Local Healthwatch to Revisit A&E

On Monday, 19 March staff and volunteers from local Healthwatch across Merseyside will be revisiting A&E departments in the region and talking to patients about the reasons for their visit.

A local Healthwatch spokesperson said: “We hope the simultaneous visits taking place from 9.30am to 12.30pm will provide a snapshot of why people use A&E and what people think about things like quality of care and waiting times.”

The first joint co-ordinated event took place last July when the majority of people said they had gone to A&E on the recommendation of a health professional. A follow up was due to take place in January but was postponed due to increased winter pressures and the flu outbreak.

A&E departments have been regularly in the headlines with usage rising, departments getting more pressured, waiting times growing and frontline staff working hard to give the care people need.

NHS England chief executive, Simon Stevens, said earlier this month: “It is quite likely February will turn out to have been the most pressurised month the NHS has seen in its nearly 70 year history.”







The Local Healthwatch and A&E departments that will be involved are:

  • Healthwatch Liverpool – Royal Liverpool and Alder Hey
  • Healthwatch Sefton – Southport Hospital
  • Healthwatch Knowsley – Aintree Hospital
  • Healthwatch St Helens – Whiston Hospital

Maureen Kelly, Chair of Healthwatch Sefton, says: “It will be interesting to hear the variety of reasons why people attend A&E, especially as our fellow local Healthwatch are asking the same questions in different parts of Merseyside. And the information gathered will be fed back in to providers and decision makers to help get our care right.”

Healthwatch Sefton wants to hear from anyone else who has recently used Southport Hospital’s A&E department by completing a short online survey on our website. Visit www.healthwatchsefton.co.uk or call 0800 206 1304 for further information.

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.

Friends of Moorside Park’s Weekly Run Club (every Tuesday, 6.30pm start)

Friends of Moorside Park have a weekly Run Club which meets every Tuesday at 6:15 (for a 6:30 start) in the pavilion (during the winter months) and from the outdoor gym equipment (in the summer).

The Run Club has 4 groups/distances to choose from – just turn up and go at your own pace with some like-minded friendly people.

There are no weekly fees, all that is required is that you are a member of the Friends of Moorside Park group.

The group isn’t just about running from point A to point B and covering certain distances. It’s about encouraging everyone to pop their running shoes on and just getting out and enjoying Crosby whilst working on health and well-being.

For more information, please click here 

Be proud to be a quitter with Smokefree Sefton (No Smoking Day, Wednesday 14th March)

On this year’s national No Smoking Day, the Smokefree Sefton team will be encouraging local smokers to join the hundreds of people in the borough who have successfully quit smoking with them.

Look out for the team – a partner of Living Well Sefton – on Wednesday, 14 March as they park up their Wellness on Wheels bus to chat with people about their quit attempt and the free support the team can offer to keep it going.

Smokefree Sefton, a service commissioned by Sefton Council Public Health and managed by Solutions4Health, have already been helping shoppers in Waterloo to become proud quitters.

People like Mark Flavell, from Litherland, who dropped in to see them on their Wow bus at the Co-Operative store and has stopped smoking for several weeks. And another proud quitter says: “I couldn’t have done it without the Smokefree Sefton team.”

The team and the WoW bus will be at the following venues:
Marian Square Netherton by Cash Convertors 9.30am-11.30am
Chapel Street, Southport (next to Café Nero) 1.30pm-3.30pm
And members will also be in the foyer at Asda Supermarket in Bootle 10am-4pm

If people can’t make it to see the team on Wednesday, 14 March then they can also seek support at the clinics. Call 0300 100 1000 to find your nearest.

Wellbeing Boost for Communities – Living Well Sefton launch new round of Community Resilience Grants

Living Well Sefton, the local collaboration of wellbeing partners, is pleased to announce the fourth round of its Community Resilience Grant is now open.

Launched on national #TimetoTalk day, the theme for the grants is mental health. Community groups and community-minded individuals are being encouraged to apply for funding for projects designed to improve the mental wellbeing of their local communities.

The Community Resilience Grant has already supported local communities on a range of projects including enhancing wellbeing through gardening or craft workshops, tackling social isolation, providing cooking classes to improve healthy eating, and lots more.

Karen Nolan, co-ordinator of Living Well Sefton, explains: “Many people in our communities have benefited through the projects we have already funded. We’d love to discuss your ideas on how to improve wellbeing in your neighbourhood. A small grant can make a big difference!”

Grants available include up to £2,500 for applications from organisations and £500 to individuals, who are supported by a organisational partner. Grants are subject to specific criteria being met and will be approved by a judging panel. The deadline for applications is Tuesday, 3 April.

