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Be diabetes aware and know the signs

On World Diabetes Day (14 November 2019), NHS South Sefton and NHS Southport and Formby Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) are urging local residents to become familiar with the warning signs of diabetes to try and spot the condition sooner.

Diabetes causes a person’s blood sugar level to become too high due to ineffective control by a hormone called insulin. The two types main of diabetes are:

  • Type 1: Where the body’s immune system attacks and destroys the cells that produce insulin
  • Type 2: Where the body doesn’t produce enough insulin, or the body’s cells don’t react to insulin. This is the most common type of diabetes.

In Sefton about 19,400 (7.1 per cent) of adults have diabetes and almost 5,500 (2.0 per cent) are predicted to be living with it unknowingly. The condition can lead to other serious health problems including strokes, heart disease and early death.

Nigel Taylor, diabetes lead for the two CCGs in Sefton, said: “Diabetes gets progressively worse when left untreated, so early diagnosis is very important. Common symptoms include feeling very thirsty, tiredness, blurred vision and needing to pee more often than usual.

“If you think you or someone in your family might be showing signs of diabetes, contact your GP or visit your local pharmacy for advice.”

Most diabetes cases are Type 2, which is closely linked to obesity. This type commonly affects adults but is being increasingly seen in children and young people.

The International Diabetes Federation has created a simple online test  that predicts an individual’s risk of developing Type 2 diabetes within the next 10 years. The tool is quick, easy and confidential and may indicate a need to introduce healthier lifestyle changes to lower the risk of diabetes.

Nigel added: “About half of Type 2 diabetes cases can be prevented or delayed by making small changes such as, maintaining a healthy weight, eating a varied healthier diet, reducing portion size for some of us and staying active. In Sefton, we continue to work closely with our health and community partners to look at ways to help improve diabetes care. “

“Sefton residents can get help and advice about living with diabetes through two programmes. ‘Diabetes and You’ helps educate people who have recently been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes and ‘Diabetes and More’ focuses on supporting those who have been living with diabetes for more than 12 months.”

These well respected sessions, with national accreditation by QISMET, are held at a variety of locations and times across Sefton.

 If you would like to attend, you can request a referral from your GP or practice nurse, or you can refer yourself to one of the programmes by contacting the Diabetes Education Team. If you are registered with a GP in South Sefton, you can call them on 01514 754285, or if you live in Southport and Formby you can call 01704 387271.

Sefton Council announces plans to explore a Sefton Clean Air Zone

Sefton Council has announced its plans to explore options for the implementation of a Sefton Clean Air Zone (CAZ) to help improve air quality for residents in the borough’s pollution hotspots.

Air quality across the majority of Sefton is of a good standard, but there are four areas in South Sefton that have been identified as Air Quality Management Areas (AQMAs) where air quality does not meet national standards.

Although the Council has undertaken significant work to improve air quality in these areas, there remains concern that the ongoing expansion of the port and associated port traffic may result in increased levels of air pollution in the AQMAs.

In a study commissioned by the Council, AECOM, a global environmental consultancy, concluded that a CAZ where vehicles pay a fee to use specified roads (charging CAZ) would be the most effective way to reduce Nitrogen Dioxide emissions from road traffic.

Cllr Ian Maher, Labour Leader at Sefton Council, said: “For some people who live in Sefton, air pollution is an important concern and the quality of the air we breathe is an issue that affects everyone. For this reason, last year I instructed a team of officers to explore all available options to address air pollution in Sefton.

“This work followed on from a number of significant actions that were already in place to improve air quality in the borough. However, we need to do everything we can to protect the health and wellbeing of all our residents.

“AECOM’s report concludes that the only viable option left to make a significant difference to air quality in the areas most affected by traffic pollution is to implement a charging CAZ to cut pollution and encourage people to drive less polluting vehicles, including electric and low emission vehicles.

“Although we will explore a number of CAZ options, our current preferred option is a CAZ Type B. This option will not charge everyday commuters using private cars or vans but will be aimed at Class B vehicles like buses, coaches, taxis, private hire vehicles and heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) that do not meet required emissions standards.

“There will be an opportunity for residents and businesses to share their views on these plans further down the line and we will work closely with our key partners and stakeholders throughout the process to ensure that our plans continue to work towards the best interests of our communities.

“Our borough is clean, green and beautiful and we are determined to do all that we can to improve our air quality. That is why I’m bringing an item to Cabinet on Thursday, November 7 to allocate funds to fully explore the implementation of a charging Clean Air Zone in Sefton.”

For more information on Sefton’s CAZ, or to read the AECOM Report, please visit

Liverpool City Region Combined Authority Publishes Clean Air Proposals

The Liverpool City Region Combined Authority will be asked to endorse an interim air quality action plan at its meeting next Friday (November 1).

