Keep A&E free for people with serious or life-threatening conditions

People are being urged to avoid using A&E at Southport and Ormskirk hospitals unless they have a serious injury or illness, or face a life-threatening emergency

AandESouthport hospital, in particular, is extremely busy after a weekend which saw four-out-of-five patients on Saturday needing more thorough clinical assessment, investigation or observation before they could be treated.

Therese Patten, Chief Operating Officer, said:

“Local health and social care services are working closely to get patients the care they need where and when they need it. However, we also need our community’s help to keep our hospitals moving at this challenging time.

“Please use A&E services only if you need them and think carefully before calling an ambulance.

“If you have a friend, relative or loved already in the hospital, you can also help by supporting our staff to get them ready when it’s time to go home.”

A&E is for people with serious injuries or illness, or life-threatening emergencies such as severe chest pains, breathing difficulties, loss of consciousness or bleeding that won’t stop.

Contact a GP or a GP out of hours service for help with injuries or illnesses that won’t go away.

For people needing urgent help with minor illnesses or injuries, no appointment is necessary at a walk-in centre. West Lancashire Health Centre at Ormskirk hospital is open from 8 am to 7.30pm all year round. Skelmersdale NHS Walk-in Centre at The Concourse is open from 8 am to 7.30pm weekdays and from 9 am to 5 pm on weekends.

NHS 111 is the NHS non-emergency number. It’s fast, easy and free. Call 111 and speak with a highly trained adviser, supported by healthcare professionals. They will ask you a series of questions to assess your symptoms and immediately direct you to the best medical care for you.

Local pharmacists and the NHS Choices website are also a good source of information and advice.

Coughs, colds, sore throats, upset stomachs, general aches and pains, and flu will usually clear up on their own. Keep warm, drink plenty of fluids and, if appropriate, treat with over-the-counter painkillers such as paracetamol.

 


HELP YOURS-ELF TO STAY WELL THIS WINTER

THE festive season is now upon us and your local NHS in West Lancashire, Southport and Formby is offering residents advice on how to stay well this winter and avoid those nasty winter illnesses

image from www.formby.todayWinter is an exciting time for many, but this time of the year can pose problems for our health and wellbeing, especially for people with a long-term condition and those people aged over-65. Cold and wet weather, ice, snow and windy conditions all play their part in making existing health conditions worst 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 West Lancashire, Southport and Formby.

Dr John Caine, West Lancashire GP and chair at NHS West Lancashire 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 this 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 CCG’s websites, as well as their Twitter and Facebook pages, or visit Examine Your Options: www.examineyouroptions.info

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 CCG’s 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.

In Sefton – 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.

NHS.UK

You can find a wealth of trusted advice about hundreds of health conditions and details of GPs, pharmacies in your local area by visiting www.nhs.uk. 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. NHS 111 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 8.00am 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: www.nhs.uk or call 0300 77 77 007.

In West Lancashire, residents can now see a GP in the evenings and weekends at certain times.

On Tuesdays from 6.30pm to 8pm at the Skelmersdale Family Practice; on Wednesdays from 6.30pm to 8pm at the Matthew Ryder Clinic in Upholland and at the Tarleton Group Practice from 6.30pm to 8pm; on Thursdays at the West Lancashire Health Centre in Ormskirk from 6.30pm to 8pm.

At the weekend, you can see a GP, nurse and blood clinic at the Sandy Lane Health Centre in Skelmersdale on Saturday from 10am to 4pm and on Sunday you can see a GP and nurse from 10am to 2pm.

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

However, during the festive period, as Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day fall on a Bank Holiday, this extended service will not operate on these days and on New Year’s Eve it is GP and Nurse appointments only from 9am to 1pm.

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 www.examineyouroptions.info

Urgent Treatment/Walk-in Centres

West Lancashire has two walk-in centres. The Urgent Treatment Centre (formally referred to as the West Lancashire Walk-in Centre) in Ormskirk, which is based at Ormskirk Hospital, Wigan Road, Ormskirk, L39 2AZ. This centre is open from 8am to 8pm, seven days a week and the Skelmersdale Walk-in Centre at The Concourse, Skelmersdale, WN8 6LJ, which is open from 8am to 8pm, Monday to Friday and 9am to 5pm on Saturdays and Sundays, although over the Christmas and New Year bank holiday opening times will vary.

