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Outstanding paramedic work helps NWAS Trust achieve Good rating

England’s Chief Inspector of Hospitals has welcomed improvements at North West Ambulance Service NHS Trust following its latest inspection by the Care Quality Commission.

A team of inspectors from the Care Quality Commission visited North West Ambulance Service NHS Trust in June and July 2018 to check the quality of three core services: emergency and urgent care service, resilience, and the emergency operation centres. CQC also looked specifically at management and leadership to answer the key question: Is the trust well led?

The trust is now rated as Good for the overall quality of its services. The trust is also rated as Good for being safe, caring, effective, responsive to people’s needs and well led.

Inspectors found that work by the community paramedics was outstanding. They worked as members of a multidisciplinary team with community nurses, mental health nurses, teachers and in care homes, with the needs of the community at the forefront.

Staff were involved in initiatives ranged from helping mental health patients overcome fears of medical procedures to preventative measures aimed at reducing admissions to emergency departments by residents of care home residents.

The Chief Inspector of Hospitals, Professor Ted Baker, said:

“With 1.4 million calls per year there is constant pressure on the ambulance services in the North West to be there whenever we need them, at all times of the day. I am pleased to acknowledge the hard work and continuous improvement made by North West Ambulance Service NHS Trust to build upon the findings of our last inspection and have helped the trust improve its rating to Good.

“We found a patient-centred service where staff consistently showed compassion and respect to patients and callers during some very stressful and demanding situations.”

Full reports including the latest ratings are available at: https://www.cqc.org.uk/provider/RX7

In emergency and urgent care, there was also a new staffing structure that provided support to ambulance teams in responding to risk. Staff had access to enhanced clinical support when they needed it. Staff told inspectors they were always given time to make safeguarding referrals.

In the period until April 2018, the trust’s performance for dealing with Category 1 emergency calls had improved and was now better than the national average.

The trust’s resilience services (specialist teams who deal with extreme emergencies), have been rated Good overall. Managers ensured members of the team felt were valued. The Hazardous Area Operating Team (HART) and resilience service had developed highly effective working relationships with partner agencies. They took a lead in regular joint working days with the local group forums.

The emergency operations centre had looked at opportunities to learn from incidents and improve patient safety. There was a focus on continuous learning, including the use of pilot schemes to improve services.

The inspection found there was a strong leadership group in place with a positive culture based around the needs of people who used the service. Senior managers recognised that culture within some areas of the trust required further improvement.

£115,000 waste prevention fund announced to help community groups

A share of £115,000 is up for grabs to help make the Liverpool City Region a cleaner and greener place.

The funding has been made available for community and voluntary groups, schools, faith groups and not-for-profit organisations in Sefton, who can reduce household waste, encourage recycling and resource re-use and prevent carbon emissions.

The projects will also have to demonstrate wider positive impacts on the environment, health and education.

The money is coming from the Merseyside Recycling and Waste Authority and Veolia Community Fund 2019/20, which has been running annually since 2006.

Successful applicants can be awarded up to £25,000 for schemes which operate across all six districts in Merseyside and Halton, and £8,000 for projects which work solely at one local authority level.

Interested groups should complete and submit a Stage One form with MRWA. If applicants are shortlisted then they will be asked to fill in a more detailed Stage Two entry. Successful projects will receive the funding in April 2019 and will have twelve months to deliver their schemes.

Organisations interested in this year’s Community Fund can either

  • Download the Stage One application form and Guidance at www.merseysidewda.gov.uk
  • Contact the Authority by Email: communityfund2019/2020@merseysidewda.gov.uk / Tel: 0151 255 1444

The deadline for stage one application submissions is set as Friday January 4, 2019 at 11.59pm.

Sefton’s Bathing Waters wash away the competition

Whether you swim, paddle, or simply enjoy a stroll along Sefton’s beaches, you can be assured, once again, that the quality of the water is of a high standard.

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has published statistics that reveal that Formby, Southport and Ainsdale all boast clean bathing waters.

