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Work starts on new £20 million Southport Hospital

Health chiefs got an early Christmas present when construction of Southport’s new £20 million mental health hospital got underway with a ceremony to mark ground breaking on the site.

Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust Chairman Beatrice Fraenkel and Chief Executive Joe Rafferty were joined by construction partners and guests for the sod-cutting to commemorate the official start of building and ground works.

It will give a new lease of life to the historic site situated off Scarisbrick New Road, rejuvenating the only remaining hospital provision left on the former Southport General Infirmary site. The new-build will replace Mersey Care’s existing Boothroyd Unit located there, as well as nearby Hesketh Centre, which will close once the new facility is complete.

 The hospital will combine local mental health inpatient care and some related community services on one site, with its own parking and close to a main route well served by buses. All 44 bedrooms will all be single with en-suite bathrooms and patients will have access to inner garden courtyards, therapy and activity areas. There will be an on-site café for patients, visitors and staff, a family visiting room and sacred space, suite of offices and outpatient services.

Mersey Care’s Design Champion and Chairman Beatrice Fraenkel:

“We know that the right physical environment helps recovery and the design of our new building has been developed together with our service users and staff to ensure it’s both beautiful and therapeutic – and a great place to work.”

Chief Executive Joe Rafferty added:

“People in our care deserve the best standards of accommodation and therapeutic environments within the resources we have. This new hospital builds on the success of our most recent hospital at Clock View, Walton, and goes a long way towards parity for the people of Sefton who access our services.”

At the launch were representatives of Liverpool and Sefton Health Partnership (LSHP), which has over the past 12 years delivered 15 new health facilities, representing a capital investment of over £150 million across Liverpool and Sefton. LSHP General Manager Mike Webb said:

“LSHP has been honoured to be part of the health transformation that continues to take place across Merseyside. It is great to see a much-needed, modern mental health unit taking shape on the old Infirmary site, replacing two older units and aiding improved patient care.”

Carrying out construction over the next two years will be Farran Heron Joint Venture (FHJV), who built Mersey Care’s award-winning hospital at Clock View in Walton, which opened in March 2015. Commercial Director at FHJV Noel Mullan said:

“Farran Heron Joint Venture aim to have a positive impact on the local community by providing job opportunities and promoting careers in construction with neighbouring schools and colleges. We look forward to working closely with our health partners and the local community while delivering the scheme.”

The construction team are now working closely with Sefton Council to ensure safe access arrangements are put in place before heavy site equipment is moved on site.

Involving you in the development of health services

Sefton residents are being invited to share their thoughts and ideas on how health commissioners in the borough could better involve them in their local NHS.

There are a number of ways that people can currently find out more about the work of NHS Southport and Formby Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and NHS South Sefton CCG or get involved in what they do. This includes taking part in surveys, coming along to their governing body meetings, or directly contacting the CCGs with their queries and questions via email, website, phone or post.

Gill Brown, lay representative for patient and public engagement of NHS Southport and Formby CCG, said:

“We greatly value the views of our residents and their feedback helps to shape our work. So it’s important that as many people as possible have the opportunity to give their views when we are asking about health issues that matter to them most.”

Both CCGs hold regular public events, called ‘Big Chats’, where residents are asked for their views and experiences to help shape the health commissioners’ latest work. However, the CCGs understand that different people will prefer different ways to feedback their experiences of local health services, or to get involved in what they do.

Graham Bayliss, lay representative for patient and public engagement of NHS South Sefton CCG, said:

“There is always more we can do to get people involved in our work and new and different ways like social media that we can use to do this. We want to hear from residents about how they would like us to involve them and we’re inviting people to tell us how we can best do this by taking part in our survey.”

Sefton residents are asked to complete a short online survey about the ways they would like the CCGs to update them or involve them in their work. Feedback will help the CCGs to look at new and different ways to involve and inform their residents in the future.

Anyone with an interest in local health is invited to take part in the questionnaire, which can be found on each CCG website, along with short films highlighting the views of Big Chat attendees and how they think the CCGs could improve how the involve people in the work of the local NHS.

Examples of how the CCGs have used people’s feedback to shape health services and strategies can also be found on their websites.


Has your child had the free flu vaccine?

Leading health figures at Sefton Council, NHS South Sefton Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and NHS Southport and Formby CCG are encouraging parents to make sure their children receive their free flu vaccination.

 The free flu vaccine is available to those who are at risk of the more serious effects of flu, this includes young children aged 2 to 8.

 Parents with children in school years 1-3 will be asked for permission for them to receive the nasal spray vaccine at school.

 For children below school age, parents can get them vaccinated at their local GP practice free of charge.

 Cllr Ian Moncur, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, said:

“Young children are vulnerable to the serious effects of flu.

 “The flu vaccination is one of the most effective ways to reduce harm from flu and drastically reduces serious illness, hospitalisation and even death among those who are most at risk.

 “For this reason it is important that parents take steps to ensure that their children receive the flu vaccination.”

 Matt Ashton, Director of Public Health for Sefton and Knowsley, said:

“I strongly recommend that all those who are eligible for a free vaccination make sure they get it in order to protect themselves from the adverse effects of flu.

 “I will be having the vaccine again this year, and I am urging other people to do the same, to protect yourself, your families, and your community.”

