Archive for April, 2014

Award for Southport Cancer Care Service

April 29th, 2014 | News | 0 Comments

web portrait Macmillan centre award April 2014 group

A centre in Southport for people affected by cancer has been recognised nationally with a top award.

The Macmillan Information and Support Centre, which last year supported more than 1,526 people, has been awarded the Macmillan Quality Environment Mark (MQEM) which recognises high standards in cancer care.

To celebrate, staff, patients and volunteers have been invited to the centre, located in the Southport Community Service Station, on Monday 28th April to see the award presented and find out more about the service.

Run in partnership between local GPs from NHS Southport and Formby Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and Macmillan Cancer Support, the centre provides free information, financial, emotional and practical support for anyone affected by cancer.

Carol Beech from Guildford Road in Southport found comfort in the centre when she was diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer a week before her 53rd birthday last year.

She was so shocked by her diagnosis that she couldn’t eat for a month and lost two stone in weight.

Concerned for Carol’s wellbeing, her doctor encouraged her to go to the centre where Macmillan Information and Support Manager Sue Summerfield helped her to cope with her diagnosis. As well as providing emotional support and practical help claiming the financial support she was entitled to, Sue also persuaded Carol to join an art and craft group for people affected by cancer where she could talk to other people going through the same thing.

Carol said: “Going to the Macmillan centre was the best thing I ever did. I was in a terrible state and arrived at the centre in floods of tears. Sue was so comforting and reassuring. Now the centre is like a second home. I go there every Thursday to the art and craft group where I’ve made friends for life. We all cheer each other up, sometimes we talk about how we’re feeling, sometimes we don’t. I was very upset when my hair and nails fell out, but it was such a comfort to be able to talk to people who understood what I was going through. I don’t think I’d be feeling as strong as I am now without the Macmillan centre.”    

Last year staff at the centre secured 42 Macmillan Grants totalling £10,000 to help people affected by cancer cope with the financial pressures arising from their diagnosis such as hospital car parking fees and increased heating bills.

A survey of centre visitors found that 86% felt less anxious as a result of the information and support they had received.

Sonia Holdsworth, Macmillan Development Manager for Merseyside and West Cheshire, said: “This award reflects the hard work and dedication of the team that designed the centre and all the staff and volunteers who work to make it a welcoming and supportive environment for patients and their families so no one has to face cancer alone.
“To receive the award, environments have to score highly in areas such as use of space, comfort and atmosphere, personal and social interaction and health and well being – all areas highlighted as really important by people living with cancer who helped develop the award.”

The MQEM is a detailed quality framework used for assessing whether cancer care environments meet the standards required by people living with cancer. The quality mark, the first of its kind in the UK, has been developed by Macmillan Cancer Support in collaboration with people living with cancer and stakeholders including the Department of Health.

The centre was praised in particular for the enthusiasm of the staff and the range of services on offer to people affected by cancer, which include walking and craft groups and the Hope course which provides emotional support to cancer survivors.

Sue Summerfield, Macmillan Cancer Information Manager said: “We are delighted to receive this prestigious award and recognition for efforts made to ensure that our area meets the needs and standards of our clients. The aim of the MQEM is to ensure that the space is sensitive in design, with room to chat in confidence; whilst making a real difference in helping people cope with their diagnosis. It is very reassuring to have this work recognised and valued.”

Dr Graeme Allan, cancer lead for NHS Southport and Formby CCG, said: “We are extremely proud of the centre’s work and what it has achieved since opening in 2012 in offering advice and support to hundreds of people who previously struggled to get the help they needed.”  

The centre on Scarisbrick Avenue is a free drop-in service open Monday to Friday, 10am to 4.30pm, excluding bank holidays

Drop in for a mini chat

April 28th, 2014 | Events | 0 Comments

Southport and Formby residents are invited to drop in to the next Mini Chat event on 8 May to find out how their views are being used to shape plans for local health services over the next five years.

NHS Southport and Formby Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has held a number of Mini Chat and Big Chat events over the past year. All the feedback gained so far is being used to help develop the CCG’s five year strategy for health and health services. This latest Mini Chat gives people the chance to hear examples of how this is happening.

Fiona Clark, chief officer of the CCG, said: “We will be sharing information about how we have used the feedback that we have received from previous discussions to inform our main work programmes and what this means for the health services that people use. It’s also an opportunity for us to check if people think that our overall approach is right to help us finalise our strategy by the end of June.

“We know that it’s often difficult for people to spend a day or half a day at an event, so this session is an informal drop-in, where people can come along when they like and choose which of our programmes they want to know more about.”    �

There will be a chance to hear an overview of the CCG’s strategy at the start of the event but people can drop in at any time during the three hour session if they prefer, when they can join table discussions to speak directly with programme leads and hear about the services that interest them most.

After hearing about the CCG’s plans, there will be a chance for people to give additional feedback about how they think the organisation’s main programmes of work are shaping up in the following areas – cancer, end of life care, mental health, children’s services, urgent care, primary care services and long term conditions such as cardio vascular disease, diabetes and respiratory diseases.

The Mini Chat takes place on 8 May at the Family Life Centre, Ash Street in Southport from 1.30pm until 4.30pm. If you would like to attend, or if you would like to know more please email Debbie Williams or call Cathy Loughlin on .

Are you eggs-tra prepared for Easter?

April 15th, 2014 | Events | 0 Comments

Examine your options webWith GP practices closed on Bank Holidays, read on to find out how to get ready for a healthy and happy Easter.

For many, the long weekend is a chance to catch up on some DIY. So, for those unforeseen knocks and bruises, check you have got some of the basics at home like ibuprofen and paracetamol – and the types that are suitable for children may come in handy too – as well as some plasters and antiseptic for those minor cuts and grazes.

If you take regular prescribed medicines, it is worth making sure you have enough to see you through the extended holiday weekend when your GP practice is closed – but remember not to over-order.

Indigestion relief could also come in handy if you end up eating too many Easter treats.

If you take regular prescribed medicines, it is worth making sure you have enough to see you through the extended holiday weekend when your GP practice is closed – but remember not to over-order.

For those illnesses and injuries that cannot be treated at home, you can still get advice and treatment from a range of health services. Find out where you can get help – including a list of pharmacies that are open over Easter – by downloading our guide to all the services below: – where you can check symptoms, get answers to common health questions, enquire about non urgent health matters and find local services.

Your local pharmacy — can give advice about common illnesses and ailments and the best medicines to treat them. See a list of pharmacies open on Good Friday, Easter Sunday and Bank Holiday Monday.

Litherland Walk-in Centre – provides treatment for all ages, 8am-8pm, 365 days of the year with no need for an appointment.

GP out of hours service – when your doctor’s surgery is closed, you can still see a local GP by calling your usual practice number and following the instructions to connect to the service.

NHS 111 – when you need medical help fast but it is not a 999 emergency. NHS 111 is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Call 111 – free from landlines and mobiles.

Dental services – the emergency dental service can help if you have an urgent problem.

You will find links below to some other useful services:

Sexual health services – see holiday opening times and get advice from the ISIS website

Healthy Sefton – eaten too much chocolate, then this service can put you in touch with the right service to help you eat well and get active

Sefton Directory – looking for something to do over the holidays, then you will find some good ideas here