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Health experts encourage residents to talk to their pharmacists

Health experts in Sefton are reminding residents to ask their pharmacist about the range of services available in local chemists during November, and beyond.

NHS Southport and Formby Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and NHS South Sefton CCG are supporting ‘Ask Your Pharmacist’ week, which highlights the range of services and support that is available to people from their local chemist.

Ask Your Pharmacist complements the national Stay Well This Winter campaign, encouraging people to look after themselves during the winter months – reminding them to see a pharmacist if they need advice on managing cough or cold symptoms.

Often, people make unnecessary trips to the GP or even A&E, when their neighbourhood chemist could help instead.

In recent years, pharmacists have expanded their role, and now provide a wide range of clinical and public health services, within easy reach of the people who need them most. However, whilst most people go first to their chemist for medicines and medicines advice, many don’t know about the range of other healthcare services on offer in chemists.

Sarah Halpin, a pharmacist at Alexander’s Pharmacy in Waterloo, said:

“Your local pharmacist is often the best place to go when you have a concern or question about a minor ailment. We can advise you on a number of conditions including aches and pains, sore throats, coughs, colds, flu, earache, cystitis, skin rashes and more.

“Your local pharmacy can help you look after your own and your family’s health by offering advice on healthy eating, physical activity, losing weight and stopping smoking.

“The best part about seeking advice from your pharmacist is that you don’t need to book an appointment, and many pharmacies are open longer hours than some GP surgeries.”

Thousands of children enjoy hot meals thanks to Sefton’s Access to Food scheme

Sefton Council have once again given food for thought at its annual Children’s Access to Food Programme, supplying nearly four thousand hot meals to those in need.

The scheme, which is in its second year, helps to support families across Sefton who are most in need of help and hot meals, allowing them to end a reliance on school meals to help nourish their children.

3981 meals were served across Sefton during a six week period.

Councillor Trish Hardy, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities and Housing said:

“We had feedback from one mum who said that without this service, she would have had to miss paying bills to accommodate the extra cost of feeding her children during the 6 week period

“During the scheme we also saw a definite reduction in families requesting food vouchers for the food bank at one Centre because they were able to access free meals.

“The huge increase on last year shows that there is a need for schemes such as the Access To Food Programme and we are delighted that we have been able to help and support those families that are most in need within our communities.”

Sporting Lights return to keep mischief at bay

The hugely popular Sefton Sporting Lights is returning later this month to give youngsters the chance to enjoy a host of free and fun activities.

Taking place at Coronation Park, Crosby on Monday, October 30 from 6pm, the floodlit event aims to divert young people away from anti-social activities usually associated with ‘Mischief Night’.
Throughout the night youngsters can take part in a raft of free activities including go-karting, water zorbing and football!


Sporting Lights is organised by Sefton Council as part of the Halloween and Bonfire Night Plan in partnership with The Friends of Coronation Park, Merseyside Police, Merseyside Fire and Rescue, British Orienteering and other community volunteers and sports coaches.

Other activities on offer include:
• Halloween themed Xplorer orienteering sessions around the park on the evening (compass for the winner and runner-up).
• A Climbing Wall
• Pumpkin Carving
• Halloween Crafts
• Face Painting
Refreshments for participants will be provided by Domino’s Pizza and the popular Triviso Ice Cream catering firm will also be onsite.

Cllr Ian Moncur, Cabinet Member For Health and Wellbeing, said: “I am delighted to see Sporting Lights return for another year after huge successes in the past.

“It promises to be a dazzling evening of fun and free activities thanks must go in advance to all our partner agencies who have worked so hard to help us bring this great event together.”

Anyone attending is asked to bring a torch along on the evening as not all areas of the park will be floodlit and they can also be used for the orienteering sessions.
All activities and refreshments will be on a first come first served basis. In the event of poor weather, pedalos and zorbing will still go ahead with planned refreshments but other activities may be cancelled.

Public welcome at November CCG meetings

Clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) in Sefton are encouraging anyone with an interest to go along to their November governing body meetings.

The CCGs’ hold their governing body meetings every two months in public, so people can hear them discussing and making decisions about local health services.

Doctors, nurses and other health professionals who make up the committees will discuss a range of issues including the performance of the services they commission, like hospitals and community care.

Rob Caudwell, local GP and NHS Southport and Formby CCG chair, said:

“We invite the public along to this formal meeting to listen to the CCG’s plans. Residents also get the chance to ask any questions they have before the meeting gets underway.”

Andy Mimnagh, local GP and NHS South Sefton CCG chair, said:

“The meetings are a great chance for people to meet our health professionals and our governing body members. It’s also a good chance for us to meet some of our public and we welcome their views and questions as always.” 

The NHS Southport and Formby CCG meeting will take place on Wednesday 1 November at the Family Life Centre, Ash St, Southport, Merseyside, PR8 6JH, at 1pm. Papers will be available here beforehand: www.southportandformbyccg.nhs.uk/about-us/governing-body/governing-body-meetings   

The NHS South Sefton CCG meeting will take place on Thursday 2 November at Merton House, Stanley Road in Bootle at 1pm. Papers will be available here beforehand: www.southseftonccg.nhs.uk/about-us/governing-body/governing-body-meetings   

Anyone who is interested in attending is asked to call 0151 247 7000 to confirm their attendance.

Macmillan centre now hosting drop in sessions in Formby

The sessions are being held at Formby Library on the second Tuesday of every month from 1pm – 3pm and the next one is Tuesday 14th November. 

Helen Jones, Macmillan Cancer Information and Support Centre Manager, said:

“We know it’s not always easy or convenient for Formby residents to pop into our Southport centre, so these drop ins at the village’s library provide an alternative for anyone wanting information or support about living with cancer.”    

The centre, a joint partnership set up by Macmillan and NHS Southport and Formby Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), provides a free, confidential drop in service for anyone affected by cancer.

The centre is staffed by Macmillan information and support staff and trained volunteers, who are able to provide:

  • Literature and internet access on all aspects of living with cancer, including work and travel issues
  • The opportunity to talk to someone in a friendly environment, and advice on how to access emotional support
  • Help with accessing financial advice and grants
  • Information about practical help that is available
  • Information on living well, physical activity, relaxation and healthy eating
  • Support groups and a team of volunteers
  • Links with health and social care professionals

You can find the team at 20 Stanley Street, Southport, PR9 0BY or call them on 01704 533024.

For more information about the work of the Macmillan Information and Support Centre on Stanley Street in Southport, please visit the website: www.southportmacmillancentre.org.uk

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