Previous month:
April 2018
Next month:
June 2018

Cancer support group helped John on the road to recovery

A year on from a life-saving operation at Southport hospital a pensioner has described his care as “brilliant” and said his care has continued in the community.

In May 2017, John Bailey had stomach pains for two-weeks which wouldn’t go away and went to West Lancashire NHS walk-in centre at Ormskirk hospital.

John Bailey a

An x-ray showed he had a tumour in his gut and he was sent to Southport hospital for surgery. The cancerous growth was removed from his bowel the next day. He has since made a good recovery and recently returned from a family holiday in France.

John, from Aughton, near Ormskirk, who turns 80 in June, said:

“The care I received was brilliant and everything was explained in such simple language by Mr Harish Babu and Mr Krishnan Gokul. They were so comforting. I couldn’t have wished for a better health service.”

Hospital staff and Macmillan Cancer Support are continuing to monitor and give advice and guidance to John through telephone conversations as well as informal monthly meetings of a colorectal support group.

He said:

“I really benefit from the monthly meetings. It gives you an opportunity to sit down and talk to friendly and helpful people who have suffered exactly the same as you. We also sometimes meet up and go out for a meal. It’s a really good network of friends who all provide support to one another.”

Stacey Boden, a Macmillan cancer nurse specialist at Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust, added:

“The group is very informal, friendly and relaxed and we have, on average, between 10 and 15 patients and family members at each session.

“We offer professional support and advice over a cup of tea. It’s a great opportunity to meet people in a similar situation and to talk about ways of overcoming difficulties. We are even planning a day out over the summer to the Lake District.”

The Colorectal Cancer Support group meets on the second Friday of each month between 1 pm and 3 pm at The Grove Community Centre, Station Approach, Burscough, L40 0RZ (next to Burscough Bridge train station). For further information please telephone 01704 704250. The next monthly Friday sessions will be on:

· 8 June

· 13 July

· 10 August

· 14 September

· 12 October

· 9 November

· 14 December


About The Formby Blog

Live-Blog-ImageThis blog started in 2006 and over the years there have been many stories published here. In this the latest iteration I'm experimenting with telling 'serial' stories. I still publish short single topic news items and the headlines appear in the column to the right. But the emphasis is now on writing a multi-part story around a theme over the passage of several days.

I hope you like this new approach, it's a form of 'slow live-blogging', I'm a fan of all things 'slow', food, travel, radio, film and video.

This form also opens up the possibilities for a prolonged conversation between me and the reader. It's a form of an interactive magazine. Let me know what you think. Use the comment link at the foot of the story. 

About me.

I am a retired Senior Lecturer in Teacher Education. I became interested in 'New Media' while I was a student at St Mary's College, Twickenham, where I studied Drama alongside Pete Postlethwaite and others.

I have maintained an interest in 'New Media' throughout my personal and professional life. I like photography, video and audio production, designing websites, local politics and crown green bowling.

I am particularly interested in the development of 'hyperlocal' blog sites. I have a long history of involvement in public affairs. I first stood for election in 1979. I was eventually elected to serve as a ward councillor for Linacre ward, Sefton MBC in 1980. I served until I retired from Sefton in 1987.

For several years afterwards, I was a Green party Member and served very briefly as Co-Chair. I stood for Parliament 3 times since 1979. Then I became a member of Formby Parish Council(2003-2011) and Little Altcar Parish Council(1995-2004 and November 2012 - May 2015). I was Chair of the 10 Parish Councils for Sefton for a number of years and also represented them as a member of Sefton MBC's Local Strategic Partnership.

Nurse recruitment open day at Southport hospital

A recruitment day for nurses interested in working at Southport and Ormskirk hospitals is being held next Tuesday.

The event runs from 3.30pm to 7 pm on Tuesday 29th May in the Clinical Education Centre at Southport hospital. Light refreshments will be available for all those attending.

Nursing a

Dozens of nurses have joined Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust after attending previous events.

They are a great opportunity to chat informally with senior nurses about what the Trust can offer. For those who are interested, interviews and potential offers of employment will be available on the day.

Online applications are encouraged but there is no need to register to attend.

