Men are encouraged to look after their health this November

It’s November, which means that as a part of ‘Movember’, health teams in Sefton are focusing on men’s health this month.

NHS South Sefton Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and NHS Southport and Formby CCG are encouraging men in the area to look after their health and make sure they know about some of the most common health problems that could affect them.

Tips for looking after your health in Sefton this bank holiday

However you are planning to enjoy the long weekend, the local NHS has some useful information for how to take care of yourself in case of illness or injury.

Debbie Fagan, chief nurse for NHS South Sefton Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and NHS Southport and Formby CCG, said: “Most minor illnesses and ailments can be effectively treated at home with a well stocked medicine cabinet at any time of year but remember to store things like painkillers and antihistamines safely and out of the reach of young children. Your local pharmacist will be happy to advise you about the over the counter preparations that can help.”

She added: “If you’re out and about over the bank holiday weekend, you could add a small first aid kit to your bag or the boot of the car, just in case. Drinking plenty of water and protecting yourself from the sun are also simple ways to take care of yourself.”

Although GP practices will not be open on Monday 27 August, some local pharmacies will be open if you do need help unexpectedly. Pharmacists can give advice and suggest treatments for a range of minor illnesses and injuries. With no appointment necessary, you can get back to enjoying your weekend rather than waiting to see a GP.

You can visit the CCG websites to see which pharmacies will be open this bank holiday:

You can also find details of other services that can help if you’re unwell, including walk in centres and NHS 111, which is available anytime and for free by calling 111 and also now available online at www.111.nhs.uk.

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.

CCG VCF Report – Working Together for a Healthier Community

The achievements of community groups within Sefton have come under the spotlight with the launch of a new report.

The Working Together For A Healthier Community report showcases the work of organisations and groups in the voluntary, community and faith sector after receiving grants from the CCG VCF Fund.

Over more than three years, the two NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCG) in Sefton invested £2.5million into projects designed to improve the health and wellbeing of local communities.

Fiona Taylor, Chief Officer at NHS South Sefton CCG and NHS Southport and Formby CCG, says: “The main aim of the grants was to improve people’s sense of inclusion and involvement which, in turn, helps their health, wellbeing and independence.

“The grants, managed by Sefton CVS, have clearly highlighted the potential ‘reach’ of the funding – far beyond the direct beneficiaries – but deep into people’s families and communities.”

There were 52 different projects delivered throughout Sefton ranging from those looking to tackle childhood obesity, reduce social isolation for older people or help people improve their mental wellbeing.

More than 10,500 people engaged with the projects that delivered around 54,000 meals and more than 590 volunteers gave their time in supporting the projects.

Nigel Bellamy, Deputy Chief Executive of Sefton Council for Voluntary Service (CVS), explains: “As a result of this vital investment we can say that more children are now confident to face the challenges of growing up, more adults are positively equipped with skills to deal with managing their wellbeing and more older people can lead an independent life where they don’t have to feel alone.”

Please see the report here.

For more information about the report and the projects visit www.seftoncvs.org.uk

Local NHS Services thanked for hard work during ‘cyber attack’

Staff at NHS South Sefton Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and NHS Southport and Formby CCG have thanked clinical and IT staff for their hard work to make sure patient services were maintained without any disruption following the recent cyber attack.

IT staff worked hard to recover computers that were attacked by the virus and the general practices saw patients with appointments throughout the week. Those people who had appointments with community services were also reassured that community services had introduced a temporary system to make sure that patients could be seen as normal.

Services at Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust have now returned to normal following the cancellation of some planned services last week.

Dr Rob Caudwell, chair of NHS Southport and Formby CCG, said: “Staff across the NHS in Sefton worked extremely hard to ensure that patient care was maintained and that no services were forced to close.

“Many staff literally worked round the clock the weekend it happened to ensure that any service disruption was kept to a minimum and we are really grateful for that.”

Dr Andrew Mimnagh, chair of NHS South Sefton CCG, said: “We’d like to say a personal thank you to all the staff who gave up their own time and for their commitment and support to keeping local NHS services up and running.”

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.

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.

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

Pharmacy Opening Hours over Christmas (Southport and Formby)

For those who need it over the festive period, visit your pharmacist for confidential, expert advice and treatment of minor health issues.

You can also pick up over the counter medicines from your pharmacist such as:

  • Paracetamol
  • Ibuprofen
  • Antihistamines
  • Eye drops
  • Anti-diarrhoea medicines such as loperamide (Imodium)
  • Soar throat medicines
  • Decongestants
  • Cough medicines

Please note that the opening times below are only for the pharmacies we know are open, do check with your local pharmacy if they are not on the list.

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Sefton Young Advisors ‘takeover’ at South Sefton CCG and Southport & Formby CCG

Young Advisors from Sefton Council for Voluntary Service (CVS) took control of a high level engagement meeting at NHS South Sefton CCG and NHS Southport and Formby CCG to mark the launch of the Children’s Commissioner for England’s Takeover Challenge 2016.

