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NHS St Helens CCG Community Newsletter
January 2019

ENGAGE is the best way to find out about what's happening in health and social care in St Helens and how you can get involved.
Engagement Lead Blog - January 2019

Our next community Talkfest takes place in February and we will be holding a number events across St Helens as well as working with community and voluntary groups. The purpose of these events is to keep  you up to date with the latest changes in health and social care. For more information or to book a place please give me a call on 01744 627596 or email
As you are hopefully aware from my last update in December, the Walk- In Centre in St Helens has now changed its name to the Urgent Treatment Centre (UTC) following NHS England guidlelines.   The UTC will be open for 15 hours a day (13 hours on a Sunday ), 365 days a year and staffed by a team of highly skilled nursed and other healthcare staff experienced at diagnosing and treating minor injuries and illnesses. A GP is also now on site Monday to Friday, 11.00am – 8.00pm.
During 2019 we will have a number of opportunities for the community to get involved and have their on the work of the CCG and St Helens Cares. All engagement opportunities are promoted through the CCG website. If you would like more information on any of the opportunities or would like to get involved please do not hesitate to contact me on or 01744 624596.


All engagement opportunities are promoted through the CCG website. If you would like more information on any of the opportunities or would like to get involved please do not hesitate to contact me.

Engagement Opportunities 

Talkfest sessions - February 2019

Following on from the community engagement events (Talkfest) that took place in November, the next round of these will take place week commencing 4th February.

The purpose of Talkfest is to keep St Helens residents up to date with the latest developments in health and social care in the local area and to get your input on how we plan for the future and what changes we should make.

We are still finalising the agenda for the week but updates will be provided from programmes of work discussed in November:  St Helens Cares, the St Helens Shared Care Record and other key areas of work relevant to the local community.

Sessions will last approximately 2 hours and will be held as follows:

Monday 4th February - Rainford Village Hall – 9:30am arrival for a 10:00am start. (Church Rd, Rainford, St Helens, WA11 8HB)

Tuesday 5th February - St Helens Young Carers' Centre – 4:30pm arrival for a 5:00pm start (Fishwick House, 18 Cotham Street, St Helens Town Centre, WA10 1SJ)

Wednesday 6th February - St Ann's Millennium Centre – 9:30am arrival for a 10:00am start. (View Rd, Rainhill, Prescot, L35 0LE)

Wednesday 6th February - Drop in session held at the Smokefree St Helens Hub 2:00 – 3:30pm (Unit 2, The Hardshaw Centre, Church Street, St Helens, WA10 1EB)

Thursday 7th February - Crownway Community Centre – 1:30pm arrival for a 2:00pm start (Crown Street, Earlestown, Newton-le-Willows WA12 9DA)

As well as the sessions above, the team will be attending a number of existing sessions across St Helens such as coffee mornings, library reading groups and Get Together sessions.

If you would like to register for an event please contact or 01744 627596 to book your place stating your name, organisation (if applicable) and the session you would like to attend.

We look forward to seeing you!

NHS Long Term Plan

You will probably have seen and heard lots in the media about the launch of the NHS Long Term Plan which plans to save almost half a million more lives with practical action on major killer conditions and investment in world class, cutting edge treatments including genomic tests for every child with cancer.

The blueprint to make the NHS fit for the future will use the latest technology, such as digital GP consultations for all those who want them, coupled with early detection and a renewed focus on prevention to stop an estimated 85,000 premature deaths each year.

Measures outlined by NHS leaders today will help prevent 150,000 heart attacks, strokes and dementia cases while more than three million people will benefit from new and improved stroke, respiratory and cardiac services over the next decade.

Patients will benefit from services ranging from improved neonatal care for new parents and babies to life-changing stroke therapy and integrated support to keep older people out of hospital, living longer and more independent lives.

The NHS long term plan is also the first time in the NHS’ 70 year history when there will be a new guarantee that investment in primary, community and mental health care will grow faster than the growing overall NHS budget. This will fund a £4.5 billion new service model for the 21st century across England, where health bodies come together to provide better, joined up care in partnership with local government.

The commitment to tackle major physical conditions comes alongside the biggest ever investment in mental health services rising to at least £2.3 billion a year by 2023/24. Building on significant expansion in recent years, the long term plan will see around two million more people who suffer anxiety, depression or other problems receive help over the next decade including new dads as well as mums, and 24 hour access to crisis care via NHS 111.

For more information, viist 

GP Extended Access

The GP Extended Access Service is now live across three hubs in St Helens with the fourth planned to go live in the coming months.  This offers an 98 additional hours of GP appointments each week outside normal operating hours which are continuing to have good take up and help ease the pressure on A&E at Whiston Hospital.

