone to sign up for a free fundraising pack today and host a coffee morning any time until the end of May – with the official coffee morning day falling on April 6.

The coffee mornings can be held at home, in the office, at school or in the local community, with people making a donation to attend.

Alison Barbuti, Cancer Research UK spokesperson for Merseyside, said: “Signing up for a Cancer Research UK Coffee Morning is a piece of cake!

“We are encouraging everyone in Merseyside to host a coffee morning and ask guests to donate in exchange for a drink, snack and chat. We all love a good brew in the North West and taking time out of the office or home for elevenses is a great way to catch up with friends and colleagues.

“Every donation made will help save lives by funding research to accelerate the charity’s progress in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer.

“Cancer survival has doubled since the early 1970s and Cancer Research UK’s work has been at the heart of that progress – but every step our doctors, nurses and scientists take relies on donations from the public and the tireless fundraising of our supporters.

“We hope everyone in Merseyside will join us by hosting a Cancer Research UK Coffee Morning so we can beat cancer sooner.”

The Cancer Research UK Coffee Morning fundraising pack contains everything supporters need to plan their perfect coffee morning, including posters, balloons, recipe suggestions and fundraising ideas.

NHS England announces new GP practice provider

NHS England (Cheshire and Merseyside) is pleased to announce that Urgent Care 24 (UC24) has been appointed as the new providers of general practice services for five practices in south Sefton.

Following a rigorous open procurement process which adheres to national guidance, the healthcare commissioner has evaluated the bids received and has selected the successful provider.

Anthony Leo, Director of Commissioning for NHS England – North (Cheshire and Merseyside), said, “We are delighted that Urgent Care 24 (UC24) has been awarded the contract to provide general practice services across the south Sefton area.

“Urgent Care 24 (UC24) is a social enterprise that follows NHS values and principles.  They have a track record of successfully delivering NHS services and can demonstrate a true understanding of our vision for the future sustainability of primary care services.  They will deliver a quality service for our local community.

“Although this is a change in the provider, patients will continue to receive safe, quality treatment and care during this period of transition.”

NHS England (Cheshire and Merseyside) has been working with NHS South Sefton Clinical Commissioning Group and local GPs to put new, long term arrangements in place.

The new contracts will begin on 1 April 2017. Urgent Care 24 (UC24) has been awarded contracts to run five of the seven practices which were out to open tender.

These practices are Crosby Village Surgery, Crossways Practice and Thornton Practice – which will be operated as a group of practices at their current locations by one provider.  This fits with the vision set out in the NHS Five Year Forward View of larger practices that can offer improved services to their patients and provide stability for the future.

Litherland Practice and Seaforth Village Surgery, as in Crosby, will be operated as a single practice but they will continue to operate in their existing premises. Patients will be able to continue to access the same services that they receive currently and may also benefit from some additional flexibility as a result of a single provider delivering services across the two sites.

Kate Lucy, Chief Executive, Urgent Care 24 said “I am delighted that Urgent Care 24 has been appointed as the new providers of GP services for the five south Sefton practices. At Urgent Care 24, we aim to provide consistently high quality, safe, caring and effective services and this will continue as we begin to work closely with local staff, patients and partners to deliver primary care services in Sefton.”

Mr Leo added, “There are two practices, Netherton Practice and Maghull Practice, which were part of the open procurement which we have not yet been able to appoint a permanent provider at this stage.”

“We will be making arrangements to ensure services can continue until a new provider is appointed. This will ensure that patients can continue to receive high quality primary care services while we make longer term arrangements and patients will be able access services at their practice as normal.”

NHS England (Cheshire and Merseyside) and NHS South Sefton Clinical Commissioning Group are committed to open and regular communications throughout to ensure local people and stakeholders are informed and kept up to date regarding this process.

Call to use A&E wisely as winter puts pressure on A&E services

People are being urged to avoid using A&E at Southport and Ormskirk hospitals unless they have a serious or life-threatening condition.

Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust experienced an increase in A&E attendances on Monday (Feb 27), putting pressure on beds and delaying the admission of some patients.

Patients attending with minor ailments are being asked to attend West Lancashire Health Centre at Ormskirk hospital for treatment.

Therese Patten, Chief Operating Officer, said: “Local health and social care services have been collaborating closely this winter in both hospitals, community health services and with social care to improve the flow of patients through A&E departments, hospital wards and back into the community.

“But we also need our community’s help and never more so than during this particularly busy period. Please help your local NHS by using A&E services wisely and thinking carefully before calling an ambulance.

“If you have a friend, relative or loved already in hospital, you can also help by supporting our staff get them ready when it’s time to go home.

“In the meantime, I want to apologise to anyone who is inconvenienced or caused unnecessary distress as a result of these difficult few days.”

A&E is for people facing life-threatening and serious emergencies such as serious accidents, serious burns, breathing problems, heart attacks and strokes.

Coughs, colds, sore throats, upset stomachs, general aches and pains, and flu will usually clear up on their own. Keep warm, drink plenty of fluids and, if appropriate, treat with over-the-counter painkillers such as paracetamol.

Contact a GP or a GP out of hours service for help with injuries or illnesses that won’t go away.

For people needing urgent help with minor illnesses or injuries no appointment is necessary at our walk-in centres. West Lancashire Health Centre at Ormskirk hospital is open from 8am to 7.30pm all year round. Skelmersdale NHS Walk-in Centre at The Concourse is open from 8am to 7.30pm weekdays and from 9am to 5pm on weekends.

NHS 111 is the NHS non-emergency number. It’s fast, easy and free. Call 111 and speak to a highly trained adviser, supported by healthcare professionals. They will ask you a series of questions to assess your symptoms and immediately direct you to the best medical care for you.

Local pharmacists and the NHS Choices website are also a good source of information and advice.

Smokefree Sefton – Your new stop smoking service

Solutions 4 Health has been appointed by the Local Authority to provide stop smoking services across the city for the next 3 years, starting on April 1st 2017. The new service will be called Smokefree Sefton.

Solutions 4 Health is a leading national provider of smoking cessation, already operating stop smoking services for some thirty councils, including Berkshire, County Durham, North Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire, Blackpool and North Yorkshire with recent awards including Liverpool and Devon, and helps over 30,000 smokers to quit each year.