 The interim plan, developed by its Air Quality Task Force, which includes representatives from partner organisations across the city region, makes a number of recommendations, including:

  • Development of a 600km walking and cycling network
  • Investigating scrappage schemes such as a Taxi Scrappage Scheme
  • Working towards a zero emission bus fleet by 2040
  • A commitment to work closely with partners across all six of the Combined Authority’s constituent local authorities, who are all represented on the Air Quality Task Force
  • Rolling out a network of alternative fuel facilities across the region, such as hydrogen fuelling facilities, linked to a £6.4 million scheme to pilot hydrogen buses in the city region
  • Investigating alternative models of bus delivery to best serve the needs of the city region and improve air quality
  • Potential of a boiler scrappage scheme to help address domestic consumption and fuel poverty
  • Investigating measures to reduce heat loss from homes, potentially through retrofitting insulation, to reduce energy use – around 25% of the heat produced by a boiler can escape through an uninsulated roof
  • Procuring new cleaner, greener Mersey Ferries vessels to replace the existing, 60-year old vessels
  • Making the case to Government for long-term funding certainty to support the delivery of measures that support clean air

 Steve Rotheram, Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, said: “Ensuring that everyone can breathe clean air is one of the most fundamental issues facing us today and an issue that we must address together.

“Earlier this year the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority declared a climate emergency and addressing poor air quality is at the heart of responding to it.

“As is so often the case, it is our most deprived communities, who already have to cope with multiple health problems, who suffer most from the effects of polluted air.  Public Health England has calculated that air pollution contributes to 700 deaths a year in our city region and we know that we have areas where men have a life expectancy seven years lower than the national average. 

“We have had some notable successes in tackling air pollution. Seven-out-of-ten buses in the city region are now low emission, we are home to pioneering work to develop trains that run on hydrogen and we’re building on our strength in offshore wind with the development our potentially world-leading Mersey Tidal Power scheme.

“And this action plan sets out how we can work together with partners across the whole of our city region to tackle this ongoing public health emergency.”

Councillor Liam Robinson, Liverpool City Region Combined Authority Portfolio Holder for Air Quality and Transport, said: “Clearly no single organisation or individual can address poor air quality alone. That’s why our Air Quality Task Force is made up of elected and other representatives from across the six local authority area of the city region. And it’s why this plan, the first result of its work, contains actions for the Combined Authority, for our constituent local authorities and partners, supported by the Combined Authority, for residents, communities and businesses and actions we need from central government and its agencies.

“We all need to change the way we live, work and do business if we are to improve our air quality for ourselves and for future generations.  And we need to make those changes now.” 

One Vision Housing, Retirement Housing Scheme customers, raise £2,663.65 for Macmillan Cancer Support.

October 1 marked International Older Person’s Day which works to bring our older community together and highlight their contribution to society.

 In celebration of the day One Vision Housing hosted a number of events across their seven Retirement Housing schemes to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support.

 In addition to donating home-baked treats, customers had fun playing games and holding raffles all in an effort to raise as much money as possible for charity.

With help from One Vision Housing’s customers and staff, an amazing £2,663.65 was raised for Macmillan Cancer Support.

Suzanne Meylan, Independent Living Manager said: “I’m so very proud of the Independent Living Team, our customers, friends and family in our seven Retirement Housing Schemes who have raised a fabulous £2,663.65 for Macmillan Cancer Support over the last few weeks.

“Every year the Independent Living team and our customers work hard together to put on a celebration to acknowledge International Older Person’s Day and raise much needed funds for Macmillan. The continued generosity from those who make up our communities never fails to disappoint. A huge thank you to all involved!”

Have your voice heard by joining an NHS patient group

Sefton residents interested in getting involved in how local health services are delivered are invited to two public events next month.

 The special events, organised by the two clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) in Sefton and  Healthwatch Sefton, are open to anyone wanting the chance to support their local NHS to improve and develop services by joining their local Patient Participation Group (PPG).

 Helen Graham is chair of a local PPG group and says: “I joined our PPG group over four years ago and now chair the meetings. For me, it’s important that we think about all patients at the surgery rather than just those present at the meetings so we’ll think about all age groups and different health needs to help the practice support its patients.

“The meetings are a chance to get involved in changes and have your say, for example our practice has recently developed a new website, which we were all able to feed into and make suggestions on that were then taken forward.

 As a result of discussions in the group, the practice also set up social media accounts and we’ve recently had a new PPG member join as a result of seeing our Facebook page. It is so worthwhile being a part of your PPG and making changes for the better in your local practice.”

Dr Rob Caudwell, GP and chair of NHS Southport and Formby CCG, said: “PPGs support GP practices and are a way for you as a patient to have a voice about services at your surgery, as well as the wider health sector in your area.” 

Dr Craig Gillespie, GP and chair of NHS South Sefton CCG, said: “By coming along to these special events, you will gain a better understanding of what PPGs do and how you can become a part of the one at your GP practice.” 

Diane Blair, manager of Healthwatch Sefton, added: “As a local Healthwatch, we recognise the importance of the patient voice being heard when local health services are being delivered or developed. That is why we want as many people as possible to come along to the events to hear first hand the difference being a member of a PPG can make.”

At the events there will be a marketplace of health and wellbeing stalls at both events giving people the chance to chat with health professionals as well as representatives from the CCGs and Healthwatch. People can hear from current PPG groups and how they engage with their patients.

A light lunch will be served during each event, the first of which is on Tuesday, November 12 at SING Centre, Cambridge Road, Seaforth, L21 1EZ and the second is at Lord Street West United Church, off Lord Street, Southport, PR8 2BH on Tuesday, November 19. 

Both events run from 10am until 2pm.

To book on for the south Sefton event on November 12, please register by calling: 0151 317 8456 or emailing:

For the Southport event on November 19, please register by calling 01704 395785 or emailing:

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