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Make time to talk this winter

Give your local talking therapy service a call this winter and take a load off your mind.

The run up to Christmas can be a stressful and often lonely time of year. Speak to your local, friendly NHS service for advice and support about how to handle the festive blues. Access Sefton provides help for people with anxiety, depression and stress, as well as other common mental health conditions such as Obsessional Compulsive Disorder and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Anyone over the age of 16 living in Sefton can tap into this useful local service, provided in partnership by Cheshire and Wirral Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (CWP) and Insight Healthcare.

If you need to speak to someone, getting access to the service is easy – ask your GP or self-refer online at www.insighthealthcare.org/accesssefton. You can also pick up the phone and call – to arrange an appointment.

We offer a wide range of talking therapy treatments from a number of convenient locations across the borough of Sefton, as well as online or over the phone.

For more information about CWP please visit www.cwp.nhs.uk.

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Service opening times for the holidays now available

As many GP surgeries will be closed on the bank holidays over Christmas and New Year NHS Southport and Formby CCG is reminding people to examine their options.

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 and these can be found here.

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.

Pharmacy times over Christmas and New Year are now available here along with details of some other services that can help when your practice is closed.

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Views about community services wanted

Southport and Formby residents are being invited to give their views about a range of NHS treatments – including blood testing, care for feet and leg ulcers, district nursing, pain control and community matrons – known collectively as community health services.

NHS Southport and Formby Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is asking residents to give their views and experiences as part of its current review and re-procurement of these services.

Dr R.C., chair of NHS Southport and Formby CCG, said: “After their GP, community services are often the most commonly used healthcare that our residents will come into contact with, which is why it’s important we hear what they think about them.”

Across the NHS, commissioners have contracts with organisations like community health trusts and hospitals, which set out standards for the services they provide. Commissioners also have a legal duty to carry out re-procurement exercises for these contracts from time to time, and this helps to ensure that healthcare constantly meets expected levels of quality.

Rob explained: “We constantly review and monitor the services we commission so they are the best they can be, and so we can be assured that they are capable of meeting the changing needs of our residents in the future. Southport and Formby residents are getting older and their health problems are growing more complex.

“We already know from speaking to people over the past couple of years that they want more care provided closer to home and for all the services they use to work better together. This has helped us to shape our vision for all future healthcare, including community health services, that is more joined up and therefore more effective in meeting our local needs.

“Hearing more from our residents about what currently works well and what needs to be improved is an important part of our ongoing review of community services, and I’d ask as many Southport and Formby residents as possible to complete our quick questionnaire and tell us what they think.”

  • You can read more about the CCG’s vision for future healthcare in its 5 year strategy and Shaping Sefton documents
  • The survey offers an additional way for Southport and Formby residents to give their views about their local community services – take part now
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Hospitals lift restrictions on visiting hours

Friends and family will be able to spend much longer with patients at Southport and Ormskirk hospitals from 18th December 2015.

Wards will open for visiting at midday and stay open until 8.30pm, seven days a week.

The decision by Simon Featherstone, Director of Nursing and Quality, follows a successful trial at Southport hospital earlier this year.

“The support and company of friends and family is an important part of any patient’s recovery but traditional visiting times don’t always fit round people’s working lives and personal commitments,” said Simon.

“We also know some visitors want to play a more active role in the care of the patient they’re visiting, such as helping at mealtimes and providing a familiar voice in unfamiliar surroundings, so I hope this more flexible approach will help them.”

He added: “To make this work, we also need visitors to help us too. We ask that there should be only two visitors per bed and, from time to time, we may ask visitors to leave the bedside during personal care for patients or consultant ward rounds.”

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NHS Southport and Formby CCG honoured at Health Business Awards

NHS Southport and Formby Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has received the clinical commissioning accolade at the Health Business Awards 2015.

Hosted by Doctor Mark Porter, medical correspondent for The Times and known for his work with BBC’s The One Show, the award ceremony took place at the Grange Hotel in St Paul’s, London. NHS Foundation Trusts, CCGs, Collaborates, Partnerships and Air Ambulance Services came together to celebrate the very best within the NHS.

The clinical commissioning award, sponsored by Fujitsu, recognised the recently formed CCG sector and an organisation which has quickly made an impact to reduce hospital admissions through preventative practice.