The successful model to be deployed in Sefton is based upon a combination of outreach to priority groups in their community and workplace with partnership working within the health economy, so a full range of services are made available, making it as easy to quit as to smoke.

Leena Sankla, Public Health and Lifestyle Services Director for Solutions 4 Health adds: “We take a very positive approach and are all about reducing health inequalities through supporting and empowering people to improve their health and wellbeing. After all, smokers are four times more likely to quit successfully when they have professional support.”

Both the Local Authority and Solutions 4 Health believe that smoking cessation is everyone’s business and see this development as a major step in the goal of making Sefton ‘smokefree’. Solutions 4 Health will be working closely with all of you to ensure that staff receive relevant training and that there are seamless referral processes in place so that smokers can rapidly receive our help and support.

Councillor Ian Moncur, Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, Sefton Council said “The new Specialist Stop Smoking service will help residents in Sefton achieve a smoke free life. The service will encourage individuals to change their behaviour and attitudes toward smoking, making quitting for good more achievable.”

Chief officer of Sefton CCG’s celebrates 35 years of NHS service

Chief officer of NHS South Sefton Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and NHS Southport and Formby CCG has reached 35 years of service at the NHS and is marking the occasion in several ways.

Fiona Taylor, who joined the NHS in 1982 the age of 17, has recently become Trustee of St Ann’s Hospice in Manchester and has also joined the board of Advancing Quality Alliance (AQUA).

Talking about reaching this momentous occasion Fiona said: “I can’t believe it’s been 35 years, it has flown by but I have to say I’ve enjoyed every minute. I do honestly love coming to work and regularly tell my colleagues that I enjoy what I do because I am so passionate about working for the NHS. It’s not always easy and I’m the first to say that but I have loved all the experiences I have had over the years in various roles and am proud to say I have been with the NHS for 35 years.

“I am very much looking forward to working with St Ann’s Hospice, they do a fantastic job and fingers crossed I can support them in key decision making and help to make a difference. It’s also great to be working with AQuA, at the forefront of transforming safety and quality in healthcare across the North West and I am looking forward to working with them on a more formal basis alongside my chief officer role of course.”

Fiona started her career in the NHS in Salford as a registered general nurse before going on to become a midwife and health visitor. Between 1990 and 1992 Fiona worked as a paediatric liaison health visitor leading service redesign before moving from a clinical role into management.

In 1999, Fiona left Salford to become deputy director of nursing and then acting director of nursing in Mancunian Community Health Trust, later joining Bradford City Teaching Primary Care Trust (PCT) in 2001. Since then, Fiona has worked at director level and held a variety of roles and portfolios, including acting chief executive of Bradford City Teaching PCT. In 2012 Fiona was appointed chief officer of the two CCG’s in Sefton so has been in that role for five years now.

St Ann’s Hospice cares and helps thousands of patients (over the age of 16) and their families and carers every year who are affected by cancer and non-cancer life limiting illnesses. The staff deliver care that is special and unique to each individual person. Around 40% of inpatients at St Ann’s Hospice return home after treatment.

The Advancing Quality Alliance (AQuA) was established in 2010 to improve health and care quality in the North West. It has over 70 member organisations who it works with on a long term basis.

Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust Pride Awards 2017

BUSINESSES across the area are being invited to help support and celebrate the vital work of NHS staff in hospitals and in the community.

The Pride Awards, now in their ninth year, celebrate the excellence and professionalism of health employees who work at Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust.

The awards are also an opportunity for staff to recognise the achievements of one another and for patients to highlight staff who have given outstanding care.

The Trust is keen to hear from businesses and organisations across Southport, Formby, West Lancashire and the North West who would be interested in giving financial support to this year’s Pride Awards.

A number of sponsorship opportunities are available for each of the award categories. Iain McInnes, interim Chief Executive, said: “The Pride Awards are a fantastic opportunity for our community to help celebrate their NHS heroes.

“We are grateful to our existing sponsors for their continuing support but I know there will be many others who want to show their appreciation to staff by supporting this event.”

Companies or organisations interested in sponsorship should contact Joanne Chorley at the Trust on 01704 704714 or email joanne.chorley@nhs.net.

The Pride Awards will be held at Southport Theatre and Convention Centre in June. Nominations for the Patient Award will open later in February.

Radio DJ Kev Seed praises F.A.S.T. stroke awareness campaign following Aintree Hospital treatment

Radio and veteran DJ Kev Seed, who was recently treated at Aintree hospital, has told of how the F.A.S.T. stroke awareness campaign saved his life.

The annual campaign, which launched on February 2, aims to raise awareness of the symptoms of stroke and encourage people who recognise the symptom of stroke to call 999 immediately.

Kev suffered a stroke in July 2016 while dining in a restaurant with his girlfriend Vicki, when he fell ill. She had seen the F.A.S.T. adverts on TV, recognised the symptoms, and immediately called an ambulance.

Kev was rushed to Aintree University Hospital where he underwent treatment and rehabilitation with the hospital’s specialist stroke team.

Kev, 48, from West Derby, who now presents on Wirral FM, said: “My girlfriend noticed that my face had dropped on one side and knew I had to get to a hospital fast. She probably saved my life and definitely helped my recovery!”

He added: “Act straightaway if you think it might be a stroke, even if you are unsure. Don’t take a chance.”

Dr Claire Cullen, Stroke Clinical director at Aintree who treated Kev said: “Every second counts with stroke and the sooner somebody who is having a stroke gets urgent medical attention, the better their chances of a good recovery. If you think someone is showing signs of having a stroke, don’t wait, call an ambulance immediately. You may save their life.”

The FAST campaign is built around the ‘Act F.A.S.T.’ (Face, Arms, Speech, Time) acronym to emphasise the importance of acting quickly by calling 999: Face – has their face fallen on one side? Can they smile?; Arms – can they raise both arms and keep them there???Speech – is their speech slurred???and Time to call 999

Acting F.A.S.T. as soon as stroke symptoms present themselves can not only save lives but potentially limit long-term effects.

Approximately 110,000 people have a stroke each year in England. It is the third largest, cause of death, and the largest cause of complex disability; over half of all stroke survivors are left with a disability.

