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Help to shape the future of your local health service in Southport and Formby

Health leaders in Southport, Formby and West Lancashire are inviting people to share their views and experiences of local healthcare by getting involved with Shaping Care Together, a programme of work designed to improve hospital services.

Like NHS services across the country, our local hospitals face significant challenges. Some have been with us for years while the urgency of others has been made clear during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Trish Armstrong-Child, Chief Executive of Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust, said: “We need to redefine how we provide hospital services, help people use them only when they need them, and ensure those services are safe, sustainable and high quality.

“Shaping Care Together aims to do just that – shape, develop and improve future services for everyone by listening to the patients, carers and staff who use and deliver them.

“We need to build on what we have in place now, understand what works well and how things can be made better.”

Shaping Care Together will explore how health and care services are accessible, effective and operated by skilled staff to meet everyone’s needs. Care should be integrated with other services so that patients are supported by the services they need as quickly and safely as possible.

Views are being sought on what currently works well at Southport and Ormskirk hospitals as well as in primary and community healthcare services and in particular, what steps should be taken to improve the following:

  • frail and elderly care
  • when you have an urgent or emergency care need
  • services for children including those who have complex needs
  • services for women who are pregnant and for the new-born
  • gynaecology – dealing with women’s reproductive system
  • sexual health services for all genders
  • planned care, such as follow-up outpatient and/or subsequent admissions as part of ongoing treatment.

Despite the challenges our hospitals face, local access to care has been improved by providing services in the community during the evenings and at weekends.

Dr Rob Caudwell, Chair of NHS Southport and Formby Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), added: “We need to listen to local people to understand how we commission NHS health and care services and make sure that they meet patient needs. Local initiatives have been introduced which are helping to care for people at home and thereby avoiding admissions to hospital. For example, a new medical response car with a paramedic on board is being trialled in Southport, which has already started to have a beneficial impact on patient satisfaction, hospital admissions and length of hospital stay. We want to hear about how local services at the hospital and across health organisations are working and what can be improved.”

Dr Peter Gregory, local GP and chair of the West Lancashire CCG said: “It is vital that we build on the strong foundations that are already in place across our system. West Lancashire has some great examples of how coordinated care wraps around a patient in a community setting. However, we understand from previous conversations with our local residents that both the access and quality of primary, community and hospital services is hugely important, and this is something we should always strive to improve. As part of this listening exercise, we therefore welcome views from residents to share their experiences of using various local services”.

Shaping Care Together is led by NHS Southport and Formby CCG NHS West Lancashire CCG and Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust and is the first stage of a process to understand patient experience and views before any proposals to solve the challenges faced are considered.

This programme will last throughout 2021 and there will be many opportunities for local people to have their say. It is important to stress that no decisions have been made and we are seeking views which will inform our thinking and proposals for change.

Over the coming months there will be lots of different ways for people to get involved but first views can be shared on the dedicated website: www.yoursayshapingcaretogether.co.uk 

People who do not feel comfortable using the internet can call 01695 588025 to receive paper copies of a questionnaire.

Residents and businesses now have more time to give their views online about Southport’s new Liveable Neighbourhood project

Contributions and feedback on the Liveable Neighbourhoods scheme have now been extended until February 21 as a result of the current COVID-19 lockdown restrictions.

Opinions and ideas from the local community, schools and businesses are central to create new street designs for the neighbourhood, which stretches between Lord Street and Cemetery Road.

It aims to make the area safer and healthier for people to walk, cycle or use a wheelchair for local shops and services. Over 600 people have already contributed to Tell Us About Your Street survey through the post or online.

There have also been four online engagement events for local residents and businesses.

Current national lockdown restrictions mean that further face to face meetings and workshops, which are part of the process to gather views from all sections of the community, have been postponed.

The community will have a chance to comment on each stage of the design process via online workshops and surveys through the post or on the phone. In addition school children from eight schools in the area will survey their own streets and contribute ideas through activities and workshops.

Sustrans’ urban designers use the ideas from the survey and work with local residents to develop a new look street design, which will help reduce rat-running traffic and accidents in the area, and create a more attractive environment for residents and customers. Workshops to feedback the results of the surveys and initial meetings and to start to develop designs for the area will take place at the beginning of March. There will be further chance for people to have their say before a trial of the new designs.

Cllr John Fairclough, Sefton Council’s cabinet member for Locality Services, said: ““The Liveable Neighbourhoods Project is a completely community led endeavour to help make our borough clean, green and beautiful in order to protect the health and wellbeing of our residents.

