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Covid Lockdown Tightened

Sefton Council has just announced more COVID lockdown restrictions.

Coronavirus Image

On Friday, September 18, 2020 it was confirmed that Merseyside will now adhere to a series of new local measures to help prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

In close discussions with local leaders, the Health and Social Care Secretary, NHS Test and Trace, the Joint Biosecurity Centre (JBC), and the Chief Medical Officer for England have agreed to introduce local measures in Merseyside, including Sefton.

As of Tuesday, September 22, the following measures must be adhered to:

• Residents must not socialise with other people outside of their own households or support bubble in private homes and gardens
• Hospitality for food and drink will be restricted to table service only
• Late night operating hours will be restricted, with Leisure and entertainment venues including        restaurants, pubs, and cinemas, required to close between 10pm to 5am.
Residents are also advised to adhere to the following guidance to further reduce rates of infection:
• Only to use public transport for essential purposes, such as travelling to school or work
• Avoid attending amateur and semi-professional sporting events as spectators.

For the latest information and restrictions in Care Home visitations please click here.


Nursing Times Award Nomination

Intensive Care Team Nominated For an Award

Nurse-3624463_640The Intensive Care team at Southport hospital has been shortlisted for a Nursing Times award, thanks to the innovative ways team members worked during the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Due to the pandemic, visiting this unit, which cares for the most seriously sick patients, has been impossible since March. This has been extremely challenging and upsetting for patients and families, and this inspired frustrated staff to find innovative solution.
One of their ideas was to create a short video of the unit, so that families could more easily visualise the situation their loved ones were in. 
Matron for ICU Angie Westwood explains:

“In more normal times, we pride ourselves on holding the hands, literally and emotionally, of our patients’ families during their stay here. The environment is very different to other areas of the hospital and this can be frightening, but we know how to support people through this.  When visiting had to stop, we had to think and act quickly to find new ways to support people. 
“We created a video so that families could at least picture where their loved ones were being treated.  We also made sure daily video calls happened, we updated families over the phone three times a day, and brought in extra measures for palliative patients. This included bereavement boxes which we hand-delivered to families, including a card written by the staff member who stayed with their loved one until they sadly died.
“I am immensely proud of every single person who worked in this unit over the last few months.  Each one had to put their own concerns and worries aside, working tirelessly in the most challenging circumstances that any of us have ever experienced. I would like to offer my heartfelt thanks to each one of them, and say how much I think they deserve to win this award.”



I've recently started to re-read Richard Mabey's book, 'Beechcombing, The narratives of trees'. This extract from early in the book caught my eye and started me thinking about the continuing saga over the diseased Horse Chestnut trees in the village.

This is Richard Mabey writing about our response to the hurricane that wrote off so many of our trees.

He writes;

The physical loss of the trees, was matched by the injury to our complacency. The denting of our sense of the proper order of things. This wasn't what was supposed to happen. Trees were monuments to security emblems of continuity and peace in an unstable world, the terrible looting of our native Woods during the 1960s and 1970s had passed, and they've been superseded by a new mood of respect and affection.

We hugged trees. We planted trees. We were their friends for goodness sake.

It was as well that we didn't understand then that the storm may not have been an entirely natural event, but an early augury of climate change, and therefore, our fault; muddled feelings of grief and betrayal and confusion were quite enough to cope with at the time. The storm had upturned all kinds of deep-rooted assumptions about the ways that trees did - and should - behave. It left ramshackle rot riddled veterans intact and levelled in their millions the youthful. The fastidiously planted, the lovingly tended, and the totally healthy, many of which further subverted the conventional notion of what a tree was by coming back to life in a horizontal position.

So yesterday I wandered into Chapel Lane to see how our trees were doing, after all, they've been the subject of major conflict between residents in Formby and Sefton Council including 'Tree experts'. We know the outcome of that argument, some of the trees have gone but some remain, nurtured lovingly by our Parish Council.

This is one of them.

I don't know about you but in my view two more of these once magnificent trees are coming to the end of their lives, early deaths to be sure but as Richard Mabey writes above hastened by our continuing disregard for the natural world. These trees should be recognised as our 'Canary in a cage'.