Kev Seed has worked at many regional radio stations including Rock FM, Juice FM, Wish FM and Wirral Radio. The Kev Seed Breakfast Show ran for over 12 years on Radio City. He was also a resident DJ at several of the region’s biggest clubs.

Plans to improve Liverpool’s orthopaedic services underway

The NHS in Liverpool is considering a new, joined-up approach to delivering adult orthopaedic services.

Orthopaedic services are used by people with injuries and diseases affecting their muscles, skeleton and related tissues including the spine, joints, tendons and nerves. They include both planned (also known as ‘elective’) procedures such as hip and knee replacements, and also unplanned procedures caused by major traumas such as a road traffic or industrial accident.

Currently these services are provided by separate teams at both Aintree University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and the Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals NHS Trust.

NHS Liverpool Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), the organisation which is responsible for planning NHS care in the city, has been working closely with both Trusts to explore different ways to improve these orthopaedic services as part of its Healthy Liverpool programme.

Orthopaedics specialists at the two hospitals believe that in the future they should operate as part of a single Liverpool Orthopaedic and Trauma Service, with two dedicated centres.

The proposed plans would help ensure that local services meet new national standards for orthopaedic care, while also reducing patient waiting times and the length of hospital stays.

Dr Fiona Lemmens, Clinical Director for the Healthy Liverpool Hospitals programme, said:

“Hospitals are a key part of the local health service, and making sure that people have access to the very best hospital services – wherever they live, or are treated in the city – is central to Healthy Liverpool.

“We’ve been working with local orthopaedics doctors to look at how services could be improved, which has led to proposals for a single, city-wide service. We believe this way of working offers real benefits for patient care, making it easier for hospitals to share expertise and training, attract the most talented staff, and meet the highest clinical standards.

“However, it’s important to stress that no decisions have been made at this stage. Any changes would be set out in a public consultation, asking people for their views, which we hope will take place during the summer.”

Working as a single, city-wide service would mean individual doctors could focus on specific areas of orthopaedics, and treat a greater number of patients with the same condition, than they do under current arrangements. There is strong evidence that patient care improves when clinicians carry out particular procedures more frequently.

Daniel Brown, Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon at the Royal Liverpool Hospital, said:

“There have been several major new national directives in the way that we are expected to manage both orthopaedics and trauma recently. These are all designed to improve patient safety, experience and outcomes. However, the current system in Merseyside does not allow us to deliver these changes. By combining the orthopaedic and trauma services at Aintree, Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen hospitals into a single service, working together we have the opportunity to not only meet these directives, but also to become a national centre of excellence for orthopaedic and trauma care.  There is 100% support from the orthopaedic consultants across the city for these plans, and we are very excited about this project.”

Paul Carter, Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon at Aintree University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, said:

“By changing the way we deliver orthopaedic services and concentrating our resources we can achieve greater continuity of care and better outcomes for patients. The potential solution would also enable us to bring access to best practice to every patient in a way that can’t be achieved through separate services.”

The case for changing services will be put to Liverpool City Council’s Social Care and Health Select Committee today (Tuesday 31 January). The CCG is planning to hold a full public consultation during the summer, in which it will ask people for their views, to help to shape and refine plans.

Orthopaedics is one of a number of areas being considered for single, city-wide services as part of Healthy Liverpool. Other areas include cardiology, cancer services, emergency care, and stroke. In 2015 it was proposed that blood cancer services currently delivered at both the Royal Liverpool Hospital and Aintree Hospital, should come together as a single service based at the new Clatterbridge Cancer Centre, which is set to open in 2019.

Healthwatch Sefton Publish Enter and View Reports

Last year, authorised representatives from Healthwatch Sefton conducted Enter and View visits as part of a pilot programme to care homes in the borough. During August Hawthorne Lodge Residential Care Home in Bootle was visited and Leyland Rest Home in Southport during September.

Reports have been completed on both visits and were sent to the providers so they could respond. However, Healthwatch Sefton is not happy with the responses to the reports and will follow this up by further contact with the providers and also the Care Quality Commission. Healthwatch Sefton will also work with Sefton Council’s Contracts and Commissioning team on both cases.

It is the intention of Healthwatch Sefton to conduct further Enter and View visits at other care homes in the borough during this year.

The Hawthorne Lodge report can be found using this link and Leyland Rest Home’s report can be found here.

If you have any information or experiences to share about care homes, let us know using our online Feedback Centre – www.healthwatchsefton.co.uk/ ; you can also call Freephone: 0800 206 1304; or email: info@healthwatchsefton.co.uk to feedback on services.

All of our published Enter and View reports can be viewed on our website, at, http://www.healthwatchsefton.co.uk/organisation-chart/enter-and-view/  

Paralympian Rik Waddon gives sporting tips to Southport high school pupils

Students at Stanley High School in Southport received some sporting tips from a top Paralympian at a special event this week.

The Marshside school welcomed cyclist Rik Waddon who worked with a selected group of year 8 students for the day as part of the Sky Sports Living for Sport programme.

Chester-born Rik, who suffers from cerebral palsy, took up cycling at the age of 14 after being inspired by watching the Tour de France on TV.

He began to compete in disability cycling in 2001, and was selected to train with the Great Britain team just months later.

Unfortunately injury ruled him out of the Athens Paralympics in 2004, but he went on to win silver medals in Beijing in the 1km time trial CP3 and in London in the mixed team sprint C1-5.

In recent years Rik has turned his attention to road time trialling, and recently returned from Spain after winning a bronze medal in the World Road Race Championships.

During his visit Rik led practical sessions on team work and communications, and also offered some motivational tips on overcoming adversity and setbacks to achieve a sporting dream.

He also highlighted the Sky programme’s six keys to sporting success which are mental toughness, a hunger to achieve, people skills, sport and life knowledge, breaking barriers and planning for success.

Mike Smethurst of Stanley High, who organised the visit, commented: “This event went really well and our students found what Rik had to say really inspiring and motivating.

“In addition, they also realised that in addition to being used in a sporting context, the six keys to success are valuable life skills which have a much wider application.”

A comment from one year 8 student summed up the feelings of the group: “It was great to work with Rik today.  His journey has been really inspiring, and has spurred me on to do by best and think positively in the future.”

