Connect Issue 42

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Everton star gives vaccines a boost Alcohol awareness Male breast cancer £3m hospital investment Six steps to using GP services this autumn Greener NHS

ISSUE 42, 4 November 2021


Meet the Executive Team Sheena Cumiskey Interim Chief Officer

Hello and welcome to the second of our new-look Connect stakeholder newsletters. We hope you’re enjoying the new format and finding the content informative. We’re keen to make sure the content is varied across the patch and represents the amazing work all our partner organisations are doing. We’d love to feature your news and achievements. Send your feedback and content to: This month, we’re pushing the importance of people protecting themselves ready for winter – get your Covid-19 booster and book in for your flu jab, especially if you’re pregnant or vulnerable. It might sound dramatic, but they really do save lives. I found Graeme’s story about his experience of male breast cancer both moving and inspiring. The same can be said of Katherine and Lorna who have both embraced help available to support them to improve their health and wellbeing. Our collective ability to help people to turn their lives around never ceases to amaze me. And finally, on the next page you can read about our new ‘We Are One’ branding. This is something I’m personally very passionate about. As we move forward to formalising the partnership arrangements and joined up working we know are so beneficial for local communities, let’s show our commitment to identifying as a collective through use of the new ‘We Are One’ branding. I look forward to seeing it everywhere!

Keith Griffiths Director of Finance Christine Hughes Executive Director of Communications and Engagement Anthony Middleton Director of Performance and Improvement Professor Sarah O’Brien Executive Director of Strategy and System Development Christine Samosa Strategic Workforce Lead Dave Sweeney Executive Director of Partnerships Jane Cass Director of Strategic Transformation NHS England and NHS Improvement Gerald Meehan Local Authority Advisor

Inside this edition: Cover: Richarlison © Everton Football Club

Page 3: We Are One branding launch Chris Hughes Executive Director of Communications and Engagement

Page 4: Greener NHS Page 7: Everton star gives vaccines a boost Page 9: Covid-19 and flu vaccinations Page 11: Cheshire carer’s survey Page 13: Male breast cancer Page 14: £3 hospital investment Page 15: Mental health service transforms user’s life Page 16: Six steps for using GP services this autumn

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Page 18: Our journey to becoming an anchor institution Page 20: Cheshire and Merseyside baby week Page 22: Alcohol awareness Page 24: LFC Foundation, MOVE programme

This month, we launched our new ‘We Are One’ branding. We Are One represents the fact partners are working together to remove barriers to integration – between NHS organisations; between the NHS and partners in local authorities and the voluntary, community and faith sector; and between individuals within all these places. The shared strapline aims to help partners across Cheshire and Merseyside identify as a collective. We are all here for a common purpose – to make a real difference to the lives of people in Cheshire and Merseyside; we are all on the same side, whichever sector we are in; and we are all in the same team, whoever we are employed by or volunteer for. We Are One. If you would like to add the We Are One logo to your website or other assets, please email and we’ll gladly provide the files for you to support the message. We have also launched a suite of We Are One communications to keep our workforce across the Cheshire and Merseyside Health and Care Partnership and CCGs informed and supported throughout the transition to statutory Integrated Care System status by 1 April.

Heart failure pathway launch Cardiac specialists from across the region are gathering this month to learn more about Cheshire and Merseyside’s heart failure pathway. The Cheshire and Merseyside Cardiac Board will showcase the integrated end-to-end pathway which will improve access and outcomes for people with heart failure. The pathway has been developed with patients, GPs, cardiologists, heart failure specialist nurses, pharmacists, cardiac rehab teams and other specialists (palliative care, kidney specialists) across Cheshire and Merseyside, integrating primary, secondary and tertiary care. Date: Thursday, 25 November 2021 Time: 8.45am – 5pm Venue: Haydock Park Racecourse, Newton-le-Willows, WA12 0HQ Booking: Register your physical or virtual attendance on Eventbrite Funded by Novartis and AstraZeneca*, the event is being run in partnership with Cheshire and Merseyside Health and Care Partnership and heart failure charity, Pumping Marvellous.

It will be chaired by Dr Joe Mills, Consultant Cardiologist at Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital / Clinical Network Lead Cheshire and Merseyside Cardiac Board, and Jonathan Develing, Director of Strategic Partnerships, Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital. Sessions will be hosted by expert speakers from across the region and will include: Patient stories • • •

The role of heart failure multidisciplinary teams in relation to Cheshire and Merseyside pathway The role of primary care in relation to Cheshire and Merseyside pathway The role of other specialists in heart failure in relation to Cheshire and Merseyside pathway

Six Royal College of Practitioners CPD points have been applied for. Attendance at Haydock Park is limited to 100 delegates and must be booked in advance through Eventbrite. Live streaming and recording options will also be available. *Novartis and AstraZeneca have no input into the conference content.