Patients registered with GP practice in St Helens who need an urgent appointment can now see a GP or Advanced Nurse Practitioner 7 days a week - outside of normal working hours and in a location that is convenient for them.
Monday to Friday -  5pm to 9pm
Saturday – 8am to 3pm
Sunday –  8am to 12pm.

Appointments will be provided at three ‘hubs’ across St Helens and can be only booked by receptionists at a patient's own GP practice.  These hubs are at Rainhill Clinic, the Millennium Centre and Woodside Healtjh Centre in Haydock.


Stay Alive app

A new app has been developed for Cheshire & Merseyside for people in crisis and at risk of suicide by Grassroots called Stay Alive.  It has national helplines and local information for people to refer to.

The app will be launched on 'Time to Talk' day which is on Thursday 7th February this year. This will be supported by media and social media coverage and we would be grateful if you would look out for the information on Stay Alive and help us promote the app to your networks.

Have your say on local public health services

Get involved - national consultation on prescribing of low priority items

NHS England recently launched a new consultation to support the review of eight items currently available on prescription, which are considered to be of low clinical priority and which cost the NHS more than £68 million per year.

The items which are being reviewed are as follows:

• Silk garments

• Aliskiren – used to treat blood pressure

• Amiodarone – used to treat abnormal heart rhythms

• Bath and shower emollient preparations

• Dronedarone – used to treat atrial fibrillation

• Minocycline – used to treat acne

• Blood glucose testing strips for type 2 diabetes

• Needles for prefilled and reusable insulin pens for diabetes.

As this is a national consultation, anyone can get involved, so please promote with your all your stakeholders and colleagues.

Please note, the consultation is being led by NHS England and will run until 28 February 2019. More information about the consultation can be found on the NHS England website. The consultation closes on 28 February 2019.

Campaigns and Information 

St Helens Shared Care Record

Many people think their GP, hospital or social care records are available to all professionals involved in their care and treatment but this is not the case.  Each professional a person sees keeps a separate record which can mean that sometimes important information is not communicated between health and social care services as well as it should.
Here in St Helens, the local GPs, hospitals, community, mental health and social care services have been working together to improve this.
We are now about to launch the St Helens Shared Care Record - a computer system where a person’s separate health and care records all come together in one place meaning that health and care professionals involved in a person’s care can look at all the relevant information recorded to make the best clinical and care decisions.
People registered with a GP in St Helens will have a full shared care record as long as their practice has signed a data sharing agreement, containing details of your GP appointments, medication prescribed, diagnoses and tests results, allergies and the treatments and care you receive.  Patients won’t have access to the system or be able to see their shared care record.  However, you can still make an informal request to see your summary medical record at your GP surgery.
The system is now live with health and care professionals beginning to use it – who have described it as ‘revolutionary’.  The benefits to patients are:
  • They get the right treatment and care as the professionals you see have the most up to date and accurate information about a person
  • We can reduce duplicate appointments and tests and the time taken to chase things up with other providers
  • They don’t have to keep repeating your medical or social care history.
Only health and social care workers directly involved in a person’s care will be able to view the shared care record.  All the information is stored using the most secure technology available and covered by strict confidentiality guidelines and the Data Protection Act 2018.  The shared care record is access through a secure NHS network and not the internet.
People can choose to not have their record shared with anyone outside their GP surgery.  To opt out, a dedicated manned telephone number has been set up: 01744 646868 and a website is coming soon, along with patient information to be distributed in practices, describing the benefits of the shared care record for both patients and staff.

Cervical Cancer Prevention Awareness Week 

This January the CCG and CCG supported Cervical Cancer Prevention Awareness Week and the work of Jo's Trust in raising awareness of the importance of attending your smear test appointment .

This yes, 3,200 women will be diagnosed with cervical cancer, yet smear tests are at a 20 year low.  Most cervical cancers can be detected early meaning prognosis and outcomes can be better for patients.  It is nothing to be afraid of and while a little uncomfortable, it's quick and painless and can literally save lives.  the nurses have literally seen it all!

A recent poll of 2,000 women nationwide aged 25-35 stated that 80% avoided or delayed their smear for fear of embarrassment.  Our public health teams are targeting this age group with information and support to ensure that they understand the importance of attending their smear test and making sure they don't die of embarrassment.  Please support by sharing our information on social media channels and website both this month and beyond. 

St Helens Integrated People's Services Commissioning Intentions

The St Helens Integrated People's Services' commissioning intentions and medicines management work plan for 2019-2020 has now been finalised and is available to view on our website.

If you need any explanation or clarification on this document, please contact Paul Steele at 
Tell us your story
We are always looking at ways of improving healthcare services. A big part of how we can do that is to hear your experiences of health care. All experiences and stories, both positive and negative are good for us to know about and you can share these with us in a number of ways including;
The next ENGAGE newsletter will be brought to you in February 2019.

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