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Change of dates for CCG health meetings

Health commissioners in Sefton have released revised meeting schedules for their bi-monthly governing bodies, which borough residents are welcome to attend to hear more about their local NHS.

It means that governing body meetings for NHS Southport and Formby Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and NHS South Sefton CCG will now take place in early May, a month earlier than previously advertised.

Chief officer for both CCGs, Fiona Taylor, explained: “Governing bodies are the CCGs most important business meetings where members of the group discuss and make decisions about local health services.

“We’ve moved our meetings to earlier in the month so information presented to the governing bodies is more timely, and we have changed the month when they are held so they fall outside the main summer holiday period to give as many people as possible the chance to come along and listen in to our discussions.”   

CCGs are responsible for planning and buying, or ‘commissioning’ the majority of local health services and governing bodies are accountable for their work. The NHS organisations welcome anyone with an interest in their work to come along and listen to the discussions of the doctors, nurses, health professionals and lay representatives who make up the governing bodies. 

All governing body meetings start at 1pm and time is set aside before they formally begin for people to ask any questions they might have.

The next governing body meetings take place on the following new dates:

  • NHS Southport and Formby CCG – Wednesday 3 May, Family Life Centre, Ash St, Southport
  • NHS South Sefton CCG – Thursday 4 May, 3rd floor, Merton House, Stanley Rd, Bootle

Anyone who would like to come along is asked to call 0151 247 7000 to confirm their attendance.

A full schedule of each CCG’s new governing body meeting dates can be found on their websites www.southportandformbyccg.nhs.uk and www.southseftonccg.nhs.uk

Be prepared if you get sick over Easter

With Easter fast approaching, local health professionals are reminding people to examine their options should they or their family members become unwell over the long weekend.

Many GP practices will be closed on the bank holidays over Easter, so it is also wise for people to think about repeat prescriptions they will need before the holiday period begins.

Dr Rob Caudwell, a Southport GP and NHS Southport and Formby CCG chair, said: “We remind people to examine their options all year round but it is even more important over the bank holidays when GP practices are closed.

“We want to make sure that people have a good Easter break and that they use the right service should they need it. We don’t want patients to become poorly and have to spend part of their holiday in hospital. Another thing we don’t want to happen is for people to run out of their medication but it is also important that they don’t over order to avoid unnecessary waste.

Dr John Caine, a GP in Parbold and chair at NHS West Lancashire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), said: “We are reminding people about the services on offer to them such as advice on the NHS choices website and by calling NHS 111 which will be invaluable over Easter.

“Your pharmacist can also give you useful advice on how to deal with common bugs, such as coughs, colds, sore throats and the flu so that you can take precautions and have a great Easter.”

The local NHS CCGs in Southport, Formby and West Lancashire are reminding people that A&E and 999 services are for life-threatening and serious conditions.

Feeling Unwell? – Examine Your Options

Across the area 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.

For minor ailments and injuries your best route to recover is likely to be self-care. There are a variety of services that can support you to do this:

Pharmacy Services

Your local pharmacy can offer free, confidential and expert advice on a range of health issues. They can help you prepare for many of the common illnesses like coughs and colds and ensure you have a well-stocked medicine cabinet over the holiday period.

NHS.UK

You can find a wealth of trusted advice about hundreds of health conditions and details of GPs, pharmacies and dentists in your local area by visiting the NHS.uk website:  www.nhs.uk. It also includes a 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.

For more information please visit www.examineyouroptions.info

For Southport and Formby pharmacy opening times over the bank holiday please visit: www.southportandformbyccg.nhs.uk/your-health-and-services/pharmacy-opening-times-over-easter-bank-holiday

For West Lancashire pharmacy opening times over the bank holiday, please visit www.westlancashireccg.nhs.uk/resources/patient-and-public-information/west-lancashire-pharmacy-bank-holiday-opening-times

Living Well in Sefton for World Health Day

Local well-being organisation, Living Well Sefton, is inviting Sefton residents to mark World Health Day on Friday, 7 April by taking part in a postcard raffle to win one of a variety of prizes at their well-being event outside the Strand Shopping Centre in Bootle.

Living Well Sefton will also be joined by Active Sefton, May Logan Centre and the Feelgood Factory between 10am – 4pm on the blue health bus to talk about the different ways people can feel better about themselves.

 

Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital

Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital, Thomas Drive, Liverpool L14 3PE

 Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital is holding a free public health information event on Cardiac Devices. 

Consultant Cardiologist Dr Jay Wright will give an easy to understand presentation on a range of cardiac devices including pacemakers, ICD and CRT defibrillators.

Find out more about:

  • Which patients need a pacemaker, ICD or CRT defibrillator device?
  • What do devices look and feel like?
  • How to live with a device.

There will also be an opportunity to ask questions at the end of the session.

Everyone is welcome including patients, families, carers, students and colleagues.

Our Election Information Open Evening is also taking place at 5.30 – 6.30pm before Cardiac Devices for anyone interested in becoming a Public Governor at LHCH for our Merseyside, Cheshire or North Wales constituencies.

To book your place at either of these events or for further information, please contact the LHCH Membership Office by emailing membership.office@lhch.nhs.uk or call 0151 600 1410, visit www.lhch.nhs.uk or follow us on Twitter @LHCHFT 

Our next events are:

  • Saturday 6 May, 10am-1pm, LHCH:  Annual Open Day
  • Wednesday 24 May, 7pm, Ramada Plaza Wrexham:  Diabetes

Care at the Chemist scheme to continue

Health commissioners in Sefton have confirmed that following a recent review the Care at the Chemist scheme, available via community pharmacies, will continue from the 1st April 2017 although it will be available from fewer pharmacies. 

Pharmacists ordinarily and routinely provide health advice to their customers regardless of Care at the Chemist but the scheme additionally ensures residents have access to a range of medicines for minor illnesses for which they might otherwise consider a trip to the doctor.     

Medicines that are supplied to a patient as a result of their Care at the Chemist consultation are free for those who do not already pay for their prescriptions. All items available on the scheme are also available to buy over the counter.

NHS South Sefton Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and NHS Southport and Formby CCG, like many other CCGs, are required to make savings where possible but are keen to keep this valuable service where they can to help those residents who need it.

Following reviews of current services the CCGs have informed pharmacies that the consultation fee for the scheme will be reduced for 2017-18 which has led to a number of pharmacies choosing to no longer provide the additional  service. There will however be 14 pharmacies across Sefton who will continue to offer the service.

The range of medicines currently available is also being reviewed in order to make the scheme more efficient.

Dr Rob Caudwell, local GP and chair of NHS Southport and Formby CCG, said: “In this challenging financial climate we are having to make savings on many of our services but we do understand how valuable Care at the Chemist is, particularly for the borough’s most vulnerable and disadvantaged communities. We are therefore pleased to be able to support the pharmacies who voluntarily wish to offer this service to patients.”

Dr Andrew Mimnagh, local GP and chair of NHS South Sefton CCG, said: “We are still reminding people to use their pharmacy for health advice for minor illnesses. Whether it is through the Care at the Chemist scheme or not, pharmacists can offer you advice on a wide range of minor health conditions and offer medication to assist.” 

 

A full list of pharmacies offering Care at the Chemist as of 1st April 2017 can be found on each CCG web page below:

www.southportandformbyccg.nhs.uk/your-health-and-services/care-at-the-chemist
www.southseftonccg.nhs.uk/your-health-and-services/care-at-the-chemist

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