Stories of the people, the place and the areas surrounding Formby. Formby is a coastal town with a beautiful beach, fabulous sand dunes, pine woods, red squirrels all managed by the National Trust. The town boasts an attractive village shopping centre where there's much to see, eat and drink. Because of its popularity, parking close to the beach is limited, often full and large queues form by noon at weekends and bank holidays.
With Christmas just around the corner, health experts in Southport and Formby are urging local patients to prepare now to make sure they’re fully organised should they become unwell in the holiday season.
NHS Southport and Formby Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is wanting to make sure as many of us as possible know the little steps to help the NHS help you such as stocking up on over the counter medicines and which service to use should we become unwell.
Dr Rob Caudwell, GP and chair of NHS Southport and Formby CCG, said: “No one wants to spend their Christmas holidays unwell.
“Ahead of the busy holiday period we’re urging you to make sure you’ve got fully stocked medicines cabinets at home: things like pain killers, cold remedies and tablets for tummy troubles. This will make a big difference if you or your family are unwell over the festive period.
“Remember that GPs won’t routinely prescribe over the counter medicines for minor illnesses so it is important to have these at home when you can.”
Medical help and advice will be available over the Christmas and New Year period, and you might find that the GP practice isn’t the best place for your need. Several pharmacies will be open over the holidays and a list of these can be found on the CCG website.
Dr Caudwell continues:
“During the winter months and especially over the festive period, it is important we know where to go if we, or someone we know falls ill.
“You’ll find a chemist not far from home, even on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day and all pharmacists can give you expert health advice and over the counter treatments for the most common illnesses and ailments without the need for an appointment.
“Other services will also be available if it is something more serious such as NHS 111 and extra GP appointments of an evening and weekend.”
In Southport and Formby more vulnerable patients can also use the Care at the Chemist scheme which is available in several pharmacies in the area.
With the met office issuing a yellow warning for snow and ice across Sefton this weekend, the local NHS want us to stay safe, fit and healthy.
Cold weather can cause treacherous conditions underfoot which can lead to dangerous slips, trips and falls for elderly or frail patients. Cold, damp conditions can also leave people with long-term conditions – such as respiratory problems - more vulnerable to winter illnesses.
NHS South Sefton Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and NHS Southport and Formby CCG have put together the best tips to stay healthy:
Keep your home warm - If you have reduced mobility, are 65 or over, or have a health condition such as heart or lung disease, you should heat your home to at least 18C. If you’re under 65 and healthy and active, you can safely have your house cooler than 18C, if you’re comfortable.
Eat well this winter - Food is a vital source of energy, which helps keep your body warm. Try to make sure that you have hot meals and drinks regularly throughout the day and keep active in the home if you can.
Stay active - If you can stay active, even moderate exercise can bring health benefits. If possible, try not to sit still for more than an hour or so.
Wear lots of thin layers - clothes made from cotton, wool or fleecy fibres are particularly good and help to maintain body heat. Wear shoes with a good grip to prevent slips and falls when walking outside. If possible, stay inside during a cold period if you have heart or respiratory problems.
Help your neighbours - Check on older neighbours to make sure they’re safe and well. Make sure they’re warm enough, especially at night, and have stocks of food and medicines so they don’t need to go out during very cold weather.
If you’re worried about a relative or an elderly neighbour, contact your local council or ring the Age UK helpline on 0800 00 99 66.
Debbie Fagan, chief nurse at the CCGs, said:
“It’s really important that you keep yourself warm both outdoors and indoors this winter.
“We recommend that you keep your indoor heating to at least 18˚C. Before you go outside, make sure you check the weather forecast in advance and dress appropriately with lots of layers.”
Outdoor surfaces such as steps and footpaths can become slippery in cold weather. You should use grit on outdoor surfaces to prevent any slips or falls. Falls can be especially harmful to elderly people who are much more likely to break bones.
If you need medical attention you should call NHS 111 (available 24/7) or visit your local pharmacist for advice.
This weekend, (Sunday 9 December), a Christmas Craft Fair will be held at Southport hospital.
Stalls will be located in the gymnasium area of the Northwest Regional Spinal Injuries Centre, from 12-4pm.
Local craftspeople are welcome to sign up for a table at a cost of £10 each. Come along to sell your crafty creations or Christmas themed gifts and decorations! All are welcome.
Visitors on the day can chat to local charities, browse the stalls, and enjoy delicious refreshments and Christmas entertainment.
The fair will raise much-needed funds for the refurbishment of the spinal injuries centre’s garden. This garden is used for recreation and rehabilitation by patients, many of them being long-term residents.
Parking is free for visitors, bring the ticket along to the fair and it will be validated.