VSNW and Health Education England (HEE) announce joint learning initiative ‘Learning Matters’

The search is on for people and projects where individual and organisational learning is driving development and transforming the health and care sector in the North West.

Voluntary Sector North West (VSNW) and Health Education England (HEE) are proud to announce a new joint regional award programme and learning campaign, Learning Matters, to celebrate all kinds of learning across the health and care sector. You can nominate people: colleagues, volunteers or patients where their learning is really making a difference; or projects which are applying learning in any given context. Nominations will showcase the impact of learning on people and organisations in order to inspire others. They will importantly, acknowledge and say thank you to those who go that extra mile. Show your support by taking the time to nominate. Help us tell people why Learning Matters so much to everyone.

This joint campaign led by VSNW, recognises the contribution that adult learning makes to individual, community and economic wellbeing. It will emphasise the importance the awards’ partnership places on the need to develop and harness all talent. It will highlight what can be done to enable the health and care system to support people to have the knowledge, skills and confidence to play an active role in managing their own health; and how to work effectively with communities and their assets. Learning Matters will also demonstrate the fundamental role of learning in reducing health inequalities and how the sector can use leverage to add social value.

Warren Escadale, CEO VSNW said, ’Together with HEE we will be jointly celebrating and promoting Learning Matters because we believe learning is good for people, the sector and the region. But we need your help to identify staff and volunteers, working in and across the whole of the health and care sector, who have been transformed by learning and who can inspire others to give learning a go. We’d also like to hear about projects and activity where learning is shared and it is changing the way we think and what we do in the sector.’

The Learning Matters awards launch on Friday 03 February 2017. They will recognise people and projects in public, voluntary or private sector organisations; in all kinds of job roles not just those with direct care responsibility. This includes those working in an unpaid and volunteer capacity. These awards will reflect the diversity of learning and the range of responsibilities across the whole of the health and care sector. The award categories themselves will include a celebration of the role and value of apprenticeships for all ages. They will highlight important first steps into the sector. They will spotlight regional talent and shout about career development and progression. And they will provide an insight into how people in the sector support each other.

The Learning Matters team is also pleased to announce a number of sponsored awards which will celebrate innovation and regional ingenuity. These awards will have an eye on underlining the importance of supporting new care models, driving adoption of innovation, innovative community asset based development, patient, carer and public engagement, widening participation in healthcare education, prevention, digital health, personalised care and social prescribing. Your nominations will tell us how.

Nominations are open from 03 February until 12 noon on Monday 10 April 2017

For full details on all these awards and how to get nominating simply follow the link below.

https://www.vsnw.org.uk/nw-health-awards-2017

British Lung Foundation head talks at meeting of Breathe Easy Group

A GOOD turn-out of members, old and new, welcomed Mike McKevitt, head of Patient Services at the British Lung Foundation to the January meeting of the West Lancashire and Southport Breathe Easy Group.

He set up a Video Conference between those present at the meeting at the Girl Guide HQ in Green Lane, Ormskirk, and the BLF National Helpline, based at their Liverpool Office.

There was a particular reason for this, being that the BLF hope to perfect this technology so that Breathe Easy Groups throughout the country, including groups in quite isolated areas, can access expert advice.

Patricia Ireland from the group said: “We in the West Lancashire and Southport Group were therefore acting as guinea pigs, to help the BLF perfect the technical side of things!

“Vicky Barber, the BLF Nurse manager, spoke to us first through this video link, giving us very useful advice about the current flu outbreak.

“She explained that the flu jabs we all had last Autumn were the best that could be given at the time, but are always guesswork, as no-one can know for sure what strain of virus will be doing the rounds the following winter.

“If anyone with respiratory illness develops flu-like symptoms, they are eligible for ‘Tamiflu’ to ward off the worst of the illness, and should contact their GP.

“She also gave us really good advice about disease transmission, – and the great importance of handwashing and use of alcoholic wipes to clean our hands.

“Later Leah of the BLF helpline, continuing on this Video Link, spoke to us about relevant non means-tested benefits! It was really interesting to receive this information ‘direct’ and be able to see and ask questions of the BLF Helpline!”

Mike Mckevitt then presented an award to Irene Norman of Up Holland, the founder member of the group and long-time chairperson until 2014, (when she handed over to the present chairman, Harry Thacker.

This award was not just for what she has done in founding and leading the local group in Ormskirk and Southport for so many years, but also what she continues to do, nationally, for the British Lung Foundation.

Patricia added: “Irene’s efforts for the BLF are continuing, magnificent and outstanding! She goes out to help start up new Breathe Easy Groups, she sits in on Interview Panels for BLF recruitment… you name it, our amazing local lady continues to show that we in the North West of England are prepared to work full-on to help our local communities, as unpaid volunteers!”

The next meeting will be held at the usual venue, Green Lane Guide HQ, next door to the Rugby Club in Ormskirk, on Monday, February 20th, when a representative of Age UK will be coming to speak.

Free light refreshments will be served from 11am and the meeting proper will start at 11.30 am, finishing by 12.30am.

Southport care home tops 1% in the UK for Outstanding rating

A CARE home in Southport has found istelf in the top 1% in the UK after being rated as ‘outstanding’ by the health watchdog.

Rosebank Care Home, based on Leyland Road, is one of just a handful of the 40,000 care homes across the UK to recieve the accolade – something which home owner Jonathan Cunningham has defined as the ‘holy grail’ of ratings.

They were recently asssesed by the Care and Qaulity Commision, who lauded staff and the facilities for the high quality care that residents there recieve on a day to day basis.

Debbie Westhead, Deputy Chief Inspector of Adult Social Care in the North for the CQC, said: “We found the quality of care provided at Rosebank Care Home in Southport to be outstanding. People told us that they were extremely happy with the level of care that they received and we saw a relaxed, homely atmosphere.

“It was impressive to see the way that Rosebank had harnessed new technology and social media to engagement with not just people using the service, but their relatives and even stakeholders. People told us this approach had an extremely positive impact on them and this was clear to see.

“We were also impressed with the lengths that staff went to, to ensure that people’s care was responsive to their needs. We saw staff rewording information for people when they didn’t understand it and also that people had choice and control over their lives. The whole team should be very proud of the service they are providing.”

