NHS Health Check survey

Healthwatch Sefton and Sefton’s Public Health team are working together to encourage as many Sefton residents as possible to complete its survey as part of the NHS Health Check programme.

This is a national programme which aims to check for early signs of heart disease, stroke, kidney damage, type 2 diabetes or dementia.

The survey data will help to improve the programme and so Sefton’s Public Health want to hear from local people to evaluate Sefton’s NHS Health Checks.


Already many people have submitted their comments via the online survey but there is still time to register yours.

Click on this link to take you to the survey which closes at the end of November: www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/SeftonHealthCheck

If you have any queries about the survey then please contact the Healthwatch Sefton team on 0800 206 1304 / 0151 920 0726 ext 214 or email: info@healthwatchsefton.co.uk

Memory Cafes for 2018

Alzheimer’s Society has released its calendar of Memory Cafes in Sefton for 2018.

The society says that people can pop along to the cafes where they can chat to others who have been affected by dementia in a friendly and relaxed, social environment.

You can chat and share your experiences about your diagnosis of dementia and what that means to you with others and health professionals.

Dementia cafes 2018

Dementia cafés provide useful information in a structured and relaxed setting that gives the opportunity for people living with dementia, families and carers to ask questions to the health professionals and learn from the experiences of people in similar situations.

For more information contact the office on 01704 539967 or email southport@alzheimers.org.uk

Type 2 diabetes programme success

Today, on World Diabetes Day, health commissioners in Sefton are celebrating the success of their local Type 2 diabetes prevention programme, which is helping hundreds of residents to take action to reduce the risk of developing the condition.

Healthier You: the NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme was launched in Sefton in January 2017 and offers residents tailored, personalised help and is run from local community venues close to where people live. So far, 900 local residents have joined the course, which offers them advice on healthy eating and lifestyle, help to lose weight and bespoke physical exercise programmes, which together have proven to reduce the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.

After only six weeks of being on the programme, 65% of participants have lost an average of 7lbs in weight, benefiting from further weight loss and health improvements as they continue through the 12-month programme.Roy with Living Well Taking Control participants

Roy, aged 68, a south Sefton resident and ‘Healthier You’ participant (right) said: “Since joining the programme eight months ago, I feel much healthier and happier and have lost over half a stone and a few inches off my waist. This hasn’t been too difficult as it’s been about making small changes, such as swapping some foods for healthier options and building in some time for exercise. So now I head for the fruit bowl instead of the biscuit tin and I walk to places when I can.”

Pauline before joining Living Well Taking Control

Pauline, aged 71, a Southport resident (left) also on the programme said: “Since I started the programme in April, I’ve lost over a stone and my blood sugar levels have come right down and are now normal. I’m taking better care of myself and have more energy to do the things I enjoy. I would definitely recommend the programme to those that might be at risk of developing diabetes – everyone is very friendly and supportive and it’s a great way of meeting people in a similar situation to you.”

Diabetes can cause serious long-term health problems and is responsible for 24,000 early deaths in the UK each year. It is one of the most common causes of vision loss and blindness in people of working age and is also responsible for most cases of kidney failure and lower limb amputation (other than accidents).

Dr Nigel Taylor, diabetes lead at NHS South Sefton CCG, said: “We are delighted with the local success of the programme and the difference it makes to people’s risk of developing diabetes. Patients have been so keen to join the programme that the CCGs will be offering more places over the coming months and we will be working with local GPs to identify and invite those patients most at risk of developing the illness. The way it works is that people will be contacted and offered a place on the programme if a recent blood test flags up that they might be at risk.”

Dr Doug Callow, diabetes lead at NHS Southport and Formby CCG, said: “If you do receive a letter I would urge you to take up the programme. This involves weekly sessions for the first seven weeks, followed by four review sessions spread over the following nine months.

“If you are reading this thinking you may be at risk of Type 2 Diabetes, do speak to your GP about this as a blood test can clarify and you may be eligible to join the programme.”

Commissioned by NHS England, in partnership with Public Health England (PHE) and Diabetes UK,  Sefton’s Healthier You: NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme was one of the first programmes to launch nationally and will be available in all areas of the country by April 2018. Currently managed by NHS South Sefton Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and NHS Southport and Formby CCG, the programme is delivered locally by Living Well Taking Control.

