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Have your say on Sefton Health Policies Review

Sefton residents are being asked for views about a number of local health policies, being reviewed to make sure NHS resources are used on the most effective treatments.

image from formbyfirst.typepad.comNHS South Sefton (CCG) and NHS Southport and Formby CCG are working together with Halton, Liverpool, St Helens and Warrington CCGs to review a group of policies for procedures and treatments that are known as Criteria Based Clinical Treatments (CBCT). These are routine procedures that are known to have medical benefit only in very specific situations, or for a small number of people.

This is the third phase of the review, which aims to keep NHS care up to date with the latest national clinical guidelines, methods and technology, whilst also making the best use of NHS resources.

The policies that Sefton residents are being asked to provide views on in this latest phase are:

  1. Continuous glucose monitoring systems
  2. Cough assist devices
  3. Insulin pumps
  4. Secondary care administered peripheral joint injections
  5. Surgery for prostatism or lower urinary tract infections
  6. Transanal irrigation

At the same time, the CCGs are letting people know about updates to their policy for Botulinum toxin treatments, bringing it in line with national guidance from NICE, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence and the Pan Mersey Area Prescribing Committee.

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

“It is right that we regularly review the services we commission to ensure that we’re providing the most effective treatments that make the best use of our limited NHS resources.”

Dr Craig Gillespie, local GP and chair of NHS South Sefton CCG, said:

This review of policies is about looking at the latest guidelines, treatments, methods and technologies and where there is very little or no evidence of effectiveness, there is no benefit in offering them to patients.

Craig added:

“Any procedure comes with risk, so it’s important patients are offered those with the maximum clinical or functional benefit, not for cosmetic or psychological reasons. As clinicians we will explore other, more suitable treatments for patients with these types of needs.”

The information gathered will be used to help develop new or revised policies.

No final decisions have been made at this stage and it is important that as many people as possible give their views to help shape local NHS policies for the future. Patients who might not be eligible for treatment will still be able to apply through an Individual Funding Request (IFR) where appropriate.

More details on proposed changes to the policies being reviewed along with a survey, open until 7 July 2019, can be found on each CCG’s website or or by emailing or calling 01782 872 506.

This link will take to the relevant page:



Kirwans solicitor urges Formby residents to check eligibility for LPA refund

A leading Solicitors for the Elderly member is urging people to check their eligibility for a lasting power of attorney (LPA) fee refund after it emerged that many were overcharged by the Office of the Public Guardian.

Claire Currie HeadshotClaire Currie, Head of Private Client at Kirwans law firm said that those affected should look at whether they could be owed a refund after almost two million people paid over the odds between 2013 and 2017.

Prior to April last year, anyone who wanted to apply for an LPA was charged £110. The price was then reduced to £82, and according to the Office of the Public Guardian, which processes LPAs, the old application fee was higher than the costs incurred in processing applications.

Claimants can expect to receive a refund of up to £54, along with any interest accrued since the registration was made.

So far, only 200,000 of the 1.8million people owed have claimed their refund, meaning that there’s £77million still owed to customers.

To apply for a refund visit: The exact amount will depend on when the registration was made, and claims must be made by 1st February 2021.

Claire Currie said:

"Claiming for a refund takes about ten minutes online, so it's well worth people taking the time to find out whether they're owed any money. You’ll need the donor’s bank details and a copy of the LPA, if you have it. If you need help or more information about making a claim, there’s a Refunds Helpline you can contact, either via telephone on 0300 456 0300 or email”

An LPA is an important document that gives a loved one the power to make decisions on your behalf when you can no longer do so. There are two types of LPA: a health and welfare LPA, and a property and financial affairs LPA.

Recent research from Solicitors For The Elderly (SFE) found that there are only 7% of LPAs in place across the UK, meaning that millions of people are currently unprepared for later life. SFE urges anyone planning for their future to consider setting up an LPA and seek advice from a specialist lawyer.

Lakshmi Turner, Chief Executive of SFE, said:

"Whilst it’s comforting to know that people are making provisions by putting in place LPAs, millions of families, many of whom may have been going through a tough time with elderly relatives, will have been needlessly overcharged.

“It’s good to see the OPG addressing the error, and with the deadline for applications approaching, we’re urging people to check their eligibility for a refund soon.”

If you need assistance, speak to your local SFE lawyer. To find an SFE accredited lawyer near you go to:

Formby Edible Gardens Project Comes to an End

After nine years the Formby Edible Garden Project has reluctantly being brought to an end.

Recently the project team were informed by phone that the Swimming Pool Trust have other plans for the small space that has housed the project for the last nine years. The team are now winding up the project and moving some of the fruit trees to other homes.

The project began nearly ten years ago. Inspired by the Transition Town Movement which was sweeping the UK and the world,

One of the many objectives of that movement included:

  • To get to know their neighbours;
  • To feel like they are making a difference in the world;
  • Because the world’s huge challenges (climate change, social inequality, economic decline and so on) feel more manageable if addressed at the local scale (as one person put it, “Transition changed my relationship to the problems”);
  • To catalyse all manner of new projects, enterprises and investment opportunities;
  • To learn new skills;
  • To feel like they are creating a new story for their place;
  • To feel connected to other people and to something historic and exciting happening around them;
  • Because they feel it is “the right thing to do”.

