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Sefton health experts offer five tips to help you avoid the flu

Leading health figures from Sefton Council, NHS South Sefton Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and NHS Southport and Formby CCG have joined together to offer expert advice to residents on how they can best avoid catching the flu this winter.

Cllr Ian Moncur, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing said: “Flu can have really serious effects for many vulnerable people including the elderly, young children, pregnant women and those living with long term health conditions.

 “For this reason the following advice also includes tips that will help residents to limit the spread of flu within their community and I strongly urge everybody to take the advice on board.”

Dr Rob Caudwell, chair of NHS Southport and Formby CCG, said: “People with chronic long term health conditions or reduced immunity should get vaccinated even if they have no symptoms. A bout of flu can greatly worsen any existing condition and increases the risk of complications like pneumonia.”

Dr Andy Mimnagh, chair of NHS South Sefton CCG added: “A flu vaccination is an important part of staying well over winter. If you have any questions about getting vaccinated, simply contact your GP practice and ask for advice, we’ll be happy to help.”

  1. Get the flu jab
    The best way to protect yourself and others from flu is by getting the flu vaccination. The vaccination is free for those aged over 65, pregnant women, people living with long term health conditions, young children aged 2 and 3 and to registered carers.If you’re not eligible for a free vaccination you can purchase it for as little as £10. Speak to your local pharmacist for find out more about this service.
  2. Know the symptoms
    It’s important to be aware of the symptoms of flu in order to help you to best treat its effects and avoid passing the illness on to others.Symptoms include a sudden fever, aching body, feeling tired or exhausted, chesty cough, sore throat, headache, difficulty sleeping, loss of appetite, diarrhoea or tummy pain, nausea and being sick.
  3. Get the right advice
    If you think you may have the flu try to avoid visiting your GP or pharmacist to reduce the risk of spreading the illness. Instead call the free NHS helpline service 111 or visit the NHS Choices website.Be sure stock up on flu and cold remedies in advance so that if you become ill you have everything you need at home. Remember that antibiotics should not be used to treat flu and should only be used upon the advice of your GP.
  4. Wash your hands
    Washing your hands regularly using soap and warm water will help you to prevent the spread of germs that can cause flu. By washing your hands you will destroy bugs that you may have picked up from touching surfaces used by other people, such as light switches and door handles.

    Not only will this reduce the chances of you catching the flu yourself, but it will also help to limit the spread of flu across Sefton.

  5. Be mindful of others
    Try to avoid having unnecessary contact with other people if you or they have symptoms of flu.If you think you have symptoms of flu be mindful of the people around you. Catch coughs or sneezes in tissues and bin them immediately. Try to reschedule plans with friends or family to when you’re feeling better.

    Remember that while many people can recover from flu themselves within about a week, it can become extremely serious for more vulnerable residents.



 To find out more about flu and the flu vaccination visit the NHS Choices website:

Consultation on Sefton Pharmaceutical Needs Assessment

Sefton Health and Wellbeing Board are required by law to produce a Pharmaceutical Needs Assessment (PNA) every three years, and to make sure that it is available for comments on before it is finalised and published.

The pharmaceutical needs assessment describes pharmacy provision in Sefton together with when and where these are available.  NHS England also uses the PNA when considering applications to open a new pharmacy, move an existing pharmacy or commission additional services from a pharmacy.

The key outcomes for this consultation are:

  • To encourage constructive feedback from a variety of stakeholders and professional bodies.
  • To ensure that residents and professionals provide opinions and views of what is contained within the PNA.

The draft PNA can be found by accessing this link on Sefton Council’s website.  If you require a paper version of the PNA, please contact Steve Gowland on 0151 934 3070.

To comment and feedback there is also a short response form to complete which can be via this link.  Alternatively you can respond formally in writing to the above return address using this form.

All feedback will be considered and the PNA steering group will decide on behalf of the HWB which sections of the PNA need amending.  A consultation report will be included within the final PNA document.

This will provide an overview of the feedback received and set out how comments have been acted upon.  An updated PNA including the consultation process and responses will be presented to the Health and Wellbeing Board in March for final publication from April 2018.

The closing date for this consultation period is 18th January 2018

Involving you in the development of health services

Sefton residents are being invited to share their thoughts and ideas on how health commissioners in the borough could better involve them in their local NHS.

