Please follow & like us

Sefton Council’s COVID-19 Shielding Support Service shortlisted for award

The iNetwork Awards recognise the innovative work taking place across the public sector and Sefton Council has been shortlisted for its shielding support service delivered during the first lockdown in 2020.

Staff were redeployed and worked alongside partners and volunteers to support the most vulnerable. Ranging from a friendly voice, implementation of support packages, social care assessments, financial support, through to escalation of emergency domestic violence situations or supporting those on the edge of crisis, the shielding support service continued throughout the initial four months of the pandemic and received overwhelming praise.

Watch this short video to see one of the team in action.

People can vote for Sefton Council’s COVID-19 Shielding Support Service in the ‘Transforming and Innovating Public Services’ & ‘Covid Response Recognition’ categories here.

Voting closes at midnight on Sunday 24th January. 

Reassurance and guidance to Sefton’s parents and carers                                     

Sefton’s Director of Children’s Services Vicky Buchanan and Director of Public Health Margaret Jones have written a letter of reassurance and guidance to parents and carers across the borough.                                                                    

Dear Parents and Carers

As you are fully aware the Prime Minister announced a full lockdown which meant that all schools were closed except for vulnerable children and critical worker children. This was not the start for the year that we wanted as we hoped that all children and young people would be in school by the 18th January at the very latest.

We need to drive down the infection rates in Sefton and indeed the whole country so that we are all safe and secure in returning to everyday life. In order to do that it is crucial we all follow the government guidance of staying home unless absolutely necessary. We need everyone to follow this guidance to protect not only the NHS but also ourselves, our families and our friends. Hopefully, with the roll out of the vaccine and keeping to the guidance this will happen sooner rather than later. Government guidance for schools and for parents and carers has been very clear about who should access places in schools. ‘Children with at least one parent or carer who is a critical worker can go to school or college if required, but parents and carers should keep their children at home if they can.’ Full guidance for parents and carers can be found at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-maintaining-educational-provision/guidance-for-schools-colleges-and-local-authorities-on-maintaining-educational-provision 

We would ask that if you can, as the guidance says keep your child at home then please do so. Schools are under increasing pressure to manage the number of children and young people in school due to staff not being able to attend school due to covid issues. Schools may therefore as a last resort have to consider prioritising places for vulnerable children, health workers and school staff. Schools will only do this after considering their Risk Assessment and consultation with their governing body and Sefton Council. This will be continually reviewed as situations change throughout this current lockdown. Your school will keep you informed as to what is happening. Please do discuss any concerns with your school. Alongside having children in school, schools are providing high quality remote learning for those at home.

As you can imagine this is placing a very heavy burden on staff to ensure that everyone is catered for. Please do remember that all school situations are different and this impacts on how a school will deliver remote learning. There are many different ways that this can be delivered and no one way is the only way.

Some schools may have the facilities to deliver ‘live’ lessons and other may not be able to do so, that does not mean that their offer is any less effective. Please do work with your school to support your child and if you do have any worries then do discuss with the school. All our schools have worked incredibly hard to ensure that what they are offering is helping our children and young people to carry on learning in very difficult circumstances. If you are struggling with accessing online learning please do speak to your school.

We would ask that you continue to encourage your children to follow the advice of Hands, Face, Space.

Our schools will continue to reinforce this message as well as ensuring social distancing, good ventilation, use of face coverings as appropriate, and ensuring people with symptoms do not attend. These remain

the most effective ways to reduce the spread of the virus, even with rapid testing in place within schools. However, as parents and carers you could further support by not sending children to school unless necessary – stay at home; please don’t bring children to school if they are of an age when they can walk there on their ownIf you need to take your child to school please observe hands, face, space, wear a face covering and don’t stand around the playground or school gates. We want to try and minimise people mixing.

We would ask that you continue to work with and support our schools with the same and consideration you have done so throughout this pandemic.

VICKY BUCHANAN                                                                     MARGARET JONES

DIRECTOR OF CHILDREN’S SERVICES                             DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC HEALTH

 

One more month to have your say on how social housing is allocated in Sefton

Residents, tenants, future tenants, landlords and housing associations have just one month to submit their views on changes to the way social housing is allocated across Sefton.

Since November, Sefton Council and local authorities in the Liverpool City Region have been seeking views on the allocation process for social housing, which is administered through Property Pool Plus.

So far, more than 3,600 people across the Liverpool City Region have responded but further views are being sought as part of the public consultation.

Social housing is allocated several different ways, which considering a resident’s eligibility, choice, preference, and priority. Changes are being proposed to each of these areas.

Cllr Trish Hardy, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities and Housing, said: “Thank you to everyone who has taken part so far in this consultation. Your views are extremely important and will ensure that the allocations process takes into account all factors within an individual’s personal circumstances.

“It is hoped that the feedback received will ensure that the process of matching people with homes across the Borough, is efficient, accessible and places priority on those with most need.”

Some criteria that may place someone in a higher priority could include:

  • people who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless;
  • victims of domestic abuse, racial abuse or hate crime;
  • members of the armed forces and reserved forces;
  • medical need

To find out more information about the changes to the policy and to take part in the consultation, people can visit www.sefton.gov.uk/PPP-HaveYourSay.  

The consultation will run until Wednesday 10th February 2021.

Authorities in the Liverpool City Region will all simultaneously be undertaking this survey, the authorities include Halton Borough Council, Knowsley Metropolitan Borough Council, Liverpool City Council, Sefton Metropolitan Borough Council and Wirral Council.

