Your CCG newsletter

This edition will cover current coronavirus (COVID-19) advice and information, as well as well as other useful updates and information. 
COVID-19 updates
Roadmap out of lockdown

A 4-step plan to ease lockdown in England has been announced. A summary of step one is below and you can read about the full plan on the government website here.

Changes on 8 March
  • Pupils return to face-to-face education in school and further education in England. Wraparound childcare, such as after-school clubs, can reopen.
  • Outdoor recreation, such as a picnic, is allowed. This can be on your own, with one other person, or with your household or support bubble.
  • Indoor visits to care homes start again for a single named visitor.
Changes on 29 March
  • Outdoor gatherings (including in private gardens) of either 6 people or 2 households will also be allowed, 
  • Outdoor sports facilities such as tennis and basketball courts, and open-air swimming pools, will also be allowed to reopen, and people will be able to take part in formally organised outdoor sports.
  • The ‘stay at home’ rule will end on 29 March but many restrictions will remain in place. People should continue to work from home where they can and minimise the number of journeys they make where possible, avoiding travel at the busiest times and routes. Travel abroad will continue to be prohibited, other than for a small number of permitted reasons.

The government has explained we will only move from one step to the next if they are sure it is safe. The decision will be based on four tests:

  • the vaccine deployment programme continues successfully
  • evidence shows vaccines are sufficiently effective in reducing hospitalisations and deaths in those vaccinated
  • infection rates do not risk a surge in hospitalisations which would put unsustainable pressure on the NHS
  • the assessment of the risks is not fundamentally changed by new Variants of Concern

National lockdown: Let's keep going

England is still in national lockdown and it is extremely important that we all continue to follow the guidance and stay at home to help reduce COVID-19 infection rates.

Under current lockdown rules, people should continue to stay at home and only leave the house for essential reasons such as work, education, shopping and medical appointments.

Read the full rules on what you can and cannot do on the government website here. 

COVID-19 vaccination programme – what you need to know

The NHS is making good progress rolling out the COVID-19 vaccination programme. You can find more information about how this is happening in Sefton and some useful resources on our website here.

COVID-19 testing

Those who cannot work from home can access regular testing even if they do not have symptoms. Details on asymptomatic testing centres can be found here.

If you experience symptoms of COVID (fever, new continuous cough or loss/change of taste or smell or other symptoms that may be related to COVID) you can obtain a test by visiting or calling 119. If the test is positive, you must follow the guidance including self-isolating immediately. More information on self-isolating can be found here.

Latest news
Are you clear on ovarian cancer signs and symptoms?

This Ovarian Cancer Awareness Week, GPs in Sefton are urging residents to be clear on the warning signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer and to contact their GP practice with any concerns. Early diagnosis of ovarian cancer can save lives.

Ovarian cancer, or cancer of the ovaries, is one of the most common types of cancer in women. It mainly affects women who have been through menopause (usually over the age of 50), but it can sometimes affect younger women too.

Read more here.

A new persistent cough isn’t always COVID-19

Doctors in Sefton are concerned that people who develop a persistent cough automatically assume it is COVID-19 related and are not seeking advice from their GP, when in fact it could be a sign of lung cancer.

We are urging residents with any signs or symptoms of cancer to contact their GPs to discuss concerns. Early diagnosis of lung cancer can save lives.

Read more here.

Get involved

Have you used NHS 111 First? Then Healthwatch Sefton wants to hear from you

Healthwatch Sefton is calling on its members and local residents to share their feedback on using the NHS 111 First service. Introduced in November last year, NHS 111 First aims to make it easier for people to access the right service for them.

NHS 111 First has a directory of services tailored for each borough so patients are matched up with the right local service. Through NHS 111 First, people can be booked into slots with A&E, walk-in centres and general practice.

How to get involved

If you have used the NHS 111 First service you can leave your views directly on the Feedback Centre on the Healthwatch Sefton website. This can be anonymous.

Click here to go to the NHS 111 First service to leave a review. 

Alternatively, you can ring the team on 0800 206 1304 or email  to leave your feedback.

SEND parents and carers invited to share views on education, health and social care services
Sefton Council is inviting parents and carers to feedback on what is going well and what could be improved in our local area. The survey covers education, health and social care services and the information and support that parents and carers receive.

The same survey was carried out in October 2019 as a baseline survey and the feedback gathered in this follow up survey will help to identify how services are received compared to 2019. This feedback will then be used to help identify what might be working well and where improvements need to be made.   
How to get involved

Parents and carers are invited to complete a short online survey which will close on 26 March 2021. This survey should take between 15-20 minutes to complete. 

Find more information about the survey here.
Feedback on smoking and/or quitting during COVID-19 pandemic

The Cheshire and Mersey Local Maternity System is asking for feedback to understand the views of service users who are smoking in pregnancy and those who have attempted or successfully quit smoking during the COVID-19 pandemic.

How to get involved

Click here to take part in the short survey to help the Cheshire and Mersey Local Maternity System understand your relationship to smoking and inform the development of services. 

Local and national opportunities
Apply to be a public committee member for national and regional committees

The National Institute for Health Research is looking for members of the public to join some of their national and regional committees.

Public committee members are sought to bring the viewpoint of those who research aims to help most, from patients, to service users, carers and anyone affected by the research topics.

The key responsibilities are:

  • Preparing for committee meetings by reading and assessing meeting papers that are routinely lengthy and complex
  • Attending committee meetings and taking part in discussions to make recommendations on which research should be funded and/or prioritised
  • Providing feedback on documents between meetings

Click here for more information on the committees and roles, including links to an information pack and application form. The deadline for for applications is 9am Monday 15 March 2021.

Free training on identifying early signs of worsening health in a person with a learning disability
The NHS England and NHS Improvement Learning Disability and Autism Programme is inviting family carers of people over the age of 16 to take part in a free training workshop to help them spot signs of deterioration and know what to do to get help.

The 90 minute sessions are running every working day from 23 February to 31 March 2021.

Further information and details of how to book can be found here.

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