 Free flu vaccinations are available to all pregnant women, all children aged 2 to 4, children in years 1-3 at school and residents of all ages with a long term health condition and everyone aged 65 and over.

 The flu virus is very unpredictable and, some years, flu causes more sickness than others because new strains emerge and spread. This is why it is really important for people eligible for a free flu vaccination to get it every year.

 Dr Andy Mimnagh, chair of NHS South Sefton CCG, added:

“Anyone of any age with an existing health condition, like asthma or diabetes should get vaccinated, even if they generally feel healthy and well. This is because a dose of flu can greatly worsen their condition and make complications like pneumonia more likely.”

 Dr Rob Caudwell, chair of NHS Southport and Formby CCG, said:

“Carers are also eligible for a free flu jab as well as those they look after.

 “If you’re not sure if you’re eligible, or if you have any questions about getting vaccinated, simply contact your GP practice or pharmacy and ask for advice.”

 You can find a wide range of information about the annual flu immunisation campaign at and if you have any queries about whether you or someone you care for should have the vaccine simply ask at your GP practice or pharmacy.

Tips for dining out with a person living with dementia

     Caring for somebody who is living with dementia can mean some planning and adjustments to things we often take for granted. One of those things is eating out, sometimes it can be difficult so Alzheimer’s Society in Southport, have some hints and tips from service users and carers from across Sefton to help you on your next outing.

  • I find people are very kind and helpful when I am out with mum. Mum struggles to pick up a cup without spilling her favourite cappuccino or hot chocolate – I have started getting her a straw which helps enormously, she enjoys it!
  • Child or smaller portions are about the right size and usually easier to eat.
  • I often take mum to the garden centre for lunch – soup and a roll, cappuccino and a cake!  We go early to avoid the queues.  I sit mum at a table then go and get the food.
  • We try to book a restaurant when its open, then we can choose a secluded place to sit to avoid too much noise and distractions. We can order quickly so there is not too much time to wait. We often decide what we are going to eat beforehand so there is even less delay. We tend to have a main meal and dessert, and then home for coffee.
  • I take Mum for a coffee and cake rather than a big meal as she gets agitated after a few minutes and it’s easier to drink up and go if we need to. 
  • With family meals, we tend to get takeaway fish and chips at home so that if dad doesn’t feel up to participating, it’s no big deal.
  • Visit places at quieter times of the day and avoid weekends.
  • Choose places with good lighting, not too loud background noise and, if possible an establishment where staff are Dementia Friends. 
  • Using the same establishment to provide familiarity and also the staff/management can identify your needs. (Lots of napkins, quiet table, close to toilets). Dependant on ability pre-order a selection of finger foods to be placed on the table, avoids any issues with cutlery, everybody can eat the same food. As a past restaurant manager, I would be happy to provide a regular order for my guests. 
  • Having the appropriate drinking vessel for the person with dementia, (if they require a beaker bring one). As a dementia champion i have not encountered many restaurants that have dementia friends training for all staff so please ask for what you need.
  • When my step mum went into a Care Home and found going out difficult, we used to take a picnic into the Home, and eat it in the garden. Her favourite smoked salmon and cream cheese sandwiches and cakes. We would talk about places we had been out for picnics in the past and it brought back happy memories. We had some lovely afternoons without the stress all round if she had difficulties when we were out in a restaurant or cafe.
  • My wife has an eating disorder and can’t manage a regular meal.   As a result I order a main and an extra plate. Initially it was worried it might be a bit embarrassing but nobody batted an eyelid.

     These helpful tips are from people caring for others living with dementia and how they have been able to find workarounds whilst out and about. Most cafes and restaurants are more than happy to help, so always ask if there is something you need or if you have any specific requirements. Living with dementia means just that – living.

     Cllr Cummins Cabinet member for Adult social care said ‘We hope to encourage more businesses in Sefton to become ‘Dementia Friendly’ for carers and people living with dementia alike. These tips for eating out are brilliant because they come directly from those dealing with dementia. We hope to make everyday outings as enjoyable as we can for everybody in Sefton’

     Linda Lawson, Information Worker for the Society said ‘Eating out when you have dementia can be a challenging experience for both the person with this condition and those who care for them. The best suggestions to make this experience more relaxing and pleasurable come directly from those living with dementia as we know they really do work. We want to encourage more cafes and restaurants to become ‘dementia friendly’, small changes such as clear signage, good lighting and staff receiving free Dementia Friends training can make a huge difference to a person living with dementia.’

     If you would like any further information about Alzheimer’s Society and dementia support in Sefton please contact 01704 539 967 or E-mail or you can visit their website for more information Website or visit the Sefton Dementia Action alliance website to see what’s going on around Sefton

Chance to take part in health survey

Sefton Councils’s Public Health team is working in partnership with Healthwatch Sefton to encourage as many Sefton residents as possible to complete a survey as part of the NHS Health Check programme.

This is a national programme which aims to check for early signs of heart disease, stroke, kidney damage, Type 2 diabetes or dementia.

The survey data will help to improve the programme and so Sefton’s Public Health team want to hear from local people to evaluate Sefton’s NHS health checks.

Already many people have submitted their comments via the online survey but there is still time to register yours. Click on this link to take you to the survey which closes at the end of November:

If you have any queries about the survey then please contact the Healthwatch Sefton team on 0800 206 1304 / 0151 920 0726 ext 214 or email:


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