A delighted Jonathan Cunningham, owner of Rosebank Care Home, said: “In the world of social care it is the holy grail to achieve an Outstanding grade by the care regulator.

“Only one percent of all 40,000 UK care providers are graded outstanding in recognition of those providers that are truly exceptional, care innovators and those who deliver extraordinary care to those they are entrusted to look after.

“The home is run for adults with learning disabilities.

‘We are absolutely delighted that the consistent hard work of all our staff has paid off. It is a true recognition of our exceptional care team and their vocational dedication to our residents. The quality of our care was evident the moment CQC turned up.

“We aren’t interested in simply being compliant – what we deliver is far beyond the minimum level set by CQC.”

Councillor Tony Dawson, Adult Care and Wellbeing spokesperson for Southport said: “I would like to extend my congratulations to the staff and management of Rosebank for gaining this recognition and the work which resulted in them achieving it. Most media coverage of the CQC tends to be centred upon its criticisms.

“This report shows that the high standards which the CQC sets can indeed be obtained.”

Jonathan, who also runs Storm Consultancy, has recently been asked to help other care providers in the North West who need to improve their gradings with the CQC.

New year, new you? – tips and advice from NHS South Sefton CCG

With 2017 now in full swing, health experts in south Sefton are highlighting the benefits of eating healthier and being more active to patients as they focus on New Year’s resolutions.

Dr Andrew Mimnagh, local GP and NHS South Sefton Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) chair, said: “Now that we are in 2017 why not think about the year ahead and perhaps set some targets to improve your health?

“After indulging over the festive period, many of us naturally start to think about cutting down at the start of the new year, whether it be taking part in Dry January, deciding to stop smoking or just generally eating healthier and cutting down on treats. All of these can help with health issues along with being more active. It is important though that we try and maintain all of these things throughout the year.

“The gym isn’t for all of us, and for some, being more active might be walking to the top of their road to get the newspaper. For others it will be joining a gym and getting a personal trainer. We all have different targets but it is proven that regular exercise can lower the risk of many health conditions including type 2 diabetes, depression and dementia and it doesn’t need to be costly.”

Talking about Dry January, Dr Mimnagh continues: “We really encourage Dry January as it has been proven that after taking part many people have more energy, get more sleep and many cut down on alcohol in the months following it so it does have its benefits.”

Evidence shows that one month after participating in Dry January in 2016:

  • 79 per cent of participants saved money
  • 62 per cent had better sleep and more energy
  • 49 per cent lost weight

If you are thinking about stopping smoking but would like some advice you can call Healthy Sefton on 0300 100 1000.

You can also find lots of information on where to start with exercising on the NHS choices website here: www.nhs.uk/livewell/fitness/Pages/Fitnesshome.aspx

Public welcome at local CCG meetings

Clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) in Sefton have announced the dates of their first governing body meetings for 2017 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 25 January at the Family Life Centre, Ash St, Southport, Merseyside, PR8 6JH, at 1pm. Papers will be made available here beforehand: www.southportandformbyccg.nhs.uk/about-us/governing-body/governing-body-meetings

The NHS South Sefton CCG meeting will take place on Thursday 26 January at Merton House, Stanley Road in Bootle at 1pm. Papers will be made available here beforehand: www.southseftonccg.nhs.uk/about-us/governing-body/governing-body-meetings   

Anyone who is interested in attending is asked to call 0151 247 7000 to confirm their attendance.

Alzheimer’s Society – Memory Cafe Dates for 2017

Alzheimer’s Society have announced new dates for Memory Cafes in Sefton.


Crosby
10am – 12pm (1st Wednesday of each month)
Crossroads Cafe, 71B Liverpool Road, Crosby, L23 5SE

4th January – 1st February – 1st March – 5th April – 3rd May – 7th June – 5th July – 2nd August – 6th September – 4th October – 1st November – 6th December

Nearest train station: Crosby & Blundellsands
Suggested bus service: Circular
Good parking facilities.


Southport
1.30pm – 3.30pm (3rd Thursday of each month)
Salvation Army, 57-63 Shakespeare Street, Southport, PR8 5AJ

19h January – 16th February – 16th March – 20th April – 18th May – 15th June – 20th July – 17th August – 21st September – 19th October – 16th November – 21st December

Nearest train station: Southport (25 min walk – taxis outside)
Suggested bus service: 43
Parking available


Formby
2pm – 4pm (2nd Thursday of each month)
Formby Methodist Church, Elbow Lane, L37 4AF

12th January – 9th February – 9th March – 13th April – 11th May – 8th June – 13th July – 10th August – 14th September – 12th October – 9th November – 14th December

Nearest train station: Formby
Suggested bus service: Circular
Good parking facilities.


Maghull
2pm – 4pm (Last Thursday of each month)
Lydiate Village Centre, Lambshear Lane, L31 2LA

26th January – 23rd February – 30th March – 27th April – 25th May – 29th June – 27th July – 31st August – 28th September – 26th October – 30th November

Nearest train station: Maghull (1.5 miles)
Suggested bus service: 231
Good parking facilities.


Memory cafes are informal drop in groups where people living with dementia and their carers can get together to share and talk about things that are important to them. Alzheimer’s Society staff will be on hand to give information and support. At some events, guest speakers will attend to cover a range of topics. There is no need to book, just go along on the day and you will be made very welcome.

You can find out more about the work of Alzheimers society here: www.alzheimers.org.uk

Options for the future of Liverpool Women’s hospital published

Four options for the future of services provided by Liverpool Women’s hospital have been published.

The options have been developed as part of a review of women’s and neonatal services, which began in March 2016 and is being led by NHS Liverpool Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) as part of its Healthy Liverpool programme.

The Healthy Liverpool programme is looking at hospital services across north Merseyside (covering Knowsley, Liverpool and Sefton) as part of its work.

This review is being delivered by Liverpool CCG in partnership with Liverpool Women’s, with support from South Sefton CCG and Knowsley CCG, whose patients also use these services.

Aintree University Hospital, Alder Hey Children’s Hospital and the Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals are also closely involved.

The review is happening because the needs of patients have changed since Liverpool Women’s opened more than 20 years ago.

Women are living longer and having babies later in life, while advances in medicine mean more premature and unwell babies are surviving when they wouldn’t have in the past.