Anyone interested in applying can complete the online application form on the Living Well Sefton website: www.livingwellsefton.org.uk where there are also guidance notes on how to complete the form as well as the criteria for applying. Paper versions of the organisation and individual application forms can also be found on the website.

For further details of the grant call the team direct on 0300 323 0181 or email LWS@seftoncvs.org.uk

A New Focus For Advocacy: Sefton Pensioner’s Advocacy Centre (SPAC) & Sefton Advocacy announce merger

Sefton Pensioners’ Advocacy Centre and Sefton Advocacy are very pleased to announce that they are merging and that the new larger charity will be known as Sefton Advocacy.

Following a period of talks and consultation, the two charities decided that in order to keep providing high quality advocacy services to the people of Sefton it was in their best interests to merge and become a larger, single charity.

Sefton Pensioners’ Advocacy Centre is currently a leading force in the field of older peoples’ advocacy projects, as one of the largest independent charities with an exceptional local and national reputation.  They have over 20 years’ experience of supporting the voice of older people with specific focus on people living with Dementia, Older people affected by Cancer, Housing & Care Projects and facilitating five older peoples’ forums across Sefton.   Sefton Advocacy’s expertise lies in the fact that it continues to be the only generic service within the Borough that offers one-to-one advocacy, help, information and advice. We have seen a growth of referrals with many more residents turning to our volunteer led service for support throughout the year.  As a charity, we offer a wide range of benefits to ‘Our Sefton Community’, ensuring that there is a long-established service for anyone with a problem to access.

The merger has come about in order to ensure that all residents of Sefton can continue to have the support of Advocacy.  In these times of austerity, the board’s of both organisations decided that to take advocacy forward in a sustainable way it was in everyone’s best interest to merge.  The new charity will be a single place of contact for Advocacy across Sefton and has the potential to develop new and innovative projects and areas of support.

Alison Ayres, Service Manager of Sefton Advocacy, says, “Providing the most vulnerable with an independent voice can have a transforming effect upon the individual and the wider community. A merging of these two organisations will strengthen this service and voice for Sefton residents. “

Andrew Booth, Director of Sefton Pensioners’ Advocacy Centre and the new CEO of Sefton Advocacy, said, “The support of Advocates and the strategic role for Advocacy Organisations are needed now more than ever. This merger will help us provide more one to one independent support for our communities, across all age groups and enable us to grow to meet the needs we, and our population, are identifying.” 

Sefton Advocacy, Unit 15 & 16 The Shakespeare Centre, 43-51 Shakespeare Street, Southport, PR8 5AB.

Contact: 01704 500500.
Email info@seftonadvocacy.org

Sefton Health Experts offer Five Tips to help you avoid the Flu

Leading health figures from Sefton Council, NHS South Sefton Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and NHS Southport and Formby CCG have joined together to offer expert advice to residents on how they can best avoid catching the flu this winter.

Cllr Ian Moncur, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing said: “Flu can have really serious effects for many vulnerable people including the elderly, young children, pregnant women and those living with long term health conditions.

“For this reason the following advice also includes tips that will help residents to limit the spread of flu within their community and I strongly urge everybody to take the advice on board.”

Dr Rob Caudwell, chair of NHS Southport and Formby CCG, said: “People with chronic long term health conditions or reduced immunity should get vaccinated even if they have no symptoms. A bout of flu can greatly worsen any existing condition and increases the risk of complications like pneumonia.”

Dr Andy Mimnagh, chair of NHS South Sefton CCG added: “A flu vaccination is an important part of staying well over winter. If you have any questions about getting vaccinated, simply contact your GP practice and ask for advice, we’ll be happy to help.”