To add a comment select the comments link below, thanks.

Nurses climb Snowdon

Published at the request of our  local hospital trust.

Nurses climb Snowdon to fund children’s smiles

A group of children’s ward staff from Ormskirk hospital are taking on the challenge of climbing Snowdon on 1 September to raise money for their department.

Children’s nurse and organiser Jess Healy said:

Jess Healey 2
“Last year we did a charity walk to raise money to revamp our playroom. We had some amazing painters create a jungle-themed mural and we want to invite them back to paint some other areas. We will also use the money to go towards resources and equipment to make a visit to A&E as pleasant as possible for our young patients.

“We are so passionate about and proud of the job we do, that we want our department to be the best it can be.

“So next month we will climb Snowdon, using all our teamwork skills which help us through many difficult situations. We will navigate to the top and back down (no trains allowed)! Support, care, encouragement, resilience and a lot of laughter will make it a success we are sure.”

Trust Chief Executive Trish Armstrong-Child said:

“What a fantastic team we have in our children’s A&E. They are truly an inspirational bunch and I have no doubt that they will easily succeed and raise much needed funds for the department along the way.”

To donate visit their Just Giving page.

The picture shows Jess Healy in the children’s department playroom with the mural that last year’s charity walk helped fund

The NHS and the August Bank Holiday

Here's an advisory note from our local health leaders

The NHS is here for you and your family this August bank holiday weekend

Health leaders at NHS South Sefton and NHS Southport and Formby Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) are reassuring local people that the NHS is here should they need it this bank holiday, 31 August.

Although GP practices in Sefton will be closed over the bank holiday, there are services and online support available to help people that need urgent treatment.

Some community pharmacies in the area may be open on Bank Holiday Monday - you can check your local pharmacies opening times on their website.

NHS 111 can be contacted 24 hours a day, either online or by phone. You will be assessed, given advice, and directed straightaway to the local service that can best meet your needs, including Sefton’s local GP out of hours team.

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

“A lot of common illness and minor injuries can be treated at home with over-the-counter medicines. Some pharmacies in the area will be open and are a great source of health care advice and over-the-counter medicines.

“For medical advice, you can call your local walk-in centre to book an appointment.

Litherland Walk-in Centre is operating from 8 am until 8 pm and you can book an appointment by calling them directly on 0151 475 4667
West Lancashire Walk-in Centre is operating from 8 am until 8 pm and you can book an appointment by calling them directly on 01695 402180
Skelmersdale Walk-in Centre is operating from 8 am until 8 pm and you can book an appointment by calling them directly on 01695 402180.”
If you need a GP or other healthcare professional appointment on bank holiday Monday this can be booked in advance by calling your GP practice directly. Appointments will be available through the 7 Day GP Service in Southport and Formby which is open 9 am -12 pm and the GP Extra service in south Sefton which is open 10 am – 1 pm.

Dr Rob Caudwell, chair of NHS Southport and Formby CCG said:

“It’s important to remember that the NHS is here for you and your family this bank holiday weekend and there is support available.

“If you are not sure what to do and need medical advice fast, call NHS 111 or go to NHS 111 online. Please call 999 or go to A&E if you are in a life-threatening situation or emergency, such as choking, chest pain, severe difficulty breathing, blacking out or blood loss.

“If you have any COVD-19 symptoms – such as high temperature, a new, continuous cough or loss of taste or smell – use the dedicated NHS 111 COVID-19 service online at www.111.nhs.uk/COVID-19 for advice.”

More information:

For more information about the GP Extra service in South Sefton visit: https://www.southseftonccg.nhs.uk/your-health-and-services/gp-extra/

For more information about the 7 Day GP Service in Southport and Formby visit: https://www.southportandformbyccg.nhs.uk/your-health-and-services/7-day-gp-service/

To find your local health services and to check pharmacy opening times in South Sefton, visit: https://www.southseftonccg.nhs.uk/your-health-and-services/find-nhs-services/

To find your local health services and to check pharmacy opening times in Southport and Formby, visit: https://www.southportandformbyccg.nhs.uk/your-health-and-services/find-nhs-services/