NHS across Cheshire and Merseyside on track to support world-first net zero health service The NHS in Cheshire and Merseyside has reduced its carbon footprint over the last decade as part of a national drive to become the first health service in the world to achieve net zero. Thanks to a range of initiatives, including the installation of solar panels, introducing staff cycling schemes and work into creating greener anaesthesia and medicines, the NHS across the region has saved enough carbon to power at least 21 homes with electricity for a year. The action comes following growing evidence of the health impacts of climate change and air pollution, and alongside the backing of nine in 10 people in England who support the NHS taking action to reduce its carbon footprint. Air pollution is linked to killer conditions like heart disease, stroke and lung cancer, and academics have linked high pollution days with hundreds of extra out-of-hospital cardiac arrests and hospital admissions for stroke and asthma. The changing climate is leading to more frequent heatwaves and extreme weather events. Last year alone, more than 2,500 people died during heatwaves. Several initiatives across Cheshire and Merseyside have contributed to a reduction in emissions including: •


306 solar panels have been installed at St Catherine’s Health Centre in Birkenhead, generating an estimated 84,607kWh every year – enough to power 21 houses for a year. This clean energy generation will help avoid 27.9 tonnes of CO2 emissions each year, which is the equivalent of planting more than 130 trees. Liverpool University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust bought 100 second-hand bikes and offered them on free loan to staff to use for their commute to and from work. The response to the scheme was hugely positive; one staff member who had not cycled for 15 years went on to buy their own bike and now enjoys 20-mile bike trips

with their partner ever weekend. Better for the environment and better for staff wellbeing. The scheme follows a campaign, #BikesForNHS where Hype Merseyside loaned 186 bikes to NHS workers supporting the fight against Covid-19. •

Work is ongoing across the region into the decarbonisation of inhalers and encouraging patients to switch from metered dose inhalers to CFC-free inhalers. Metered dose inhalers have approximate carbon footprints of 500g CO2e per dose, compared to 20g in dry powder inhalers. The NHS prescribes more than 65 million inhalers every year.

Crucially, many of these initiatives are not only helping the NHS achieve their net zero targets, they are also improving patient care. Prior to installation, St Catherine’s bought around 121,000kWh of energy each year from the grid. The new system now meets most of this requirement, at a unit cost nearly 60 per cent lower in price, saving the trust money and helping to tackle climate change. There will be times when the solar generation exceeds consumption; the excess solar electricity can be sold to the grid and potentially provide income to the trust of over £425,000 during the first 25 years. Greener anaesthesia and medicines optimisation work, which includes a robust strategy on overprescribing and the promotion of self-care, diet and lifestyle messages, adds social value, health and climate benefits, making heathcare more sustainable for future generations. The region is marking one year on, with a North West Region Greener NHS Roadshow event on Wednesday 10 November, from 12noon-1pm, bringing NHS people and partners together across the region to celebrate and learn from these innovations, in line with the United National Climate Change Conference, COP26, being held in Glasgow between 31 October and 12 November.

David Sweeny, Executive Director of Partnerships and programme lead for sustainability for the Cheshire and Merseyside Health and Care Partnership, said: “We cannot begin to describe the importance of this work, so far we have had superb collaboration from all our partners and we continue to integrate our developments with partners, experts and technology.” Dr Nick Watts, Chief Sustainability Officer for the NHS, said: “The evidence that the climate emergency is a health emergency is overwhelming, with health professionals already needing to manage its symptoms. “So, it is fantastic to see NHS staff across the North West region helping us to be on track to be the first health service in the world to achieve net zero. “The UK is host to this year’s UN climate change conference of the parties – COP26, which demonstrates that every part of our society needs to play their part in reducing pollution Nationally, the NHS is on track to reduce its carbon emissions this financial year, equivalent to powering 1.1 million homes with electricity for a year, while it is calling on its 80,000 suppliers to commit to reducing their carbon footprint. Since 2010, the NHS has cut its emissions by a third. To find out more about the North West Region Greener NHS Roadshow, please visit: To find out more about how the NHS is becoming greener, search ‘Greener NHS’


Everton vaccine

Image provided by @richarlison Instagram

n star gives es a boost Everton striker and Brazilian international Richarlison has lent his support for the Covid-19 vaccine programme in Cheshire and Merseyside.