There are a number of ways that people can currently find out more about the work of NHS Southport and Formby Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and NHS South Sefton CCG or get involved in what they do. This includes taking part in surveys, coming along to their governing body meetings, or directly contacting the CCGs with their queries and questions via email, website, phone or post.

Gill Brown, lay representative for patient and public engagement of NHS Southport and Formby CCG, said:

“We greatly value the views of our residents and their feedback helps to shape our work. So it’s important that as many people as possible have the opportunity to give their views when we are asking about health issues that matter to them most.”

Both CCGs hold regular public events, called ‘Big Chats’, where residents are asked for their views and experiences to help shape the health commissioners’ latest work. However, the CCGs understand that different people will prefer different ways to feedback their experiences of local health services, or to get involved in what they do.

Graham Bayliss, lay representative for patient and public engagement of NHS South Sefton CCG, said:

“There is always more we can do to get people involved in our work and new and different ways like social media that we can use to do this. We want to hear from residents about how they would like us to involve them and we’re inviting people to tell us how we can best do this by taking part in our survey.”

Sefton residents are asked to complete a short online survey about the ways they would like the CCGs to update them or involve them in their work. Feedback will help the CCGs to look at new and different ways to involve and inform their residents in the future.

Anyone with an interest in local health is invited to take part in the questionnaire, which can be found on each CCG website, along with short films highlighting the views of Big Chat attendees and how they think the CCGs could improve how the involve people in the work of the local NHS.

Examples of how the CCGs have used people’s feedback to shape health services and strategies can also be found on their websites.


Has your child had the free flu vaccine?

Leading health figures at Sefton Council, NHS South Sefton Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and NHS Southport and Formby CCG are encouraging parents to make sure their children receive their free flu vaccination.

 The free flu vaccine is available to those who are at risk of the more serious effects of flu, this includes young children aged 2 to 8.

 Parents with children in school years 1-3 will be asked for permission for them to receive the nasal spray vaccine at school.

 For children below school age, parents can get them vaccinated at their local GP practice free of charge.

 Cllr Ian Moncur, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, said:

“Young children are vulnerable to the serious effects of flu.

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

 “For this reason it is important that parents take steps to ensure that their children receive the flu vaccination.”

 Matt Ashton, Director of Public Health for Sefton and Knowsley, said:

“I strongly recommend that all those who are eligible for a free vaccination make sure they get it in order to protect themselves from the adverse effects of flu.

 “I will be having the vaccine again this year, and I am urging other people to do the same, to protect yourself, your families, and your community.”

 Free flu vaccinations are available to all pregnant women, all children aged 2 to 4, children in years 1-3 at school and residents of all ages with a long term health condition and everyone aged 65 and over.

 The flu virus is very unpredictable and, some years, flu causes more sickness than others because new strains emerge and spread. This is why it is really important for people eligible for a free flu vaccination to get it every year.

 Dr Andy Mimnagh, chair of NHS South Sefton CCG, added:

“Anyone of any age with an existing health condition, like asthma or diabetes should get vaccinated, even if they generally feel healthy and well. This is because a dose of flu can greatly worsen their condition and make complications like pneumonia more likely.”

 Dr Rob Caudwell, chair of NHS Southport and Formby CCG, said:

“Carers are also eligible for a free flu jab as well as those they look after.

 “If you’re not sure if you’re eligible, or if you have any questions about getting vaccinated, simply contact your GP practice or pharmacy and ask for advice.”

 You can find a wide range of information about the annual flu immunisation campaign at and if you have any queries about whether you or someone you care for should have the vaccine simply ask at your GP practice or pharmacy.

Chance to take part in health survey

Sefton Councils’s Public Health team is working in partnership with Healthwatch Sefton to encourage as many Sefton residents as possible to complete a survey as part of the NHS Health Check programme.

This is a national programme which aims to check for early signs of heart disease, stroke, kidney damage, Type 2 diabetes or dementia.

The survey data will help to improve the programme and so Sefton’s Public Health team want to hear from local people to evaluate Sefton’s NHS health checks.

Already many people have submitted their comments via the online survey but there is still time to register yours. Click on this link to take you to the survey which closes at the end of November:

If you have any queries about the survey then please contact the Healthwatch Sefton team on 0800 206 1304 / 0151 920 0726 ext 214 or email:


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