A mobile testing unit will be on site at Aintree Racecourse next Monday so that people who have symptoms of Covid-19 can get tested.
This drive through test site will be available on Monday 23rd November, and appointments must be booked in advance either by calling 119 or visiting www.nhs.uk/coronavirus. People are asked to stay in their vehicles for the duration of their visit.
A separate area of the racecourse is also being used as a location for a test site for asymptomatic testing as part of Liverpool’s Mass Testing Pilot scheme. This is a walk-through test site, no appointment is needed.
These two test sites are on entirely different parts of the racecourse to ensure the two groups do not mix.
There are lots of things you can do yourself to look after your health and wellbeing. There is a range of easy online tools you can access from home, including the NHS website which gives information and advice on health conditions, symptoms, healthy living, medicines and how to get help.
The NHS App allows you to access a range of NHS services on a phone or tablet, and you can visit the Every Mind Matter NHS website for practical tips and expert advice on looking after your mental health.
Another way to get quick and easy advice on self care is by visiting your high street pharmacy, as Susanne Lynch, head of medicines management for both CCGs in Sefton, explains: “You can easily access over-the-counter medicines and expert advice from your local pharmacy.
“Pharmacists are highly trained health professionals who can give advice and recommend treatments for self treatable conditions such as indigestion, sore eyes, sprains and strains.
“They can help you choose the right treatment for your ailment, explain the normal duration of symptoms and advise on which medicines to keep in your medicine cabinet at home.”
Over the counter medicines can be easily accessed at your pharmacy without the need to see a doctor or have a prescription. For those who find it difficult to access over the counter medicines, the Care at the Chemist scheme is available in 22 pharmacies across Sefton.
Ryan Forrest, service manager at Access Sefton, the CCGs’ commissioned talking therapies service, says: “Access Sefton offers free, easy access to a range of effective NHS talking therapies, including guided self-help, cognitive behavioural therapy and counselling. Our services are available to Sefton residents aged 16-plus.
“Due to the pandemic, we are currently offering one-to-one treatments online via the secure Attend Anywhere service and by telephone, as well as interactive guided self-help via the SilverCloud digital mental health platform.
Gemma Boardman, programme manager at Living Well Sefton, said: “Living Well Sefton supports people to make small changes to their lives that can have a big impact on their wellbeing. We have mentors to help reach these goals and all Sefton residents are eligible. They can self refer via our website or give us a call on 0300 323 0181.”
Margaret Jones, director of public health for Sefton, said: “There are lots of easy things we can all do to make ourselves healthier and happier and this self care week I would urge people across Sefton to think about what changes they and their families can make.
“These could include keeping active, eating well, stopping smoking and limiting alcohol to recommended levels and people can use the ‘self-care for life’ resources to achieve some simple goals.
“A flu vaccination is also important, particularly for people aged over 65, anyone who is a carer or children aged two or three so I would encourage everyone who is eligible, or whose children are, to make an appointment. It’s a quick and effective way of protecting you and those around you.”
National Safeguarding Adults Week, which runs from Monday 16th to Friday 20th November, aims to shine a spotlight on adult abuse, and the role we can all play in helping to prevent it.
There are many different types of abuse including domestic, physical and financial abuse, modern slavery and exploitation, psychological and emotional abuse, mate crime, radicalisation, sexual abuse, ‘honour-based’ violence, discrimination and hate crime.
Sefton’s Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care, Cllr Paul Cummins, said: “National Safeguarding Adults Week gives us an opportunity to highlight the brilliant partnership work undertaken in our communities to prevent vulnerable people being abused by others.
“Prevention of abuse is the most important work we can do to keep people safe and preserve quality of life.”
Mark Waterhouse, Principal Social Worker for Sefton Council, said: “As Principal Social Worker for Sefton Adult Social Care I will always use my professional power in a positive way within the council, and with other professionals, to uphold Social Work England’s standards.