“We were delighted with the return of fans to the stadiums. We always want to do good. In Brazil, a lot of people were missing their second dose.

The 2020 Olympic gold medallist recently shared a picture of him being vaccinated and took to social media to encourage young people to keep coming forward for the vaccine.

“I think it was important to share the photo to encourage people to have the vaccine, so the world can get back to normal. I hope I’ve encouraged lots of people to go to get their second dose.”

The 32 times capped international spoke of his delight at the return of fans to stadiums, but feels it is particularly important that people are double jabbed when attending such events. Asked by Connect about the importance of getting the jab, and his reasons for sharing the image, Richarlison said: “It’s important, isn’t it? Particularly now.

Book your Covid-19 vaccine online

Communications Campaign for 12-15s A targeted communications campaign to encourage take-up of the 12-15 year old (school-aged) Covid-19 vaccine is taking place across Cheshire and Merseyside. The Health and Care Partnership communications team, working with regional colleagues from NHS England and Improvement, has responded to concerns, particularly in Cheshire West and Chester, around anti-vaccine protesters and misinformation. Although the campaign will not directly engage with anti-vaxxers, given the NHS policy ‘not to provide airtime’, it will ensure that information from a trusted source is more readily available. The campaign comes as the Government announced 12-15s will be able to book vaccines via the National Booking System and not have to wait to be vaccinated in school. A series of materials, key messages and other collateral has been shared with headteachers, local authorities and CCGs to help spread the message about the benefits of the vaccine and the programme itself. The cascade of factual information, from a trusted source, is being made increasingly available and visible to allow people, including parents and carers, to make an informed choice about the Covid-19 vaccine. 7


WITH THE FLU VACCINE COVID-19 BOOSTER Flu and COVID-19 can both be life-threatening and spread more easily in winter. If you’re over 50 or in an at risk group, you are eligible for a free flu vaccine and a COVID-19 booster. Get vaccinated. Get boosted. Get protected.

Boosters reaching Biggest ever flu vaccination begins halfway point Almost half the people over 50 in Cheshire and Merseyside have now received their Covid-19 booster jab. Care workers and those over 50 began receiving their booster jabs last month to ensure they have the best possible protection during winter. The booster programme is being rolled out to the same priority groups as previously, including care home residents, health and social care workers, people aged over 50, those aged 16 to 49 years with underlying health conditions, which put them at higher risk of severe Covid-19. Adult carers and adult household contacts of immunosuppressed individuals will also be prioritised. In line with JCVI guidance, those who are eligible for a booster will be able to receive on at least six months on from their second dose. The Health and Care Partnership has compiled a list of links (below) for health and care staff to make it as easy as possible for them to book their jabs within Cheshire and Merseyside.

More than a million people across Cheshire and Merseyside are being invited to get their flu vaccine as part of the biggest annual flu vaccine drive in NHS history. Texts and emails have already been sent to parents of two and three-year-olds urging them to book an appointment for their children, ahead of what could be one of the most challenging winters ever for the NHS. The vaccine can be given to young children at their local GP practice through a nose spray, which is quick and painless. Those eligible include all adults over 50, those with certain long-term health conditions, pregnant women, health and social care frontline workers and carers. Following one of the busiest summers on record for NHS staff, local health experts are urging people to get their flu vaccine and Covid-19 booster vaccine ahead of the winter flu season.

Providing Covid-19 booster and flu vaccination convenience for our healthcare worker communities

Changes to International Travel Testing Eligible fully vaccinated passengers arriving in England can now take a lateral flow test on or before day two of their arrival, rather than a PCR test. The move has helped to cut the cost of getting tested in time for travellers returning fromhalf-term breaks in October. Eligible travellers will be able to order cheaper lateral flow tests from private testing providers as an alternative to a PCR, offering faster results. The list of approved private providers can be found on GOV.UK. 9

Pregnant women again urged to get Covid-19 vaccine New data shows that nearly 20 per cent of the most critically ill Covid-19 patients in the country are pregnant women who have not been vaccinated. Since July, one in five Covid-19 patients receiving treatment through a special lung-bypass machine were expectant mums who have not had their first jab. The news has led Cheshire and Merseyside Vaccine Director Jayne Wood to urge pregnant women to come forward for the vaccine or take further advice from their GP or midwife.