Six young people from Sefton Young Advisors led a meeting of the CCGs’ joint Engagement and Patient Experience Group (EPEG) on 18 November and took over the CCGs’ twitter accounts at the same time.

Ryan McCarthy, aged 17, a Sefton Young Advisor who attended the session, said: “It was great to be given the chance to come into the CCGs and speak to people from our local NHS. It matters for us what happens to healthcare in Sefton in the future and how we are engaged with so we really welcomed the opportunity.”

The CCGs’ EPEG meetings aim to ensure that local people’s voices of all ages are heard and considered when planning local healthcare and that there are effective channels of communication and networks in place to enable this to happen.

EPEG brings the CCGs together with partners from Sefton Council, Sefton CVS, Healthwatch Sefton and Sefton Carers Centre to encourage borough residents to get involved in their local NHS, and a Young Adviser has recently joined the group.

In addition to regular EPEG members, representatives from organisations that directly provide health services, like Aintree University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust and Liverpool Community Health NHS Trust, were also invited to come along.

Ryan continued: “I hope it was useful for the CCGs for us to take over their meeting and that they got some ideas from us about how best to engage with young people across Sefton. We look forward to working more with the CCGs in the future.”

The session started off with an ice breaker to get everyone to know each other before presenting their views about how best to engage with young people like themselves. Some of their top tips to involve young people were don’t use jargon or acronyms, never assume and always ask for their opinions and always keep them informed and included.

A video was also shown by The Camhelions, a group of young people who champion youth mental health in Sefton, about the transition from children’s to adult’s mental health services. The video can be viewed here vimeo.com/159070184.

Debbie Fagan, chief nurse and lead for children’s services at the CCGs, said: “It’s so important that we engage with young people and what better way to find out what works best than from the young advisers themselves.

“We value their input and there were some great ideas from them at the meeting that we’ll certainly be taking on board. I hope it was useful for them as well to understand a bit more on how the local NHS works. We are particularly looking forward to working in partnership with the young advisors to target the hard to reach and more vulnerable children which is really important to the CCGs.”

Anne Longfield, Children’s Commissioner for England, said: “Takeover Challenge goes from strength to strength every year, with tens of thousands of children across England now taking part. I am enormously grateful to organisations and individuals who embrace the challenge and throw open their doors to involve young people.

“Young people are full of fresh ideas, imagination and energy so they can really provide a fresh perspective that organisations can benefit from. Giving children and young people a chance to do adult roles for the day helps organisations understand the needs of children, who also use the experience to show off their talents and achieve their full potential.”

Takeover Challenge is a country-wide event run by the Children’s Commissioner for England which gives children the opportunity to step in the shoes of adults at work.

The Challenge has grown year-on-year with more than 45,000 children from all over the country taking part in 2016. Organisations and individuals who get involved include major broadcasters, government departments, a West End theatre and MPs.

Hear more about your local NHS

Clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) in Sefton have announced the dates of their next governing body meetings 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 South Sefton CCG meeting will take place on Thursday 24 November 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

The NHS Southport and Formby CCG meeting will take place on Wednesday 30 November 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

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

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: www.nhs.uk. And for more information on the national Stay Well This Winter campaign, visit: www.nhs.uk/staywell

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.

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

CCGs chief officer completes 12 hour ambulance shift

The chief officer of two Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) in Sefton took part in a 12 hour shift with the North West Ambulance Service (NWAS) to get to grips with the way they work.

Fiona Taylor of NHS South Sefton CCG and NHS Southport and Formby CCG decided to take part in observing a full shift with two ambulance crew and listened in on 999 calls to get a real feel for the service and an understanding of how busy they are.

Talking about the shift, she said: “I like to go out to observe the different services that we commission and working with NWAS has been something I’ve wanted to do for a while. I know that NWAS has been under scrutiny for not meeting turnaround times but now I see why as they are so busy.

“I was surprised by the number of call outs in one day but despite this, the staff I worked with delivered compassionate patient care throughout the shift. It really was enjoyable, though hard work but the crew’s individual commitment was very humbling to see.

“I’d like to say a huge thank you to the team for letting me shadow their day, I’ve also been to the control room to gather an understanding of how the calls are dealt with as I think it’s so important that I am fully aware of all aspects of service delivery so we have a greater understanding as a CCG.”

Interim head of service at North West Ambulance Service NHS Trust, Bob McGowan comments: “Accompanying an ambulance crew is always a real eye-opener for anyone and is especially important when the observer is one of our NHS colleagues.

“The working environment for our crews is vastly different to hospital staff, and while the aim is the same, providing the best possible care for the patient, it is always worthwhile to see first-hand the challenges we face. By doing so, we can effectively work together to improve patient care and experience.”

The CCGs remind people to examine their options before calling 999, which is for life threatening cases.

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.

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.

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.

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.

NHS Walk-In Centres

Walk-in centres provide treatment 365 days a year for illnesses that you can’t treat yourself and there’s no need to book an appointment.

For more information please visit www.examineyouroptions.info