“We want to get as many views as possible and now people have longer to take part. I would encourage everyone to give their feedback on the project so that we can ensure it is shaped and designed in the most beneficial way to everyone.”

“We are working closely with Sustrans to ensure that we are consulting everyone in the community where the Liveable Neighbourhoods scheme would be; from schoolchildren to business owners”

Ali Dore from Sustrans said: “We’ve had a great response so far to the survey so if you haven’t had a chance to give your views please do go online and have your say. We can’t operate our usual face to face meetings at workshops at the moment due to pandemic restrictions but we are working hard to try and reach a broad section of the community through postal and online activity.

“This stage is all about listening to people that work, live, learn and visit the area to find out the issues people face and how they would like to see the area improved.”

To give your views on the scheme please visit https://sln-sustrans-uk.hub.arcgis.com/

Extra cervical screening appointments available in Sefton

Statement from Chief Nurse Chrissie Cooke
Statement on Cervical Cancer Prevention Week from Chief Nurse Chrissie Cooke Chrissie Cooke

With Cervical Cancer Prevention Week starting on Monday, Sefton’s health leaders want to make sure even more people with a cervix get screened to protect themselves against cervical cancer.

Across the Borough, nearly ¾ of women aged 25-49 have had a cervical screening test – also known as a smear test – within the last three-and-a-half years.

Anyone with a cervix aged 25-64 is invited regularly for cervical screening by letter under the NHS Cervical Screening Programme. Screening helps detect abnormalities within the cervix that could, if left untreated, develop into cervical cancer.

Encouragingly, the number of people in this age group in Sefton attending these appointments in the last year has risen slightly, compared with a 6.8% drop-off nationally.

Chrissie Cooke, chief nurse for NHS South Sefton Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and Southport and Formby CCG, said: “It’s really positive that more women in Sefton are getting cervical screening, but there is still more to do. It’s important you attend screening when you’re invited; and encourage the other women and people with a cervix in your life to do the same.

“Cervical Cancer Prevention Week is a great opportunity to talk about screening, understand the symptoms of cervical cancer, and to book that appointment you may have been putting off. We have added extra appointment slots to patients who may struggle to attend appointments during the working week. Your health matters – book your screening today.”

Dr Gustavo Berni, local GP and medical director from the South Sefton GP Federation, said: “At our practice, 94% of all eligible patients are screened for cervical cancer. Our extended 7-day GP service offers appointments at evenings and weekends, so you can book a time that works for you.

“If you are worried about going for screening due to coronavirus, speak to your GP surgery about your questions or concerns. Since the pandemic, all GP surgeries have put increased infection control measures in place, including the use of personal protective equipment (PPE).

“We also know that cervical screening may be a little uncomfortable, but those few minutes could save your life. You can request a female nurse or doctor, and we encourage you to discuss any concerns with our staff beforehand.”

Dr Abdul Zubairu, local GP and medical director from the Southport and Formby GP Federation, said: “Having cervical screening is one of the best ways to protect yourself from cervical cancer. It isn’t a test for cancer, it is a test that helps prevent cancer. Make sure to book an appointment with your GP practice when you receive your letter.

“We also have nurse appointment slots for cervical screening at evenings and weekends as part of our 7-day GP service. Simply contact your GP practice in the usual way to make an appointment in this service.

“If you have symptoms such as bleeding between periods, pain after sex, changes to vaginal discharge or unexplained lower back or pelvic pain, please speak to your GP.”

For more information about cervical screening and cervical cancer, visit:

Vote for The Atkinson in the 2020 Liverpool City Region Culture and Creativity Awards

Vote for The Atkinson here:
liverpoolcityregion-ca.gov.uk/peoples-choice-2020

After a challenging year for arts and culture, The Atkinson is proud to be nominated twice in the 2020 Liverpool City Region Culture and Creativity Awards. The multi venue arts organisation in Southport is a finalist in The People’s Choice award for Outstanding Contribution to Culture as well as the Impact Award – Covid-19 Creative Response.

The Liverpool City Region Culture and Creativity Awards celebrate outstanding contributions and commitment to art, culture and creativity across Halton, Knowsley, Liverpool, Sefton, St Helens and Wirral. The 2020 awards received over 700 nominations in a huge show of support for the cultural sector across the whole city region, which has suffered a massive impact in the face of Covid-19.

