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Liverpool City Region residents back new walking and cycling network plans

New research released by the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority reveals that new walking and cycling plans for the region could help convince more people to leave their cars at home.

More than three quarters (75%) of those surveyed indicated that ‘safe, well-lit and well maintained footways and cycle routes’ would help encourage them to travel by bike or on foot.

The survey was undertaken by the Liverpool City Region Transport Partnership as part of the Arrive Happy campaign, which aims to encourage more people to take local journeys by bike or foot.

The researchers spoke with people across the city region about their cycling and walking habits and asked how they thought local infrastructure should be improved, ahead of work beginning on new and improved bike and footpaths.

The survey found that whilst people do already travel by cycle or on foot, that they can be put off by a lack of safe and properly linked routes.

Whilst over three-quarters of respondents (76%) said they owned or had access to a bike, only 35% said they felt safe cycling on roads. And although more than 70% of those surveyed said they walked most days for at least 20 minutes, but only a quarter (25%) felt very safe walking at night.

Two thirds of all journeys in the city region are less than five kilometres but half of those are made by car. Encouraging more of these journeys to be taken either by bike or on foot would help to improve public health and have a positive impact on air quality by reducing congestion, as well as helping to boost the local economy by increasing footfall at key retail and leisure sites.

In December of last year, Liverpool City region Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram announced the first tranche of funding for a 600km network of new and upgraded walking and cycling routes across Haltion, Knowsley, Liverpool, St Helens, Sefton and Wirral.

The initial £8.3m of funding will be used across the city region, to create safe and improved links between residential areas, employment, education and training and leisure and retail sites.

Work is now ongoing with designers to explore how the new infrastructure will look and how it will operate, with more detailed proposals due later this year.

The full survey report on Walking and Cycling in the Liverpool City Region can be accessed here

Local park run events promote Type 2 diabetes prevention

Ahead of Diabetes Prevention Week (1 – 7 April 2019) a GP from Sefton joined Crosby park run alongside representatives from Diabetes UK, to give people the opportunity to determine their own risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.

Dr Nigel Taylor spoke to runners at the weekly run and even took part in the run himself, where Diabetes UK hosted a stall which offered people the chance to understand their risk of developing Type 2 diabetes and what action they can take to reduce it.

Dr Taylor, diabetes lead for NHS South Sefton CCG, said: “Park run is a great way to get people together to promote a healthy lifestyle which is important factor in preventing Type 2 diabetes. I spoke to many people about how getting regular exercise, by taking part in activities such as this run, to help maintain a healthy weight will significantly reduce their risk of developing Type 2 diabetes which is often linked with obesity.”

“The condition is often preventable and can develop as a result of an unhealthy lifestyle.  Millions of people in England are at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, with approximately 12 per cent of people in Sefton having been identified as ‘at risk’ of Type 2 diabetes. The condition can have a huge impact on everyday life; you will need change your diet, have regular check-ups and you may have to take medications or tablets.  If you do not manage it well you may develop serious complications.”

People with Type 2 diabetes don’t produce enough insulin or the insulin they produce doesn’t work properly. Around 90 per cent of the 3.8 million people diagnosed with diabetes have Type 2. There are almost 1 million more people living with Type 2 diabetes, who don’t know they have it because they haven’t been diagnosed. While other factors like age and ethnicity affect a person’s risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, being overweight is the most significant risk factor that can be changed.

Dr Doug Callow, clinical lead for service quality and diabetes for NHS Southport and Formby CCG, said: “There are a number of things you can do to reduce your risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. Make sure you get a good amount of exercise; aim for 2.5 hours week. This can include time at the gym, a brisk walk or climbing the stairs.

“It is also important that you maintain a healthy, balanced diet. Try to limit the amount of high fat and high sugar foods that you eat, and replace them with healthier snacks. Reducing your alcohol intake, if you drink over the current recommendation of 14 units a week, can also reduce your risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.”

The NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme, ‘Healthier You’, is a free local service for those who are at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. The programme is designed to stop or delay the onset of the disease through a range of personalised lifestyle interventions. These include education on lifestyle choices, advice on how to reduce weight through healthier eating and bespoke physical activity programmes.

There is also support available for people who have already been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. Contact your GP for more information.

Clare Howarth, head of the north of England at Diabetes UK, said: “It’s important that people understand their risk of developing Type 2 diabetes and are given the knowledge and resources necessary to help them reduce their risk by eating healthily, moving more and losing weight if necessary.

“Thousands of Type 2 diabetes cases could be prevented if we help people understand their risk and how to reduce it.”

During Diabetes Prevention Week, Diabetes UK will be in attendance at a second park run event taking place on Saturday, 6 April starting at Hesketh Park in Southport at 9am. They will be in attendance to answer any questions you may have and share advice on diabetes prevention.