Every year, Type 2 diabetes costs the NHS £8.8 billion, which equates to almost 9% of its budget and there are currently 5 million people in England at high risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. If current trends persist, one in three people will be obese by 2034 and one in ten will develop Type 2 diabetes. However, evidence exists which shows that many cases of Type 2 diabetes are preventable.

Type 2 Diabetes is largely caused by lifestyle factors such as poor diet, lack of exercise and being overweight, and these are the areas which the Healthier You: NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme supports people with.

To find out more about the Healthier You: NHS Diabetes Prevention programme, please visit https://www.england.nhs.uk/ourwork/qual-clin-lead/diabetes-prevention/

To find out more about the Living Well Taking Control programme being delivered in south Sefton, Southport and Formby see www.lwtcsupport.co.uk

Mersey Care supports World Diabetes Day

Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust is encouraging people to educate themselves on the signs and symptoms of diabetes for World Diabetes Day today (November 14).

The theme of this year’s World Diabetes Day is ‘women and diabetes – our right to a healthy future’. It is reported that one in 10 women live with diabetes but not all women have the same access to education, treatment and care.

The annual awareness day marks the birthday of Frederick Banting who, along with Charles Best, was instrumental in the discovery of insulin in 1922, a life-saving treatment for diabetes patients.

Margaret Daley, team leader and community diabetes specialist nurse for Mersey Care, said: “Although the theme is women this year, our team want to raise general awareness and encourage local residents to adopt a healthier diet and lifestyle.”

Around 199 million women around the world live with diabetes and it is the ninth leading cause of deaths in women globally, causing just over two million deaths per year.

Diabetes is a long-term condition caused by too much glucose in the blood. There are over three million people in the UK diagnosed with diabetes in the UK and an estimated 630,000 people who have the condition, but are undiagnosed.

Type 1 diabetes is an auto-immune condition which means the immune system attacks healthy body tissue by mistake; in this case it attacks the cells in the pancreas resulting in the body not producing insulin. People with Type 1 diabetes have to replace the insulin by injections.

About 85-90% of people with Type 2 diabetes are overweight, although there are people of a healthy weight who also have type 2 diabetes. It can be managed through diet, exercise and often medication which might also include insulin therapy.

People who are overweight are seven times more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than someone who is a healthy weight. The main signs and symptoms of diabetes include: feeling very thirsty, tiredness, urinating frequently (particularly at night), and weight loss. If you are concerned please speak to your GP or practice nurse.

“Our message is no matter what diabetes you have it is important to know about your condition and how to look after yourself,” added Margaret. “For women it is especially important if you are considering starting a family. If you are planning a family please speak to a health care professional about what changes you may have to make before becoming a pregnant.”

The ‘diabetes and you’ course is for people who are newly diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and is available to residents in the borough of Sefton. The sessions discuss aspects of diabetes and are presented by a nurse, dietitian and podiatrist and aimed at helping people to manage their condition.

Please contact the community diabetes service on 0151 475 4085 for further information or speak to your practice nurse to request a referral. You can also speak to your doctor if you are at all concerned about diabetes.

Alternatively you can contact the Living Well Sefton team on 0300 323 0181 to find out how the Living Well mentors can help support you to set lifestyle goals which can reduce the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. You can also email them on LWS@seftoncvs.org.uk



Galloway’s new events programme

Galloway’s Society for the Blind is a local charity supporting around 6,500 blind and partially sighted people across Sefton and Lancashire. It has just released its programme of events from December until February next year.

A spokesperson for Galloway’s says: “Everyone is welcome to join us on our activities and trips out, so please ring 01704 534555 or email: southport@galloways.org.uk for further information on anything that interests you from our events.

“Our Southport branch is based in Wright Street where we have a stock of specialist equipment in our Sight Advice centre and serve West Lancashire and Sefton.

“We provide specialist training in Eccentric Viewing Techniques, Basic computer instruction through to specialist training in Guide and Jaws and also teach Braille (Sefton Residents only, arranged through Social Services).

“We also hold information days, which enables us to bring together national and local service providers to demonstrate some of the latest innovations in technology, resources and services available.”

People are advised to call in: Monday, Wednesday, Friday   9:30 am – 4:30 pm and Tuesday and Thursday by appointment.

