Archive for September, 2015

Examine your options before heading to hospital

September 22nd, 2015 | News, Partner News | 0 Comments

Simon FeatherstoneExamine your options if you need medical help is the message from a health chief as the darker, chill autumn nights draw in.

“As we all get used to being back at work and school after the summer holidays, it’s worth remembering that there are many routes to getting medical care,” said Simon Featherstone, Director of Nursing and Quality at Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust.

“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 and serious 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 even treating yourself.

“Alternatively, West Lancashire Health Centre at Ormskirk hospital is open from 8am to 10pm all year round. Skelmersdale NHS Walk-in Centre at The Concourse is open from 7am to 10pm weekdays and 9am to 5pm on weekends.

“Local pharmacies and NHS Choices are also a good source of information and advice.”

September governing body meeting

September 22nd, 2015 | Events, News | 0 Comments

meetingSouthport and Formby CCG is once again inviting interested parties in the area to its governing body meeting in September.

The meeting is held by the CCG on a bi-monthly basis, and provides an insight into the decisions currently being made in health care in the community.

Those who wish to attend the meeting will also hear doctors, nurses and other health care professionals who make up the governing body, discuss how well health services are performing in the area.

The meeting will be held on Wednesday 23rd September 2015 at Family Life Centre, Ash St., Southport, PR8 6JH.

The meeting begins at 1pm, with an open public session where people can ask questions shortly before the formal session gets underway.

Anyone with an interest in local health is welcome to come along and is asked to call to confirm their attendance. Papers for the meeting can be found in advance of the governing body meeting on the CCG’s website.

Children’s doctor shortlisted for national clinical leadership award

September 22nd, 2015 | Partner News | 0 Comments

A leading children’s doctor has been shortlisted for Clinical Leader of the Year in the prestigious 2015 HSJ Awards.

Dr May Ng, who is Clinical Director of Paediatrics at Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust, is the Consultant Paediatrician and Paediatric Endocrinologist at the Trust.

She is a clinical lead of multiple national award-winning initiatives, including highly commended runner-up for Diabetes Team of the Year in the national BMJ Awards 2015.

Last December her team’s children’s diabetes service was named one of the best in the country after achieving nearly maximum marks in a national peer review of trusts and services diagnosing and providing diabetes treatment to children and young people.

Dr Ng said: “It’s an honour to be a finalist for the HSJ clinical leadership award which reflects the dedication and skill of the fantastic colleagues I work with. It’s their unstinting dedication to the care of our patients that makes this nomination possible.”

As Chair of the North West Paediatric Diabetes Network, the largest in the country, Dr Ng led the network to win the Judges’ Award in the 2014 National Diabetes Quality In Care Awards for the development of a National Care Plan for the Management of Diabetes in Schools.

She is described as a passionate and a well-respected leader, who is highly driven with a focus on improving patients’ quality of care.

Dr Ng has led the national development of the Sick Days management guideline for patients and healthcare professionals adopted across the country. She also serves as Secretary of the Association of Children’s Diabetes Clinicians, Diabetes Officer for British Society of Paediatric Endocrinology and Diabetes, and a member of the External Reference Group for National Institute of Clinical Excellence and the National Steering Group for Children and Young People’s Diabetes Peer Review. She is also actively involved in development of national paediatric training and policies in diabetes.

The HSJ Awards will be held on 18 November at the Grosvenor House Hotel, London.

Only order what you need – don’t waste your medicines

September 17th, 2015 | News | 0 Comments

A campaign aimed at reducing unnecessary medicines waste has been launched by health commissioners in Sefton.

NHS Southport and Formby CCG and NHS South Sefton CCG estimate that an incredible £2 million is lost each year through wasted medicines that could have otherwise been spent on health services for local residents.

The campaign calls upon patients and carers to:

  • Only order what they need
  • Return their unwanted medicines to their pharmacy for safe disposal
  • Take their medicines with them when they go into hospital

Dr Rob Caudwell, chair of NHS Southport and Formby CCG, said: “One of the biggest problems is repeat prescriptions, which are ordered and collected by patients but then not used.

“Unwanted medicines in the home may mean that patients are not getting the full benefit they could from their prescriptions. It also represents a large amount of waste, with around £90 million worth of unused prescription medicines in people’s homes across the UK at any one time. With a few simple considerations, people could help save the NHS millions each year.”

In Sefton, the £2 million that could potentially be saved through better medicine management could be spent on:

  • 79 more nurses OR
  • 2,000 more drug treatment courses for Alzheimer’s OR
  • 132 more drug treatment courses for breast cancer OR
  • 539 more hip replacements OR
  • 2,081 more cataract operations

Dr Craig Gillespie, chair of NHS South Sefton CCG, added: “We want patients on repeat prescriptions to think about what they are ordering and only ask for what they need and are running out of. Any of their medicines can be dispensed when needed at a later date, as once medicines have been dispensed, they cannot be recycled.