On Christmas Day, the Ormskirk centre will open from 9am to 5pm, with Skelmersdale’s open from 10am to 2pm. On Boxing Day, the Ormskirk centre will be open from 8am to 8pm and Skelmersdale from 9am to 5pm. On New Year’s Day the Ormskirk centre will be open from 8am to 8pm and Skelmersdale from 9am to 5pm.

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.

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.

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.

 


Top 10 rating for maternity staff detecting babies ‘at risk’ of stillbirth

Ormskirk hospital’s maternity unit has been nationally recognised for detecting a condition which can lead to babies being stillborn.

Last week the Wigan Road maternity unit had confirmation it was ranked in the top 10 in the country for detecting unborn babies who are Small for Gestational Age (SGA).

SGA can stop the baby growing during pregnancy and can cause an increased risk of stillbirth and can affect up to 10% of mothers-to-be.

Baby-Story---Ava-Marie-Flavelle-2

Week old Ava-Marie

Skelmersdale mother-of-two Louise Flavell and her baby Ava-Marie benefited from early detection of SGA. This meant the baby girl - weighing 1.39kg/5lbs 1oz - is now hoping to be home in time for Christmas.

Ava-Marie arrived safely in week 34 of pregnancy on Saturday, 18 November thanks to the expertise of doctors and nurses at Ormskirk maternity unit. The team achieved their rating by implementing the “Growth Assessment Protocol” designed by the Perinatal Institute.

The aim is to reduce the number of stillbirths associated with growth restriction during pregnancy and involves producing a growth chart for each patient. It is tailored specifically to their height, weight and ethnicity.

The growth of the baby is then closely monitored so any concerns can be immediately acted upon. A training programme for the midwives and doctors was undertaken to ensure detection rates are as high as possible.

The Department of Health announced in its new maternity strategy last month that it aimed to reduce the number of stillbirths by half by 2025. This is in line with the Saving Babies’ Lives care bundle launched by NHS England last year.

This looks at reducing smoking during pregnancy, improved detection of small babies raised awareness of reduced fetal movements and improves monitoring of babies’ heart rates during labour.

Doctor Alice Bird, Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist, said:

Omskirk-Hospital-Obs

Doctor Alice Bird

Congratulations to the whole maternity team on having an average SGA detection rate of 60.3% in 2017. This is far higher than the national average of 41.1%. These figures are excellent and put our trust in the top 10 in the country - excellent news for our patients like Louise - well done to the whole tea

“It’s also positive we are already addressing issues highlighted in the national maternity strategy and preventing the number of stillbirths at Ormskirk hospital. This is reassuring for mothers to be across Lancashire and Merseyside.”


This week in and around Formby

Updated every day, scroll down for earlier stories.

Get your skates on

Posted Friday 1 December 9.30 am 

Enjoy an opportunity to skate, get fit and start to celebrate the run-up to Christmas

Make sure to visit the Formby Fair

 Posted Friday 1 December  9.30 am 

Posted Thursday 30 November 9.30 am

Winter is finally upon us.

Posted 29 November 9.30 am

Formby and Shale Gas

Formby lies within the boundaries of the Government approved Shale Gas exploration zone. Some licences have already been approved and some local hydro phonic surveys carried out.

This is despite the overwhelming lack of support from the public.

Public-Attitudes-to-energy-sources

This from the latest House of Commons Library article about public attitudes.

The Energy and Climate Change Public Attitudes Survey was designed by the government’s British Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) department, was circulated to 2,105 people via a random location quota sampling method and conducted through face-to-face at home interviews.

Statistics show that the public’s favoured alternative energy source is renewables. Renewable energy includes energy from a source that is not depleted when used and is naturally replenished.

https://secondreading.uk/science/public-attitudes-towards-alternative-energy/

 

 Posted Tuesday 28 November 10.00 am 

Make the partnership work.

image from www.formby.todaySefton Council and The National Trust have concluded the land transfer at Formby Point. Over the next 2/3 three years changes will occur. This is the opportunity for a partnership between residents and the Trust together, to plan, to map out and to effect those changes.