This means patients require more complex care which isn’t always available at the Women’s, so many women have to be transferred to other hospitals before they can receive appropriate care, including some of the most seriously ill women. There are also new standards of care which the Women’s is unable to meet in its current location.

The review has involved staff from NHS organisations across the city, including midwives, nurses and doctors from the Women’s and other hospitals. The public were also asked for their views on the case for change at the hospital last summer, and these were used to develop the four options.

The options are:

  • Relocate women’s and neonatal services to a new hospital building on the same site as the new Royal Liverpool Hospital
  • Relocate women’s and neonatal services to a new hospital building on the same site as Alder Hey Children’s Hospital
  • Make major improvements to Liverpool Women’s Hospital on the current Crown Street site
  • Make smaller improvements to the current Crown Street site.

The options are included in a draft pre-consultation business case (PCBC), which was presented to the Board of Liverpool Women’s today and which is available for the public to download at www.healthyliverpool.nhs.uk.

The PCBC is a detailed technical document which explains how these options have been developed and how a preferred option was chosen.

The preferred option is to relocate women’s and neonatal services to a new hospital building on the same site as the new Royal Liverpool Hospital. This is because it offers the most benefits for patients and provides solutions to the challenges set out in the case for change, including improved safety and patient experience, reduced transfers of patients and less separation of mothers and babies. This option is judged to support long term clinical and financial sustainability and best value for money.

Dr Fiona Lemmens, Clinical Director for the Healthy Liverpool Hospitals Programme, said: “It is really important to us that this is an open and transparent process. We hope that publishing the draft business case will help the public understand what we’re doing and see how the views they shared with us last summer are being used to shape the future of these services. We want to ensure women and newborns receive the very best care possible and we believe the preferred option will allow us to do this.”

Andrew Loughney, Medical Director at Liverpool Women’s, said: “Midwives, nurses and doctors at Liverpool Women’s have been central to developing options for the future as part of this review. We are confident that the preferred option is best placed to enable us to address the main issues facing our patients. Moving to a new purpose built building would mean that we could provide the very best care for future generations of people in Merseyside.”

All four options would require significant capital investment and NHS England and NHS Improvement, the regulators for the NHS, have asked that further work is now done to develop detailed funding plans. This work needs to show how capital funding could be secured and demonstrate that it represents value for money. It is recognised that this presents a challenge in the current environment of constrained NHS resources.

At the same time, the final version of the PCBC needs to reflect the findings of a broader review of neonatal services, which is currently being undertaken by the Cheshire and Merseyside Neonatal Network and which will report in the spring of 2017.

Once this additional work is completed a final version of the business case will be submitted to NHS England for approval. If NHS regulators are assured there is a sound case to invest, the options will go out to formal public consultation, giving the public an opportunity to share their views on detailed proposals for the future of women’s and neonatal services.

Dr Lemmens added: “I want to stress that this is an ongoing process and no final decisions will be made until the conclusion of any future public consultation.”

Members of the public who want to be kept informed can sign up at www.healthyliverpool.nhs.uk or call 0151 296 7537.

Success at local learning disability health event at Crosby Lakeside

Over 50 adults with learning disabilities attended an event at Crosby Lakeside Adventure Centre to visit a range of information stalls on health services available to them in Sefton.

The Cheshire and Merseyside Screening and Immunisation team at Public Health England (PHE) organised the event in partnership with the Sefton learning disabilities team in Merseycare, People First, NHS South Sefton Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and NHS Southport and Formby CCG.

Wendy Storey, screening and immunisation co-ordinator from Public Health England said: “As people with a learning disability frequently experience difficulties in understanding and accessing health services, the event gave them, their carers’ and families a chance to get information in a way that met their needs. Easy read leaflets were available from most health provider information stalls. Some branded items were given out to remind people of the services they can access in Sefton.

“As attendance rates were quite low, we organised the event initially to encourage people to attend breast, bowel and cervical screening but also to raise awareness of the amount of help available to them locally. The event was opened up to other health programmes as it was an ideal opportunity to share important information and offer support”

Jane Tosi and Claire Campbell in the medicines management team at the CCGs had a stand at the event and Jane said: “We had some examples on display of aids that are available to help people with learning disabilities take their medication at the right time, such as talking clocks, watches and talking labels.”

Claire said: “It is important that all people with a learning disability have access to information that is easily accessible and appropriate to help them take their medication correctly so hopefully the event helped with that. Some people at the event were not aware of the different types of aids available when we showed them so hopefully it has made a difference and helped some carers and family members too.”

Other stalls on the day offered eye tests, advice on dental care, sexual health, immunisations, exercise, non-cancer screening programmes and healthy eating. Each stall holder made adjustments to communication methods to share information.

For more information please visit: www.merseycare.nhs.uk/our-services/a-z-of-services/learning-disability-community-teams

NHS and the council offer advice as cold weather warning is issued

Following the Met Office cold weather alert across the North West, the local NHS clinical commissioning groups (CCG’s) and Sefton Council are reminding people to stay warm and to examine their options should they or their family become ill.

The Level 2 alert means that between 0600 on Wednesday 4 January and 1500 on Friday 06 January, there is an 80 per cent chance of severe cold weather. This weather could increase the health risks to vulnerable patients and disrupt the delivery of services.

Dr Rob Caudwell, local GP and NHS Southport and Formby CCG chair, said: “We’d like to remind people about the options available to them if they or a member of their family becomes ill. The cold weather will put added pressure on health services so it’s really important to use the right service.”

Dr Andy Mimnagh, local GP and NHS South Sefton CCG chair, said: “If you do become ill we ask that you think about self care before seeing your GP, visiting the walk in or dialling 999. Your chemist can offer advice and medication for minor illnesses without an appointment and NHS 111 is available for non-emergencies.

“I would also advise those who are eligible to have a flu jab to get protected. Whether you are pregnant, have very young children, are an elderly person or have a health condition, such as asthma, heart disease, diabetes or are an older person you will be eligible for the vaccination.”

Cllr Ian Moncur, cabinet member for Health and Wellbeing at Sefton Council, said: “During this cold spell we’d like to encourage residents to look out for those who may be living alone, check in with neighbours and take weather conditions into account when planning to travel. Help and advice is available from pharmacies over the festive period for minor illnesses, we would encourage people to use these services before seeing GP and A&E departments. ”

The Public Health England Cold Weather Plan  sets out a series of actions that health and social care organisations, voluntary and community groups, and individuals can take and plan for cold temperatures to help reduce cold-related illnesses and deaths.

