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March 2021

Shaping Care Together: We Are Listening

Health leaders in Southport, Formby and West Lancashire have been listening to a wide variety of views. Listening

They have sought the views of patients, staff and the public about their views and experiences of local health and care services over the last two months and have learned a great deal about what works well and what could be improved.

Shaping Care Together is led by a partnership of NHS organisations; Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust, NHS Southport and Formby CCG and NHS West Lancashire CCG. These organisations are working together to look at the challenges currently faced by health and care in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, financial pressures and the growing demand for NHS services in and out of the hospitals.

Trish Armstrong-Child, Chief Executive Officer of Southport & Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust said;

”Over the last eight weeks we have been inviting people to share their feedback through online events, surveys and conversations and I have been delighted by the positive things people have said about the NHS staff who work so hard and the services they have delivered in these challenging times. However, we have also heard about the things we can build on to make sure that health and care meet our needs now and into the future.”

Early findings from the review reveal that people wanted to give feedback about their GP Practice, hospital and community-based services. There have been many positive experiences of online consultations with GPs and hospital care but some expressed concerns that they don’t want this to become normalised in the future. There was overwhelming goodwill towards the NHS and the work being done to address the pandemic.

Of the surveys completed, alongside online discussion groups and one to one telephone interviews many people talked about the importance of placing the patient at the centre of service delivery and that services need to be planned around the patient journey.

A recurring theme was the need to support people to prevent ill health and to help them to manage their conditions. There was felt to be room for improvement in the differences in care across the geography and that the hospital buildings had seen better days. Participants did however recognise the funding challenges facing the NHS.
The Programme will now look at the things people said in more depth whilst the local elections take place and will then start to develop potential solutions to areas for improvement identified by local people and clinicians.

Trish Armstrong-Child added,

“I would like to thank everyone who has given up their time so far to have a say and in particular, I would like to thank partners in the community and voluntary sector who have helped us to reach some marginalised and vulnerable people and allowed them to have a voice. It is vital that we continue to work with people who use our services to shape care alongside clinicians and professionals.”

The survey is still open and there are reply-paid forms available at the vaccination centres so it’s not too late to get involved.

To take part, visit the interactive engagement site If you would prefer to speak to someone or require information in a different format or language, please call 01695 588025.


Over 50s; book your vaccine now!

Over 50s in Sefton are being urged by local GPs to book their jab, as the local vaccine programme continues to make good progress.

Thousands of people have had their first vaccine at centres across Sefton and GPs are reminding local over 50s who have yet to have theirs, to book their jabs now. Flu-shot-1719334_640

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

"Thousands of our residents most at risk of COVID-19 have already had their first dose at our local centres. As the vaccination programme progresses, we want to make sure everyone aged over 50 has had the chance to have theirs."

In just over 100 days the health service in England has given the vital first vaccine dose to more than half the adult population. Nine out of 10 people aged 65 and over have already taken up their first dose, according to NHS figures.

All adults aged over 50 and those who are clinically vulnerable against COVID-19 are being invited to book their vaccination.

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

"The MHRA, the European Medicines Agency and the World Health Organisation have all been absolutely clear that the vaccines are safe and effective, and people should go and get their COVID-19 vaccine when asked to do so.

While supplies are at good levels for the next two weeks, supply has always varied from week to week due to factors beyond the control of the NHS".

Dr Caudwell adds:

"Appointments for first doses for over 50s are still available for the rest of March. So if you’re over 50 and haven’t booked your first dose yet, now is the time to do it!"

Dr Gillespie goes on to say:

"As a GP, I’ve had my first jab. My dad who is 82 and my mum who is 77 have had the vaccine and were glad to do so. Both are fit and well and are relieved that they can now go out to shop for essentials with greater confidence.

"So we are asking everyone in Sefton aged over 50 to call their GP practice today and book your jab. We have appointments available at our vaccination centres even over the weekend, to make it as easy as possible to get your jab."

If you’re over 50 living in Sefton, call your GP practice to book your vaccination appointment, alternatively you can book an appointment at a larger regional centre and participating pharmacies by going to or by phoning 119.


Covid one year on: A reflection

Michael Rosen joins hospital staff in Covid poetry reading.

Former Children’s Laureate Michael Rosen joined staff from Southport and Ormskirk hospitals for a reflection of a year with Covid-19.

Today (18 March) is the anniversary of the first positive Covid result for an inpatient at Southport hospital. 

“Covid, one year on: a reflection” is a 20-minute film with contributions from Trish Armstrong-Child, chief executive of Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust, board non-executive director Gurpreet Singh, and hospital chaplain the Rev Martin Abrams. 

The main part of the reflection, however, is a poem inspired by Michael Rosen’s 'These Are The Hands'. 

He wrote the poem to mark the 60th anniversary of the NHS in 2008. Last year, staff were asked to offer their lines for a hospital “thought for the day”. Now updated with new contributions, Rosen will join the staff in a reading of the poem as part of the day’s reflection. 

