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Health services reminders for forthcoming Easter Bank Holiday weekend and industrial action

With the Easter Bank Holiday weekend – Friday 7th to Monday 10th April – fast approaching, people are being reminded to make sure they’ve got enough prescription medication left. It can take a couple of days for a repeat prescription to come through and you don’t want to run out.

Industrial action

In addition, the Easter Bank Holiday will be followed immediately by four days of industrial action by junior doctors, lasting from Tuesday 11th to Friday 14th April.

During this time the NHS, which is still busy caring for people, is expecting significant disruption. So it is important people are aware of the best way to access care at a time health service will be under severe pressure.

Urgent need

If anyone has an urgent healthcare need that can’t wait till the next working day, it is still possible to speak to a GP in the evening, at weekends and on Bank Holidays.

If you call your GP practice outside of office hours, you will hear a recorded message, with details of how to get in touch with a GP. This may be through contacting NHS 111.

NHS 111 online

The NHS 111 online service offers quick advice and the best options for getting the care you need. This including getting a call-back from a trained clinician or nurse, booking an appointment in A&E or providing advice on how to help you recover.

You can use the NHS App to put in a request for a repeat prescription or check your GP practice website for details of how to order a repeat prescription.


Urgent and emergency care services will be open over the Bank Holiday and during the industrial action. People should always call 999 or attend A&E in the event of a life or limb threatening emergency.


High-street pharmacies can provide you with expert advice and help on a range of health issues.

Pharmacy opening times

Catch the ‘Living Well’ bus in Bootle to get a free health check and COVID-19 vaccine, on Tuesday 28th March

Living Well Bus graphicThe ‘Living Well’ bus service has been back to Sefton offering residents a free health check and the opportunity to catch up on first and second COVID-19 vaccines, as well as third primary doses for those who are immunosuppressed.

Range of health checks

Operating as a drop-in service, the bus offers a range of physical health checks, COVID-19 vaccinations, and referrals to talking therapies.

The bus will be at LIDL car park, Marsh Lane, Bootle, L20 5BQ, from 10:30am-3pm on Tuesday 28th March -with no appointments needed.

Consistent health and care approach

The service, which is delivered by the Cheshire and Wirral Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, was launched in June 2022 to offer a consistent health and care approach across communities across Cheshire and Merseyside. All activity is recorded and

shared with your GP, ensuring ongoing understanding and support for your health is in place.

You can find out more about the service here. 

You can find out more about the COVID-19 vaccine, who is eligible, and to book an appointment online or find other walk-in vaccination sites on the NHS website:


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.


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.’


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.

Council inviting applications to Household Support Fund to help people pay for essentials before Friday 31st March deadline.

Bank notesSefton Council is inviting residents in need of financial help to apply to the Household Support Fund before Friday 31st March deadline.

Open to those who are struggling to afford energy, food and essential household bills, the Fund is now open for people to apply.

Immediate financial help

To qualify, households will need to show they are on a low-income and need immediate financial help towards energy, food, and essential household bills. Those who receive a grant from the Household Support Fund will not have to pay it back. Neither will it be treated as income for tax or benefit purposes.

Funding is not available to those who have received support from the Council’s Emergency Limited Assistance Scheme (ELAS) in the past six months.

Full details of the who qualifies and how to apply can found at


Cllr Trish Hardy, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities and Housing said: “We know there are households across the Borough who are being hard hit by the national cost of living crisis as well as in some cases still feeling the after-effects of COVID.

“We have already paid out targeted funding to groups across Sefton through the Household Support Fund, as well as using it to provide free meal vouchers during school holidays.

“Now we want people who are struggling to apply for funding, which can be as much as £300, to help them get through.”

This latest stage of the Household Support Fund will initially operate until 31 March 2023, although the Government has recently announced it will be extended until March 2024.

Apply ASAP

Cllr Hardy added: “Grants are paid from a finite fund, which could run out so I would urge people to apply as soon as possible.

“And if you have friends or relatives or neighbours who you think might benefit from the Fund, please tell them about it.”

Applications will be cross-checked to other services including, where applicable, to data held by the Department for Work and Pensions.

Payments will be made through the Post Office Pay Out Service.

You can find details of the process here. 

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 

Or call the freephone number – 0800 923 2777

If anyone is thinking about adoption, please visit

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