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Bank Holiday Weekend Advice

NHS advice for you this bank holiday weekend

Sefton CCGsHealth professionals in Sefton are encouraging residents to contact NHS 111 first if they need urgent medical advice and are highlighting the wide range of support available over the August bank holiday weekend (28-30 August).

People who need urgent health care across Sefton are being encouraged to contact NHS 111, by visiting or by calling 111 if you do not have access to the internet. NHS 111 is staffed by trained professionals and clinicians, who will direct you to the most appropriate health service. It is fast and simple and the easiest way to be sign posted to the right service that you or a loved one needs. This could be a GP out-of-hours, a walk-in centre or a local pharmacy. In an emergency, you should call 999.

Dr Pete Chamberlain, GP and chair of NHS South Sefton CCG, said:

“NHS 111 is there any time to advise you how to safely manage your condition at home, or direct you to the right health service for your needs. This may include a local walk-in centre, GP, pharmacy or hospital. If appropriate, 111 are able to book appointments with GP out-of-hours over the bank holiday weekend too.”

“Remember, in a life-threatening medical emergency such as loss of consciousness, stroke or serious injury, you should always call 999 straight away.”

Dr Rob Caudwell, GP and chair of NHS Southport and Formby Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), said:

“The NHS website has a wealth of trusted information and support as well as really helpful guides to some of the most common conditions that people can often treat at home.

In addition, many local pharmacies will be available over the bank holiday weekend to provide advice and support on how to treat some of these conditions. You can also still get your COVID-19 jab over the bank holiday at walk-in vaccination sites.”

For anyone over 16 in need of urgent mental health support as they no longer feel able to cope or be in control of their situation, there is a free 24-hour telephone service on 0800 145 6570. There is also free, confidential, 24/7 text message support for anyone who is feeling overwhelmed or is struggling to cope. The service, run by Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust, is staffed by trained volunteers who will work with you, to take your next steps towards feeling better. For this service text HEAL to 85258.

Litherland Walk-in Centre is open 8 am to 8 pm and is operating a telephone triage and appointment system to keep everyone safe by supporting social distancing. Local residents are advised to book an appointment before visiting the centre by calling 0151 475 4667.

Many local pharmacies are open over the bank holiday weekend and pharmacists can offer expert advice on appropriate treatments for a wide range of conditions affecting adults and children.

The NHS has produced a range of easy to follow online ‘self-help’ guides to common conditions such as indigestion, ear infections, sprains and strains and Mersey Care have developed their own range of self-help guides for a range of physical and mental health conditions. You can also find trusted advice about hundreds of health conditions on and the NHS app which provides secure access to a range of NHS services.

For detailed information on where you can go for your COVID-19 vaccine and information on other health services including pharmacy times over the bank holiday weekend please visit the CCG websites:  /

Information on urgent mental health support can be found via: and Mersey Care’s range of self-help guides can be found on:

The latest information about Litherland Walk-In Centre can be found at:

And a range of helpful self-help videos to common conditions and how to treat them is available at

You can also check @NHSSSCCG or @NHSSFCCG on Twitter, or ring NHS 111.


Help keep our vulnerable patients safe from Covid

Families and friends are being asked to carry on keeping patients safe by limiting their visits to hospital. No entry

Visiting was banned at the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic in spring 2020 but later reintroduced in certain circumstances at many hospitals.

The Government is now removing many of the pandemic restrictions that affect people’s everyday lives – but curbs on hospital visiting remain in place.

Dr Kate Clark, Medical Director at Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust, said:

“We know from conversations we have with patient families how distressing it can be not being able to visit freely.

“However, many of our patients are frail and vulnerable, and we must continue taking precautions to keep them safe while the potential for Covid infection remains.”

Arrangements can be made for visits by appointment to some patients who need direct support from family and friends. Support visiting to a general ward is usually limited to one person per patient or two people where the patient is at the end of their life.

