Update from your CCG

This update includes information on the local COVID-19 vaccination programme, testing and guidance, as well as other useful updates and information. 
COVID-19 updates
COVID-19 vaccination rollout gathers pace in Sefton

As the roll out of COVID-19 vaccinations gathers pace across the NHS, our GP led services in Sefton continue to make good progress vaccinating priority patients.

Working together with the borough’s two clinical commissioning groups (CCGs), GP led services are working hard to vaccinate those residents over 80 years old and care home residents and staff.

These GP led services are just one part of the national vaccination programme. A regional vaccination centre has also opened at St Helens rugby league club's stadium, which is an additional option and some pharmacies in Sefton will also join the national programme by the end of January.
Dr Craig Gillespie, chair of NHS South Sefton CCG said: “The regional vaccination centre in St Helens is in addition to our local GP led services. We understand it won’t work for everyone and if you do get a letter to go there and can’t travel or don’t want to go there please don’t worry. You will still be contacted by the GP led service to be invited for your vaccine in the centre nearest to you.”
Dr Rob Caudwell, chair of NHS Southport and Formby CCG, said: “Importantly, we are still asking you not to contact your GP practice or another NHS organisation to ask for your vaccination – or to request one for a member of your household or carer."

Read more here.
Dr Simon Tobin, a Sefton GP, gives an update on the roll out of the local COVID-19 vaccine programme and explains what you can do to help.

Longer opening hours will make it easier for Sefton’s key workers and carers to get tested

Sefton Council has extended the opening hours of its three SMART coronavirus test sites to 8am to 8pm.

SMART coronavirus testing for people with NO symptoms is now focused on key workers and those with caring commitments. The longer opening hours will make it easier for those people to attend the walk-through sites, at Bootle Leisure Centre, Splash World in Southport and Aintree Racecourse.

Read more here.

National lockdown: Stay at home

The single most important action we can all take is to stay at home to protect the NHS and save lives. 1 in 3 people who have the virus have no symptoms, so you could be spreading it without knowing it.

Remember - ‘Hands. Face. Space.’

  • hands – wash your hands regularly and for at least 20 seconds
  • face – wear a face covering in indoor settings where social distancing may be difficult, and where you will come into contact with people you do not normally meet
  • space – stay 2 metres apart from people you do not live with where possible, or 1 metre with extra precautions in place (such as wearing face coverings)

You should avoid all non-essential meetings and interactions.

If you’re shielding, do not attend work, school, college or university. You can get support if you’re clinically extremely vulnerable, for example priority access to supermarket deliveries.

More information
Read the full rules on what you can and cannot do on the government website here. 
You can find out what local support is available on the Sefton Council website here. 

Latest news
Additional cervical screening appointment slots available to patients in Sefton

This Cervical Cancer Prevention Week (18-24 January), health leaders in the area want to make sure even more people with a cervix get screened to protect themselves against cervical cancer.

All people with a cervix aged 25-64 are invited for regular cervical screening by letter under the NHS Cervical Screening Programme. Also known as a smear test, screening helps detect abnormalities within the cervix that could, if left untreated, develop into cervical cancer.

Don't delay - book your smear test today. Read more here.

Think NHS 111 First

People who need urgent NHS care across Sefton are being asked to contact NHS 111 before going to a hospital accident and emergency department.

NHS 111 will direct people to the most appropriate health service which may include a walk-in centre, GP practice, pharmacy or hospital.

If patients are assessed as needing to attend a hospital, they will get a timed appointment at a hospital emergency department.

In a medical emergency, people should always call 999.

Find out more here.

Get involved
Help shape the future of your local health services

Health leaders in Southport, Formby and West Lancashire are inviting people to share their views and experiences of local healthcare by getting involved with Shaping Care Together, a programme of work designed to improve hospital services.

Like NHS services across the country, our local hospitals face significant challenges. Some have been with us for years while the urgency of others has been made clear during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

We need to redefine how we provide hospital services, help people use them only when they need them, and ensure those services are safe, sustainable and high quality.

Over the coming months there will be lots of different ways for people to get involved but first views can be shared on the dedicated website:

Help the NHS understand your community to save lives in the fight against COVID-19

The NHS in Cheshire and Merseyside is conducting an important piece of research to gain a deeper understanding of how COVID-19 has impacted black, Asian and minority ethnic communities in our areas.

We know these communities have been disproportionally impacted by COVID and this research will provide essential insight to help create more targeted interventions and communication.

If you are black, Asian or minority ethnic and live in Merseyside or Cheshire, please take the survey to help us better understand the impact COVID-19 has had on you and your community.

The survey should take around 15 minutes to complete, and all finished surveys will be entered into a prize draw to win one of 20 £50 Amazon vouchers.

Feedback on your GP practice

Have you received a GP patient survey in the post this year?

Around 2.3 million people, aged 16 and over, who are registered with a GP practice in England will receive an invitation to take part in Europe’s biggest patient experience survey in early January. As GP practices have had to make a number of changes over the last 12 months in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, it is more important than ever that we hear about experiences of using local GP and health services.

If you've been selected you can complete the survey online, by post or by phone. Find out more here.

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