Community COVID-19 vaccination programme gathers pace in Sefton `

GPs, working together with Sefton’s two Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs), are continuing to roll out the COVID-19 community vaccination programme across the Borough.

Vaccinations, which began at the end of December, will gather pace over the coming weeks. People who are most at risk of COVID-19 or aged over 80, as well as care home staff and residents will be invited for their immunisation first.

Challenge

This is the biggest vaccination programme the NHS has ever undertaken. It is a huge challenge and the local NHS is working hard to overcome any logistical issues as they may arise.  So, the exact weekly roll-out of the programme will be largely shaped by the vaccine supply from the manufacturers.

Not all local premises or surgeries can become community vaccination centres, as they need to meet the strict clinical and logistical requirements of the programme. So, when it is your turn to be vaccinated, be prepared that it may not be at your GP practice or another nearby venue.

The NHS has a clear vaccine delivery plan but it will take some time for GP practices to work through the number of people aged over 80 that need to be contacted.

Patience

So, GP practices and the CCGs are asking everyone to be patient and until people are fully vaccinated with two doses, they are reminded to follow the current restrictions and guidance and play their part by following these steps:

  • Do not contact your GP practice or the NHS to seek a vaccine, we will contact you
  • When we do contact you, please attend your booked appointments
  • Please continue to follow all the guidance to control the virus and save lives by socially distancing, wearing a mask or face covering and washing your hands regularly.

The roll out of the programme in community vaccinations centres is in addition to hospital immunisation hubs, which began operating in December.

Working together

Dr Craig Gillespie, chair of NHS South Sefton CCG, explained: “Our GP practices are working together in groups to deliver vaccinations as quickly as possible to their patients aged over 80 years and to invite them into a community centre to be immunised safely.

“Importantly, in the meantime, we are asking everyone not to contact their GP practice or another NHS organisation to ask for their vaccination – or to request one for a member of their household or their carer.”

Dr Rob Caudwell, Chair NHS Southport and Formby CCG, said: “We do understand that people will be keen to know when they will receive their vaccines. Each of us will receive an invite when it is our turn to be vaccinated, either by letter or a phone call.

“You may know others aged over 80 who have been invited for their vaccination already, however, not all areas of Sefton could start vaccinating at the same time, so not everyone has been contacted yet, but we will get to you.”

Warning

People expecting to be contacted for a vaccination are being warned about possible scam calls from fraudsters. Action Fraud, the national reporting centre for fraud and cyber crime, has received reports from members of the public who have been sent text messages claiming to be from the NHS offering them the chance to sign up for vaccinations for a fee.

Pauline Smith, Head of Action Fraud, said: “Remember, the vaccine is only available on the NHS and is free of charge. The NHS will never ask you for details about your bank account or to pay for the vaccine. If you receive an email, text message or phone call purporting to be from the NHS and you are asked to provide financial details, this is a scam.”

Find out more about the COVID-19 vaccine.

 

 

Public Health leaders urging public to stay at home, to fight COVID and reduce extreme pressure on hospitals

Sefton Council’s Director of Public Health Margaret Jones has joined her colleagues across the region to urge people to follow by the latest lockdown rules and stay at home.

The plea from Directors of Public Health, who are leading the local public health response to COVID, comes as COVID cases have alarmingly increased in communities putting NHS hospitals under extreme pressure.

Essential reasons

Under the rules, people are strongly requested to stay at home and only leave the house for essential reasons such as getting a COVID test, food shopping, work, education, exercise or helping someone vulnerable. A full list of what is permitted is available at www.gov.uk/coronavirus

Ian Ashworth, current Chair of the Cheshire & Merseyside Directors of Public Health Board said, “The next few weeks are going to be extremely difficult and it will be some time until we see the impact of the lockdown take effect. People need to stay at home as much as possible. Only shop when necessary. Exercise away from other people. If you cannot work from home and have a symptom free test centre in your area, get tested regularly so you can self-isolate before symptoms show. We are working hard with health and government partners to speed up and unblock barriers to the rollout of the vaccine for the most vulnerable groups but this will not happen overnight. We now have a number of licensed vaccines which will mean more vaccines becoming available locally. In the meantime, we need people to double their efforts to keep themselves and their loved ones safe.”

Vaccination

The COVID-19 vaccination programme has seen over a million vulnerable people and those that care for them vaccinated so far. Vaccines are the way out of this pandemic and an effective vaccine is the best way to protect people from COVID. Members of the public will be invited by the NHS when it’s their turn for a vaccination and it is important that everyone who is offered the vaccine takes it to protect themselves and others. Directors urge those waiting for their vaccine to be patient and not contact the NHS or their GP surgery as it will take time for the vaccine to be rolled out to all priority groups.

If residents follow the rules and stay at home, then lockdown restrictions will end sooner and people can look forward to better times ahead. Directors would like to thank everyone who has been doing their bit for so long, and understand they desperately wish to see an end to the restrictions, but it’s more important than ever that people now put in that extra effort to keep friends, family and communities safe.

Symptoms

If you develop symptoms of COVID (fever, new continuous cough or loss/change of taste or smell) you can obtain a test by visiting nhs.uk/coronavirus or calling 119. If your test is positive you must follow the guidance including self-isolating immediately. More information on self-isolating can be found at www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19

Anyone needing support during this difficult time should visit www.kindtoyourmind.org which has details of 24/7 crisis helplines and resources to help mental wellbeing.

Find out more information about COVID-19 in Sefton.

Search Box