Separate arrangements are in place for visits to maternity and the children’s ward at Ormskirk hospital, and North West Regional Spinal Injuries Centre at Southport hospital.

Other requests to visit should be discussed with the nurse or matron in charge. Individual visiting plans can be supported in exceptional circumstances.

Dr Clark added:

“We continue to see deaths of patients with Covid. The threat from this deadly disease has not gone away. We must learn to live with Covid and still protect those at risk.”



Hospital plants tree for Queen’s jubilee

An NHS trust has joined thousands of organisations and individuals supporting Plant a Tree for Jubilee to mark the Queen's 70 years on the throne.

The Canadian Serviceberry tree, which will eventually grow up to 30ft tall, was bedded in at the entrance to Ormskirk District General Hospital by Anne-Marie Stretch, managing director of Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust.

She said:

"We're delighted to be supporting the Queen's Green Canopy initiative to mark Her Majesty's platinum jubilee - and it's a pleasure to know this tree will be providing joy, shelter and shade for generations to come."

The tree was gifted by Trust contractors EFT Construction Ltd, of Southport.

Everyone from individuals to scout and girl guiding groups, villages, cities, counties, schools and corporates have been encouraged to play a part enhancing their local area by planting trees for the jubilee year.

As well as inviting the planting of new trees, the Queen’s Green Canopy will dedicate a network of 70 ancient woodlands across the UK and identify 70 ancient trees to celebrate the anniversary. 

Ormskirk treeplanting-picsay

The picture shows managing director Anne-Marie Stretch with Phil Greenough, the Trust’s Head of Hard Facilities Management


Change for patients attending A&E at Southport hospital

Southport and Formby District General Hospital is changing how it supports people who make their own way to A&E from Monday. Southportformbydistricthospital

The change is part of a local NHS pilot scheme to help more patients be seen in the right place at the right time and is already in use at the Royal Liverpool, Aintree and Wirral’s Arrowe Park hospitals.

It builds on a national campaign which encourages people whose care needs are not an emergency – but who still need urgent care – to contact NHS 111 first so they can be seen at the best place for them.

From Monday 13 December, Southport hospital will be trialling this approach at certain times when patients attending A&E will be met by a care navigator.

They will use the same system as NHS111, supporting patients with an assessment based on their symptoms and personal information to advise on the most appropriate place for care. This could be A&E but maybe a local dentist or pharmacy, a nearby urgent care centre, or specialist service such as Sefton Sexual Health.

Care navigators will only support patients who make their own way to A&E. There will be no change for patients arriving by ambulance, or who have been referred by a GP or directed to A&E by NHS111.

Dr Kate Clark, Executive Medical Director at Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust, said:

“As a doctor working in A&E for many years, I know the importance of seeing people with a medical emergency as quickly as possible. A&E teams everywhere are busier than ever and we want all our patients to have the best experience possible of the NHS.

“Care navigators will support patients finding the best care for them. For patients who don’t need emergency care, this maybe an NHS service outside hospital, potentially reducing waits in hospital for those who do.”

Anyone who wants to remain in A&E will be able to do so but may also face a long wait.

Dr Clark added:

“In an emergency, you should always call 999. Where you need urgent care or medical advice, or are not sure where to go, contact NHS111 first. They will direct you to the most appropriate service. There is also lots of advice available on the NHS website for self-care options.”


Keep safe from COVID-19 and Flu

Keep safe from COVID-19 and flu with these three tips, say local health experts. Covid spikes

Health experts are encouraging people in Sefton to keep COVID-19 and flu in check with three tips to ensure you and your loved ones keep safe:

  • 1.         Get your COVID-19 and flu vaccines as soon as they are available to you, especially if you’re pregnant. For those who are eligible, COVID-19 boosters can now be pre-booked a month in advance for those who had their second jab five months ago
  • 2.         Test yourself regularly, support contact tracing and self-isolate for 10 days if positive
  • 3.         Continue to follow hands, face, space guidance

Dr Pete Chamberlain, local GP and chair of NHS South Sefton Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), said:

“The best way to protect against COVID-19 and flu is to get your vaccines as soon as they are available to you and if you’ve yet to have yours, it’s never too late.”

