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Still time to give views about same day healthcare in south Sefton

NHS South Sefton Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is reminding people that there is still time to give their views and experiences about using and choosing different urgent care services when they need immediate or same day health advice or treatment.

The commissioner, which plans and buys the majority of healthcare for south Sefton residents, has been out and about encouraging people to get involved as part of a review of ‘urgent care’ services since early December 2018.

Urgent care includes services for physical and mental health problems ranging from pharmacies, GP practices, GP out of hours services, the NHS 111 phone line and website, walk-in centres, accident and emergency (A&E) departments/ and 999.

Up until 31 January 2019 the CCG is asking people to complete a questionnaire about these services for adults, children and young people. The information gathered will be used to help develop proposals for how urgent care could look in the future.

Dr Craig Gillespie, GP and acting chair for NHS South Sefton CCG, said: “From our conversations with residents over the past few years we know that some find the current range of urgent care services difficult to choose from and confusing. Sometimes when people don’t know which service to choose they use accident and emergency, which puts extra pressure on hospitals, and means that people might have to wait longer for their treatment.

“This review is the first step towards making sure that our services really meet local needs, so we have been encouraging as many people and NHS staff as possible to get involved and tell us what it’s like to use or work in these services and how they could be better and easier to choose from in the future.

“We’ve been out and about across south Sefton encouraging people to take part and would like to thank the organisations who have helped us reach residents so far, also a big thank you to those who have filled out a survey already.”

The review will also consider how new NHS national guidelines for urgent care services and the introduction of ‘Urgent Treatment Centres’ might be put into place in south Sefton.

NHS South Sefton CCG is carrying out its review with partners across north Merseyside as patients often use urgent care services across this wider area. So, the CCG is also encouraging residents in Southport and Formby who use urgent care services in north Merseyside to complete a survey.

Complete an online questionnaire and find out more on the CCG website: www.southseftonccg.nhs.uk

Healthwatch Sefton is helping us to make the questionnaire available to anyone who may find it difficult to take part online. So, for help to complete a questionnaire, request a paper version, or for another format call Freephone 0800 206 1304, email info@healthwatchsefton.co.uk or text 07434 810 438.

Is it time to ditch those stabilisers?

Sefton Council is excited to be bringing back our poplar, ‘Ditch Those Stabilisers’ cycling events.

During the session, children aged for and above can learn to ride a bike unaided.

Children who attend can have lots of fun, whilst learning lifelong cycling skills. The events, which take place a number of times throughout the year, always have a high success rate, as our enthusiastic staff from the highway safety team of a range of practical advice.

Sessions are free but you must book in advance.

Get involved at Litherland Sports Park, Boundary Lane on Tuesday, February 19 or Shoreside Primary School, Westminster Drive on Thursday February 21.

To register, call Sefton Council, on 0345 140 0845.

News that two-child benefit cap is to be scrapped is welcomed

Plans to scrap extending a benefits cap on families of more than two children has been cautiously welcomed by Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities and Housing, Cllr Trish Hardy – but she believes the move doesn’t go far enough.

The Government has announced that those with children born before the Universal Credit system began in April 2017 would remain exempt, which means a number of families will no longer face having their benefits capped.

Cllr Trish Hardy said: “While I believe this is good news, it’s only a small number who will benefit from this announcement because it will only be scrapped for some claimants, not all. How is that fair? It will cause nothing but confusion.

“We know that hundreds of thousands of people are suffering every day as a result of a benefits system that is not working – it needs to change.

“In Sefton, we are seeing so much hardship in some of our most disadvantaged areas and more and more people, including those in work, are relying on foodbanks and other donation schemes – it’s heart-breaking.

“The Government needs to do something more to help those struggling to cope with welfare reforms, including the roll out of Universal Credit. Our communities are suffering as a result of a poorly thought out and executed reform programme and it can’t go on like this.”

Free training programme for Sefton’s budding fitness instructors

A training programme that will develop Sefton’s next generation of fitness instructors is set to return for 2019.

Developed by Sefton Council and part funded by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), Aspiring Instructors will help to improve the skills and employability for residents across the borough.

Information sessions for the programme will take place at Crosby Lakeside Adventure Centre on Wednesday January 16, 10am and 1pm and Friday January 18, 10am and 1pm.

The 16-week course is targeted at Sefton residents and designed to help get people into a new career within the sports and fitness industry.

Set to begin in February, the programme will combine a mix of coaching and work placement with attendees’ receiving nationally recognised qualifications on completion of the course. Last year, participants gained over 118 qualifications between them.

Cllr Ian Moncur, Sefton Council’s Labour Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, said: “Year on year the Aspiring Instructors programme proves that it can change lives with many course graduates qualifying as Outdoor Activities Instructors, Fitness Instructors and Lifeguards.

“This is a brilliant opportunity for anybody who is looking for a career in health and fitness and who in the future will have the skills to promote health and wellbeing across the borough.”

Cllr Marion Atkinson, Sefton Council’s Labour Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Skills, added: “This is a life-changing programme that has helped Sefton residents to increase employability, socialise and get active.

“Despite the financial challenges the council is facing we remain committed and use every opportunity we can to build resilient communities in line with our 2030 vision and this is one of the examples of how we are doing it.

“I urge anyone interested in qualifications in sport and fitness to attend an information session and make the first steps towards a new career.”

To find more about the scheme contact Active Sefton on 0151 288 6286 or Sefton@Work on 0151 934 2610.

 

Sefton reaffirms commitment to tackling homelessness with updated strategy

Sefton Council’s commitment to tackling homelessness has been reaffirmed with an updated Homelessness Strategy for 2018-23.

The Homelessness Act 2002, requires every local authority to carry out a homelessness review in its borough every 5 years and use the results of this to develop and publish a Homelessness Strategy.

This is Sefton’s fourth review and builds upon the work of the first three carried out in 2003, 2008 and 2013.

homeless

A consultation was also carried out in 2018 including involvement with other statutory and voluntary organisations.

Today (January 10), Sefton Council’s Cabinet agreed to the Homelessness Strategy 2018-23 and will now develop an action plan with a number of key objectives.

This includes how Sefton Council will:
1. Monitor the current and future likely levels of homelessness
2. Resource a variety of activities to tackle homelessness
3. Do more to prevent homelessness
4. Secure accommodation for those who are homeless or threatened with homelessness
5. Support people who are, or have been, homeless

Cllr Trish Hardy, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member Communities and Housing, said: “After several years of hardship to Sefton residents as a result of the Conservative austerity agenda, tackling homelessness is one of our key priorities and the updated Homelessness Strategy will go a long way in tackling this very emotive issue.

“A stark reality affecting our communities shows that just under a quarter of all children in Sefton are living in poverty.

“Similarly, just over a quarter of all people aged 16-64 years living in Sefton are economically inactive.

“What really concerns me is that future levels of homelessness are likely to increase due to wider social, economic and housing market factors. A particular concern is that many people will not be able to afford to buy a home, putting further pressure on an already limited supply of affordable housing.

“The Sefton Homelessness Review paints a picture on homelessness issues locally, and the Sefton Homelessness Strategy sets out how to address these issues.

“From this we will now work on and develop an action plan to tackle this very worrying matter.”

If you have nowhere to stay or if it is unsafe for you to return home, or you will be homeless within the next 56 days, you should contact Sefton Council’s Housing Options Team on 0151 934 3541.

The team will assess your case and will be able to provide housing options advice for you and your family.

For emergencies out of hours contact Sefton Council’s Emergency Duty Team on 0151 934 3555.

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