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Ageing in Sefton is focus of Council’s Public Health Annual Report

Front cover of Public Health annual ReportAgeing in Sefton is the theme of this year’s annual report by the Council’s Director of Public Health, Margaret Jones.

Covering 2022, the Report takes a closer look at the topic of ageing and what life and health is like for older adults in Sefton’s communities.

Ageing, health and wellbeing

There are chapters exploring different aspects of ageing, health and wellbeing. The themes covered are Talking about Ageing, Sefton’s population, the Health of Older Adults, Prevention and Healthy Ageing and Living Well.

Among the report’s recommendations and learning points is the need for appropriate language and to avoid using blanket terms such as ‘the elderly’. Also blanket assumptions like ‘getting older means a loss of independence’ can have a negative effect.

Important to plan

The Report also says that Sefton has a high and growing number of older residents and it is important to plan for their health and care needs. This means recognising the factors that affect all of us throughout our lives to ensure everyone’s long-term wellbeing.

Older people to whom the Public Health spoke associated being healthy with maintaining their independence, keeping active in the community, and having positive connections with others. Accessible, well-connected neighbourhoods with places where everyone can meet, connect and participate are good for everyone’s health.

Focus

Cllr Ian Moncur, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing said: “Ageing is something we all have in common, so I am glad to see this focus on Sefton’s older people in this Annual Report from our Public Health Team.

“With an ageing population, locally and nationally it highlights the need for us to continue listening to older people and engaging them actively in developing our communities and services.

“And with the current national cost of living crisis, we need to remain aware of the negative impact fuel and food poverty are having across our communities, an impact which us seen us have to open a network of Warm Spaces across the Borough.

“The past year has seen us take big steps towards creating a more joined up NHS and Social Care system in Sefton and I am pleased that developments and improvements that are part of the Ageing Well priority are cornerstones of our plans.”

In her introduction to the Report, Margaret Jones, Sefton Council’s Director of Public Health, writes that a wide range of information have been used in its production ‘to help bring important issues and people’s own experiences to life.’

Indispensable

Cllr Paul Cummins, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care said: “As this Report points out, senior adults have an indispensable role to play in shaping strategic changes that meet their varied needs and benefit the wider community.

“We need to be valuing older people and ensuring they are engaged actively in the plans and changes happening in Sefton today which will shape our Borough’s future.

“And we must call out, and tackle age unfriendly language and stereotypes in how they operate and communicate.”

An online version of the Ageing in Sefton report can be found here. 

People can us the site’s Recite Me facility to listen to the report, increase or decrease the type size or translate it into different languages.

A downloadable pdf version of the report is also available here.

Your help wanted to shape the Cheshire and Merseyside Health and Care Partnership Strategy

Cover of Cheshire and Merseyside Health and Care Partnership Interim Strategy.Cheshire and Merseyside Health and Care Partnership wants the views of its partners, people and communities on the priorities within its Interim Strategy. 

You can find the Interim Strategy here.

The development of the Cheshire and Merseyside Health and Care Partnership provides a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to combine efforts and resources to make real improvements to people’s lives.

They want to hear your thoughts on their priorities and experience of living and accessing services in Cheshire and Merseyside.

You can review the interim strategy and answer some simple survey questions here.

Your feedback will be reviewed and uses to finalise the Partnership’s strategy and develop a more detailed delivery plan (a Joint Forward Plan) by the end of June 2023.

As well as providing your own feedback, the Partnership wants you to help spread the word and gather as many views as possible by sharing widely within your organisation, networks, and communities.

Southport Macmillan Centre invites people to their next health and wellbeing event and to join them for parkrun

Southport Macmillan Centre is inviting those affected by cancer to its next Health and Wellbeing event and are encouraging people to join in on the monthly 5k parkrun with the team.

Carol, Justine and Julia at a Southport Macmillan Centre Parkrun
Carol, Justine and Julia at a Southport Macmillan Centre Parkrun

Health and Wellbeing event

The Centre is holding its next free Health and Wellbeing event at Southport College from from 2pm to 4pm on Thursday 13th April . The event will be a great opportunity to speak to local organisations, support groups, health professionals and centre staff.

Dr Graeme Allan, Macmillan GP and primary care cancer lead for NHS Cheshire and Merseyside in Sefton, said: “This regular event is a great opportunity for people to meet others who have had similar experiences – it is always good to share.

“Everyone is welcome to come along and talk to a friendly face and to see what kind of support is out there. Come along, have a chat and be entertained by the amazing Macmillan singers – all in one place!”

To book a place at the Health and Wellbeing event in April, call 01704 533024.

Lace up those trainers

Keeping active has many benefits including helping people cope with cancer treatment and reduce the risk of it returning.

The Macmillan team is inviting people to join them on the last Saturday of every month at Hesketh Park for the 5k Your Way parkrun. It’s a community initiative and not just for runners. Participants are encouraged to walk, jog, run, cheer, or volunteer and attendees can go at their own pace.

They meet at 8.50am by Hesketh Park’s children’s playground). The event is really well organised with marshals lining the route and walk leaders taking part so you’re never on your own. There are 3 different laps making up the 5K and you do whatever you can……it’s the taking part that matters!

