Pharmacy services over Christmas

Several pharmacies will be open throughout the Christmas bank holiday period and the best way to find out which pharmacy is open and when is to check your local CCG’s website:

South Sefton CCG

Southport and Formby CCG

Your local pharmacy can offer free, confidential and expert advice on a range of health issues. They can also help you to self-care and prepare for many common winter illnesses and offer advice on which medicines to keep in stock at home.Pharmacy

While all pharmacies in Sefton provide advice and treatment for a range of minor illnesses and ailments, a number in the borough also offer Care at the Chemist, which ensures the most vulnerable patients who don’t routinely pay for their prescriptions have free and easy access to over-the-counter medicines they may need without having to see a doctor.

Plan ahead of rail strike

Passengers travelling to, from and within the Liverpool City Region are being urged to plan their journeys and check before they travel ahead of planned industrial action by members of the RMT union on Merseyrail services Friday 22nd December.

Merseyrail services are planned to run every 30 minutes, with the exception of the New Brighton to Liverpool services which will be every hour, from around 07:00 to 19:00, with a break in service between around 11:30 and 14:30.

There will be no services on the following: Hunts Cross – Liverpool Central; Ellesmere Port – Hooton; Chester – Hooton and Ormskirk – Maghull.

There will also be no ‘late night’ services which were due to depart Liverpool Central at 01:30 on Saturday 23rd December.

Merseyrail tickets will be accepted on Arriva bus services on Friday 22nd December, except between 07:00-09:00 and 16:00-18:00.

Passengers are strongly advised to check the Merseyrail website and Twitter @Merseyrailbefore travelling, as it is possible that timetables will change prior to, as well as during, strike action.

Other train operating companies including Northern, TransPennine Express, East Midlands Trains and London Midland will continue to operate as normal, apart from Virgin Trains which are also due to strike on Friday 22nd December. For more information, please visit the Virginwebsite.

All other bus services, including late night services, and the Mersey Ferries are due to run as planned. Valid cross river rail tickets will be accepted on the Mersey Ferries on this day.


Continue reading “Plan ahead of rail strike”

Dementia-friendly Christmas church services

Alzheimer’s Society – Sefton has put together a list of dementia-friendly Christmas church services and explain that the services should be shorter, less complex and more relaxed with volunteers on hand to assist if people need it.

When         14 December, 2pm
Where       All Saints with St Fideswyde Church, Forefield Lane, Crosby
What         Memory Café at 2pm followed by a carol service at 3pm
Contact     Jane Stephens, 07721 302846 or

When         17 December, 6pm
Where       All Saints with St Fideswyde Church, Forefield Lane, Crosby
What         Carols by candlelight
Contact     Jane Stephens, 07721 302846 or

When         17 December, 2.30pmFormby dementia carols
Where       St Peter’s Church, Green Lane, Formby
What          Christmas church service
Contact     See invite (right)

When         20 December, 2pm
Where       Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral
What          Carol service
Contact     See poster Carol service dementia(right)


First port of call to stop smoking

Smokefree Sefton’s partnership with Peel Ports to improve staff health and wellbeing is proving to be a success.

Many staff members work shifts including nights so Smokefree Sefton, managed by Solutions4Health and a partner of Living Well Sefton, have brought their support to the Bootle and Seaforth docks on board their new Wellness on Wheels (WoW) bus.

Colette Kearney, team leader, explains: “We contacted Peel Ports because we realised it was difficult for workers to access our stop smoking clinics. Using the WoW bus means we can go to them instead. It has been well received with both men and women coming to see us for support in quitting smoking. Many of them have not accessed our service before.”

Maureen at Peel Ports
Living Well Sefton mentor and Smokefree Sefton advisor Maureen Coughlin with a client at Peel Ports

Steve, a Living Well Sefton mentor with the May Logan Centre, also hitches a ride to offer blood pressure checks. As a result of this collaboration, one woman has successfully stopped smoking and the blood pressure check indicated it was high so the team signposted her to her GP who changed her medication accordingly. The team also identified a man with high blood pressure who sought advice from his GP.

The team from Smokefree Sefton, which is commissioned by Sefton Council Public Health, can visit your workplace or community venue with their Wellness on Wheels bus. To find out more details contact Colette on 0300 100 1000, and for how the other Living Well Sefton partners can support you, visit:

Help for the Homeless in Sefton this Christmas

If you know, or are aware, of anyone who is either homeless or sleeping rough this winter, help is at hand.

Vital information designed to help, advise and work with people who have found themselves without a home or sleeping rough on the streets, especially during the harsh cold winter months, is readily available via Sefton Council’s website.

If you have nowhere to stay or if it is unsafe for you to return home, or you will be homeless within the next 56 days, you should contact Sefton Council Housing Options Team immediately. homeless


The Sefton Housing Options Team are ready to help and are available Monday to Thursday (10am to 4pm) and Fridays (10am to 3pm) by calling 0151 934 3541.

For people who become homeless when the office is closed, Sefton Council’s Health and Social Care Emergency Duty Team manages the out-of-hour’s service.