To find out more about diabetes you can visit the Diabetes UK website at www.diabetes.org.uk. To find out more about the ‘Healthier You’ diabetes prevention programme being delivered in Sefton visit: www.ingeus.com/nhs-diabetes-prevention-programme.

To sign up to your nearest park run please visit: www.parkrun.org.uk

Former midwife urges people to have their say about NHS changes

Healthcare in Sefton will only work if people get to have their say – urges former midwife, Anne Major.

Anne, from Southport, who also used to be a neonatal nurse, is encouraging others to speak out as part of the national ‘What Would You Do?’ campaign, led by independent health and social care champion Healthwatch Sefton.

The campaign aims to encourage people in Sefton to share their views about how extra money from the Government should be spent on local NHS services.

The Government is investing £20 billion a year in the NHS as part of the NHS Long Term Plan. Local organisations are now being asked to explore how services should change locally to make the NHS work better for people.

Anne, who is also Healthwatch Sefton locality representative for Central Southport, said: “When I have been at listening events at Southport and Formby hospital with Healthwatch Sefton we get fantastic comments and feedback about health services through talking with and listening to people.

“Patients are the experts. Each and every one of them has a story to share – whether that’s good or bad. I would encourage others to take part in the campaign and make sure their voice is heard.”

Anne has had plenty of first-hand experience with health and care services in the borough, having worked as a midwife and neonatal nurse for more than 30 years. She has personal experience of the NHS due to her husband having had a quadruple heart by-pass and is passionate about ensuring that the care of her family and community is the best the NHS can provide.

Maureen Kelly, Chair of Healthwatch Sefton, added: “The NHS only works when the voices of the people who use it are heard. This is a once-in-a-generation chance for local people to help decide where this extra money from Government should be spent in our NHS services in Sefton.

“We want to hear from as many people as possible about what works, what doesn’t and how they think local health services should be improved. No matter how big or small the issue, we want to hear about it. Sharing your experience with us is quick and easy – and could make a big difference.”

People can share their views via this online survey.

Life After Stroke – Help for residents recovering from a stroke who feel isolated

Throughout Sefton’s Year of Friendship, Sefton Council is dedicated to reducing loneliness by making residents aware of the many groups and activities on offer throughout the borough.

The Council would like to highlight the Stroke Association’s work to tackle isolation for Sefton residents who are recovering from a stroke.

The Stroke Association are an organisation which offers high quality up to date stroke information for patients, their families and carers.

Every year there are approximately 152,000 strokes in the UK. That is one stroke every three and a half minutes. Most people affected are over 65 but anyone can have a stroke including children and even babies.

Feelings of isolation and depression can be common for people who are recovering from a stroke. Sometimes this is the result of mobility issues that make it difficult for survivors to get out. It may be the frustration that comes with the inability to communicate clearly. For some survivors, symptoms are a source of embarrassment. Whatever its cause, the cure for isolation is other people.

Merseyside Life After Stroke Group, meet every Tuesday 10-12pm

Hope Community Church Old Roan, Aintree Ln, Liverpool L10 2JJ.

This is a very popular group with over 40 members from Sefton, attending each week. Patients are offered peer support, exercise and social activities.

South Sefton Life After Stroke Group, meet every Wednesday 1.30-3.30pm,

Orrell Lodge Bootle, Rafter Ave, L20 6PRE.

Peer support is offered along with social activities.

For more information please contact, Dawn Farrell or Jeanette Swift on 0151 305 0011/12

Learn more about money with Southport Money Advice Group

Southport Money Advice Group are holding a free learning exchange event on Wednesday 27th March 2019 in Southport. The event will discuss money as an issue nationally and locally and its impact on health and wellbeing.

With record levels of household debt, this event explores the changing policy context, the impact of debt on local communities and shows how residents and organisations in Southport are working together to improve access to money advice services.

Who is the event for?

The event is open to agencies and organisations who work with residents (e.g. community and resident’s groups, charities, statutory and third sector organisations and registered social landlords) and who want to find out more about money advice.

It will provide an opportunity to meet over lunch with service providers within the area and to learn more about other money and wellbeing services available in Southport.

Who’s organising the event?

The event is being organised by the Southport Money Advice Group and partners as part of a ‘Neighbourhood for Learning’ and is one of nine taking place across the north-west.

The overarching Neighbourhood Resilience Programme aims to bring together residents, academics, local groups and services to research and improve underlying social, economic and environmental factors which affect people’s health and wellbeing.

You will hear about:

  • Changing national money and health policy context
  • The impact of financial difficulties on health and wellbeing
  • Examples of how ‘Neighbourhoods for Learning’ are working together to change services to benefit local people
  • How simple changes away from the negative language of debt can positively impact on people with financial difficulties
  • What residents and organisations have done so far to improve access to money advice services in Southport

Book your free place here.

 

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