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.

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:

Pupils get health focused at careers fair

Pupils from Deyes High School in Maghull were given the chance to examine their future career options at a day long convention bringing together local, regional and international organisations.

The young people spoke with local health commissioners from NHS South Sefton Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and many other professionals about the fantastic career paths open to them once their school days are over.

The CCG was amongst a host of organisations on hand – including Aintree Hospital, Jaguar Land Rover, Northumbria University, Hugh Baird College and Hays recruitment – to give advice about apprenticeship schemes, internships and further education.

Helen Knowles, business & partnerships director at Lydiate Learning Trust, said: “The careers convention offered pupils the opportunity to connect with employers and education providers face to face to help them inform their future decisions. Taking part in the mock interviews gave pupils an insight into how they should present themselves at an interview and helped them to identify their key strengths and areas for development. A huge thanks to our partners for making the day such a success and helping our students fulfil their potential.”

Students could explore a variety of different stalls talking to the various professionals. The event included a live performance from newly formed local band ‘Girl talk’ and a dance troop from Studio 76 Performing Arts College on West Derby Road.

Students then had the chance to take part in a mock interview where they faced a small panel of teachers and professionals, giving them the opportunity to practice their interviewing skills.

Angela Curran, commissioning manager from NHS South Sefton CCG, said: “People often don’t realise the range of careers that the NHS offers in addition to medical roles. The pupils I spoke to were surprised and interested to hear about the work we do in the CCG and the internships and apprenticeships that could be an option for them across the NHS.”

You can find out more about NHS South Sefton CCG and its work to plan and buy or ‘commission’ nearly all local healthcare by visiting its website at or twitter at @NHSSSCCG.

Help yourself to stay healthy this winter

Health leaders at NHS South Sefton Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) are encouraging people this self-care week (14-20 November) to be aware of how they can look after themselves this winter and to examine their options should they become ill.

By keeping fit and healthy, individuals can take control of their own health, manage minor illnesses and effectively manage long term conditions.

If you do need further help, think carefully and examine your options available across Sefton. For example, think about using NHS 111 for advice as they can direct you to the appropriate service. Go to your local chemist for advice if you need it, they can offer assistance on minor ailments and common illnesses.

Dr Andrew Mimnagh, chair of NHS South Sefton CCG, said: “It’s important that people know when and how they can treat themselves and when they should seek further advice. By taking simple steps to look after yourself this winter, you can have a significant impact on your health and wellbeing.

“When it comes to treating minor ailments and illnesses, it’s important to examine your options. You can get plenty of advice from your local chemist as well as on the NHS Choices website. Remember, the accident and emergency departments and ambulance services are for life-threatening conditions. By selecting the right option, you can help the NHS to direct their focus to the patients who need it the most.”

The week compliments the national Stay Well This Winter campaign, encouraging people to look after themselves during the winter months – reminding them to see a pharmacist if they need advice on managing cough or cold symptoms; and for older people, a reminder to keep warm during the winter months by putting on an extra layer or turning up their heat.

More information on how everyone can use self-care to improve their health and wellbeing is available on the NHS Choices website: And for more information on the national Stay Well This Winter campaign, visit:

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. They can help you prepare for many of the common illnesses like coughs and colds.


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 website: 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: 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: or watch this video for more information:


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

*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

NHS South Sefton CCG: Sefton veterans inspire local NHS staff

A doctor’s surgery in Bootle has donated funds to the Sefton Veterans Project following a memorable talk from the leader of the project and ex-military himself, David Smith.

It follows a training session, organised by NHS South Sefton Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) late last year to raise awareness of the Sefton wide project and the work it does to support military veterans.

Practice staff heard how David faced issues in adjusting to life outside the forces after 25 years of service and how he now works for the charity, Expect Ltd. Following discussions, the charity decided to start up the Sefton Veterans Project with the primary focus being the mental health issues ex service personnel frequently suffer on discharge from the armed forces.

The staff at Moore Street Surgery were so touched by the talk that they decided to donate £100 collected from a dress down day to the project.

Practice Manager at Moore Street Surgery, Helen Shillcock said: “Dave and the other veterans talk was so inspiring, it really made us think about how referrals to the project can seriously help veterans by giving them the support that they need.

“When you hear about how Dave and some of the other veterans have turned their lives around and are now helping others like them it is so motivating. We held a dress down day a while back and raised £100, we knew all along that the Sefton Veterans Project was where we wanted to donate the money to and they truly deserve it for all their hard work.”

The Sefton Veterans Project is managed by Expect Ltd, a charity providing services for people living with a learning disability or enduring mental health problems, and is an initiative between Sefton Council, Sefton CVS and the two CCGs in Sefton who have helped to develop the veterans strategy for Sefton.

Together, they have established a one stop facility in Expects Bowersdale Resource Centre, Seaforth for ex-service personnel and their families to provide help and advice with mental wellbeing housing, employment, dependency and financial issues. They also provide mentor support when referring to specialist mental health experts who fully understand a veteran’s needs and issues such as combat stress.

Dave Smith from the Sefton Veterans Project said: “We were overwhelmed when the surgery told us they’d like us to have the money. It is great to know that the talks that we do are so effective when really it’s just informing the public of what services we offer as a project and what experience we have been through to warrant such a service.

“The money will be put towards a retreat that we are taking some of our veterans on in Scotland in May and we are extremely grateful to the practice for choosing us. It is so important that people know about our service and that military veterans are referred to us so that we can help. It is so nice to give something back to those who have been through similar experiences.

”A huge thank you goes to Angela Curran, Locality Development Support at the CCG for organising the talk which has led to more referrals to the Sefton Veteran Project.”

For more information visit:

The NHS currently provides 12 mental health services across England specifically for veterans. They enable specialist staff to care for ex-forces personnel with mental health needs, direct them to the most appropriate service and give them effective treatment.

To help improve future care across the country NHS England are asking armed forces veterans to share their experience of mental health services.

The launch of their national survey will help improve the care available for veterans as they move from military to civilian life.

The survey is a chance for veterans to share their experiences and views of existing mental health services and to understand the reasons why some people have not sought or received support and treatment. You can complete the questionnaire here.