The judging panel, including Chairs of the Culture Partnership, Phil Redmond and Maggie O’ Carroll; met to consider nominations from across the city region to decide the list of finalists. It’s your decision who will be named the winner of The People’s Choice award for Outstanding Contribution to Culture. The vote closes on 26 January 2021 when the results will be totted up and the winner announced at a digital ceremony on Friday 19th February.

Vote for The Atkinson here:
liverpoolcityregion-ca.gov.uk/peoples-choice-2020

Liverpool City Region’s leaders urge those working during lockdown to get SMART tested

People who must risk leaving their homes and mixing with others during lockdown are being urged to keep getting repeated tests for Covid-19 within the Liverpool City Region.

The successful Liverpool pilot to deliver SMART testing was rolled-out across the City Region just before Christmas; to target everyone in the area and find positive people who were not showing symptoms.

However, with a national lockdown in place and most people urged to stay home, the 20 non-symptomatic sites across the City Region are now being used to target key workers, and those who have to mix with others because of either paid, or unpaid, caring commitments.

Although people often see key workers as emergency or “blue light” staff the LCR pilot is aimed at everyone who has to continue mixing because of their job role. This includes both public and private sector workers such as essential shop and supermarket staff, taxi drivers, postal workers and many other key services that we continue to rely on during lockdown.

The leaders of the six City Region Local Authorities and Metro Mayor, Steve Rotheram, are urging people in such roles to continue coming forward for the rapid test.

“SMART” testing refers to Systematic, Meaningful, Asymptomatic, Repeated Testing, and around 250,000 people have now been tested as part of the pilot. Repeatedly testing those who have no symptoms, in a targeted way, has helped to keep infection numbers lower than many other areas in the North West.

Everyone must continue to be vigilant however as the new variant of Covid-19 is spread more easily than the first. This means that staying home if you can, maintaining a safe distance from others, washing your hands and avoiding touching your face are more important than ever.

Anyone who must mix with others during lockdown, for legitimate work or care reasons, can simply turn-up for rapid, regular and free testing without having symptoms of Covid-19. People taking the test usually get their results within the hour.

In addition to the City Region testing facilities, a new non-symptomatic test centre has also been set-up in Cheshire.

All six Local Authorities in the Liverpool City Region (Liverpool, Halton, Knowsley, Sefton, St Helens and Wirral) are taking part in the pilot programme.

In a joint statement, the leaders of the six City region Local Authorities, the Metro Mayor, and Acting Mayor of Liverpool, said: “The last thing any of us wanted to see in the New Year was another national lockdown. However, we have seen the figures, showing the number of people contracting the virus and the number of people now in hospital as a result of Covid-19.

“Sadly, we have also seen the number of deaths to Covid-19 increase as well. So, we would urge everyone to stay at home where they can and continue to get the basics of hands, space, face, right.

“There are of course many heroes who must continue to work throughout a lockdown, and these are not just contained to health and emergency workers. We want to ensure that, with this opportunity to carry out free, repeated, and rapid testing in the City Region, that we encourage as many of those people to come forward.

“We have people who work in essential retail, schools, nursing homes, local authorities and transport, and many more besides, who are keeping our vital services running throughout this national lockdown.

“We want to make sure that they are as protected as possible while helping us to continue with the essential services and provisions we need. Our thanks go to everyone who risks their own health to keep providing these services and do everything we can to keep them safe and keep them getting tested.”

Cllr Ian Maher
Leader of Sefton Council

Cllr Rob Polhill
Leader of Halton Council

Cllr Graham Morgan
Leader of Knowsley Council

Cllr David Baines
Leader of St Helens Council

Cllr Janette Williamson
Leader of Wirral Council

Steve Rotheram
Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region

Wendy Simon
Acting Mayor of Liverpool

Executive Director of Sefton Council, Andrea Watts, who is helping to co-ordinate the LCR testing pilot, added: “SMART is a huge opportunity for the Liverpool City Region and I’ve no doubt that we can continue to identify key workers and carers who may be Covid positive without showing symptoms throughout the lockdown.

“Targeted repeat testing, two or three times a week, of these groups can make a real difference to the way we live-through and exit out of lockdown while the roll out the vaccine continues.

“Together, we can keep testing those key workers who do not have symptoms – while of course still being extra cautious around ensuring we do the basics – hands, space, face.”

For more information on when and how testing is available in Sefton, and an interactive map of non-symptomatic testing locations, please go to the Sefton Council website or go to www.liverpoolcityregion-ca.gov.uk

#LetsGetTested
#LetsGetVaccinated

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