We were also intrigued, and still are by the phenomenal success of the Incredible Edible Todmorden Project. They grow fruit, herbs and vegetables around Todmorden in assorted containers and spaces that are for everyone to share. They also run a wide range of events that help strengthen the local community. 
Last year they conducted 60 tours for over 1,000 visitors (who shopped in town). They describe themselves in the following way:

We are passionate people working together for a world where all share responsibility for the future wellbeing of our planet and ourselves.
We aim to provide access to good local food for all, through
• working together
• learning – from cradle to grave
• supporting local business  (Source:

Sadly we never achieved the same scale or effect of the Todmorden team, perhaps confining ourselves to the small enclosed garden helped to obscure the Formby Project. Nonetheless, the remaining enthusiastic team members are proud of our efforts.

We gave ourselves an ambitious target and the length of the project is a testimony to our commitment and the strong friendships we developed and continue to hold.

Formby Edible Gardens is a collaborative project involving local residents in Formby working for a more sustainable future. The project seeks to increase the general resilience of Formby given Peak Oil, Climate Change and Food Security........

A demonstration plot will provide examples of small-scale but efficient ways of growing food in a small space. It will provide advice and support for local and other residents who want to grow food in their own gardens. It hopes to establish small neighbourhood groups throughout Formby to promote food growing Finally it intends to stimulate an increased awareness of the benefits of healthy eating and to promote local food production and consumption. (Source:

Some of the plants and the garden infrastructure will be reused. The fruit trees have gone to The Bridge Inn Community Farm, they write:

We provide training and real life work experience in horticulture, agriculture and care of animals. The farm gives people a real working environment to care for friendly animals, grow crops and be part of a great team.....

The farm is now home to a variety of gardens featuring shrubs, herbs, trees, vegetable patches, fruits and ponds. We have a Japanese garden and tea house, which is beautifully manicured, with an ornamental pond.

They welcome visitors and we've always enjoyed meeting them and watching the continuing success of their project, they are the team that manages the Formby Station vegetable growing containers.

As to our recently constructed compost container, arrangements are in hand to transfer it to the small garden in the grounds of Formby Library.

So after many happy hours of pottering, planting, planning, seed swaps days, open days and talking to visitors we draw it to an end,

My thanks to everyone who participated it was quite a number of volunteers over the life of the project, but my very special thanks go to Sheila and John, constant members, both fellow Brummies who unfailing supported the project.

In John's case, a weekly return trip from Southport over the length of the project is a measure of his enthusiasm.





Olivia, 5, joins UK search for best pneumonia treatment

Olivia Isherwood (1)
Emily McDonald, Research Support Assistant; Moira Morrison, research nurse; Olivia Isherwood; Eric Isherwood; Dr Sharryn Gardner; Zena Haslam, research nurse.

Five-year-old Olivia Isherwood is helping doctors find the best treatment for children who fall ill with pneumonia.

She became poorly with community-acquired pneumonia just before Christmas.

Symptoms include a temperature, lethargy and a cough which can cause vomiting. Doctors usually prescribe the antibiotic Amoxicillin for the bacterial infection but opinions differ the world over about how much and for how long.

Mum Erica was asked if she would like to enrol Olivia on a research programme, CAP-IT, Ormskirk District General Hospital is taking part in and led by University College London.

“Even though I’m a community children’s nurse, I didn’t know Ormskirk hospital was involved in this kind of national research so, of course, I said yes,” said Erica, who lives in Ormskirk.

“What we were asked to do was very easy to follow and there were things for Olivia too, including a diary she could draw in each day to show how she was feeling.

“I recommend anyone offered the opportunity to take part in a clinical trial to try it. You can change your mind at any time but the care is so fantastic there’s no reason you’d want to.”

The clinical trial is led at Ormskirk hospital by Consultant Paediatrician Dr Sharryn Gardner whose team has recruited 14 children so far to the study – four more than they were asked and with a month to go before the trial ends.

“Children like Olivia are helping us understand how best to treat pneumonia in children and use antibiotics to their best effect,” said Sharryn.

“We’re very proud of the clinical trials we do at Ormskirk and Southport. Evidence shows hospitals that do research have the best outcomes, so it’s important to all our patients not just the children on the study.”

The Trust leads or collaborates in a range of health studies in priority areas identified by the Department of Health.

Jeanette Anders, Research and Innovation Manager, said:

“We are involved in 39 studies to which we’ve recruited 336 participants. This is a great achievement and demonstrates our commitment to offering patients and the public the opportunity to take part in research.”


Pictured, from the left: Emily McDonald, Research Support Assistant; Moira Morrison, research nurse; Olivia Isherwood; Eric Isherwood; Dr Sharryn Gardner; Zena Haslam, research nurse.

Time For Action


Are you a volunteer? Do you want to make a difference where you live? Have you got an idea to improve Formby?

Now is the 'time for action'
. Every Town and Parish Council across England and locally here in Formby will be up for election this May. There are 15 seats (elected members) on Formby Parish Council and 7 seats available on Little Altcar Parish Council. Not one of the existing Councillors has a right to stay unchallenged.

In my view, if you can't name your local Parish Councillor then you should choose someone else. They've had 4 years in office, it's 4 years of governing local life at the most immediate level.

If you don't know them by name or action by now they've failed you and it's time for new potentially more active and imaginative replacements.

Why not you?

Here's a recent Twitter from Lydiate Parish Council seeking new volunteers from within their community. Both our local Councils should be doing the same. The elections are in May and any resident can stand. It costs nothing all you need is ten signatures of support from your neighbours.