Here's part of what the National Trust are saying

The National Trust is starting to develop future plans for how we can care for this special coastline in the coming decades. These plans will affect you and the future generations who come to enjoy this special place.

We aspire to improve access, conservation and facilities along this dynamic and ever changing coastline, loved by many and home to rare wildlife.

We want to involve the many people who love this special place in shaping these plans.

If you’d like to comment on anything, please email talkingformby@nationaltrust.org.uk

(For more read yesterday's blog post http://bit.ly/2Achfsb )

 Posted Monday 27 November 8.00 am 

Lancashire Day Proclamation

When Sefton Borough was brought into being in 1974, Formby was 'moved' from Lancashire into Merseyside, which was a newly inaugurated Metropolitan County Council. Until then, Formby, in common with Liverpool was Lancastrian.

Even today there are many who have never accepted that change, where do your local loyalties lie?

Lancashire-Red-RoseOn this day in 1295 the first elected representatives from Lancashire were called to Westminster by King Edward I to attend what later became known as "The Model Parliament".

The Lancashire Day proclamation is read out by town criers throughout the county on 27th November:

To the people of the city and county palatine of Lancaster

Greetings!

Know ye that this day, November 27th in the year of our Lord Two Thousand and Fourteen, the 63rd year of the reign of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, Duke of Lancaster, is

Lancashire Day

Know ye also, and rejoice, that by virtue of Her Majesty's County Palatine of Lancaster, the citizens of the Hundreds of Lonsdale, North and South of the Sands, Amounderness, Leyland, Blackburn, Salford and West Derby are forever entitled to style themselves Lancastrians.

Throughout the County Palatine, from the Furness Fells to the River Mersey, from the Irish Sea to the Pennines, this day shall ever mark the peoples' pleasure in that excellent distinction - true Lancastrians, proud of the Red Rose and loyal to our Sovereign Duke.

GOD BLESS LANCASHIRE
AND GOD SAVE THE QUEEN,
DUKE OF LANCASTER.

 Posted Monday 27 November 9.00 am 

Southport Hospital showing signs of strain as winter approaches?


Hospital highlights HIV testing week and World AIDS Day

A leading sexual health doctor is urging people to ‘know their status’ in the run-up to World AIDS Day which is at the beginning of December.

Know-your-status

The message from the team is to ‘know your status’ and to stay safe. Liz Kay, Dawn Killeen, Dr Zana Ladipo and Wendy Kicks.

According to Dr Zana Ladipo, in the North West, it is estimated that nearly two in a 1,000 have HIV, and in Sefton, it’s one in 1,000.

To highlight World AIDS Day, the staff at Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust staged an information and awareness stand outside the outpatient department at Southport hospital during HIV testing week in the run-up to World AIDS Day on Friday, 1 December.

The stand was hosted by staff from the Sefton Sexual Health Service. One of their aims is to dispel myths about HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) and AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome).

Dr Zana Ladipo, Genitourinary Medicine consultant, from Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust, said:

“HIV is spread primarily through sex and blood. It is not spread by kissing or sharing cups or cutlery.

“Simply having an HIV test does not affect your insurance. A blood test is all that is needed. The virus can affect anyone regardless of their age, sexuality or ethnicity. HIV is now a chronic condition and patients can expect a normal lifespan.

“The danger with HIV is not having a test and therefore not knowing your status. It is possible to live for years with HIV before getting sick and by this stage, AIDS may develop which is harder to treat. I have been tested and know my status.”

Nationally, it is estimated that more than 101,200 people are living with HIV in the UK and this is increasing. It is believed a quarter of people with the disease are believed to be undiagnosed and therefore unaware of their status.

Also, since 2011 most Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) have been on the rise, especially in people aged 45 and above. Some STIs like Chlamydia may not cause any symptoms. Men simply provide a urine sample and woman can do their own swab.

Testing and treatment for STIs, HIV and genital non-STI related issues are available in Sefton Sexual Health’s community clinics in Maghull, Netherton, the May Logan Centre and Southport Centre for Health and Wellbeing. They also provide a full range of contraceptive methods. The service is ‘confidential’ and open to everyone.

Anyone can contact the clinic on 01704 513 303, and your local clinic and further information can be found using the website https://www.seftonsexualhealth.co.uk/ .