  1. Get the flu jab
    The best way to protect yourself and others from flu is by getting the flu vaccination. The vaccination is free for those aged over 65, pregnant women, people living with long term health conditions, young children aged 2 and 3 and to registered carers.If you’re not eligible for a free vaccination you can purchase it for as little as £10. Speak to your local pharmacist for find out more about this service.
  2. Know the symptoms
    It’s important to be aware of the symptoms of flu in order to help you to best treat its effects and avoid passing the illness on to others.Symptoms include a sudden fever, aching body, feeling tired or exhausted, chesty cough, sore throat, headache, difficulty sleeping, loss of appetite, diarrhoea or tummy pain, nausea and being sick.
  3. Get the right advice
    If you think you may have the flu try to avoid visiting your GP or pharmacist to reduce the risk of spreading the illness. Instead call the free NHS helpline service 111 or visit the NHS Choices website.Be sure stock up on flu and cold remedies in advance so that if you become ill you have everything you need at home. Remember that antibiotics should not be used to treat flu and should only be used upon the advice of your GP.
  4. Wash your hands
    Washing your hands regularly using soap and warm water will help you to prevent the spread of germs that can cause flu. By washing your hands you will destroy bugs that you may have picked up from touching surfaces used by other people, such as light switches and door handles.Not only will this reduce the chances of you catching the flu yourself, but it will also help to limit the spread of flu across Sefton.
  5. Be mindful of others
    Try to avoid having unnecessary contact with other people if you or they have symptoms of flu.If you think you have symptoms of flu be mindful of the people around you. Catch coughs or sneezes in tissues and bin them immediately. Try to reschedule plans with friends or family to when you’re feeling better.Remember that while many people can recover from flu themselves within about a week, it can become extremely serious for more vulnerable residents.



To find out more about flu and the flu vaccination visit the NHS Choices website: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/flu/

2018 is the ‘Year of the Volunteer’ in Sefton!

Sefton Council, in partnership with the Volunteer Centre Sefton and Sefton CVS, is dedicating 2018 as the Year of the Volunteer!

Following on from the huge success of the Year of the Coast, the tireless work of Sefton’s thousands of volunteers, who give an astonishing 116,000 hours of their time each week, will be celebrated in a yearlong campaign to raise awareness of how much volunteers do for the borough.

By the Light of the Silvery Moon – Dementia Friendly Film Screening

The film programme will include a mix of classic films and musicals to help trigger memories and enable conversations about shared experiences


Contact Christine Physick on 0151 928 1530/christine@plazacinema.org.uk

January Film:
Date: Thursday 18th January
Time: 2.00pm


Opportunity to become a Public Governor

North West Boroughs Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust is looking to recruit Public Governors to its Council of Governors.

A public governor is elected by the members in the constituency they are standing to be a governor within. Each of the trust’s public governors is appointed for a period of up to three years.

The public constituency is drawn from seven areas. These are made up of six boroughs where the trust delivers its services (Halton, Knowsley, St Helens, Warrington, Wigan and Sefton), plus the seventh constituency called ‘other’, which represents areas outside of these six boroughs.

The number of governor seats in each borough is currently based on population size. Staff and appointed members from the trust’s partner organisations also form an important part of the Council of Governors.

How do I become a public governor?
The Trust welcomes nominations from people of any age (16 and over), race or ethnicity, religion or belief, sexual orientation, gender, disability and those with caring responsibilities.

Please note that in order to be elected to our Council of Governors you will need to live in the constituency where you would like to be nominated.

The nomination period is open until 18 January 2018 and forms can be downloaded from the trust’s website:

Voluntary Organisations should consider publishing Gender Pay Gap data (NVCO)

Voluntary organisations should consider publishing information about the differences in pay between men and women even if they have less than 250 employees, an umbrella body has recommended.

New rules introduced in April 2017 mean that all private and voluntary-sector employers in England, Wales and Scotland with 250 or more employees are required to publish information about the differences in pay between men and women on an annual basis from 2017.

Although it employs only around 100 staff, the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO), which represents more than 13,000 charities in England, has voluntarily published its own gender pay gap data in a bid to increase transparency and encourage other charities and social enterprises to do the same.

While paying men and women for the same work at different rates has been illegal for decades, the data required by the new rules also captures pay inequalities resulting from differences in the types of jobs performed by men and women.

The charity umbrella body recommends that organisations should consider collating and publishing the data regardless of size, as a way to reflect on any gender pay differences and to demonstrate a commitment to transparency and accountability.

Charities that have a small number of employees will have to decide whether publishing their data is meaningful, and strike a delicate balance between being transparent and protecting individuals’ data.

Susan Cordingley, director of planning and resources at NCVO, said:

The new rules on gender pay gap data are a good opportunity for organisations of all sizes to stop and think about any gender inequality that may be revealed by the data and if they are doing enough to address it.

This is not only the right thing to do and a valuable tool to think harder about how to maximise talent in the workplace, but it is also a way of moving towards increased transparency, which promotes public trust and confidence in charities.

Many voluntary organisations’ gender pay gap data will be characterised by their employing more women than men, and the same is true for NCVO. Our own data highlights that, while we pay men and women on the same grades identical salaries, there are proportionately more women than men in lower grades and in part-time roles.

