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COVID-19 updates

COVID-19 vaccine offer to all 5-11 year olds 

The NHS is offering COVID-19 vaccines to children aged 5 to 11 years.

Vaccination is particularly important for children who have health conditions that put them at high risk from COVID-19, as the benefits are greater.

The majority of vaccines for 5 to 11 year olds will take place at local vaccination centres or community pharmacies outside of school hours. Book now through the online booking service or by calling 119.

There are also convenient vaccine walk-ins across the country which families can find through the NHS grab a jab website.

It isn't too late for anyone who hasn't yet taken up the offer for any of their vaccines. You can book through the online booking service or by calling 119. 

More information 
Read a guide for parents of children aged 5 to 11, containing useful information around the benefits of the vaccine, the possible side effects and more. 

Hear from Leo, who is nine years old and lives in Sefton, about his experience of getting his jab by clicking play on the video below. 

Leo's COVID-19 vaccine story 
Book your spring booster when eligible 

A spring booster of the COVID-19 vaccine is available to people aged 75 and over, people who live in a care home for older people, or people aged 12 and over who have a weakened immune system. You will be contacted by the NHS when you are due for a spring booster.

Once you have been contacted, you can book your COVID-19 vaccination in a number of ways. Patients can book an appointment at Southport Centre for Health & Wellbeing by calling 01704 395830, online through the online booking service, or by calling 119.

Some people will be contacted by their local GP practice who will invite them to book an appointment at one of their clinics.

Still need your first, second or first booster dose? It's not too late - book through the online booking service or by calling 119. 
Latest news
Tackling loneliness in Sefton this Mental Health Awareness Week

Together with Sefton Council, we are aiming to break the stigma of loneliness during Mental Health Awareness Week (9-15 May), by encouraging residents to open up and talk about their experiences of loneliness and how it impacts their mental health.

Long-term loneliness is closely linked to mental health problems such as depression, anxiety and isolation from loved ones. The COVID-19 pandemic has been hard for many people and those with mental health issues have seen them worsen over the last year or so. 

We are sharing information on mental health on social media this week using the hashtag #SeftonInMind. Follow us on Facebook or Twitter, or search the hashtag #SeftonInMind to find out more about support services and help Sefton.

Find out about the range of support available here.

Sefton resident thanks GP and tells others “They are still here for you”

A Sefton resident is reminding others to still get in touch with their GP practice when concerned about their health after her dad received first-class care and support.

Joanne Hall recently got in touch with her GP practice in Blundellsands after receiving an update to say her dad’s medication would be changing. Jo, who coordinates her dad’s care then received a phone call from her GP to discuss her concerns.

She said: “If anyone is concerned about their health or that of a loved one, I would encourage them to contact their GP practice. My experience shows the GP is still here for us when we need them and the care my dad has been given has been first class.”

Read more here and hear about Jo's positive experience by clicking play on the video below. 
Jo in Sefton talks about accessing GP services for her dad
Sefton schools come together to talk mental health

School staff in Sefton are set to get more help and support around mental health and wellbeing for them and their pupils, through the launch of a new virtual network. 

The education and mental health network hosts a virtual event each half term that teachers, schools’ support staff and representatives from mental health services can attend. Each event includes a presentation from a local school, offers of training and services, and a group discussion on overcoming mental health challenges.

Read more here.

Sefton resident urges others not to dismiss the signs of bowel cancer

Local resident Erica Squire has shared the story of her bowel cancer journey and urges others to get checked out if they spot the signs of the disease.

Bowel cancer is the fourth most common type of cancer in the UK and the second biggest cancer killer, but it is treatable and curable if it is diagnosed at an early stage.

Erica, who lives in Sefton, was diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2017 after attending hospital with pains in her abdomen. She was referred for a colonoscopy where doctors discovered bowel cancer which had also spread to her liver. She said: “My prognosis wasn’t good and I was put on palliative chemotherapy, but despite the odds I am still here, after a very long battle.”

Read more here and listen to Erica talk about her story by clicking play on the video below. 
Sefton resident shares her story of her bowel cancer journey
Long COVID service available for Sefton residents
If you’re living in Sefton and think you might be suffering with Long COVID, you can get referred by your GP in to Mersey Care’s Long COVID service.
Long COVID is a term to describe the effects of COVID-19 that continue for weeks or months beyond the initial illness. Symptoms commonly experienced by patients include: fatigue, breathlessness, anxiety and depression, palpitations, chest pains, joint or muscle pain, not being able to think straight or focus (‘brain fog’), dizziness, a persistent cough and loss of taste or sense of smell.
There are a range of staff members and clinicians who support patients in the Long COVID clinic depending on their needs.
You can find out more about the service and referral to the Long COVID clinic on the Mersey Care website:
Get involved
Join an online focus group and share your feedback with Southport & Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust

Healthwatch Sefton in partnership with Southport & Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust invite you to attend an online focus group to share feedback on Tuesday 17 May, 11am-12:30pm. 

This session will provide you with an update on how the trust currently uses the feedback it receives and give attendees an opportunity to feedback about your experiences.

The event will be held on the online meeting platform, Zoom. Find out more and register.
Cheshire & Merseyside Cancer Alliance Roadshow

The Cheshire & Merseyside Cancer Alliance (CMCA) is an NHS organisation that brings together healthcare professionals, community organisations, patients and others affected by cancer to drive improvements in clinical outcomes and patients’ experience of the care and treatment they receive.

They will be travelling to 10 locations across Cheshire and Merseyside, in partnership with Macmillan Cancer Support, between May and July 2022 to listen to people’s cancer experiences, and to understand how people are feeling about cancer services in their local area.

Find out more, including the locations and dates for the roadshow. 
SEND review: right support, right place, right time

The government has published a green paper on the future of the special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) and alternative provision (AP) system and is undertaking a public consultation on the green paper’s proposals.

The government is committed to improving outcomes for children and young people with SEND and those in alternative provision and is working with children, young people, parents, carers and those who advocate and work with them, as well as local and national system leaders, to achieve this ambition.

How to get involved

People are encouraged to read the proposals set out in this green paper and complete the consultation survey to help to ensure every child and young person with SEND and those in alternative provision can thrive and be well prepared for adult life.

Read the SEND review: right support, right place, right time  and give your views.

Find more information on the government website here.

Share your views and experiences of veterans' mental health and physical health services

NHS England and NHS Improvement has launched a survey to find out people’s views and experiences of veterans' mental and physical health services. The information gathered will be used to help inform the development and provision of these services in the future.  

You can share your views and experiences by completing a survey, which anyone can complete, however, the NHS is particularly keen to hear from:

  • People who have served in the UK Armed Forces (reservist or regular) and have used or are currently using NHS veterans’ services in England
  • Veterans with a mental and/or physical health condition who have not sought or received healthcare, treatment or support
  • Service leavers
  • Family members and carers of the above
  • Staff and organisations that are providing healthcare, treatment or support for veterans and their families

The survey is available here. The deadline to respond is 22 May 2022. 

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