The service is for emergencies only and can give you general advice and will be able to assist you to find temporary emergency accommodation.

You can contact the Out of Hours service on 0151 934 3555.

Christmas presence of mind

THE festive season is now upon us and the local NHS in Sefton is offering residents advice on how to stay well this winter and avoid those nasty winter illnesses.

This time of the year can pose problems for our health and wellbeing, especially for those with a long-term condition and people aged over 65. Cold and wet weather, ice, snow and windy conditions all play their part in making existing health conditions worse and making people vulnerable to picking up winter illnesses such as colds, sore throats, asthma, norovirus and most commonly the flu.

Help is at hand though, by being prepared, thinking carefully and knowing how to Examine your Options in Sefton.

Dr Andy Mimnagh, chair of NHS South Sefton Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “Everyone wants to enjoy themselves at this time of the year, but a winter bug can dampen any spirits.

“The best advice that I can offer is to be prepared. If you are entitled to a free flu vaccination then make sure you get it, visit your pharmacist to ensure that you have the right at home medication, order your repeat prescriptions using Patient Access well before the bank holiday rush and make sure that you have plenty of food stocked up at home, just in case we are visited by some nasty weather.

“It’s also really important to make sure that we look out for not only family and friends, but also for any elderly neighbours as well, those who may struggle to get out of the house this time of the year, to ensure that they have everything that they need.

“If you are unlucky and get poorly, knowing what to do and where to go for your specific medical need, will ensure that you have a speedy recovery.”

Dr Rob Caudwell, Southport GP and chair of NHS Southport and Formby CCG, said: “It is vital to remember that the ambulance service and A&E should not be used as an alternative to your GP if your surgery is closed.

“If you or your children require medical assistance outside of normal surgery hours during a bank holiday, patients in Southport and Formby have access to a wide range of alternative health services available including GP out-of-hours services and pharmacists who are qualified to offer advice and treat common, everyday illnesses quickly and conveniently.”

For up-to-the-minute information on where to go if you fall ill during the bank holiday, visit your local CCGs websites, as well as their Twitter and Facebook pages, or visit Examine Your Options:

Feeling Unwell? – Examine Your Options
Across the region there are a range of health services to support people if they feel unwell or have any health concerns. There are services which you may be unfamiliar with, but could be more appropriate and convenient for you depending on your specific issue.

Pharmacy Services
Several pharmacies will be open throughout the Christmas bank holiday period and the best way to find out which pharmacy is open and when, is to visit your CCGs website and check out their Twitter and Facebook pages for on the day updates.

Your local pharmacy can offer free, confidential and expert advice on a range of health issues. They can also help you to self-care and prepare for many common winter illnesses and offer advice on which medicines to keep in stock at home.

Whilst all pharmacies provide advice and treatment for a range of minor illnesses and ailments, a number in Sefton offer Care at the Chemist, which ensures our most vulnerable patients who don’t routinely pay for their prescriptions have free and easy access to over-the-counter medicines they may need without the need to see a doctor.

You can find a wealth of trusted advice about hundreds of health conditions and details of GPs, pharmacies in your local area by visiting This useful website also includes a handy symptom checker.

NHS 111
When you need medical help or advice fast, but it is not a 999 emergency, you can also call the NHS 111 service. This service is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and calls are free from mobiles and landlines.

If you need medical care for illnesses you cannot treat yourself, then your GP should be your next port of call.

Your Local GP
Your GP should be your first point of contact for non-emergency illnesses you can’t treat yourself. A GP will be available from 8am to 6.30pm weekdays (local GP practice times may vary). If you don’t have a GP, you can register with your local surgery.

If you’re not sure where this is, you can find out at: or call Healthwatch Sefton on 0800 206 1304.

To make an appointment to see an extended hours GP, contact your GP practice.

GP Out-of-Hours Service
If your local surgery is closed, you can still see a GP with the GP out-of-hours service; just call 111 and you can speak to a local GP over the phone or face to face if necessary.

It is very likely that you and your family will be seen and treated more quickly using the out-of-hours service than if you were waiting to see a doctor in A&E, especially at busy times.

For more information please visit

Walk-in Centre/Urgent Treatment
Sefton – Litherland Walk-in Centre is open 8am-8pm every day including Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day. No matter where you live in Sefton you can simply drop in – there is no need for an appointment and all ages can get treatment here. The service treats minor illnesses and injuries that do not need a visit to accident and emergency (A&E). Remember A&E is for serious and life threatening illnesses or injuries.

Litherland Walk-in Centre is based in Litherland Town Hall, Hatton Hill Rd, L21 9JN. Call 0151 475 4667.

West Lancashire – the Urgent Treatment Centre (formally referred to as the West Lancashire Walk-in Centre) is based at Ormskirk Hospital, Wigan Road, Ormskirk, L39 2AZ. This centre is open from 8am to 8pm, seven days a week, although over the Christmas and New Year bank holiday opening times will vary.

The staff within these centres, can treat minor injuries and minor ailments.