He fell ill with Covid last March and spent 47 days in intensive care. By the time he went home in June, he had lost most of the sight in his left eye and hearing in his left ear and had to learn to walk again. He said it was “a pleasure” to contribute to the reading. 

Martin Abrams said:

“Different organisations are marking a year since the beginning of Covid on different dates and in different ways. 

“The hope is the reflection will both grasp the enormity of how life-changing the last year has been for so many people while looking forward with hope.”

The film concludes with the song “Defying Gravity” from the musical Wicked. It was recorded by West End Men in support of the NHS last year which, because of a local connection, they have agreed to be used as part of our reflection.


A world of silence, well nearly.

Can you imagine the world without radio, television, the Internet and the World Wide Web, satellites or space travel?

I started thinking recently about this question after watching the film 'Hidden Figures'.

Hidden figures
The story of a team of female African-American mathematicians who served a vital role in NASA during the early years of the U.S. space program. The film addresses several important themes.

Including racism, sexism, and the drive to achieve something. The film chronicles the lives of black women working at NASA as "human computers" who do difficult math by hand and in their heads. It takes place in the 1950s and 1960s.

It made me realise just how recently the 'information age' started. Sadly, it also points to the continuing issue of racism and sexism.

I began to think about some of these changes in everyday life starting with the birth of my Mum.

She was born on 26th December 1909.

And until she was 23 she lived in a 'silent world', not literally of course, but a 'radio silent' world. The BBC only began radio broadcasting in 1922.

In the following 2 years, they rapidly expanded the reach of their programmes to an increasingly wider audience.

Can you imagine the excitement and anticipation about this new miracle of wireless just up the road in West Bromwich, the place of my Mum's birth?

It set me thinking about when did the first working radio set came here to Formby.

One of her pre-radio memories included a tale involving a Zeppelin raid during the first world war. Following the raid, my grandfather came home to tell of an eyewitness account of seeing the body of a small child lying on the roof of a nearby house. It had been blown onto the roof by the bomb blast. It must have been a horrific sight.

It's hard to imagine a world where shocking stories like this would only reach a local newspaper audience or an even smaller number of people by word of mouth.

Contrast that with today's information-rich experience, some might argue over-saturated rolling news coverage that we take for granted.

To return to my opening question, even I was surprised that the first John Glenn circumnavigation of the earth in his spacecraft had relied on a 'human computer' to calculate the flight path. The first NASA computer proved to be unreliable. And the date of that first US space adventure was as recent as 22 February 1962. Only a relatively small number of years. 

I've listed the major broadcasting milestones below.


18 October – The British Broadcasting Company is formed.
14 November – First BBC broadcasts from London (station 2LO).
15 November – First broadcasts from Birmingham (station 5IT) and Manchester (station 2ZY).
24 December – First broadcast from Newcastle upon Tyne (station 5NO).


8 January – First outside broadcast, the British National Opera Company's production of The Magic Flute from Covent Garden.
18 January – The UK Postmaster General grants the BBC a licence to broadcast.
13 February – First broadcast from Cardiff (station 5WA).
6 March – First broadcast from Glasgow (station 5SC).
6 June – Edgar Wallace makes a report on The Derby, thus becoming the first British radio sports reporter.
28 September – First publication of the Radio Times listings magazine (price 2d).
10 October – First broadcast from Aberdeen (station 2BD).
17 October – First broadcast from Bournemouth (station 6BM).
16 November – First broadcast from Sheffield (relay station 2FL).
2 December – The first BBC radio broadcast in the Gaelic language is broadcast throughout Scotland.


Opportunity to join CCG governing body

NHS South Sefton Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is looking for an enthusiastic candidate to join its governing body.

A lay representative who will lead on public and patient involvement is needed to join the governing body, which makes decisions about the work of the CCG on behalf of its 30 member practices.

As well as attending bi-monthly governing body meetings, lay members are involved in the strategic work of the CCG, providing professional advice and support, as well as representing the organisation on cross sector programmes, forums, and committees.

The successful candidate will use their knowledge and interest of our communities to make sure the public voice of the local population is heard and that opportunities are created and protected for patient and public empowerment in the work of the CCG.

The current lay representative, Graham Bayliss, is stepping down from the role.

He joined the CCG in April 2016 after a long and successful career in local government, including 23 years with Sefton Council where he held several senior positions including director of corporate services and director of leisure and tourism.

He said:

Graham Bayliss 2“I’ve really enjoyed my five years with NHS South Sefton CCG, during a time of great challenge for the NHS.

“It has been an honour to help ensure the public and patient voice is heard within the local health system.

“I would urge anyone who is interested in representing our local community within the CCG and beyond to apply for the role of lay member for public patient engagement.”

Dr Craig Gillespie, chair of NHS South Sefton CCG, added:

“The contribution made by our lay representative is vital in helping the governing body understand the views of the local population.

“On behalf of my governing body colleagues, I would like to thank Graham for his valuable contribution to the community and wish him well for the future.”

Anyone who is interested in applying for the role can find full details and a recruitment pack online here:

The deadline for applications is Wednesday 17 March 2021.