Welcome to the engagement blog for NHS St Helens CCG. My name is Paul Steele and I am the Engagement, Involvement, Communications and Patient Experience Lead for NHS St Helens CCG.
We want to keep you up to date with the latest work we are doing in our engagement team here at NHS St Helens CCG.
You can find a regular blog with updates on the work happening here below.
Happy New Year, The Lets do it campaign continues in January when NHS in Halton, St Helens, Knowlsey and Warrington are coming together for the final week spending a day with each of our services to give you some insight to what goes on as well as highlighting the other services available. Weeks schedule as follows:
Monday 6 January – Self Care / Well Stocked Medicine Cabinet
Tuesday 7 January – NHS 111
Wednesday 8 January – GP, Primary Care
Thursday 9 January – Urgent Treatment Centre
Friday 10 January – A&E / 999
Regular updates provided through social media to give you ‘real time’ information on what’s happening locally.
Wishing all of you a very happy and healthy Christmas and New Year.
I would like to personally thank you everyone who has taken the time to join our discussions either by getting involved in consultation and engagement work or attending one of our public events in 2019. You can view the highlights from our year here.
I look forward to continuing to work with you in 2020.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
Following a 12 week consultation into the 'Care at the Chemist' scheme in St Helens, the CCG has decided to continue the service in its current form.
The minor ailments service, ‘Care at the Chemist’, was initially commissioned by the former Primary Care Organisation for St Helens residents in 2004. The scheme is available to the public in all but two patient facing pharmacies in St Helens and patients can obtain treatment for 27 minor ailments free of charge if they are eligible for free prescriptions.
Community groups and individuals were all invited to have their say on the above options and the by the time the consultation closed on 21 September, 181 responses to the consultation survey had been received including comments collected from face to face engagement sessions in pharmacies, libraries and children’s centres across the borough. The majority of these were not in favour of ceasing the service. To read the full outcome report click here.
The team are busy planning the upcoming Let’s do it together campaign which will launch on 1 December. Let’s Do It Together is about highlighting the different NHS services available in each area and aims to give people a glimpse into life at the front line of the NHS.
Importantly, the campaign also asks you to get involved and help our doctors and nurses help the sickest patients by
We’re asking you to help us keep our emergency services free for those who need them most.
You can see what we are doing for this campaign by going to our social media platforms (Facebook and Twitter)
During the campaign staff will also be out and about handing out guides in supermarkets, shopping centres, St Helens Santa dash and the Christmas light switch on and many more locations across St Helens.
The team will also be working with our local third sector, voluntary groups, and other community groups as well as colleges, schools and workplaces.
The campaign was initially launched in December 2018 to provide a glimpse into life at the frontline of local NHS services and aims to encourage people to use NHS services responsibly and to keep the local accident and emergency departments free for those who really need them by giving them the information on what alternatives are available in the community.
In October the Communication and Engagement Team supported world Mental Health Day, as well as promoting national information the team worked locally with third sector and voluntary groups to talk about local statistics and services available and how to access them. As well as this the team worked with St Helens College and provided a number of talks during lessons and carried out activities with the students to look at what barriers people face when accessing services, how we can improve local service and captured experiences of people who have used local services.
Conversations continue with the college to look at how the CCG can support the students and how we ensure we fully engage children and young people in our work. Over the coming weeks we will also be having conversations with primary and secondary schools.
For more information on this work please do not hesitate to contact me
During September the CCGs AGM took place at Cineworld St Helens as part of the AGM we premiered our film St Helens Dream to Reality which was developed as our summary of the annual report. The film was a huge success and clearly demonstrated the achievements of the CCG and the wider St Helens Cares partnership. You can view the film on the CCGs website https://www.sthelensccg.nhs.uk/about-us/public-information/sthelens-dream-to-reality/. Please feel free to share this link with colleagues, families and friends so they can also see the work we are undertaking locally for the people of St Helens.
Also during September we had the launch of Contact Cares, Contact cares is the first point of contact for help and advice on health and social care needs.
Contact Cares is Open from 8am - 10pm; 365 days a year. And has a single referral number: 01744 676767
The team have been out and about promoting the consultation for care at the chemist. As well as promoting the consultation through social media, websites etc. we have also attended a number of parent and child sessions and pharmacies to talk to those people who access the service to get their thoughts on the options put forward by the CCG.
The team also attended St Helens first ever pride event which took place on Saturday 10 August. During the day a number of activities took place across the town followed by a parade from the Town Hall which ended at the world of glass. A number of organisations took part in the event hosting a stall in the market place which showcased the work they do locally and how people can get involved.
The team are busy planning this year’s Annual General Meeting which will take place at Cineworld St Helens, on Wednesday 11 September 12.30 – 2.00pm, as part of the meeting we will premier our film ‘St Helens – Dream to reality’ which will showcase our work over the last 12 months more information on this can be found below.
Our next Talkfest event is fast approaching and will be talking place week commencing 23 September, more details about this will be available in the next couple of weeks and can be found on our website or by calling the team on the below number.
If you would like to get involved in other work of the CCG please visit our website www.sthelensccg.nhs.uk or call 01744 627596
During June the CCG attended the Learning Disability physical health event held at St Helens Rugby club. During the day a number of activities took place from rugby league demonstration, cycling tracks as well as number of local services showcasing who they are and what they do to support people living with a learning disability and carers.
A number of presentations took place from hospital doctors and GPs highlighting the importance of having an annual health check and what’s involved in the checks. The day came to a close with a performance from a local signing choir, the choir brings together service users, carers and health professionals.