To access help, visit the respective centre that you would like to use and speak to the receptionist. Once you are booked in, you will be seen by a clinician who will decide how urgent your case is and you will be then be seen in priority order.

Patient Access
Manage your repeat prescriptions and make GP appointments from the comfort of your own home, without having to venture outside, by using the new FREE Patient Access website and smartphone app. Simply search for ‘Patient Access’ in the app store.

Remember though, if using Patient Access for the very first time, you will first have to contact your GP practice so that you can register to use the app.

Actor makes guest appearance at Christmas fair

Southport actor, David Lonsdale, of Heartbeat and Coronation Street fame, was on hand to support local group Stepping Stones at their Christmas Fair last weekend.

Stepping Stones is a group in Southport for those with mental health, physical or learning disability issues and provides activities to build their confidence and wellbeing such as arts and crafts, archery, snooker and indoor bowling.

“I was invited to come along by one of the members from Stepping Stones and I was happy to do it,” explains David, who supports several different groups in Sefton such as Bridge Inn Community Farm and Live to Learn by delivering drama and radio classes.

David, Mike and Gillian
David Lonsdale (right) with Mike and Gillian from Stepping Stones at their Christmas Fair

“From all the groups I have visited in Southport, I have been impressed because they are atmospheric and such happy places to spend the day,” adds David, who played David Stockwell on Heartbeat for 16 years.

Stepping Stones received a £500 Community Resilience Grant from the wellbeing organisation Living Well Sefton to help towards art and craft supplies as well as supporting volunteers to attend sessions. Karen Nolan, Co-ordinator of Living Well Sefton, says: “It is great that the grant enables groups like Stepping Stones to continue offering activities that are such a focal point of people’s lives.”

Chairman, Mike Swift, explains: “Stepping Stones started in 2012 and we offer Sefton residents the opportunity to meet new friends and take part in social activities. We also arrange activities in the community as a follow on, to help people get out and learn.”

Stepping Stones meets on a Tuesday at the Temperance Institute, Southport, for arts and crafts and Mike says there are spaces for those interested in coming along on a Thursday at the Institute between 1pm and 4pm. “Currently we have games day or archery on a Thursday but when the weather is better we have trips out.”

The group is part of Sefton Advocacy, an independent charity offering adults in Sefton a free advocacy service to support them with their concerns.

To find out more about Thursday sessions at Stepping Stones call Mike on 07599 093460 or Sefton Advocacy 01704 500500. For details on Living Well Sefton call 0300 323 0181 or visit:

Sefton buildings to show support of Leave No One Behind campaign

Buildings across Sefton will light up orange in support of Leave No One Behind – a campaign to end violence against women and girls across the globe.

Until December 10, Bootle Town Hall and Crosby Library will be bathed in an orange glow, the colour chosen to represent a United Nations led 16 day campaign to combat gender-based violence.

Sefton Council employees have also joined together to film a powerful and emotive dont_give_domestic_abuse_a_homevideo calling on residents to support the campaign and help to end violence against women and girls.

Cllr Trish Hardy, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities and Housing, said:

“In Sefton we have a vision where girls and women live equally alongside men, free from harassment and abuse.

“The colour orange was chosen to symbolise a brighter future without violence and we are proud to be part of the call to action by lighting up our buildings.

“More than 100,000 women and girls in the UK are at risk of abuse. This needs to stop.

“In Sefton we fully support the sixteen days of action to end all abuse against women and girls.

“We want everyone to join our call today, so that we may have a better tomorrow.”

For more information on local support for victims of abuse visit

Road users invited to learn about exciting new scheme

Sefton Council is inviting road users to a drop-in session to learn about the building of new slip roads at Junction 1 of the M58.

Taking place tomorrow (28th) at Meadows Leisure Centre in Maghull, the session will be open throughout the day so that visitors can find out about the huge £6.7m scheme, which will get underway in Spring 2018.

The slip roads are expected to have a host of benefits, including making it much easier for people in the local area to access the motorway network, traffic reduction, reduction of air pollution on congested roads and making journeys quicker and easier.

John Fairclough, Cabinet Member for Locality Services at Sefton Council:

“The scheme for Junction 1 of the M58 is one that will make a positive difference to residents, local businesses and visitors alike.

“Understandably, our local communities will want to know more about how we manage the construction of the project. They may also be interested to know more about this exciting, landmark project.

“This session is the perfect opportunity for residents to find out more.”

Jim Black, Head of Locality Services at Sefton Council said:

“The development at Junction 1 of the M58 will be significant and create a positive impact when it is completed.

“If you would like to know more, the session at Meadows Leisure Centre will give you the opportunity to learn about the scheme in greater detail.

“It is a drop-in session and is open until 7pm to give as many people as possible the opportunity to pop along. If you can’t make it, you will be able to find updates as and when they are available at a specially created page on the Sefton Council website.”

For more information on the scheme, visit:

The Information Session takes place 11am-7pm, Meadows Leisure Centre, Hall Lane, Maghull, L31 7BB.

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