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‘Examine Your Options’ this bank holiday

Local health commissioners are encouraging Sefton residents to examine their options if they become unwell over the bank holiday weekend.

Anyone who thinks they may need to access health services over the bank holiday is being urged to check opening times for walk in centres, GP practices and chemists and also think about ordering any repeat prescriptions they need before the long weekend begins.

Dr Craig Gillespie, local GP and acting chair of NHS South Sefton Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), said: “The bank holiday weekend can be a good opportunity to relax and unwind but it’s important people know how to access health services, should they need to. Many GP practices will be closed on the bank holiday, so it’s particularly important for people to examine their options if they become poorly.”

Dr Rob Caudwell, a Southport GP and chair of NHS Southport and Formby CCG, said: “There are a variety of services on offer to people such as the advice on the NHS choices website, and the NHS 111 telephone number. Pharmacists are also available to provide free, confidential advice about common health problems such as coughs, colds and sore throats.”

The local NHS in Sefton is also reminding people that A&E and 999 services are for life-threatening and serious conditions.

Feeling Unwell? – Examine Your Options

Across the region there are a range of health services to support people if they feel unwell or have any health concerns. There are services which you may be unfamiliar with, but could be more appropriate and convenient for you depending on your specific issue.

Pharmacy Services

Many pharmacies will be open throughout the bank holiday weekend and the best way to find out which pharmacy is open and when is to visit our ‘Your Services Health page’.

Your local pharmacy can offer free, confidential and expert advice on a range of health issues. They can also help you to self-care and prepare for many common illnesses and offer advice on which medicines to keep in stock at home.

In Sefton – whilst all pharmacies provide advice and treatment for a range of minor illnesses and ailments, a number in Sefton offer Care at the Chemist, which ensures our most vulnerable patients who don’t routinely pay for their prescriptions have free and easy access to over the counter medicines they may need without the need to see a doctor.

 

NHS.UK

You can find a wealth of trusted advice about hundreds of health conditions and details of GPs, pharmacies in your local area by visiting www.nhs.uk. This useful website also includes a handy symptom checker.

 

NHS 111

When you need medical help or advice fast, but it is not a 999 emergency, you can also call the NHS 111 service. NHS 111 is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and calls are free from mobiles and landlines.

If you need medical care for illnesses you cannot treat yourself, then your GP should be your next port of call.

 

Your Local GP

Your GP should be your first point of contact for non-emergency illnesses you can’t treat yourself. Your GP is available from 8.00am to 6.30pm weekdays.

If you don’t have a GP, you can register with your local surgery. If you’re not sure where this is, you can find out at: www.nhs.uk or call 0300 77 77 007.

 

GP Out of Hours Service

If your local surgery is closed, you can still see a GP with the GP out-of-hours service; just call 111 and you can speak to a local GP over the phone or face to face if necessary.

It is very likely that you and your family will be seen and treated more quickly using the out-of-hours service than if you were waiting to see a doctor in A&E, especially at busy times.

 

Walk-in centres

Litherland Walk in Centre is open 8am – 8pm every day. in Litherland Town Hall, Hatton Hill Rd, L21 9JN. Call 0151 475 4667.

No matter where you live in Sefton you can simply drop in – there is no need for an appointment and all ages can get treatment here. The service treats minor illnesses and injuries that do not need a visit to accident and emergency (A&E). Remember A&E is for serious and life threatening illnesses or injuries. 

West Lancashire Health Centre – 8am to 8pm, 7 days a week 

Skelmersdale Walk-in Centre – 8am to 8pm, 7 days a week

 

Patient Access

Manage your repeat prescriptions and make GP appointments from the comfort of your own home, without having to venture outside, by using the new FREE Patient Access website and smartphone app. Simply search for ‘Patient Access’ in the app store.

Remember though, if using Patient Access for the very first time, you will first have to contact your GP practice so that you can register to use the app.