The Trust has nursing vacancies in both urgent and planned care roles. To view all current roles visit

For further information please feel free to contact Carol Fowler, Assistant Director of Nursing for Workforce, on 01704 704908.

Bike & Go launches third annual Chic Cyclist Contest

Leading bike hire scheme Bike & Go has launched its third Chic Cyclist competition, and is inviting stylish cyclists across Formby to join in the fun.

With cycling shorts the surprise hit of the catwalk for this year's spring/summer shows and social media queens Kim Kardashian West and Bella Hadid pioneering their return, cycling gear is having a moment.

Cycle Chic 2018 a

But according to the Bike & Go team, you don’t need to don lycra to enjoy a bike ride; and they’re celebrating the wide variety of outfits worn by cyclists with their popular annual contest.

From skinny jeans and Superstars to wedding dresses, previous entrants have shown us that anything goes when it comes to using their bike to get around.

And the cyclist crowned this year’s winner will ride off into the sunset with £150 worth of high street vouchers.

To enter, users simply need to upload a photo of themselves in their most stylish cycling outfit and tweet it to @UKBikeandGo using the hashtag #ChicCyclist2018.

The closing date is Friday, August 10, 2018, and the winner will be announced on Tuesday, August 14 through the @UKBikeandGo handle on Twitter.

David O’Leary, Director of Bike & Go said:

“Each year, Bike & Go users send in their photographs to show us that cycling outfits can consist of anything from jeans and a pair of Converse to business suits. The entries we’ve had for past competitions have been getting better and better, so we can’t wait to see what chic outfits our cyclists come up with this summer.”

Bike & Go offers bike hire facilities from 21 participating train stations across the Merseyrail network, including Liverpool Central, Moorfields, Aigburth, Southport, Ainsdale, Ormskirk and West Kirby, in addition to a further 49 participating train stations across much of the North West, North East and Yorkshire, East and South East of England, and Scotland.

In 2016 the scheme was praised by a UK division of the travel giant TripAdvisor when it was included in a list of the top seven bicycle hire companies drawn up by its subsidiary rental company Holiday Lettings.

To hire a Bike & Go bike, users simply need to register their card details online, which they can do via smartphones, tablets, or at home, and pay the annual £10 subscription fee. They will then receive a user number via email which will allow immediate bike hire – usually charged at just £3.80 per 24 hours up to a maximum of 72 hours - while they wait for their Bike & Go membership card.

Once finished with, bikes can be dropped off at any participating Bike & Go bike hire facility.

‘Examine Your Options’ this Bank Holiday

Local health commissioners are encouraging Sefton residents to examine their options if they become unwell over the bank holiday weekend.

Anyone who thinks they may need to access health services over the bank holiday is being urged to check opening times for walk-in centres, GP practices and chemists and also think about ordering any repeat prescriptions they need before the long weekend begins.

Bank Holiday Image

Dr Craig Gillespie, local GP and acting chair of NHS South Sefton Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), said:

“The bank holiday weekend can be a good opportunity to relax and unwind but its important people know how to access health services, should they need to. Many GP practices will be closed on the bank holiday, so it’s particularly important for people to examine their options if they become poorly.”

Dr Rob Caudwell, a Southport GP and chair of NHS Southport and Formby CCG, said:

“There are a variety of services on offer to people such as the advice on the NHS Choices website, and the NHS 111 telephone number. Pharmacists are also available to provide free, confidential advice about common health problems such as coughs, colds and sore throats.”

The local NHS in Sefton is also reminding people that A&E and 999 services are for life-threatening and serious conditions.

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

Many pharmacies will be open throughout the bank holiday weekend and the best way to find out which pharmacy is open and when is to visit our 'Your Services Health page'.

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 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.


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. 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. Your GP is available from 8.00am to 6.30pm weekdays.

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 0300 77 77 007.

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.

Walk-in Centres

Litherland Walk-in Centre is open 8 am – 8 pm every day. in Litherland Town Hall, Hatton Hill Rd, L21 9JN. Call 0151 475 4667.

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.

West Lancashire Health Centre – 8 am to 8 pm, 7 days a week

Skelmersdale Walk-in Centre – 8 am to 8 pm, 7 days a week

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.

For information about services that can help in south Sefton over the bank holiday please visit our 'Your Services Health page'.