She said: “I want to reassure women that the vaccine is safe and effective during pregnancy and is recommended by clinicians as the best way to protect you from Covid-19. “We have seen an increase in the number of pregnant women suffering with serious symptoms and having to have intensive treatment for Covid-19 because they have contracted the virus without being vaccinated. “Please do come forward for your jab, it really is the best way to protect you, your baby and your family.”

Carers invited to share their views on proposed improvements to support services

Carers and those who support carers across west Cheshire are being invited to share their views on a range of proposed improvements to the support service they receive. Earlier this year, the council launched its new All Age Carers Strategy following extensive consultation throughout the borough. In response to what carers told the council during the strategy consultation, Cheshire West and Chester Council, in partnership with Cheshire East Council and NHS Cheshire Clinical Commissioning Group, is now proposing to integrate three current contracts to create one comprehensive service that operates across Cheshire. The improved service would have a central contact centre which will coordinate more localised community services for carers. Other new elements of the service would include the introduction of a single point of access, a 24-hour carer helpline, carer’s assessments completed by providers, the introduction of a Take a Break service and carer ID cards.

The council wants to hear from carers and people who support carers to ensure that the proposed improved support offer meets their needs as identified by the All Age Carers Strategy 2021-26. The council’s cabinet member for adult social care and public health, councillor Val Armstrong, said: “We want to hear from as many carers and people who support carers as possible, to make sure that we are giving them the support they need to do this incredibly important job.” The closing date to respond is the 5th December 2021. Cheshire West and Chester Council worked alongside carers to develop the All Age Carers Strategy 2021-26, which was launched in April this year. People can get involved with the consultation in the following ways: Visit: uk/carers-consultation Paper / easyread: call 0300 123 8123 to request (quote ‘Joint all age carers service consultation’) Write to: Joint All Age Carers Service Consultation, People’s Commissioning and Contracts, Cheshire West and Chester Council, Floor 2, 4 Civic Way, Ellesmere Port, CH65 0BE Telephone: 0300 123 8123 (quote ‘Joint all age carers service consultation’) Virtual discussion group or telephone discussion: see the website for details and how to register Drop-in session or engagement event: see the website for locations, dates and times.


When Graeme Brooks found a sm 2016, the last thing he expected w

Breast cancer doesn’t just affect women. Men can get it too.

mall bump in his chest in early was that he had breast cancer. “It was a total shock,” he explains. “Even though I’m a nurse myself, I’d never come across a man with breast cancer – only women.” Now Graeme, 62, from central Liverpool, is telling his story for Breast Cancer Awareness Month to help other men and to encourage them to get any chest lumps or other symptoms checked out. As a practice nurse in a busy GP practice, Graeme knew how important it was to keep an eye on his health and seek help if he spotted any unusual and persistent changes in his body – for example, lumps and bumps, a cough that wouldn’t go away, or losing a lot of weight without trying.   When he found a small sore lump above his right nipple, he asked his GP to have a look at it.

“You’re reluctant to say it because it sounds a bit strange – a bloke getting breast cancer – because you don’t think you’ve got breasts. But in the hospital I can remember them specifically saying it was male breast cancer, and I know it sounds daft but saying it was male breast cancer made it a bit easier for my mind.” Graeme had a double mastectomy at the Royal Liverpool Hospital followed by chemotherapy, radiotherapy and hormone therapy at The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre. “That was strange in itself,” he says, “because the other patients were all women when I went for my chemo, but the staff in all the hospitals have been fantastic.” Although breast cancer is relatively rare in men, there are around 300-400 new cases diagnosed each year and men account for 0.7 per cent of all breast cancer diagnoses.

“He referred me to hospital and I got an appointment for a scan,” Graeme recalls. “I had the scan and went back an hour or two later and the consultant was there with a specialist nurse and two or three other people who explained what it was. I was quite shocked, to be honest. You really don’t expect it when you’re a man. I went away for a week because I just needed time to get my head around it.”

That’s one of the reasons Graeme is so keen to raise awareness and encourage other men not to ignore the symptoms.

One of the hardest things, Graeme says, was dealing with people’s reactions when he told them he had breast cancer.

“People talk about women needing to check their breasts but it’s also important for men to check their chests and get advice if they find anything unusual.”

“I remember telling one of my friends and he said, ‘no, you can’t have because that’s a woman’s thing’, and you’ve got to explain. I only knew about it myself because I went through it as a man.

“I know it happens a lot more to women because of the nature of the condition but no one seems to say it affects men as well. When I see publicity about breast cancer on the television, I’m shouting back at the telly ‘it affects men as well’.