“In addition, we are encouraging everyone involved in prescribing, dispensing or reviewing medicines to make sure that their patients are fully involved in making decisions about their treatment, to ensure that more people take their medicines correctly because they have a fuller understanding of why it’s important to take medications as they’re recommended to.”

Around half of the UK population do not take or use their medicines as prescribed. This can occur for a number of reasons, including:

  • Patients not believing the medicine is necessary
  • Possible side effects
  • Fitting taking or using medicines into daily routines
  • Choosing between medicines if patients’ feel they are taking too many
  • Cutting down or stopping medicines they have been taking for a long time

Health professionals across the region have joined forces in a bid to inform patients and carers about their treatment and to help people understand more about their medicines and the options they have.

Susanne Lynch, head of medicines management for both CCGs, said: “This campaign is a great example of doctors, pharmacies, hospitals and care homes working together to raise awareness amongst patients and carers of this important issue, and people will be able to pick up a leaflet from their GP practice or local pharmacy to find out more.”

She concluded: “We’d also encourage anyone with questions about their medicines, no matter how small, to speak to their pharmacist or doctor who will be able to give help and advice about getting the most from their medicines. It’s so important that people take their medicines as directed to ensure they get the maximum benefit, and health professionals will be more than happy to answer people’s queries or concerns.”

Posters and leaflets are being displayed in pharmacies, GP practices and hospitals. You can find a list of your nearest participating venues by searching for Southport, Formby and South Sefton on the following website, where you will also find more information about the campaign.

Southport cancer centre needs your views

September 17th, 2015 | News, Partner News | 0 Comments


Local health and social care champion Healthwatch Sefton, NHS Southport and Formby Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and Southport Macmillan Cancer Information and Support Centre are joining forces to find out what people think about the services provided at the Southport based centre.

Over the next 3 months Healthwatch Sefton is inviting people to tell them what they know about the Macmillan Information and Support Centre and also gain feedback about the services it offers by completing a quick and easy questionnaire.

The Macmillan Centre is a partnership between Macmillan and NHS Southport and Formby CCG. It is based in the Living Well Centre on Scarisbrick Road, providing valuable support and advice for anyone affected by cancer, either themselves or as a carer.

It offers drop-in sessions, practical support, emotional support, physical activity coordinators, benefits advice, cancer information materials, health and wellbeing events, HOPE Courses and coffee mornings, as well as running several support groups for people affected by cancer.

Dr Graeme Allan, Macmillan GP and cancer lead for NHS Southport and Formby CCG, said: The centre has been open now for three and a half years, so it’s a good time to ask for people’s views about the services it offers. From what they have told us already, we think the Macmillan Centre is doing a good job, providing patients and carers with a safe and confidential environment to find support, especially at the time of diagnosis and when treatment ends.

“But we want to know more about people’s experience of using the centre and, as we look to the future, where patients and carers think we can make improvements. I’d like to encourage as many people as possible who have used the centre, or who have been supported by its staff to take part in Healthwatch Sefton’s independent survey.”

Macmillan and NHS Southport and Formby CCG have commissioned Healthwatch Sefton to independently ask local people who have used the centre and the public generally, to get in touch with their feedback or any suggestions, to help Macmillan evaluate what kind of cancer support to provide in the future.

Complete the online survey or contact Healthwatch Sefton directly on ext 240, Freephone , text 07434 810 438, email or visit their website

Free fostering and adoption session in Southport

September 17th, 2015 | Events, Partner News | 0 Comments

Are you thinking about fostering or adopting children? You can find out more at one of Sefton Fostering & Adoption Service’s regular information sessions.

The next session takes place 22 Sep, 6.30pm at The Vincent Hotel in Southport (Lord Street, PR8 1JR) and is a chance to meet Sefton’s expert team and experienced carers over a drink and bite to eat.

Local man fronts Cancer Research campaign

September 8th, 2015 | News, Partner News | 0 Comments

A Litherland grand-dad has been chosen to star in a new Cancer Research UK awareness campaign that has been launched in Merseyside.

Peter Matthews, 68, will front the campaign which highlights the role of bowel cancer screening in helping to save lives like his. It’s aimed at men and women aged 60-74 years to encourage them to take part in the NHS Bowel Cancer Screening programme. People in this age bracket receive an NHS bowel cancer screening kit routinely through the post, every two years. The advert is designed to help them understand what bowel cancer screening means for them and encourage participation.

Bowel cancer screening is a simple and private test that can be done at home and is designed to detect the early signs of bowel cancer. Posters showing Peter holding up a test kit will feature in newspaper adverts and on buses, bus stops and phone boxes across Merseyside. Peter, who is married with three children and has seven grandchildren, was diagnosed with early stage bowel cancer earlier this year after taking part in the bowel cancer screening programme.

Peter hopes the posters will help encourage more people to take part. He said “I know from personal experience that bowel cancer screening really can save lives. I hope that when men and women see my picture around Merseyside and then receive the kit they will be encouraged to complete it and send it back.”