Programme of events

December 2017
Friday 1
10:00 to 11:00 – Braille (Sefton Residents only, arranged through Social Services) 13:00 to 14:00 – Book Club

Monday 4
10:00 to 12:00 – Craft morning – externally led by WEA
10:00 – Local Walk. Ring James on 01772 744 148 for details and to book a place
13:30 to 14:30 – Quiz

Wednesday 6
13:00 to 14:30 – Bingo

Friday 8
10:00 to 11:00 – Braille (Sefton Residents only, arranged through Social Services)
10:00 to 12:00 – ‘Swinging Arts’ music session
13:00 to 15:00 -Ten Pin Bowling, Ocean Plaza

Monday 11
10:00 to 12:00 – Craft morning – externally led by WEA
13:30 to 14:30 – Games Afternoon

Wednesday 13
12:30 for 13:00 – Christmas Lunch at Prince of Wales Southport

Friday 15
10:00 to 11:00 – Braille (Sefton Residents only, arranged through Social Services)
10:00 to 14.00 – Synapptic and Vision Aid Exhibition

Monday 18
10:00 to 12:00 – Craft morning – externally led by WEA
13:30 to 14:30 – Quiz

Wednesday 20
11:30 to 15:30 – Christmas Party at the centre – including buffet lunch, booking essential to allow for catering

Friday 22
10:00 to 11:00 – Braille (Sefton Residents only, arranged through Social Services)

The Centre will be closed from Friday 22nd December until Tuesday 2nd January 2018.

January 2018

Wednesday 3
13:00 to 14:30 – Bingo

Friday 5
10:00 to 11:00 – Braille (Sefton Residents only, arranged through Social Services)  at Southport centre

Monday 8    Continue reading “Galloway’s new events programme”

Take control and Self Care for life

Services and schemes available in Sefton to support residents to take control of their health and wellbeing are highlighted during a campaign this week (13-19 November 2017) from the borough’s two NHS clinical commissioning groups (CCGs).

NHS Southport and Formby CCG and NHS South Sefton CCG are celebrating Self Care week with a series of video stories focusing on the ways people can look after their health, as well as some of the schemes and services to help them to do this, by giving them new skills and information about taking better care of their physical and mental wellbeing.

Speaking about the campaign, Dr Rob Caudwell, chair of NHS Southport and Formby CCG and local GP, said: “The video stories featured on the CCGs’ websites and social media are an excellent way of highlighting how people can treat themselves and look after their own health and wellbeing.”

Sefton residents are also being reminded that one of the quickest and easiest ways to get advice on self care is to visit any high street pharmacy. Chemists can provide expert help and advice about caring for minor illnesses and ailments, along with healthy living.

Dr Andy Mimnagh, chair of NHS South Sefton CCG, (below) said: “Many unnecessary visits to the Andy Mimnagh SSCCG chairGP or to the A&E department can be avoided through self care. When it comes to treating minor ailments and illnesses, it’s important to examine your options. By simply visiting your local pharmacist and having a well stocked medicine cabinet, many conditions can be better managed at home.”

As well as the regular support people can access from their local pharmacy, 17 across Sefton also offer Care at the Chemist, which ensures more vulnerable residents who do not normally pay for their prescriptions have quick, easy and free access to medicines for range of minor illnesses and ailments without the need for a doctor’s appointment.

Embracing self care is all about the little things people can do every day to live well and be healthy. Being active, eating healthily and learning when to treat common ailments without the need for a doctor’s appointment are all ways to embrace self care.

Rob Caudwell SFCCG chair

Dr Caudwell said: “There are so many easy things we can all do to help ourselves, such as keeping active, eating well, stopping smoking and limiting alcohol to recommended levels are all important in helping us maintain physical and mental health.”

The video stories featured on the CCGs’ websites and social media during Self Care week  highlight the range of help and advice available at local pharmacies in Sefton, the support for older residents to help them prevent injuring themselves due to falls at Active Lifestyle’s Active Ageing group, the methods and techniques residents can adopt to look after their mental health and wellbeing and much more.

The video stories will be posted every day through self care week on the CCG’s website at www.southportandformbyccg.nhs.uk and www.southseftonccg.nhs.uk and on their Twitter accounts at @NHSSFCCG or @NHSSSCCG.

More information on how everyone can use self care to improve their health and wellbeing is also available on the NHS Choices website at www.nhs.uk and from the Self Care Forum at www.selfcareforum.org

Bike lovers invited to Sefton Cycle Chat

Anyone with an interest in cycling is encouraged to attend the next Sefton Cycle Chat at the MeCycle Café, Station Road, Ainsdale.