Graeme made a good recovery in 2016, but continued to keep a close eye on his health and sought help quickly after experiencing pain in his rib earlier this year. It was a good job as scans showed that, as well as having secondary breast cancer in a rib, he also had early oesophageal cancer without any symptoms. “I couldn’t have got through this without the support of my husband, my family and close friends,” Graeme says. His latest scan results show no sign of any cancer currently, and he is now on medication to help keep his breast cancer at bay. “They’ve told me it will take 12-18 months to recover after the operation and I’ve lost about 3 stone so I’m trying to put weight back on and get myself back to normal. I love travelling to Gran Canaria and Turkey and just can’t wait until I’m able to go on holiday there again.”  Professor Carlo Palmieri, Consultant Medical Oncologist at The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre NHS Foundation Trust, who is treating Graeme for his breast cancer, said: “Male breast cancer is relatively uncommon but still affects a significant number of people” so it’s very important not to ignore any lumps or unusual symptoms in your chest tissue, regardless of gender. Graeme’s vigilance didn’t just pay off in his initial breast cancer diagnosis. It also meant his oesophageal cancer was caught at a much earlier stage than it might otherwise have been. The same is true of the breast cancer cells that had spread to his rib. Find out more at


Halton Hospital unveils £3m investment in new services Halton Hospital in Runcorn, part of Warrington and Halton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, was the setting for two official openings recently: a new breast care centre at the Captain Sir Tom Moore building and a new modular pre-treatment centre. The breast care centre offers a superior location for women in Halton, Knowsley, St Helen’s and Warrington to choose to attend for their routine breast screening mammograms. It also provides comprehensive diagnostics and support to patients who have anomalies on routine breast screening or those who have noticed breast changes or found lumps that are referred in via their GP. You can read the full article on the Warrington and Halton Hospitals Foundation Trust website.

Clatterbridge clinical trial gives hope of new treatment for aggressive eye cancer A potentially game-changing clinical research trial at The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre has, for the first time, shown how an immunotherapy drug can prolong the life of patients with an aggressive form of eye cancer. Uveal melanoma is the most common eye cancer in UK adults and many people can be successfully treated for it with the help of Clatterbridge’s world-leading proton beam therapy. However, in about half of patients the cancer spreads to other parts of the body, usually the liver, and once this happens only around half of people survive for more than a year. But now, a clinical trial taking place at Clatterbridge has shown that a new treatment can improve survival rates in people with secondary uveal melanoma and also can shrink tumours in a small number of patients. The 378-patient clinical trial – sponsored by biotechnology company Immunocore and organised with the help of the research team at Clatterbridge – has been using the immunotherapy drug tebentafusp, which helps the body to kill tumour cells. Tebentafusp is a bispecific fusion protein, which helps immune


response cells get near enough to cancer cells to destroy them. Dr Joseph Sacco, from The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre and University of Liverpool, who helped to lead the research, said: “The results of this clinical trial are a first, giving a strong indication that tebentafusp can make a big impact on lengthening the survival time for patients with the metastatic form of this eye cancer, for which there was previously no standard treatment. “These findings validate the potential of using this drug in patients with uveal melanoma and it can make a very real difference to outcomes.” Read the full article on the Clatterbridge Cancer Centre NHS Foundation Trust website.

Mental health service transforms Catherine’s life A 29-year-old Chester woman with long-standing mental health problems was in a “dark place” when she was made redundant last year after being furloughed. Software tester Catherine Franklin, from Saltney, was struggling with worsening self-harm, attending A&E regularly and having periods of inpatient care. But her life was turned around when Cheshire and Wirral Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (CWP) referred her to its Individual Placement and Support (IPS) service alongside intensive treatment for her mental health issues. IPS is provided under contract to NHS Cheshire Clinical Commissioning Group, helping people with severe mental health difficulties into employment. Catherine was referred to IPS by care coordinator Yvonne Walters who paired her with employment specialist Laurie Knight from Standguide Ltd. Laurie helped Catherine find work as a test analyst with Wrexham-based Cimteq, which develops software for cable manufacturers. She will have been in post for a year next month, during which time she has not self-harmed or needed hospital services. Laurie explained his role: “I took time to understand Catherine’s skills and aspirations before finding her suitable opportunities. When she was invited for interview, I advised her on polishing her CV, honing her interview technique and creating a PowerPoint presentation. Following her appointment, I’ve kept in touch with Catherine to offer ongoing support and help her navigate the everyday challenges of office life.”