Peter, a retired council worker, had not experienced any bowel related symptoms prior to completing the screening test, which he had done routinely since first receiving a kit six years ago. He said “I had no problems with the kit and found it easy to use. I sent back the first test straight away, as I always do, but was asked to complete another when they found a trace of blood. After the second test I had a number of polyps removed and tested and they came back as cancerous.”

Peter underwent surgery at Aintree University Hospital to remove a piece of his bowel. The cancer had not spread and he did not need any further treatment. He added “I feel very lucky indeed that my cancer was caught early. Friends tell me they can’t believe how easy it all was. The whole process only took a few months from diagnosis to completing my treatment. And I will continue to have regular checkups over the next three years. We’re just enjoying getting back to normal now – and I am being kept busy helping to look after my grandchildren.”

Every year, 2000 people aged 60 – 74 are diagnosed with bowel cancer in the North West, and 600 people of the same age in the region will die from the disease.

Dr Debbie Harvey, NHS South Sefton CCG lead for cancer and GP cancer lead for Merseyside and Cheshire, said “Peter is a fantastic ambassador for our awareness campaign which highlights the role of bowel cancer screening in helping to save lives. We hope that his experience will help more people to see bowel cancer screening as a normal part of looking after their health. The awareness campaign also emphasises the fact that completing the test is easier than people might think.”

Jane Bullock, Cancer Research UK spokesperson for the North West, said “Some don’t return the test kit because they don’t understand why they need to take part if they aren’t ill. But screening is designed to detect bowel cancer before it has a chance to develop; therefore it’s relevant even for people with no bowel related symptoms at all. But we also know people are confused about how to use the test kit or are put off by the idea of using it. But the kit comes with clear step-by-step instructions or people can find out more by visiting the Cancer Research UK website.”

“Once the sample has been checked in the lab, the NHS will send a letter confirming no further action is required or inviting the participant to go for further tests. Even if something does show up, it doesn’t mean it will turn out to be cancer. Anyone who wants more information can pick up the phone to one of our Cancer Research UK information nurses and discuss any concerns they have confidentially.”

Bowel cancer is the fourth most common cancer in the UK and the second most common cause of cancer deaths. Going for bowel cancer screening has been shown to reduce the risk of dying from bowel cancer by 25 per cent.

Dr Daniel Seddon, Public Health England’s Screening and Immunisation Lead for NHS England in Merseyside said “It is sensible to take part in bowel cancer screening and Peter Matthew’s story shows why: screening can detect cancers in the early stages, when treatment is easier and works better. If you are sent a test kit, I encourage you to follow the instructions and send it in and, there is a free advice line if you have any questions about it. If you have had a test kit and lost it, you can call for another kit to be posted to you.”

Cancer Research UK is working in partnership with Merseyside NHS and Local Authority teams across the North West in an effort to boost the number of people taking part in the NHS Bowel Cancer Screening Programme.

The awareness campaign is being rolled out in Merseyside and select locations across England following the success of a recent pilot project in London.

Cancer Research UK believes that no one should be diagnosed too late to have treatment that might save their life. Diagnosing cancer early is one of the most powerful ways to beat it. For more information please visit, or ring Cancer Research UK’s information nurses on 0808 800 4040.

Mental health in the next five years

September 7th, 2015 | News, Partner News | 0 Comments

NHS England have set out its recommendations for reshaping mental health services for the next five years in a new report published last week.

The Mental Health Taskforce: Engagement Report includes the views of over 20,000 people and calls for better access to high quality services, a wider choice of treatments, more focus on prevention, more funding and less stigma to be top priorities moving forward.

The report was carried out by charities Mind and Rethink Mental Illness on behalf of the Five Year Forward View national mental health taskforce, who collected the opinions and experiences of patients, carers, members of the public and health professionals.

Please read this full statement by NHS England on the report and you may also click here to find out more about mental health in the NHS.

Meningitis vaccine added to immunisation programme

September 2nd, 2015 | News, Partner News | 0 Comments

Public Health England (PHE) has announced that from 1 September onwards, children will be immunised against meningococcal group B (MenB) as part of the NHS Childhood Immunisation Programme.

MenB is a dangerous disease, most commonly known for causing meningitis (an infection of the protective membranes that surround the brain and spinal cord) and septicaemia (blood poisoning), which are both serious and potentially fatal illnesses.

The immunisation programme is developed specifically for infants and young children, as infants under one year of age are most at risk of MenB and the number of cases peak at around five or six months of age.

To follow on from this announcement, PHE has also published a blog post written by Viv Bennet, the Department of Health’s Director of Nursing and the Government’s Principal Advisor on Public Health Nursing. This blog post advises nursing and midwifery staff on the role they play in making sure that parents of immunised children have the correct information on the use of paracetamol following the vaccination.

There is a wealth of information on PHE’s website, as well as this document titled ‘Protecting your baby against Meningitis‘ and the official press release which can be downloaded here.