Top tips to prepare for colder weather:

  • look out for friends and family who may be vulnerable to the cold and ensure they have access to warm food, drinks and are managing to heat their homes adequately
  • try to maintain indoor temperatures to at least 18°C, particularly if you are not mobile, have long term illness or are 65 or over
  • stay tuned for weather forecasts, ensure you are stocked with food and medications in advance (have deliveries or ask a friend to help)
  • take weather into account when planning your activity over the following days
  • avoid exposing yourself to cold or icy outdoor conditions if you are at a higher risk of cold related illness or falls
  • discuss with friends and neighbours about clearing snow and ice from in front of your house and public walkways nearby, if unable to do so yourself

Remember to examine your options should you or a family member become ill during winter, more information can be found here: www.southportandformbyccg.nhs.uk/your-health-and-services  // www.southseftonccg.nhs.uk/your-health-and-services

For more information on the weather in your area please visit: www.metoffice.gov.uk/public/weather/cold-weather-alert/#?tab=coldWeatherAlert

Has your 2, 3 or 4 year old had their flu vaccination?

Parents in Sefton are being urged to get their children vaccinated against flu.

All healthy children aged 2, 3 and 4 are eligible to have free flu vaccinations as part of the Stay Well This Winter campaign.

Pippa Rose, a practice nurse lead for NHS South Sefton clinical commissioning group (CCG) and NHS Southport and Formby CCG, said: “Flu can be far more dangerous than parents realise and of course, when they get it, they tend to spread it around the whole family. Every year, thousands of children get sick and it is not uncommon for them to be admitted to hospital.

“Children with flu are “super spreaders” of the virus, however, children can have a simple nasal spray vaccine that protects them and stops them spreading the flu virus. For children aged 2, 3 and 4 year old, the nasal spray is given at your GP practice. For children aged 5, 6 and 7 years old, they are offered the nasal spray at their school.

“We’re now seeing an increase in flu across the North West and we urge parents to get the free vaccination if they haven’t already done so. It’s not too late.

“Ask your GP about the free flu vaccine for your 2, 3 or 4 year old.”

Flu can be horrible for little children; they have the same symptoms as adults – including fever, chills, aching muscles, headache, stuffy nose, dry cough and sore throat. Some children develop a very high fever or complications of flu, such as bronchitis or pneumonia and may need hospital treatment.

Reducing transmission by children can potentially help cut the number of GP appointments and unplanned admissions for children and adults, reducing winter pressures on the NHS. The programme will be extended gradually to older age groups in primary school in future years.

For more information on the flu vaccine for children please visit: www.nhs.uk/conditions/vaccinations/pages/child-flu-vaccine.aspx
And for a full list of who is eligible for a flu vaccine please visit: www.nhs.uk/Conditions/vaccinations/Pages/who-should-have-flu-vaccine.aspx

Help yours-elf to stay well this winter and use A&E wisely

With Christmas just around the corner, health experts in Southport and Formby are urging local patients to prepare for minor illnesses and to consider how they use 999 and A&E over the festive period for them and their families.

As many prepare to tuck into turkey, celebrate with friends and family or enjoy a festive night out, the health professionals at NHS Southport and Formby Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) are reminding residents to think before dialling 999 or visiting accident and emergency departments over the bank holidays. They are also reminding them to examine their options should they become ill over the festive period and to prepare for minor illnesses by stocking up on over the counter medication.

The Examine your Options campaign aims to give people information so that they know where to go to in the first instance, to get fast, expert advice when they need it and how to help themselves and their families if they have a common illness or ailment – and help ease the pressure on A&E and 999 services at the same time.

It also reinforces the message that A&E and 999 services are for serious illnesses and life-threatening injuries only.

Dr Rob Caudwell, local GP and NHS Southport and Formby CCG chair said ““The best advice that I can offer is to be prepared, if you are entitled to a free flu vaccination then make sure you get it, visit your pharmacist to ensure that you have the right at home medication and order your repeat prescriptions through your GP practice well before the bank holiday rush.

“It’s also really important to make sure that we look out for not only family and friends, but also for any elderly neighbours as well, those who may struggle to get out of the house this time of the year, to ensure that they have everything that they need.”

With the increasing pressure on emergency services over the busy Christmas and New Year period, we are stressing the importance of ensuring A&E and the 999 number are kept free for genuine medical emergencies.

Dr Caudwell continues: “It is vital to remember that the ambulance service and A&E should not be used as an alternative to your GP if your surgery is closed. If you or your children require medical assistance outside of normal surgery hours this bank holiday, patients in Southport and Formby have access to a wide range of alternative health services available including GP out-of-hours services and pharmacists who are qualified to offer advice and treat common, everyday illnesses quickly and conveniently.”

Dr Dave Snow, associate medical director for urgent care at Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust, said: “We are not saying don’t use A&E. We are saying use A&E wisely.

“Many people who arrive at A&E, particularly by ambulance following a 999 call, do need hospital care and will be seen immediately. However, there are others whose care needs could be met just as well by their GP, a pharmacist or by treating the symptoms themselves.

“A&E is for people facing life-threatening and serious emergencies such as serious accidents, breathing problems, heart attacks and strokes. Please keep our staff free for them.”

Feeling Unwell? – Examine Your Options

Across the area there are a range of health services to support people if they feel unwell or have any health concerns. There are services which you may be unfamiliar with, but could be more appropriate and convenient for you depending on your specific issue.

For minor ailments and injuries your best route to recover is likely to be self-care. There are a variety of services that can support you to do this:

Pharmacy Services

Your local pharmacy can offer free, confidential and expert advice on a range of health issues for those who need it. They can help you prepare for many of the common illnesses like coughs and colds.

For your pharmacy opening times over Christmas and New Year please click here www.southportandformbyccg.nhs.uk/your-health-and-services/pharmacy-opening-times-for-christmas-period

NHS.UK

You can find a wealth of trusted advice about hundreds of health conditions and details of GPs, pharmacies and dentists in your local area by visiting the NHS.uk website: http://www.nhs.uk. It also includes a symptom checker.