Lesley Cleworth, Cheshire CCG’s programme lead for mental health, said: “Our mental health commissioning team has been working with the IPS service for a number of years now and is committed to supporting people who have experienced severe mental health difficulties into meaningful training, education and/or employment. Evidence suggests this is pivotal to their ongoing recovery. It is therefore very heartening to hear a first-hand account of the difference this service makes.” Catherine now has ambitions to - develop coding skills in her own time: something that would allow her to carry out sought-after automated testing. She has been receiving mental health support since the age of 14, initially in Hertfordshire where she grew up and then in London where she attended university. She has been supported by CWP since moving to Cheshire in 2018. Her problems were worsened by the loss of friends to suicide, and she hopes that continuation of the IPS service will make a difference in the lives of others struggling with similar issues. Catherine is now drawing on her talents as a graduate in English and creative writing to pen a novel which is a fictionalised version of her journey through the mental health system. And she’s converting an old caravan into the writing space she needs to finish her book. She lives with Keira, her partner of five years. For more information on IPS, email team leader Louise Jordan:

Catherine said: “I was in a dark place and completely lost when I was made redundant in August last year. But I now have a sense of purpose and a sense of belonging – something to get out of bed for in the morning. “I’m now independent financially and feel I’m contributing to society. There’s such value in work. “I’m very busy and the role appeals to my logical mindset. It’s challenging and there’s never a quiet day. I have a brilliant manager, a supportive team and lots of autonomy.”

Find out more about mental health at


Liverpool GPs set out six steps for using services this autumn The NHS in Liverpool is outlining practical advice for accessing GP care in the city, as the Covid-19 pandemic continues to impact on services. GPs are currently working through their busiest period ever, with many practices already experiencing levels of demand which the NHS would typically expect to only see during the busiest winter months. NHS Liverpool Clinical Commissioning Group has set out six things local people should do to get the help they need, and keep services running as smoothly as possible, during autumn and winter. Although most Covid-19 restrictions ended in July, many infection control measures, such as social distancing, regular cleaning, and the use of personal protective equipment (PPE), remain in place for healthcare settings – including GP practices – to help keep vulnerable patients and the staff caring for them safe from the risk of Covid-19. Because of this, practices are still unable to provide as many face-to-face appointments as they normally would, and are triaging patients over the phone to assess how best to provide care for each patient. In some cases, patients will be offered an online, video or telephone consultation, which can be a convenient and flexible way to receive healthcare advice on a wide range of minor issues. However, if a patient needs to be seen by a member of the healthcare team face-to-face, this will still be arranged – as has been the case all the way through the pandemic. All GP practices in Liverpool can be contacted by telephone between 8am and 6:30pm, Monday to Friday. If someone needs to be seen by a doctor or nurse face-to-face, this will be arranged. For urgent help or advice when the practice is closed, people should contact NHS 111. This service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at or by dialling 111.


Don’t put off getting help – GPs have been

pandemic, and you WILL be offered a face-to-face app Don’t delay contacting your GP practice if you have a c

Get the Covid-19 vaccine – Liverpool’s Cov

vaccination rates in the city are around 20% below the Health services won’t be able to return to normal while Covid-related care and making it harder to deliver othe vulnerable patients.

Understand that demand is high - which

practice. At times, you might have to wait longer than n appointment. Please be patient with staff – they will ge you.

Help GP practice staff direct you to th

the receptionist at your practice about your condition o they are trained to direct you to the best member of the This may not always be a GP – it could also be an adv pharmacist, physiotherapist or social prescriber too. D and ensures that GPs are able to focus on those who

Use online consultation if you can – A

the option to fill out a simple online form (using a syste for non-urgent problems. If you can use this, then it fre online access, or who have a more urgent concern.

Get your free NHS flu jab if you are el

pressure, it’s also really important that patients do all t One of the best ways you can do this is by having the

Further information about the free flu vaccination. Book a free Covid-19 vaccine online.

n open and caring for patients throughout the pointment if you have a clinical need for one. concern about your health.

vid-19 infection rates are still high, and e national average – far lower in some areas. e the virus is still creating high demand for er types of care, especially to the most

h might mean a delay getting through to your normal on the phone, and/or for an et to you, and are doing their very best to help

he right care – Be prepared to briefly tell

over the phone. It’s completely confidential, and e healthcare team to meet your needs. vanced nurse practitioner, practice nurse, Directing you to the right person saves you time, must see a doctor.