Formby beach has yet again been rated ‘Excellent’ – the highest, cleanest class – while Southport and Ainsdale beaches both retain ‘Good’ ratings for their water quality.

Green Sefton, Sefton Council’s dedicated eco-team, has been working tirelessly to maintain and improve the high standards of Sefton’s coastline, which has a direct positive effect on bathing water quality.

Cllr Ian Moncur, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, said: “Our thanks must go to the wonderful Green Sefton team, our beach clean volunteers and partners who work all year round to keep our bathing waters and beaches both clean and safe.

“We are delighted that our bathing beaches have once again been recognised by Defra and have repeatedly passed stringent water quality testing.

“For a number of years residents and visitors across Sefton have been encouraged to learn more about bathing waters and how they can play a major part in helping us improve the water quality in the borough.”

There are a number of ways you can help maintain, and improve, local bathing water standards, by taking action both at home and at the beach.

• Only flush the 3P’s down the toilet – poo, pee and paper. Everything else goes in the bin!

• Pour cooled kitchen fats in the bin, not down the sink.

• Pick up after your dog.

• Don’t feed birds at the beach and keep outdoor areas free of food waste.

• Always put litter in the bin or take it home if it’s full

For more information about Sefton’s beaches and coastal areas visit www.sefton.gov.uk/beaches.

Sefton bin collections at Christmas & New Year: All you need to know

Refuse and recycling collections in Sefton will continue over Christmas and the New Year for residents across the borough, with minor alterations to collection dates.

Sefton’s collection crews will be observing the usual Boxing Day bank holiday on Wednesday, December 26 meaning that there will be a slight change to regular bin collection days.

For collections which would normally take place on Monday and Tuesday, residents are asked to present their grey or brown bins or sacks for collection on Thursday, December 27.

Wednesday and Thursday collections will take place two days later on Friday, December 28 and Saturday, December 29 respectively.

For the week commending December 31, Monday’s collection will take place as normal, while the remainder of the week’s schedule will be collected one day later in line with the New Year’s Day bank holiday.

Food waste collections will follow the same Christmas schedule and normal service will resume from Monday, January 7, 2019.

Separate arrangements for trade waste collections over Christmas and the New Year will be made and businesses affected will be contacted directly by Sefton Council.

Similar to other years, the green wheelie bin collection for garden waste will be suspended from the end of November 2018 until March 2019.

Residents are also reminded of their rubbish responsibilities when disposing of waste at recycling centres over the festive period. Any rubbish left on the highway outside a recycling centre is considered fly-tipping and offenders can face substantial fines.

To check collection arrangements or for further information on all waste and recycling services, visit www.sefton.gov.uk/bins or follow us on Twitter @seftoncouncil.

Sefton warns prospective tenants of rental property scam

Sefton Council is warning tenants in the borough to be vigilant after a renting scam was uncovered in Southport.

The local authority’s Trading Standard’s team are investigating after a rental property in the town was advertised on a popular classified advert website, in a bid to lure potential tenants into paying deposits overseas.

While the property was legitimately on the market via a local letting agent, it was also fraudulently placed online at a significantly reduced rental.

When a prospective renter made an enquiry to the online advert, they were told ‘the owner’ had emigrated overseas and they would be required to pay a large deposit before they could access the property.

It was then that the alarm was raised and Trading Standards began their investigations. 

Cllr Paulette Lappin, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Regulation and Compliance, said: “As soon as we were made aware of this scam we have requested that the fraudulent listing be taken down and we are investigating the matter further.

“In this instance the person who was being scammed raised the alarm in plenty of time and thankfully did not part with any cash, but others may not be so lucky.

“If a deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is and we would encourage everyone to be vigilant.

“Trading Standards regularly receive complaints about scams across the borough, ranging from rogue traders and doorstep salesmen to phone calls and letters designed to trick people into providing bank details.

“If you suspect any kind of fraudulent activity please report it on the Action Fraud hotline via 0300 123 2040 or by calling the Citizens Advice Bureau on 03454 04 05 06.

For more information on tackling fraud and spotting the signs, visit www.sefton.gov.uk/fraud.

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