S. F., cardiovascular disease programme lead at the CCG, who collected the award said: “As a CCG we are honoured to have received this award, it is fantastic that our work is being recognised and that it’s making a difference in Southport and Formby. Diabetes is a common health condition and it’s really important that patients have access to the right advice and treatment which we have worked hard to promote.

“A huge thanks to the health business awards for choosing us as the winner and for a fantastic event bringing NHS staff together.”

NHS England data ranked NHS Southport and Formby CCG as the best in the country in supporting adult diabetics to control their blood glucose levels in 2013/14. With approximately 6,500 people in the area living with diabetes, the CCG commissions diabetes services with a real focus on prevention, educating people on how to successfully manage the disease in order to reduce the risk of future complications.

The CCG also works to ensure that patients at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes have access to lifestyle advice to help them stay healthy and well.

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Still time for the flu jab

Residents across Sefton are still being urged to get the flu jab this winter.

The flu vaccination is one of the most effective ways to reduce harm from flu as it
reduces risk of serious illness, hospitalisation and even death among those who are most at risk.

Free flu vaccinations are being offered to all pregnant women, all children aged 2 to 4, residents of all ages with a long term health condition and everyone aged 65 and over. Most people who are eligible can get vaccinated at their local GP practice.

In addition, this year children in school years one and two have been offered the flu vaccination and a programme has been carried out across the borough offering the spray.

The flu vaccine for children is given as a single dose of nasal spray squirted up each nostril. Not only is it needle-free (a big advantage for children), the nasal spray works even better than the injected flu vaccine.

It’s quick and painless and means children are less likely to become ill if they come into contact with the flu virus.

Cllr Ian Moncur, Cabinet Member Health and Wellbeing, said: “There is still time for residents to get the flu jab or spray.

“Flu is a highly contagious illness that spreads rapidly and can be very unpleasant for children and adults alike. Symptoms include fever, chills, aching muscles, headache, stuffy nose, dry cough and sore throat lasting up to a week.

“By having the vaccination it will go a long way to protect yourself against such nasty symptoms.”

P. R, who is a practice nurse lead for both clinical commissioning groups in Sefton, said: “As well as planning your Christmas shopping, remember to book your flu jab before the colder weather sets in.

“Having a flu jab isn’t just about protecting you from what can be serious effects of the flu but also helps reduce the spread of flu to those around you. We also encourage carers to get protected too.

“It’s really good news that a greater number of children can now benefit from the free vaccine. However, we mustn’t forget that it’s equally important for expectant mums, those aged over 65, or anyone of any age who has diabetes, chest complaints like bronchitis and kidney problems to get their vaccination.

“If you are not sure if you qualify for a free vaccine, just contact your practice and they’ll be happy to offer advice.”

You can find a wide range of information about the annual flu immunisation campaign at www.nhs.uk.

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Don’t forget your Christmas prescriptions

With Christmas fast approaching, people with long-term health conditions such as asthma, diabetes, lung and heart disease are being reminded not to leave it too late to get their repeat prescriptions but to only order what they need.

Many GP surgeries will be closed on the bank holidays over Christmas and New Year, so it is wise for people to think about the medication they will need before the festive period begins.

Dr R. B., local GP and board member of NHS West Lancashire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), said: “There are thousands of people living with a long-term health condition in West Lancashire, Southport and Formby and we want to make sure that people with these illnesses have a good Christmas and New Year. The last thing we want is for people to run out of their medication but it is also important that they don’t over order to avoid unnecessary waste. We don’t want patients to become poorly and have to spend part of their holiday in hospital.”

Dr R. C., local GP and NHS Southport and Formby CCG chair, said: “We are reminding people about the services on offer to them such as Care at the Chemist (Minor aliments) and the NHS 111 service which will be invaluable over Christmas. A simple visit to your high street chemist could make all the difference. Your pharmacist can give you useful advice on how to deal with winter bugs, such as coughs, colds, sore throats and the flu so that you can take precautions and have a great Christmas.”

The local NHS CCGs in Southport, Formby and West Lancashire are also reminding people to examine their options and that A&E and 999 services are for life-threatening and serious conditions.

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 and ensure you have a well-stocked medicine cabinet over the holiday period.