“I will champion positive change and wellbeing on behalf of people, groups and communities. I believe in the dignity of all people and their right to respect and equality of opportunity.
“I value the strength that comes with difference and the positive contribution that diversity brings to our borough, and I will continue to help make Sefton a safer, welcoming, good place to live.”
Fiona Taylor, chief officer of Sefton’s two CCGs, said: “This annual awareness week provides an important opportunity for us all to reflect on the role we each have in supporting the safeguarding adults agenda in our communities.
“In the CCGs, we are proud to be signing up to a Sefton adult safeguarding pledge with our partners, demonstrating our commitment to improving the lives of all our residents and ensuring their safety and care is paramount.”
Nat Hendry-Torrance, Designated Safeguarding Adult Manager for the CCGs in Sefton said: “I am proud to have led the team of partners across Sefton who have come together as one to pledge their commitment to challenging inequality and discrimination.
“Now, more than ever, we need to speak out as one to protect the most vulnerable members of our society, be kind to one another and work together to make Sefton a safe place for all.”
Merseyside Safeguarding Adults Board was formed in 2017 and is made up of the four former safeguarding adults boards from Sefton, Knowsley, Liverpool and Wirral. The Board includes senior managers from local NHS, local authorities and Merseyside Police, alongside members from other emergency services, probation services and the voluntary sector.
Its primary responsibility is to ensure that adults in Merseyside, who may be at risk, are able to live fulfilling lives, free from abuse and neglect.
With the national lockdown restrictions now in place, plans for people without coronavirus symptoms to be able to get tests progressing and positive news about a vaccine, we thought it was time to catch up with Sefton Director of Public Health Margaret Jones again.
We asked her about what we should and shouldn’t do under the national restrictions, what will happen after they come to an end on 2nd December and her advice for those of us considered clinically vulnerable.
Margaret also gave us an update on the planned new testing programme and the need to get a test if we have coronavirus symptoms of a raised temperature a persistent new cough or a loss of taste or smell.
She told us about the vaccine and the importance of us all taking it when it is available.
Sefton Council’s Director of Public Health, Margaret Jones, has welcomed this week’s positive announcement about a coronavirus vaccine. But she has reminded people that if it is going to be effective, the vast majority of people need to take it.
Freedoms and friendships
Mrs Jones said: “For the vaccine to work and help pave the way back to a level of greater normality in the future, as many of us as possible need to get the vaccination as soon as it is available to us.
“By getting vaccinated, and I certainly will be, we are not only protecting ourselves but everyone else around us and the freedoms and friendships which we are all missing so much now.
“Although, Health Secretary Matt Hancock has said the NHS could be ready from December to roll out the new vaccine until we have reached a blanket level of coverage, it is important that for the sake of our families, our friends, our colleagues and our communities that we all stick to whatever guidelines are in place.”
Mrs Jones echoed Sefton Council leader Cllr Ian Maher’s in welcoming the news that up to 10% of people across the Borough are going to be able to take the new Lateral flow tests that have a turnaround time of under an hour, which will help reduce the transmission rate.
However, she went on to say booking a Coronavirus test as soon people show symptoms is still vital.
She continued: “As soon as anyone feels any of the symptoms of coronavirus coming on, whether that’s a high temperature, a new cough or they lose their sense of smell or taste, it’s time to get a test.
“The sooner people do this, the quicker they can find out if they are COVID positive and the more quickly they can start taking measures isolate and protect the people around them who they care about and who may be vulnerable to this dangerous virus.”
Sefton has four walk-through test centres for people who are showing coronavirus symptoms, at Bootle Town Hall, Crosby Library, Netherton Activity Centre and Southport Town Hall. And now, extra Mobile Coronavirus Testing Units are being deployed across the Borough.
Mobile Units are on site at Southport Esplanade Coach Park and in Litherland Sports Park and Aintree Race Course until Friday 20th November, apart from on Saturday 14th and Sunday 15th, and also at Maghull Town hall on Saturday 14th and Sunday 15th November.