COVID-19 booster jabs are now being offered to anyone over 40 as well as to those in high risk groups, at least six months from their second vaccine. To make it easier and more convenient to get your booster, you can pre-book your vaccine a month in advance.

Margaret Jones, Sefton Council’s Director of Public Health, said:

‘While first and second vaccinations are still providing people with good levels of protection from the virus, a booster dose can give people longer term protection against getting seriously ill from COVID-19. If it’s been five months since you had your second jab, you can now pre-book to have your booster in another month’s time.”

Young people aged 16 and 17 can also now book their second vaccine, at least 12 weeks after their first. In addition, children aged between 12 and 15 can have their COVID-19 jab to help protect them and their loved ones. Most aged between 12 and 15 will be offered one jab, those with a condition that means they're at high risk from COVID-19 or who live with someone who is more likely to get infections, will be offered two.

Dr Rob Caudwell, local GP and chair of NHS Southport and Formby Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), said:

“It’s amazing that so many people have had their COVID-19 vaccine, and we’re keen to see that success continue across all groups and for those who are eligible for the flu vaccine. Research has shown that you’re more likely to be seriously ill if you get flu and COVID-19 together at the same time. So, it’s really important you don’t delay and get your jabs as soon as they’re offered to you.”

The flu vaccine is being offered to anyone 50 or over, or who are in a high risk group including those who are pregnant to protect them and their baby, and also those who may be carers or work in frontline health and social care.

Flu vaccines are also being offered to younger people. Children from 2 to 15 and those aged up to 17 with certain health conditions can have the flu nasal spray, which is safe and effective. Parental consent is needed for children to have flu and COVID-19 vaccines. The flu vaccine is offered in school to primary and secondary school aged children. Young people aged 12-15 are also being offered the COVID-19 vaccine in school, or parents can use the National Booking Service to book an appointment for their child to receive the Covid vaccine at a community venue if they prefer.

Dr Chamberlain said:

“Children can catch and spread flu easily and older children can also catch and spread COVID-19. Vaccinating them also protects others who are vulnerable, such as older people and those with health conditions or who are pregnant. So, it is really important that parents support this by getting their children vaccinated.”

As well as getting your vaccines testing, tracing and self-isolating remain effective ways of stopping COVID-19 from spreading and preventing new variants of the virus from emerging.

Margaret Jones said:

“Taking part in regular testing, assisting in contacting others who may be infected, and self-isolating for 10 days if you test positive - even if you have been double-jabbed - will all help us to manage the virus and stop new variants emerging.”

In addition, continuing to follow ‘hands, face, space’ remains an effective way of controlling the spread of both COVID-19 and flu, even if you are fully vaccinated.

Dr Caudwell advises:

“Wash your hands regularly throughout the day and after you’ve blown your nose or been to the toilet. Wear a face covering in crowded and enclosed places, where you come into contact with people you don’t normally meet. If you are meeting friends and family, if possible, meet outdoors or let fresh air in if you are meeting indoors.”

Margaret Jones adds:

“As we approach the festive season many of us may be planning on taking our children to meet friends or relatives who may be elderly or live in other parts of the country, or we may be planning activities in busy places we don’t usually go to. Therefore, the potential for further spread of COVID-19 or flu is increased. Following these tips will help to reduce the risk of catching and spreading COVID-19 and flu and help us to manage these viruses.”

For more information on flu, who can have the jab free on the NHS and where you can get the flu jab


More information about the COVID-19 booster programme and how to get your COVID-19 vaccine is available on or by calling 119.