Organisations can address this through a range of family-friendly and flexible working policies designed to support women who are still more likely to take time off work to care for children and family, which can hinder their career progress.

NCVO encourages remote working and provides enhanced maternity pay, flexible working hours and enhanced shared parental pay, and our staff survey shows that these are highly valued. But we are always looking for more ways to promote equality in the workplace and strongly encourage other organisations to do the same.

Help available to Loan Shark Victims who have been bitten over Festive period

January is traditionally known as the ‘blue month’ or the ‘money hangover’ as people are often strapped for cash after splurging big amounts on Christmas.

January is also the time of year where loan sharks start to bite and chase victims for the first repayment on a Christmas loan. Due to people being short of money, some borrowers might fail to meet the first settlement and receive threats from the lender. This is when a loan shark’s true colours and motive begin to show.

The Illegal Money Lending Team (IMLT) – a national team that investigate and prosecute loan sharks – are here to help victims who have fallen into deep waters with a loan shark during the festive season.

The team – who run a 24hour hotline all year round – are made up of Investigators and support officers who meet with victims on a daily basis and build up prosecution files to stop loan sharks in their deceiving tracks.

Victims who have been bitten over the festive period or who are currently being put through a miserable time because of a loan shark are being urged to contact the IMLT to report what’s happening.

The team will take information anonymously and in confidence; you don’t have to give your name and an officer will go through your options first before taking the report.

Merseyside’s Deputy Police Commissioner, Cllr Emily Spurrell, said: “Christmas is an expensive time and it can be tempting to access cash quickly from a loan shark to purchase those all-important presents.

“But what starts out as a small loan can quickly escalate into something much more serious. January is a time when borrowers may find themselves trapped by spiralling debt and facing intimidation, threats and even violence.

“Loan sharks are unscrupulous criminals who prey on vulnerable victims, causing untold misery.

“But borrowers do not have to live in fear, there is help and support available. If you do find yourself a victim of a loan shark then do not suffer in silence – speak out by contacting Merseyside Police on 101 or, if it is an emergency, 999 or get in touch with the Illegal Money Lending team 24 hour hotline on 0300 555 2222.”

What is a loan shark?

A loan shark is someone who lends money without the correct authorisation from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). It is a criminal offence to lend money without authorisation and can lead to a 2-year prison sentence and/or £5,000 fine.

How do I know if I’ve borrowed from a loan shark?

Loan sharks typically start off friendly and are often heard of through word of mouth. It could be a friend, colleague, neighbour or someone who is well known in the community for helping others out financially.

If you have had a cash loan and can answer yes to one or more of these questions, you might have borrowed from a loan shark:

  • Did they not give you paperwork?
  • Did they add huge amounts of interest or APR to your loan?
  • Have they threatened you?
  • Are you scared of people finding out?
  • Have they taken your bank card, benefit card, passport, watch or other valuables from you?

The IMLT will be with you every step of the way from the moment you make the call. You will receive one-to-one support; this might be help with housing, debt issues or referrals for health problems.

Tony Quigley, Head of the Illegal Money Lending Team, said: “January is a difficult month for some people. It can be even more of a glum time for loan shark victims as lenders start chasing them for the first repayment on their Christmas loan. We want to reassure victims that they have not broken the law and help and support is available. If you or someone you know has been bitten by a loan shark during the festive period, please call us on 0300 555 2222 or visit www.stoploansharks.uk.”

To check if a money lender is licensed, borrowers can also search the Financial Services Register: https://register.fca.org.uk/

SWACA Quiz Night – Friday 16th February 2018

SWACA’s popular annual quiz is just weeks away, so pick your team, buy your tickets and join us for a fun filled night!!

SWACA Quiz Night
February 16th 2018
Quiz starts at 7.30 pm, doors open 7 pm
Tickets – £5 per person

Venue: The Marine Football Club
College Road
Crosby, Sefton,
L23 3AS

To buy tickets, please contact Neil Frackelton at neil.frackelton@swaca.com or call 0151 922 8606 ext. 103.

Click here to download the SWACA Quiz Flyer 


Sefton CVS’s Health & Wellbeing Trainer Social Impact Report

The Health and Wellbeing Trainers Team was first formed in 2013 as a pilot project and soon became established as a key part of the Sefton CVS’s Reablement Service. This brand new Social Impact Report details the work of the team across South Sefton.

Pregnant women in Sefton urged to get their flu jab

Pregnant women across the borough are being urged by Sefton Council, NHS South Sefton Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and NHS Southport and Formby CCG to make sure they get the flu jab this winter.

