‘Examine Your Options’ this Bank Holiday

Local health commissioners are encouraging Sefton residents to examine their options if they become unwell over the bank holiday weekend.

Anyone who thinks they may need to access health services over the bank holiday is being urged to check opening times for walk in centres, GP practices and chemists and also think about ordering any repeat prescriptions they need before the long weekend begins.

Dr Craig Gillespie, local GP and acting chair of NHS South Sefton Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), said: “The bank holiday weekend can be a good opportunity to relax and unwind but it’s important people know how to access health services, should they need to. Many GP practices will be closed on the bank holiday, so it’s particularly important for people to examine their options if they become poorly.”

Dr Rob Caudwell, a Southport GP and chair of NHS Southport and Formby CCG, said: “There are a variety of services on offer to people such as the advice on the NHS choices website, and the NHS 111 telephone number. Pharmacists are also available to provide free, confidential advice about common health problems such as coughs, colds and sore throats.”

The local NHS in Sefton is also reminding people that A&E and 999 services are for life-threatening and serious conditions.

Feeling Unwell? – Examine Your Options

Across the region 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.

 Pharmacy Services

Many pharmacies will be open throughout the bank holiday weekend and the best way to find out which pharmacy is open and when is to visit our ‘Your Services Health page’.

Your local pharmacy can offer free, confidential and expert advice on a range of health issues. They can also help you to self-care and prepare for many common illnesses and offer advice on which medicines to keep in stock at home.

In Sefton – whilst all pharmacies provide advice and treatment for a range of minor illnesses and ailments, a number in Sefton offer Care at the Chemist, which ensures our most vulnerable patients who don’t routinely pay for their prescriptions have free and easy access to over the counter medicines they may need without the need to see a doctor.

 NHS.UK

You can find a wealth of trusted advice about hundreds of health conditions and details of GPs, pharmacies in your local area by visiting www.nhs.uk. This useful website also includes a handy 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: www.nhs.uk or call 0300 77 77 007.

 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.

 Walk-in centres

Litherland Walk in Centre is open 8am – 8pm every day. in Litherland Town Hall, Hatton Hill Rd, L21 9JN. Call 0151 475 4667.

No matter where you live in Sefton you can simply drop in – there is no need for an appointment and all ages can get treatment here. The service treats minor illnesses and injuries that do not need a visit to accident and emergency (A&E). Remember A&E is for serious and life threatening illnesses or injuries.

West Lancashire Health Centre – 8am to 8pm, 7 days a week 

Skelmersdale Walk-in Centre – 8am to 8pm, 7 days a week

 Patient Access

Manage your repeat prescriptions and make GP appointments from the comfort of your own home, without having to venture outside, by using the new FREE Patient Access website and smartphone app. Simply search for ‘Patient Access’ in the app store.

Remember though, if using Patient Access for the very first time, you will first have to contact your GP practice so that you can register to use the app.

For information about services that can help in south Sefton over the bank holiday please visit our ‘Your Services Health page’.

Become a Governor at Aintree University Hospital

The Council of Governors at Aintree ensures that the hospital listens to the views of patients, local residents, staff and other interested parties, so it can make improvements to services and the information that is available about them.

Being a Governor at Aintree provides an opportunity for you to play a pivotal role in influencing how decisions are made and how services are developed, to have your voice heard and to represent the views of others.

How to apply

If you are interested in standing for election, further information and a nomination form can be obtained as follows:

  • Online: ersvotes.com/aintree2018
  • Telephone: 0208 365 8909
  • Email: Enquiries@electoralreform.co.uk
  • Text: Text 2FT AN and your name and address to 88802
  • Post: The Election Centre, 33 Clarendon Road London N8 0NW.

The deadline for completed nomination forms is Tuesday 20 March at 5pm.

Healthwatch England’s ‘It Starts With You’Campaign wants to hear from you

Healthwatch Sefton, the local health and social care consumer champion, has been supporting Healthwatch England’s It Starts With You campaign with a number of initiatives within the borough.

Today (Wednesday) the Healthwatch Sefton team is at Strand House in Bootle to engage with those within the 123 flats and to capture any feedback on the health services they use.

Over the last year, more than 3,000 local residents have shared their stories with Healthwatch Sefton to help identify where things weren’t working and let doctors, nurses and care workers know when they were getting it right. The aim is for Wednesday’s visit to add to this picture by listening to what the residents have to say with all responses being anonymous.

This follows a co-ordinated Listening Event earlier in July when eight local Healthwatch visited Accident & Emergency departments throughout Cheshire and Merseyside at the same time, on the same day, and asking people the same questions from a pre-arranged survey.

Two members of Healthwatch Sefton spent the afternoon at Southport and Formby District General Hospital A+E department where they captured feedback from 24 people.

This information will be included in a wider Healthwatch report intended to gain insight as to why people attend A+E and where pressures elsewhere in the system may affect demand on the emergency department. It is hoped a follow-up survey will also add to the picture of A+E demand.

In another initiative to coincide with the It Starts With You campaign, Betty Boner, Healthwatch Sefton Engagement and Participation Officer, linked in with Southport and Ormskirk NHS Hospital Trust’s recent launch of their Experience of Care Strategy. Betty gathered people’s feedback at Southport Hospital on the different services provided at the site and shared comments such as: “I received fantastic aftercare” and “I meet up with other people who were (at the clinic) at the same time. We now support each other”.

The Healthwatch network exists to make it straightforward for people to give feedback about health and social care services. Healthwatch Sefton has made this easy by providing a specific Feedback Centre on its website (www.healthwatchsefton.co.uk) where people can also rate their GP practice, dental surgery or hospital clinic – all anonymously.

 

Have your say about the review of Sefton health policies

People in Sefton are being asked for their views about a range of local health policies that are being updated to reflect the latest medical evidence.

The two NHS bodies responsible for the shaping and buying of health services in Sefton is reviewing more than 100 policies to ensure that resources are used on the treatments which work best for local people.

NHS South Sefton Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and NHS Southport and Formby CCG are working together with their counterparts in Halton, Knowsley, Liverpool, St Helens and Warrington CCGs on a project called ‘Reviewing local health policies’ to agree a number of clinical procedures based on certain criteria.

The review aims to ensure that patients receive the appropriate healthcare in the right place at the right time, that treatments with no or very little evidence of effectiveness are not used and procedures are carried out for maximum clinical or functional benefit, not for cosmetic of psychological reasons.  Clinicians will explore other, more suitable treatments for patients with these types of needs.

Another advantage is to ensure services are up to date with the latest national guidelines, methods and technology, whilst also offering value for money.  Where possible, another aim is to try and standardise the policies and treatments available across the seven CCG areas.

Dr Rob Caudwell, chair of NHS Southport and Formby CCG, said: “The quality of care given to patients is the most important factor in developing these policies and by working together in this review we can make sure that NHS resources are being spent in the best way on the most effective treatments and procedures.”

Dr Andrew Mimnagh, chair of NHS South Sefton CCG, added: “We are reviewing these polices against the latest medical evidence, advice and treatments, so we can be sure we get the best care and outcomes for our patients.

“Patients who might not be eligible for treatment will still be able to apply through an individual funding request (IFR) where appropriate.”

Treatments being reviewed over the next few months in this first phase of the programme include removal of piles, cataract surgery, laser tattoo removal and treatments for hairloss.

You can view all of the policies being reviewed and find out how to have your say on each Sefton CCG’s website www.southportandformbyccg.nhs.uk or www.southseftonccg.nhs.uk  – until the 18th September 2017.