For more information about Litherland Walk-in Centre, visit: https://www.nwbh.nhs.uk/walk-in-centres

For more information about the West Lancashire Walk-in Centre visit: https://westlancscommunityhealth.nhs.uk/our-services/west-lancashire-urgent-treatment-centre/

For more information about the Skelmersdale Walk-in Centre visit: https://westlancscommunityhealth.nhs.uk/our-services/skelmersdale-walk-centre/


Midwife Swims Mersey

Midwife conquers Mersey for charity

Keran Carter Swim July 2020-picsayPerinatal mental health midwife Keran Carter, who works for Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust, just conquered the impressive challenge of swimming across the River Mersey, and raised over £2,300 with her efforts!

Keran took on this challenge to raise money for the hospital’s Maternity Bereavement Fund, which supports parents during a very difficult time.  All money raised will help the maternity unit to improve its bereavement suite facilities and resources, and to provide more support for families following their loss. 

Keran explains:

“Our heart goes out to these women and their families at such a difficult time in their life.  Wanting to improve our support for them is very close to our heart, we want to provide the best service possible.

“This is the fifth time I have done the swim for different charities, and each swim is unique with its own challenges.

“I love open water swimming and the Mersey Swim is one of the best you can do! Thank you to Liam Hanlon and Robin Baynes from Liverpool Heart Beat for organising such a fantastic event!”

Trish Armstrong Child, Chief Executive at the Trust adds:

“What an incredible achievement! Keran and her team do such important work, we are incredibly proud of them all.  Thank you Keran for taking on this challenge and raising much needed funds.”


Vulnerable residents advised to take extra care in the heat

Sefton health professionals have come together to urge residents to be aware of the health risks of hot weather to vulnerable people in the community.

In England, there are on average 2,000 heat-related deaths a year. The most at-risk people are those with underlying health conditions, babies, and the very young and older people – especially those over 75.

Dr Craig Gillespie, chair of NHS South Sefton Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), said:

Hot weather warning“Enjoying the sun is one of the things that many people look forward to over the summer months but it is worth remembering that sunny spells can pose health risks for some people.

“It is important to protect yourself and others from too much sun or heat, to carry water when travelling and to think of those, such as young children or older people, who may feel the heat more acutely than others.

“Much of the advice on beating the heat is common sense. But before the hot weather arrives, it is a really good idea to think about what you can do to protect yourself and your family and friends from the heat.”

Dr Rob Caudwell, chair of NHS Southport and Formby CCG, added:

“People with long-term conditions should take extra care in hot weather. We do have a growing number of patients with diabetes and they need to be aware that hot sun can have an impact on them.

“People with diabetes should test their blood sugar levels regularly, avoid dehydration by drinking enough water and take precautions against sunburn as some patients can be particularly susceptible to burns on their feet either from the sun or hot ground.

“Community pharmacies can help you prepare for and avoid conditions associated with hot weather, such as insect bites and sunburn. Although it is vital that if you are feeling unwell and need urgent advice that you call NHS 111, which is open 24 hours-a-day.”

Margaret Jones, Director of Public Health for Sefton, explained:

“Temperatures indoors can be higher than temperatures outdoors that is why we are urging everyone to keep an eye on those you know who may be at risk this summer. If you are able, ask if your friends, family or neighbours need any support.

“When using public spaces please do make sure to follow coronavirus socially distancing guidance and wash your hands regularly.”

Some key top tips to beat the heat this summer:

  • stay cool indoors – many of us will need to stay safe at home this summer so know how to keep your home cool
  • close curtains on rooms that face the sun to keep indoor spaces cooler and remember it may be cooler outdoors than indoors
  • drink plenty of fluids and avoid excess alcohol
  • never leave anyone in a closed, parked vehicle, especially infants, young children, or animals
  • try to keep out of the sun between 11 am to 3pm
  • walk in the shade, apply sunscreen regularly and wear a wide-brimmed hat, if you have to go out in the heat.
  • To find out about the signs of heat exhaustion and heatstroke and when to get help, visit: NHS Live Well

For more tips to beat the heat and cope with hot weather, visit: Public Health England

For information for people with diabetes about dealing with hot weather, visit: Diabetes UK