Attendees need to register at www.parkrun.org.uk.

Get moving with a supportive group

Dr Octavia Stevens, Southport and Formby Primary Care Network cancer lead and GP at Ainsdale Village Surgery, said: “5k Your Way! is a great way to get moving with a supportive group at your own pace, we had our first run on 28 February and it was great to run together. If you do come along do feel free to meet the team for a tea or coffee in the Hesketh Park café after.

“Exercise has huge benefits and can help reduce cancer related fatigue, improve fitness and psychological wellbeing and is social and fun!”

You can find out more about Southport Macmillan Centre events supporting those affected by cancer, here.

Public warned to expect significant service disruption ahead of industrial action from Monday 13th to Wednesday 15th March

Health leaders are urging members of the public to use services appropriately ahead of planned 72-hour industrial action by junior doctors, from Monday 13th to Wednesday 15th March.

Cheshire and Merseyside trusts set to be affected

All NHS Trusts across Cheshire and Merseyside set to be affected by the strike.

Prof Rowan Pritchard-Jones, Medical Director at NHS Cheshire and Merseyside, says there is likely to be significant service disruption and is urging people to make NHS 111 Online their first port of call for non-emergency health needs.

Disruption

Prof Pritchard-Jones said: “The NHS has tried and tested plans in place to mitigate risks to patient safety and manage any disruption, including industrial action, but inevitably a walkout on this scale is likely to lead to significant service disruption.

“Urgent and emergency care services will be open but, with NHS services already under pressure, it has arguably never been more important for people to use the available services appropriately.

“We are immensely grateful to the people of Cheshire and Merseyside for continuing to use NHS services thoughtfully. If you need to access a healthcare service, but it’s not an emergency, please use NHS 111 Online to ensure you are signposted to the right service first time.”

Attend as planned

Notice saying 'You will  be contacted if appointment needs to be changed. Please continue to come forward for the care you need.The NHS will continue to do everything it can to go ahead with planned procedures – especially for patients in greatest clinical need – and will contact you if an appointment needs to be rescheduled. If you have not been contacted, please attend your appointment as planned.

Local NHS services will also keep their websites and social media accounts up-to-date with information about local service disruption – so please check before you travel.

Prof Pritchard-Jones added: “Irrespective of any industrial action, please do not hesitate to come forward to access care if you need it.”

NHS111 Online

NHS 111 Online can tell you:

  • Where to get help for your symptoms
  • How to find general health information and advice
  • Where to get an emergency supply of your prescribed medicine
  • How to get a repeat prescription

More information about when to call 999 and when to go to A&E is available via the national NHS website.

LGBT+ Adoption and Fostering Week

This week we’ve been celebrating LGBT+ Fostering and Adoption Week (6th – 12th March).

For LGBTQ+ people thinking about fostering or adoption the question absolutely shouldn’t be “will my sexual orientation or gender identity count against me?

We encourage lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender+ people to think about giving a loving home to a child and foster with Sefton Council.

Sefton needs more foster carers from all backgrounds regardless of their sexuality, gender, single, married, in same-sex relationships, race, ethnicity or religion.

We would like to share Mark and Dave’s inspirational story. The couple have been fostering with Sefton for 16 years and say that they have loved every minute.

Mark: At the moment we’ve got three foster children 6, 10 and 13. We also have other previous foster children who are still with us and are a massive part of our family.

Sometimes we have to count how many plates we need at the table and how many seats we need there is that many of us. That includes children their friends their partners, we’re just one big family and we love it.

Dave: We have different experiences of fostering children of all ages. It’s great to see the young ones coming through, they are such a delight. They’re learning and their minds are like sponges. They want to be loved and to be hugged and its beautiful.

When you’re looking after the teenagers you can really get stuck in with sports and games. We like the outdoors so it’s great for us to get out and about with them.

There’s never a shortage of one of them wanting to play a game of pool, badminton or have a rounders tournament in the back garden. Seeing them wanting to engage is heart-warming.

Mark: When our eldest came to us he was sad. We gave him the stability and support he needed during difficult teenage years. 10 years on and he’s working and he’s really doing well in his life and being in foster care hasn’t held him back because we’ve pushed him forward and encouraged him.

Dave: If anyone from the LGBT+ community is concerned or worried or apprehensive about fostering, please find out more. We started 15 years ago, and it has been an amazing journey we’ve never been held back, and we’ve always been encouraged to be the carers that we are today.

Mark: I completely echo what Dave has said. If you are thinking about fostering honestly it is one of the most rewarding things you can do. It can be challenging at times, but you are bringing happiness and life to children who actually need love, a good home and support.

Sefton’s Foster Carers are paid for their skills, receive full training and support, plus allowances.

Anyone who is thinking about fostering can find out more by speaking to one of the team or by visiting the dedicated website at https://seftonfostering.co.uk/ 

Or call the freephone number – 0800 923 2777

If anyone is thinking about adoption, please visit www.adoptioninmerseyside.co.uk.

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