For information about services that can help in south Sefton over the bank holiday please visit our ‘Your Services Health page’

Key travel & safety advice for Tall Ships Regatta

Visitors planning to watch the Tall Ships regatta from the Sefton coastline over the May bank holiday are being advised to stay safe at all times.

Anyone heading to Crosby beach on Monday, May 28 to watch the regatta is asked to stay within 50 metres from the promenade and watch for any tidal movement. Visitors to the coast are recommended not to go past Crosby Coastguard Station in a northerly direction.

On May 28, the seafront car parks will remain open but parking on nearby streets will be restricted (except for emergency vehicles).

The Waterloo Festival, being held at the bottom of South Road/Crosby Lakeside, and pop up village at Burbo Bank are also taking place during the bank holiday weekend (May 27/28) with extra people expected at Crosby seafront.

Anyone planning to travel to this area is asked to walk, cycle or use public transport as revised train and bus timetables will be in operation on the Bank Holiday (visit www.merseyrail.org or check with local bus operators).

Beach Safety is very important – please avoid muddy areas and listen to any warning messages for the RNLI lifeguards who will be present on the beach.

Visitors should be prepared for all weather conditions – including rain or sunshine. Concessions will be available and people visiting the area are asked to take their rubbish home with them or use the bins provided.

Cllr Marion Atkinson, Sefton Council’s Labour Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Skills, said: “Safety is paramount on the Sefton coastline as this event takes place.

“If you’re local, consider staying local. Walking or cycling may be the quickest and easiest way for you to get to and from the event.

“The popular Waterloo Festival is also on during the bank holiday weekend with crowds expected to attend along with the pop up village at Burbo Bank. The Council has really supported both these events and it is set to be a really busy weekend benefiting the whole area with local businesses using our wonderful assets to the maximum.

“If you do watch the regatta pass from the Sefton coastline, please stay safe and leave the beach as you find it either by taking your rubbish home with you or using the bins provided. We also ask people to respect the local community as access to the beach is situated within a residential area.”

Green Sefton launches with massive borough-wide cleanup

Come along and meet Sefton Council’s newly formed ‘Green Sefton’ team who will be taking to the borough on June 8 to support World Oceans Day.

Green Sefton brings together Coast & Countryside, Parks & Greenspaces, Flooding & Coastal Erosion, Risk Management and Grounds Maintenance teams all together to ensure a joined up approach to the vital management, development and oversight of Sefton’s beautiful coastline, parks and green spaces for years to come.

To celebrate the launch of Green Sefton, team members will be taking part in a mass clean-up of waterways, canals and coastal areas for World Oceans Day on June 8.

Residents and groups who are keen to learn more about Green Sefton have the chance to meet with key members of the team at Crosby Coastal Park from 11am – 2pm (South Road entrance)

They will explain the work they will do, from land management and community engagement to vital work surveying the changing shape of Sefton’s coast and what this means to residents and visitors.

Cllr Ian Moncur, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, said: “Sefton is a clean, green and beautiful borough that is internationally recognised for its natural beauty and we will build on this through the work of Green Sefton.

“Green Sefton has been created to make sure we continue our focus on a collaborative approach to the management, development and oversight of our beautiful coastline, parks and green spaces.

“We believe this will also encourage more community cohesion, more involvement with our volunteers and residents, as well as eco organisations.

“This event is a fantastic opportunity for people to learn more about the wonderful work Green Sefton will be doing.

“We want Sefton residents to take pride in their community and make a positive contribution to their environment and the launch is also a great way to find out more about how you can get involved in community events and volunteering.”

To register your interest in supporting World Oceans Day across Sefton, email communications@sefton.gov.uk

For updates on Green Sefton events, activities and partnership opportunities, check out Sefton Council’s social media channels.

For more information about World Oceans Day visit www.worldoceansday.org.

Welfare support

Sefton Council is continuing to support some of the borough’s most vulnerable residents by earmarking more than half-a-million pounds to help them.

 Despite a continued reduction in support from the Government, the council has committed £500,000 to its welfare support scheme. The scheme was established to provide support for vulnerable, low-income families hit by unexpected financial crises, domestic emergencies and the impact of welfare reform.

