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

Sefton Council: ‘Cheque Payments Are Changing’

Sefton Council is introducing changes to how payments are made. From 1 October 2016, cheques will no longer be issued and instead money will be transferred through a BACS payment – straight into bank accounts.

Letters have been sent out to those affected by the change which will enable speedier transactions.

The change does not affect anyone who wants to pay by cheque to the Council. However we would encourage people to sign up for e-billing and direct debit – which makes paying bills, invoices or fines easier and more secure.

Cllr Paulette Lappin, Cabinet Member for Regulatory, Compliance and Corporate Services, said: “We have reviewed the payment processes and found that paying by cheque is a slower and more costly option for the Council.

“By bringing this change in across all services, it should help to save you time, reduce fraud and improve the level of security for everyone.

“We understand that this will be a significant change for some people so we have added some frequently asked questions to the website.”

How do I transfer from cheque to BACS?
If you are an existing supplier you will need to complete a BACS registration form to provide and verify your bank details. You will need to quote your existing supplier number (found on your last cheque remittance advice) and provide a valid email address.

If you are a new supplier you can register your company details on the supplier adoption form.

How long will it take for me to receive my payment?
You will be paid by the Council based on agreed terms for your type of service. The standard terms are 30 days. We make payment by BACS 3 times a week (Monday, Wednesday and Friday) for transactions that have been approved. Once the funds are transferred they should reach your account within 2 working days. You will receive an electronic remittance to the email account you have supplied.

Who can I contact if i have a query?
If you have any questions about your order, please contact the named person on your purchase order. For assistance with supplier adoption or BACS you can contact the Accounts Payable team on 0151 934 3600 or email:

Why am I getting an error message?
Some Internet users may get a pop-up message when they open the BACS registration form. Please continue to the form as normal as it is secure and is on a trusted site.

Waterloo Residents Invited to Annual Scarecrow Festival

Waterloo residents are being invited to a fun day with a difference later this month.

The Friends of Waterloo Seafront Gardens will be holding their eight annual Scarecrow Festival in Marine Garden from 12.30pm to 4pm on Saturday 17th September.

As usual the scarecrow competition will be the centrepiece of the event, with entries invited based on this year’s suggested theme of the Olympics. Competitors should register their entry between 12 noon and 12.30pm.

However, the festival will also feature miniature train rides, bouncy castles, face painting and a storyteller, as well as games, stalls, live performances and hot food and other refreshments.

In the meantime, anyone interested in making a scarecrow for the event, but not quite sure how to, is invited to attend a scarecrow workshop in Marine Garden on Saturday 10th September, starting at 1pm.

Run by Sefton’s Community Parks Officers, in association with the Friends group, this event will provide residents with some top tips on scarecrow skills. People attending just need to bring some clothes to dress their scarecrow in, plus a pair of tights.

Karen Abram from the Friends of Waterloo Seafront Gardens commented: “Our Scarecrow Festival has become more popular every year and we’re determined to make this year’s event the best yet.

“We’re hoping for fine weather, a good turnout and some fantastic entries on the day which is designed to be fun for all the family.”

The Scarecrow Festival is organised solely by volunteers from the Friends group which was set up in 2009 to help improve the four seafront gardens in Waterloo as well as nearby Potter’s Barn Park.

Entry to the event is free, although donations are welcome.  All the money raised will be ploughed back into the local community via the volunteer work done by group members.

For more information on the work of the Friends visit or follow them on


NHS and the council offer tips to stay cool in the heatwave

Following the level two heatwave warning from the Met Office health experts and the council are offering tips on how to keep cool and are reminding parents to keep children protected from the sun ahead of the school holidays.

NHS South Sefton Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and Sefton Council are reminding those with breathing conditions in particular to stay cool and avoid the sun at the hottest part of the day if they can.

The Met Office has issued the heatwave alert, with a 40% risk for the North West and say the highest temperatures are expected Tuesday afternoon. There is an 80% probability of heatwave conditions between 12:00 Monday and 18:00 Thursday in parts of England.

For people with asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) the sun can cause their bodies to go into overdrive as it tries to stay cool. They can become dehydrated and overheat causing the body to perspire, making them feel more breathless than usual. It is advised that they plan their day around the heat if they can so perhaps avoid going outside during the hottest point which are normally between 11:00 and 15:00.

Also, with the school holidays approaching, parents are being reminded to make sure children have plenty of sun protection. It is important to keep them topped up with sunscreen and put hats on them in the heatwave to protect them from the hot weather.

Nigel Taylor, clinical lead at NHS South Sefton CCG said: “It is important for people to avoid the sun where they can and to drink lots of water to keep hydrated. Keeping your house cool will help with the use of fans and also keeping the curtains closed is a good idea.

“It is important to eat as normal, often the heat makes you lose your appetite but it is important to keep to your normal diet to replace the natural salt in food that you lose through perspiring. If you do become ill during the heatwave we are reminding people to examine their options, there is lots of help out there at your pharmacy and on the NHS 111 number to consider before thinking about going to A&E. Hospitals do become a lot busier when a heatwave hits so it could save you a lot of time.”

Cllr Ian Moncur, Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing at Sefton Council, said: “Like the CCG we are reminding Sefton residents to be careful during the heatwave. We are reminding people to dress wisely for the weather, lightweight, loose fitting clothes are best and wearing suitable headwear and a good pair of sunglasses will really help.

“Take cool showers if you get too hot and where possible avoid heavy activity and slow down when walking around. Before planning a day out in the holidays it would be good to check what the weather is doing as you may need to change your plans slightly or make yourself a bit more prepared.”

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 such as ‘care at the chemist’. More information on examining your options can be found here:

For more information on the weather in your area please visit:

CCG pilot success in Sefton leads to national rollout

A pilot scheme in Sefton to enhance cervical screening tests for women has now been rolled out across England.

Sefton was one of six areas involved in the pilot study which tests women for the presence of high risk human papilloma virus (HPV) which has been strongly linked to the development of cervical cancer. Before now, the HPV test was only done if abnormal cells were found in the smear sample. NHS South Sefton Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and NHS Southport and Formby CCG both took part in the pilot.

HPV screening makes no difference to how the screening sample is taken but women with a negative HPV test can be reassured that they are at extremely low risk of developing cervical cancer so is beneficial to Sefton residents.

Dr Debbie Harvey, a Macmillan GP from NHS South Sefton CCG, said: “We are proud to be one of the first to run with the HPV testing and we are so pleased that it’s been rolled out across England now so that each screening is tested for it automatically.

“It surprises me how many women don’t go for smear tests and our GPs and practice nurses across Sefton are always encouraging patients to attend their appointment. With the new HPV testing 600 new cases of cervical cancer could be prevented per year which is great news.”

According to a survey carried out by Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust, one in three women over 50 has delayed or not attended their cervical screening test, which should take place every five years. Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust surveyed 1,000 women over 50.

The average time women put off getting screened was more than two years but one in 10 delayed their test for more than five years.

Across the whole of the UK, women are invited for cervical screening between the ages of 25 and 64. Women aged 25-49 are invited every three years and women aged 50-64 are invited every five years. In England, all girls aged 12 to 13 are offered HPV vaccination as part of the NHS childhood vaccination programme. The vaccine protects against the High Risk Human Papilloma Virus strains.
Women can make an appointment with their local GP when they receive a letter or ring the surgery to check when they are due a screening test. Alternatively, you can make an appointment at your local sexual health clinic.

They can also make an appointment to be screened at one of Sefton’s sexual health service clinics by calling 01704 513303.

For more information on cervical screening please visit: