Southport residents urged to keep health services available for those who need them


Above: Jonathan Parry (Chief Executive of Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust)

Health leaders ask local people to examine their options

NHS leaders across north Sefton and West Lancashire are asking for the public’s help this winter to keep health services available for those who need them.

As part of the Examine Your Options campaign, health and social care providers are working together to advise local communities on the range of health services available to them.

Jonathan Parry, Chief Executive of Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust said: “We are seeing unprecedented demand for care from older, frailer patients and people living with long-term health conditions.

“These patients often require hospital treatment but can take longer to get better and may need care arranging at home, delaying their discharge and limiting the beds available to new patients.

“This is why we are experiencing unavoidable delays in some departments such as Accident and Emergency.”

He added: “Ourstaff, many of whom are working long hours, continue to demonstrate their tireless dedication and commitment to patients during this challenging period.”

Fiona Clark, of NHS Southport and Formby Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), and Mike Maguire, of NHS West Lancashire CCG, said: “As demand for care rises, together with our colleagues from council social services, we are working to ensure patients get the best and most appropriate care.

“However, we’d also like to encourage local people to consider the health service options available to them and not just A&E.  Walk-in centres and pharmacies don’t require appointments but are available to offer advice and treatment on a daily basis.”

A&E is for people facing life-threatening and serious emergencies such as serious accidents, serious burns, breathing problems, heart attacks andstrokes. Therefore the health organisations are supporting the Examine Your Options campaign, which highlights the range of health services available to people.

Pharmacies.Pharmacists are qualified to offer advice on health issues and medication as well as treat coughs, colds and other common illnesses without an appointment. Private consultation rooms are available. The pharmacy minor ailments scheme means that you can have a consultation with your pharmacist and obtain advice about treatment.

GP out-of-hours services. If you need to see a GP when your local practice is closed, simply dial the usual number and you will be automatically redirected to the GP out-of-hours team.

NHS walk-in centres. With no appointment necessary, walk-in centres are managed by doctors and nurses who are available to deal with minor illnesses and injuries.

Emergency dentist. If you need emergency treatment when your dentist is closed, call 01704 548863from Southport and Formby or 01772 777397in West Lancashire

To find your local NHS services, go to use the free service finder.

Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust and its NHS commissioners are easing the pressure on services over winter by investing an extra £3m through the local Care Closer to Home programme. Among the schemes the NHS is funding are:

  • Dedicatednurses to help co-ordinate care for vulnerable patients and offer additional support in community settings
  • A Short Stay Unit at Southport Hospital to treat and discharge frail older people and offer them the specialistcare they need
  • Extra staff in A&E, radiography and mental health liaison
  • 38 community beds in local nursing homes to provide appropriate out of hospital care
  • Some additional GP appointment slots, and GPs in local nursing homes to treat people quickly and avoid hospital admissions

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