NHS 111

When you need medical help or advice fast, but it is not a 999 emergency, you can also call the NHS 111 service. NHS 111 is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and calls are free from mobiles and landlines.

If you need medical care for illnesses you cannot treat yourself, then your GP should be your next port of call.

Your Local GP

Your GP should be your first point of contact for non-emergency illnesses you can’t treat yourself. Your GP is available from 8.00am to 6.30pm weekdays.

If you don’t have a GP, you can register with your local surgery. If you’re not sure where this is, you can find out at: http://www.nhs.uk or call 0300 77 77 007.

Patients can also manage their health needs at home using Patient Access which is available on desktop or as a free app where you can arrange appointments, order repeat medications and update your personal details.*

For more information on Patient Access visit: https://patient.emisaccess.co.uk/account/login or watch this video for more information: www.youtube.com/watch?v=WRM5YzabvVc

GP Out of Hours Service

If your local surgery is closed, you can still see a GP with the GP out-of-hours service; just call 111 and you can speak to a local GP over the phone or face to face if necessary.

It is very likely that you and your family will be seen and treated more quickly using the out-of-hours service than if you were waiting to see a doctor in A&E, especially at busy times.

For more information please visit www.examineyouroptions.info

*please note that some practices may use a slightly different system to patient access so it is worth asking your GP practice for more information

Party-goers being urged by North West Ambulance Service to drink responsibly this festive season

AMUBULANCE chiefs are urging party-goers to drink responsibly during the festive season and to think before they dial 999 so that paramedics are able to deal with life-threatening incidents.

On the Friday before Christmas – known as ‘Mad Friday’ – the North West Ambulance Service (NWAS) is expecting a spike in emergency calls as the Christmas party season goes into over-drive.

Emergency medical dispatchers, who answer emergency 999 calls to the ambulance service, answer almost 4,000 calls every day. However, ‘Mad Friday’ is expected to present them with further challenges, many of which could be prevented if people were to take sensible precautions.

Recent examples of frivolous 999 calls include:

l A call made by a patient who had banged their knee. At the same time, an ambulance crew rushed to a patient gasping for breath.

lA person who’d noticed a lump on his bottom. One minute later, NWAS were called to a male who was found unresponsive on the floor.

l A call by a man who had hurt his ankle the day before. Shortly after, a call came in for a patient with difficulty breathing.

l A call from a patient who had injured their ankle playing football. At the same time, NWAS was also called to a one-year-old baby suffering breathing difficulties due to an allergic reaction.

In these instances although ambulances were not sent to the first set of calls, they did hold up the line for serious emergencies where time can mean the difference between life and death.

NWAS director of operations, Ged Blezard, said: “The service is incredibly busy and we don’t have spare paramedics and ambulances to deal with the extra calls which occasions such as Mad Friday present us with. We need people to take some responsibility for their own safety during this busy period.

“In genuine life-threatening emergencies, time matters. If people stop and think about their actions and try not to have one too many during the festive period, they can help us to get to the vulnerable and very poorly people that really need us – it could be one of their relatives relying on us.

“It is also important to remember hangovers, headaches and feeling under the weather after a night out can generally be treated using medicine from your local pharmacist and getting plenty of rest and fluid.”

Police launch festive crackdown on drink and drug driving

MERSEYSIDE Police has launched its annual Christmas drink and drug driving campaign, urging motorists to have ‘None For The Road.’

Officers from the Roads Policing Unit and colleagues across the force will be stepping up patrols throughout the month-long campaign, which runs until Sunday, January 1.

They will be paying particular attention to areas across Merseyside in the evenings and early in the morning, to target those who are risking driving the morning after drinking or taking drugs the night before.

During last year’s Christmas drink and drug driving campaign, officers carried out a total of 7,925 breath tests in Merseyside.

A total of 224 (3%) of all drivers failed the test and were arrested. During the same period, drug impairment and drug tests were carried out, with 66 drivers being arrested.

Sergeant Paul Mountford, of Merseyside Police’s roads policing unit, said: “The numbers of people drink driving on our roads are falling because it has become socially unacceptable.

“We were encouraged last year to see 97% of the people we tested were driving responsibly. Anyone considering taking stupid risks needs to remember that people who drive at twice the current legal alcohol level are at least 50 times more likely to be involved in a fatal collision.

“During last year’s campaign, it was disappointing to see a slight increase in motorists drug driving. Therefore, as well as roadside breath tests, our officers will again be undertaking drug impairment tests. Drug testing is now routine at the roadside in Merseyside and cannabis and cocaine are the two most common drugs used by drivers arrested in Merseyside. We have a very high detection rate in these cases of 98%.

“I also want to warn people about the risks of using medicinal drugs. Always read the instructions on the packaging carefully or speak to your GP or chemist. Taking certain medicines with alcohol can severely affect a person’s driving and if the label says ‘do not operate machinery’ that means do not drive.

“Our message to drivers is not to drink or take drugs and then drive, just simply pre-plan your evenings out, use public transport or have a designated non-drinking driver.

“We are all entitled to use the roads safely, be it driving, walking, or cycling.

“ If you know or suspect that someone is drink or drug driving, do not hesitate in reporting them anonymously via Crimestoppers. Road safety is everyone’s responsibility and your actions could be saving lives at the festive period and throughout the year.”

Changes to visiting times at Southport and Ormskirk Hospital

Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust is changing visiting times to ensure patients can enjoy their lunch without distractions.

Visiting times at Southport and Ormskirk hospitals will now run from 1pm to 8.30pm. This does not include maternity and neonatal wards which have their own visiting times. Visitors who come in to assist patients with meals are still welcome from midday, they are just asked to identify themselves to a member of staff on arrival.

Carol Fowler, Acting Deputy Director of Nursing, said: “We extended our visiting times last year as we recognised the importance of visitors in aiding patients’ recovery.

“Nutritious meals also play a large part in recovery and we’ve noticed some patients becoming distracted at lunchtime and their food was cold by the time they came to eat it, or they weren’t eating at all. We hope by adjusting the visiting start time slightly, our patients will see the benefit.”

If friends and family find these visiting times are not convenient, they can speak to the nurse in charge of the ward who will be able to help.