All practice websites in Liverpool give people em called eConsult) to get advice and treatment ees up phone lines for people who don’t have

ligible – With health services already under they can to keep themselves well this winter. flu jab when you are invited to by your practice.


Join our journey to becoming an anchor institution Webinar: Monday 29 November, 1-2pm Help us to build on the fantastic assets in our communities across Cheshire and Merseyside and develop a shared approach to creating social value. This webinar is for everyone who wants to work across boundaries to address the social, economic and environmental conditions that shape good health. Our aim is to establish an Anchor Institute Charter with an agreed set of principles, anchored in local communities, for as many organisations across the region as possible to adopt. The charter will reflect local needs and determine the organisational behaviour required to deliver them. In this webinar, we will hear how the Social Value Charter for Cheshire and Merseyside has been adopted by a range of bodies and the difference this has made. And we will create a plan for a physical event in January 2022, where we will agree the principles for organisations to adopt to become an anchor institution. This will include purchasing more locally and for social benefit; using buildings and spaces to support communities; working more closely with local partners; reducing the environmental impact; and widening access to good jobs. The webinar is an opportunity for partners from the voluntary, charity, faith, public and business sectors to work with Cheshire and Merseyside Health and Care Partnership and shape our region’s development as a better place to live and work. To be part of the movement to reduce inequalities in health in our region, register now.

What is an anchor institution? An anchor institute is a place-based organisation invested in its local area and cannot relocate to another part of the country. Examples include local councils, universities, colleges, local housing associations and local emergency services. By their very nature, these organisations also spend substantial amounts of money within the local area. While most of their employees are likely to live within the local area, and spend their wages there, they also have significant procurement and investment spend which can also be spent locally. They have a collective interest in seeing their local area improve and are always looking for more opportunities to advance collaboration with them.


Baby Week Cheshire and Merseyside 15-21 November Baby Week is all about promoting the importance of women’s health and ensuring the best start for all babies. The week is designed for sharing useful information and top health tips. We want to engage healthcare staff and families with hands-on experiences to boost wellbeing but, above all else, create opportunities to entertain and inform. We have created a programme packed with real pick-me-ups for everyone and anyone. The week will feature musical adventures with Live Music Now and the Lullaby Project. It will showcase an amazing photographic experiment to support future breastfeeding development; documenting women’s creative journeys through the lens of the Open Eye Gallery. There will be family-focused concerts and lots of things to do at National Museums Liverpool too.

But that’s not all. There will be hands-on opportunities to try out how a book or the mighty pen can turn in to an adventure that might just help you cope with uncertainty and all that comes with Covid-19. The evidence is clear - writing and reading can help you find perspective and process tricky emotions, deal with anxiety or loneliness, and ultimately expand your self-care toolkit. For full details... Visit: Improving Me website Email: Call: 07708 428096

The guide to this year’s Baby Week:


Monday 15 - Launch of Maternity Support Worker Week

Tuesday 16 - International Day of Tolerance

Wednesday 17 - World Prematurity Day

Thursday 18 - Use Less Stuff Day and Children In Need

Friday 19 - World Toilet Day

Saturday 20 and Sunday 21 - Universal Children’s Day, World Hello Day and World TV Day

A new film about demonstrates new support service for parents, in bid to address to health inequalities in Liverpool. The Best for Baby Too film has been launched by Wellbeing Liverpool, a partnership of GPs, other health professionals and community groups working together to provide a holistic approach to health and wellbeing across the city. It shows new mums and mums-to-be that they have a practical new resource to turn to for support. Best for Baby Too urges new mums to make use of a supportive new service called social prescribing, which can help them access extra information and support before and after the birth of their child, so their child has the best possible start in life. Alongside the baby-focused information you’d traditionally get from a midwife or health visitor, social prescribers can help with a wide range of worries such as finances, childcare, confidence and isolation – where new parents may not know where to turn for support. Wellbeing Liverpool is encouraging anyone who is struggling to ask their GP practice for a social prescriber to help them address any worries they may have – from preparing for the arrival of a new baby or support with parenting, to money problems or loneliness. In addition, new mums or mums-to-be can also talk to their midwife or health visitor about accessing extra support through social prescribing at any time. Read full article online.