The evening session, on Tuesday November 7, starts at 6pm until 8pm and is an ideal opportunity to talk about cycling issues and news.

The regular meetings are attended by a number of riders and representatives from local groups and organisations from across the borough. Previous sessions have included information on reporting potholes and cycle path defects, route improvement schemes and infrastructure plans.

All local cyclists will be welcomed and able to provide their ideas and thoughts on topical matters.

If you are interested in attending please contact us to book your place on 0151 934 4576 or via the contact form on http://www.activetravelsefton.co.uk

SF MeCycle Autisim Venture outside (2012)




Sefton Council urges residents to #PawsForThought when buying a puppy this Christmas

Sefton Council is asking residents to give ‘Paws for Thought’ to ensure they don’t buy illegally imported puppies, following the culmination of a high profile case in Southport.

The “Paws for Thought” campaign has launched this week in a bid to educate people about the financial and emotional dangers of buying illegally imported puppies, especially in the run up to Christmas.

Often illegally imported puppies, which are not vaccinated against rabies, are only ever discovered when a family take their new four legged friend for their first vet visit.

At this point the puppy has to be seized and put in quarantine, with any costs incurred falling on the dog’s owners.

Not only is there a significant financial implication, with fees in excess of £1,000, but the act of removing your cute new four-legged friend can be extremely distressing and stressful.


Under legislation, any dogs entering the UK must have been vaccinated against rabies – however the vaccine will not work if given to puppies younger than 12 weeks.

As a result, Sefton Council’s Trading Standards team is urging those considering buying a puppy to make sure they know who they are buying from, to check the pup’s vaccination history and always ask to see documentation.

The campaign launches after five people were prosecuted after the Trading Standards team uncovered an illegal puppy smuggling operation on Skipton Avenue, Southport.

Continue reading “Sefton Council urges residents to #PawsForThought when buying a puppy this Christmas”

Health experts in Sefton support antibiotic resistance campaign

Sefton residents are being asked to play their part in Public Health England’s new campaign to help keep antibiotics working.

An estimated 5,000 deaths are caused every year in England because antibiotics no longer work for some infections, so it’s important to take your doctors and nurses advice on antibiotics to keep them working.

Councillor Ian Moncur, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, who fully supports the campaign, said: “Antibiotics don’t work for everything. They don’t work for colds or flu and common conditions like kidney infections and pneumonia have started to become untreatable. When it comes to antibiotics, take your health professional’s advice.”

NHS South Sefton Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is supporting the campaign alongside the council and neighbouring NHS Southport and Formby CCG, and have spent a number of years reducing inappropriate antibiotic prescriptions to ensure that only the patients who really need them are prescribed them.


Dr Anna Ferguson at the Strand Medical Centre in Bootle, said: “It is so important that people realise that antibiotics are not always the answer and that the more they are used to treat minor health conditions; the more likely they are to become ineffective for treating more serious conditions.

“For minor illnesses such as coughs and colds your local pharmacy can advise you on which over the counter medicines can help. They can also speak to you about self care such as keeping warm during the winter months and looking after yourself and others around you should you become unwell.

“We’ve done a lot of work already with the CCG to explain to people that antibiotics are not always the answer but this campaign will hopefully add to this, helping GPs and pharmacists spread the word more and remind people about the risks of taking antibiotics when it’s not necessary.”

Antibiotics help ward off infections during chemotherapy, caesarean sections and other surgery. They also treat serious bacterial infections, such as pneumonia, meningitis and sepsis, but they are being used for everyday viral infections, where they are not effective. Taking antibiotics encourages harmful bacteria that live inside you to become resistant. That means that antibiotics may not work when you really need them.

Furthermore, if you take antibiotics, you are more likely to get an antibiotic resistant infection. This risk is even greater for children who have taken antibiotics.

Public Health England, Sefton Council and the CCG in south Sefton are calling for the public to play their part in tackling the antibiotic resistance epidemic by trusting their doctor or nurse’s advice as to when they need antibiotics and if they are prescribed, taking antibiotics as directed and never saving them for later use or sharing with others.

The campaign, which is part of a wider cross-government strategy to help preserve antibiotics, will run until the middle of December.

For further information on antibiotic resistance visit the dedicated web page

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