Public consultation about hyper-acute stroke services gets underway

The NHS in Knowsley, Liverpool, Sefton and West Lancashire has launched a 12-week public consultation about the proposal to establish a Comprehensive Stroke Centre at Aintree University Hospital. Stroke

The proposal aims to improve hyper-acute stroke services, which is the hospital care provided in the 72-hour period immediately after someone has a stroke.

Currently, there are hyper-acute stroke services at the Royal Liverpool University Hospital, Aintree University Hospital, and Southport Hospital. But with local expertise and resources spread across three sites, it can be difficult to ensure that patients get equitable access to the specialist staff, tests, equipment and procedures they need - especially in the critical three days following a stroke.

Local clinicians have developed this proposal for a single, Comprehensive Stroke Centre at Aintree University Hospital. This would bring together local hyper-acute services on the same site as The Walton Centre, which provides a specialist stroke treatment called thrombectomy.  

If the changes went ahead, it would mean that in the future all suspected stroke patients would be taken to Aintree Hospital for the first 72-hours of stroke care – even those who may have previously been treated at the Royal Liverpool Hospital or Southport Hospital.

Afterwards, up to half of patients would leave hospital to continue their recovery in their own homes with an early supported discharge team. Those not ready for discharge, would transfer one of three acute stroke rehabilitation units at either Aintree, Broadgreen, or Southport hospitals to continue their recovery.

Dr Claire Cullen, Stroke Consultant, Liverpool University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust explains:

“We want to give people the best chance of accessing specialist treatments for stroke, as soon as possible within that critical 72-hour window – and that’s what this proposal is all about.

“Many of us know that acting fast is extremely important when it comes to stroke – but this doesn’t just mean getting someone to the nearest hospital; it’s important that they are seen by specialist stroke staff who can provide a diagnosis and make decisions about the best treatment for that individual.

“As well as increasing the use of clot-busting and clot-removing treatments for patients, we also believe that bringing local services together would increase the number of patients who are treated on a specialist stroke ward – all of which can make a massive difference to patient outcomes.”

The proposal does not involve any reduction in the amount of NHS funding spent on stroke care locally – in fact, it would see an increase in investment. This includes an additional one-off investment of £4m to develop the new Comprehensive Stroke Centre at Aintree Hospital, and an extra £1.9m invested into running the service year on year.

Dr Paddy McDonald, Stroke Consultant, Southport & Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust said:

These proposals have been developed by the people who care for stroke patients every day, and really understand what a long-term difference quick diagnosis and treatment can make to people who have experienced a stroke.

“Some journeys to hospital would take longer but in return for quicker, more joined up care once you arrive with a better outcome for each patient.

“This is an approach that we know has already been shown to improve care for stroke patients in other parts of the country, and we believe that our local population should also have access to the very best quality of care.”  

The public can find out more about the proposals for improving hyper-acute stroke services and share their views between 22 November 2021 and 14 February 2022.

Further information and an online questionnaire are available at:

Those who would prefer to talk through their feedback, can also call (0151) 247 6406 (Monday to Friday 9am – 5pm). People can also use this number to request a paper version of the questionnaire, or information in a different language or format. They can also do this by texting: 07920 206 386 or emailing:

There will also be some public events taking place online which will provide an opportunity to hear about the changes in more detail from clinicians, and chance to give feedback as part of a small focus group.  

These sessions will be taking place on:

  • Tuesday 7th December, 1.00pm-3.00pm
  • Thursday 9th December, 6.00pm-8.00pm

People can sign up to take part in one of these sessions at:

The public consultation is being managed by NHS Liverpool Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), on behalf of five local CCGs – Knowsley, Liverpool, Southport & Formby, South Sefton, and West Lancashire.

The proposals have been developed by clinicians from the three local NHS Trusts currently involved with providing stroke care for these areas - Liverpool University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Southport & Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust and The Walton Centre NHS Foundation Trust.

For more information about this public consultation, click here.