Alcohol Awareness Week 2021 This year’s Alcohol Awareness Week takes place between 15 and 21 November. Focusing on the theme of alcohol and relationships, the week is an opportunity to raise awareness, campaign for change and much more. In Cheshire and Merseyside, 26.5per cent of the adult population consume alcohol at levels above the UK Chief Medical Officer’s lower-risk guidelines, and alcohol misuse contributes to 200 health conditions leading to hospital admission. Champs Public Health Collaborative’s ‘Reduction of Harm from Alcohol’ programme, developed with input from local authorities, the NHS and community services, is working to raise awareness of alcohol misuse and deliver transformational change across health, care and wider public services, from ‘upstream’ projects covering alcohol sales through to specialist hospital care.

Director of Public Health for Sefton, and Dr Paul Richardson, Consultant Hepatologist, Deputy Divisional Medical Director, Liverpool University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. Ravi Menghani, Prevention Programme Manager for the Champs Support Team, said: We aim to promote system-wide thinking and more collaborative solutions to the increasing burden from alcohol misuse placed on already stretched services. “As Cheshire and Merseyside move towards Integrated Care System status, our intention is to foster greater collaboration such that the needs of people with alcohol dependence and their families feature across integrated plans, leading to more effective referral pathways and joint working on the ground.”

The Programme is co-chaired by Margaret Jones,

Mum-of-four changes drink habits thanks to new alcohol reduction app A St Helens resident has dramatically changed her drinking habits after downloading the ‘Lower My Drinking’ app, hailing the self-help service as a ”‘godsend”. Lorna Smythe, 46, downloaded the app after she knew she was drinking too much at the start of the first lockdown. The app is an effective tool that helps individuals to set and achieve a drinking reduction goal. It allows people to track progress, identify their motivation for reducing their drinking, as well as highlighting issues that could potentially cause someone to drink more than is healthy for them. It then gives a set of proven skills that can be used to address these. Lorna said: “I’m unsure if Covid-19 caused me to drink more but it certainly didn’t help. There were a lot of things to worry about at home.” Talking about the ‘Lower My Drinking’ app, Lorna continued: “I’m more positive and have been able to do more things. I’ve even started boxercise twice a


week! I’m getting fitter and I absolutely love it. I’m in a much better place. “The phone app is a godsend. So much easier to tap information into the drink diary wherever you are, rather than looking for pen and paper. It’s good to look back and reflect on your drinking habits and then you can try and improve them. You can challenge yourself to drink less the following week. People think they don’t drink that much, but when you actually start monitoring it, a lot of people will realise how much they do drink! The scores may even shock you. Especially compared to the recommended limits. The information and support given by the app is invaluable.” The app, which was launched by Champs Public Health Collaborative, has seen more than 550 downloads since its launch in July, with a further 220 assessments via the triage website.

Low ap

wer My Drinking pp available to download:

“To get back to my best I had to drink a bit less.”


LFC Foundation, MOVE programme to support even more patients

MOVE is the LFC Foundation’s specialist coaching project for Cystic Fibrosis patients’ helping to encourage young CF patient’s physical activity levels, to improve lung function and quality of life. Since early 2018, the LFC Foundation has provided specialist coaching support for children living with Cystic Fibrosis at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital. Our MOVE sessions take place every Wednesday, with patients attending the clinic on a six to eightweek cycle.

Activity stations focus on improving fundamental movements; agility, balance, coordination and speed of each CF patient we engage with. Each participant in the project is provided with an LFC Foundation coach mentor to help drive sports participation and a sustainable level of support. As hospital visits can be uncomfortable for CF patients, our team of coaches wearing LFC colours and crest can help lift spirits and raise moral. Further information can be found on the LFC Foundation channels below: Website: Twitter: @LFCFoundation

Welcome to Tracey Cole,

Cheshire and Merseyside Diagnostics Programme Director Welcome to Tracey Cole, who has taken up the above post within the Health and Care Partnership. Tracey will be working closely with all providers to make sure we develop and deliver ambitious system plans for high-quality, timely, responsive, and innovative diagnostics. Tracey will work hand-in-hand with existing networks and project groups, including those for cancer, imaging, endoscopy, pathology, digitalisation, cardiology, respiratory, recovery and workforce, along with the rapidly developing community diagnostics centres.     Joining from NHS Cheshire Clinical Commissioning Group, where she was Executive Director of Strategy and Partnerships, Tracey brings a background of commissioning, transformation and programme management, along with experience of acute hospital general management, continuing healthcare and third sector development.   Tracey has begun to meet many key stakeholders, but please feel free to contact her directly if you would like to talk in more detail about the plans Cheshire and Merseyside is developing.


07730 088261

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Connect edition 42 produced in-house by the Cheshire and Merseyside Health and Care Partnership Communications and Engagement Team 25