 This funding will be monitored closely and may be re-evaluated if the demand for services exceeds the current budget. 

 The council has committed to continue to fund the administration of its local welfare services to ensure that those who need support are able to access it when support is needed. Financial resources will also be used to support Sefton’s helping hand service which manages the provision of essential household items.

 South Sefton and Southport foodbanks will also benefit from a tranche of the funding which will help the services to maintain the necessary levels of food and other items in response to referrals from the council’s local welfare scheme. In addition, a significant portion of the budget will help to support the provision of gas and electricity awards to applicants.

 Without this funding, many people across Sefton would not have access to vital hardship support, forcing them to go without or faced with no option but to take out high cost loans to pay for basics such as food, energy or furniture.
 
 Cllr Ian Moncur, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, said: “It’s telling that due to the Government’s austerity measures we are seeing an increase in residents who need additional welfare support. It is clear that food bank usage is growing and more and more people, including those who are in work, are finding it difficult to support themselves as a result of welfare reform.

“The Council has rightly set aside a significant budget to help keep essential welfare services running, but the hard truth is that even this extra financial support may not be enough for these vital services to meet the increased demand.”

 Cllr Trish Hardy, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities, added: “It is a shame that in 2018 we are still seeing so many Sefton residents who are finding themselves impacted by welfare reform and facing poverty.

 “Government cuts have meant that services that provide support to vulnerable people are finding themselves at breaking point and local charities are finding it increasingly difficult to cope and offer support.

 “It is so important for the council to ensure that its local communities are able to receive the support they need when they are experiencing severe financial hardship. We are doing all we can when sadly we know more needs to be done.”

Leading Sefton health figures say ‘no’ to sugary drinks!

Sefton Council is working with Food Active to promote the new GULP (Give Up Loving Pop) Early Years campaign called ‘Kind to Teeth’.

 The campaign aims to improve knowledge and raise awareness of the health risks associated with consumption of sugary drinks in under-fives. 

 Developed by registered nutritionists, the campaign has been launched as part of National Smile Month and is the UK’s largest and longest running campaign to promote good oral health.  

 Research shows that by the age of five, nearly a third of children had obvious decay in their milk teeth.  In another study, 12% of three-year-olds were found to have evidence of tooth decay having on average three decayed, missing or filled teeth – and sugary drinks are a major part of the problem.

 This is despite the fact that babies are only recommended to consume breast milk (or formula milk if necessary) until six months and then milk and water are the best sources of hydration for babies and young children.

 Sugar is not necessary for the diet, especially for children and when consumed in the form of sugary drinks, can cause a whole host of health issues, from tooth decay to obesity and type 2 diabetes. Lots of sugar can often be hiding in many baby juices and other sugary drinks marketed at the early years.  

 The Kind to Teeth campaign has been developed by registered nutritionists, dental health and early year’s specialists and forms part of the well-known GULP campaign.  It is aimed at parents of children under five years of age, to help promote healthier drinking habits in the early years and will involve a number of electronic resources for local authorities to utilise.

 Cllr Ian Moncur, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, said: “Improving the health of Sefton’s young children is a key priority for us, so I am very pleased that the Kind to Teeth campaign is being promoted in Sefton. 

 “Nearly a quarter of our 5-year-olds start school with dental decay and a quarter in Reception year are overweight or are an unhealthy weight by the time they start school. Tackling unhealthy drink habits in the early years is a crucial preventative measure to protect our young children against poor dental health and weight gain”

 Matthew Ashton, Director of Public Health for Sefton and Knowsley, added: “When children are young, we have a fantastic opportunity to influence healthy food and drink patterns, as habits are often established when children are young.  

 “This campaign will help to educate parents on the health risks associated with consuming sugary drinks in the early years, and emphasise that water is the best source of hydration for their young one. We hope it will help to influence healthy drinking patterns from the early years and throughout their growth and development into adulthood.”

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