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:  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: www.nhs.uk or call –

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

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42 Kingsway Surgery win luxurious hamper

Congratulations to 42 Kingsway Surgery in Waterloo who have won a luxurious hamper for having the most creative medicine waste campaign display in their reception area.

NHS South Sefton CCG and NHS Southport and Formby CCG’s medicine management team organised the competition with Medicine Waste UK to raise awareness about unused medicine being a serious and growing problem. To do this they encouraged GP practices and chemists to create an eye catching display using the ‘only order what you need’ materials and the winners were judged by the two CCGs.

Displaying lots of empty medicine boxes piled high in a homemade cabinet in their reception area, the winners, 42 Kingsway got patients talking and asking about medicine waste.

Medical receptionist at 42 Kingsway, Kerin Mangan, said: “We are delighted to have won the hamper, it’s a real honour and the team deserve it as they worked really hard putting it together. People have been asking about it whilst sitting in our waiting area and I do think it has worked to build awareness. It’s an added bonus that we have won the prize as the most important thing is that it grabbed people’s attention and got them asking questions.”

Head of medicines management for both CCGs, Susanne Lynch, said: “The competition was a chance to ask our practices and chemists in the area to raise awareness about the campaign. I can’t stress enough how important it is to only order what you need as unused prescription medicines cost the local NHS an estimated £2million each year. Well done to 42 Kingsway Surgery, their display was really creative and they were certainly worthy winners of the prize.”

The medicine management team have been out and about in the local community spreading the word about medicine waste, click here to read more about the campaign.

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Archive for the ‘News’ Category

With Christmas just around the corner, health chiefs in Southport, Formby and West Lancashire are urging local patients to consider how they use and A&E over the festive period for them and their children.

As many prepare to tuck into turkey, celebrate with friends and family or enjoy a festive night out, the health commissioners are reminding residents to think before dialling or visiting accident and emergency departments over the bank holiday.

The message is part of the Examine your Options campaign, which aims to give people information so that they know where to go to in the first instance, to get fast, expert advice when they need it and how to help themselves and their families if they have a common illness or ailment – and help ease the pressure on A&E and services at the same time.

It also reinforces the message that A&E and services are for serious illnesses and life-threatening injuries only.

Dr J. K., local GP and board member of NHS West Lancashire CCG, said: “With the increasing pressure on emergency services over the busy Christmas and New Year period, we are stressing the importance of ensuring A&E and the number are kept free for genuine medical emergencies.”

Dr R. C., local GP and NHS Southport and Formby CCG chair said: “It is vital to remember that the ambulance service and A&E should not be used as an alternative to your GP if your surgery is closed. If you or your children require medical assistance outside of normal surgery hours this bank holiday, patients in Southport, Formby and West Lancashire have access to a wide range of alternative health services available including GP out-of-hours services and pharmacists who are qualified to offer advice and treat common, everyday illnesses quickly and conveniently.”

S. F, Director of Nursing and Quality, at Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust, said: “Coughs, colds, sore throats, upset stomachs, general aches and pains, and flu will usually clear up on their own. Keep warm, drink plenty of fluids and, if appropriate, treat with over-the-counter painkillers such as paracetamol. You should contact a GP or the GP out of hours service for help with injuries or illnesses that won’t go away.

“A&E is for people facing life-threatening conditions and emergencies such as serious accidents, serious burns, breathing problems, heart attacks and strokes.

“You don’t need an appointment at A&E but we’ll make an assessment on arrival and, depending on how urgent treatment is needed, you may have to wait up to four hours. The triage nurse or clinician may also signpost you to a different health care provider such as your GP, dentist or pharmacy.

“That’s why you might be better examining your options first and choosing another NHS service – or treating yourself.”

Alternative NHS services available:

NHS 111 – When you or your family 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.

GP out-of-hours service – For times when you need an urgent appointment with a GP when your GP surgery is closed, GP out-of-hours services are available; just call 111 and you can speak to a local GP over the phone or face to face if necessary.

Pharmacies –Pharmacists are qualified to offer advice on health issues and medication as well as treat coughs, colds and other common illnesses without an appointment. For those that wish to speak to a pharmacist in private, many have a consultation rooms away from customers to discuss health queries. For Southport and Formby pharmacy opening times please click here.