Hospital Car Park Under Review

A review of a local hospital’s car park system has been welcomed by Healthwatch Sefton.

Aintree University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust is currently considering changes to the ways in which patients and visitors can pay for parking on site and is canvassing views through a survey. A Trust spokesperson explained: “To help us take account of as many views as possible, we hope people will complete this short survey, which will take less than two minutes.”

Capital Schools Mental Health

More than half of primary school teachers say they do not feel adequately trained in supporting pupils with mental health problems, research suggests.  Just one in 10 “strongly agreed” with the statement that they felt they had the necessary training to feel confident about what action to take when a child was experiencing a mental health problem, compared with 54% who disagreed.

Mental Resilience in Schools

Mental Resilience is not something that people either have or do not – resilience is learnable and teachable and as we learn we increase the range of strategies available to us when things get difficult.  Sefton Council is working with the charity YoungMinds to improve mental resilience in schools.  28 schools have joined a training session to support schools to improve the mental resilience of pupils, staff and parents.

Suicide Prevention Training

Suicide is a major public health issue for Sefton and a leading cause of years of life lost.  In 2015, there were 25 deaths due to suicide or undetermined injury in Sefton.

Staff work on their Wellbeing

Paying attention to wellbeing was the aim of Living Well Sefton’s recent staff development day.

The focus of National Work Life Week is wellbeing at work and the partners of Sefton’s wellbeing collaborative came together for an afternoon of activities and work updates.

Living Well Sefton supports World Mental Health Day (10th Oct)

To coincide with its first anniversary, Living Well Sefton – the local wellbeing organisation – is supporting a World Mental Health Day event at Hugh Baird College.

On Tuesday, 10 October Living Well Sefton and the Feelgood Factory – one of its partners – will be at the Bootle-based college to raise awareness of how paying attention to your mental wellbeing is an important part to feeling good.

It’s Time to Change our views about men’s mental health

The men of Sefton are being encouraged to step in if they think their friend is acting differently than usual.

This comes as research released by Time to Change, the campaign run by Mind and Rethink Mental Illness, shows that most men would be comfortable supporting a friend with a mental health problem – but there are still barriers for some.

Roadshows Reveal New Hospital

Southport residents, local organisations and health service users are welcome to drop-in see the latest design visuals for the town’s new mental health hospital prior to construction starting here this autumn.

Residents enjoy a ‘Big Chat’ at NHS annual review

Over 40 south Sefton residents turned out for the local Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCG) ‘Annual Review meets Big Chat’ event on Thursday 21 September.

For the third year running, NHS South Sefton CCG combined its annual review meeting with a ‘Big Chat’ style event held at The Park Hotel in Netherton.

Think Differently, Cope Differently

‘Think Differently, Cope Differently’ is a 5 week mental health and wellbeing programme led by Living Well Sefton.

The programme comprehensively covers the important areas associated with positive mental wellbeing i.e. Stress Management; Challenging negative thinking; encouraging healthier lifestyles and affective goal planning.

Access Sefton

Find your balance with Access Sefton this World Mental Health Day 2017 (October 10).

Held at Hugh Baird College’s L20 Centre, the free event will feature stands from a range of local wellbeing organisations, along with activities and workshops people can get involved with, including crafts, mindfulness, hand and shoulder massage, and more.

Health and wellbeing organisations will be at hand to offer information and advice to anybody who needs it.

There will also be lots of opportunities to win great prizes in a free-to-enter wellbeing treasure hunt, including EFC tickets, signed LFC memorabilia and vouchers for local stores and restaurants.

The event will take place October 10. 10am-3pm.

Access Sefton is supporting the ‘30 Days of Sefton In Mind’ Campaign – to spread the word about local services and activities available to people in Sefton to improve their mental health.

For more information follow @AccessSefton on Twitter.

Sefton Council celebrates ‘Allotment Fortnight’ – Put your mental health in bloom

Get your green fingers at the ready and go outside to do some gardening to mark allotment fortnight and support the 30 days of Sefton in Mind Campaign.

The benefits of gardening are endless, not only does it get you outside and moving but it also helps make your surroundings a lovely place to be in.

Getting involved with community gardening projects like can also help you to connect with others and keep active together.

Feelgood Factory – Bereavement Support

The Feelgood Factory offers group and individual one to one bereavement support. The support is delivered from a suitable venue within Sefton.

Bereavement may be one of the most difficult feelings we ever have to face. For many, cultural changes have resulted in death becoming a ‘taboo’ subject, no longer talked about, so when the inevitable happens we are often not equipped to deal with either our own or other people’s reaction.