Also in June as part of St Helens Cares, the first meeting of the Stakeholder reference forum took place. This meeting was a set up as development session bringing together members for the first time to talk about the role of the forum and what the forum will do going forward.
The Stakeholder Reference Forum (SRF) is established to build and sustain meaningful engagement with people across all communities within St Helens, enabling them to have a voice in improving their health and in shaping services as part of St Helens Cares. As such, the SRF will play a key role in providing feedback to the St Helens Cares Provider Board and the St Helens Cares Executive Board, as well as other governance groups within St Helens Cares, on proposals for service change.
This Forum will be made up of patients, service users and carers, and representatives from groups and organisations that represent them or that have an interest in this area. They will offer their perspectives on how St Helens Cares can inform and engage with people on its programmes of work. We will be shortly launching a St Helens cares website which will keep you updated on the work across St Helens.
To get involved with our work or find out what other engagement opportunities we have please visit our 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 at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 01744 624596.
May – Mental Health Awareness Week
In May our Community Talkfest events took place to coincide with mental health awareness week. These events too place throughout our four localities in St Helens so that all communities had the same opportunity to get involved and have their say. As well as the focus on mental health we also provided an update on St Helens Cares, the St Helens Shared Care Record and encouraged people to be involved in the priorities for the borough going forward. All the feedback received will be presented to the People's Board in July. During the week we also worked closely with local workplaces, schools, colleges as well as community groups.
Our next Talkfest community events will take place in September, more information will be circulated on the theme in the coming month.
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 at Paul.Steele@sthelensccg.nhs.uk or 01744 624596
In April the engagement lead attended the social inclusion network meeting to provide an update on St Helens Cares, Shared care record and Contact cares. This network is made up of representation a wide range of third sector and voluntary organisations. Following the update the forum was asked to take the information back to the community they support.
Representation from the CCG also attended St Helens Annual Suicide Memorial Event the event was set up to bring together those who have lost to suicide, show support for one another and raise awareness of suicide prevention within the borough.
Finally the engagement lead attended a local Patient participation meeting to provide and update of the work of the CCG, St Helens Cares and provide support and information on the role of a PPG and talk about some of the work patient reps can undertake within practice to support the surgery.
If you would like to get involved in your local PPG please see our website or contact your practice direct. (can you add link to PPG section)
To get involved with our work or find out what other engagement opportunities we have please visit our 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 at email@example.com or on 01744 624596
In March we held our Community Talkfest Marketplace Event. This event was developed following feedback from the local community regarding what services are available and how to access them. The event took place at the parish church in St Helens town centre, and we had over 24 organisations who came to showcase who they are and what they do. During the event we had great attendance from the community as well as health professionals and local councillors and MPs.
To get involved with our work or find out what other engagement opportunities we have please keep checking back on our website under ‘engaging you’
If you would like more information on any of the opportunities or would like to get involved please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 01744 624596
At our recent Talkfest events local community members provided us with valuable feedback regarding some of the barriers they face around self-care, this was mainly around local community members not always aware of what services are available and how to access them. Following this feedback, we are holding a community engagement fair this week, bringing together local organisations to showcase who they are and what they do. See the section below for more information.
As you are hopefully aware in St Helens we are working as part of a local care system called St Helens Cares which brings together a wide range of statutory organisations working together to improve the lives of the people of St Helens. Organisations Include Health and Social Care (NHS and Local Authority), Housing, Police, Fire, Healthwatch, Probation, Voluntary Community Action. As part of this work we have developed and launched a Shared Care Record.
Many people think that their GP health record is available to all health and social care workers involved in their care, but this is not always the case. At the moment, each person you see keeps a separate record. This can mean some important information is not communicated between health and social care services as well as it should. The St Helens Shared Care Record sees all local GPs, hospitals, community, mental health and social care services working together to make it possible for health and social care workers to look at relevant information about you to make the best clinical decisions.
For more information on St Helens Cares and the Shared Care Record please visit our website.
During 2019 we will have a number of opportunities for the community to get involved and have their say 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 at email@example.com or on 01744 624596.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
As you are hopefully aware from my last update in December, the e 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 email@example.com 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.
In November our Community Talkfest events took place, which built on the work already carried out by the CCG over the last 12 months. In July a commitment was made to develop Talkfest events and ensure they reach the four localities in St Helens so that all communities had the same opportunity to get involved and have their say. The focus was to provide an update on the changes to health and social care (St Helens Cares), the development of the shared care record and a promotion around self-care as the events took place during self-care week. A summary report from the Community Talkfest Events will be presented to the senior St Helens Cares team and also shared with the community through the CCG website.
Looking ahead to the new year, the next Talkfest events will take place in January with the theme of 'New Year, New You' as well as any new developments on the work of St Helens Cares. More information about these events and how to book a place will be circulated soon.
Also in November, we held a couple of Maternity listening events aimed at parents to come along and share experiences of local maternity services in St Helens.This work will continue into the new year. If you would like to share your experiences of maternity services please contact the team on firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
During October following on from the Know Your Type campaign in September, the team again worked with NHS Blood and Transplant and the Co-op Distribution Centre to run an internal campaign to raise awareness of becoming a blood donor and provided the opportunity for people to have a simple test to find out what blood type are.
The team have also worked closely with medicines management colleagues and council colleagues to support the launch and delivery of the national antibiotic awareness campaign. The aim of the campaign is to reduce inappropriate prescriptions for antibiotics, more information can be found here.
Also launched in October was our flu vaccination campaign. This campaign is aimed at encouraging those people at greatest risk from flu to protect themselves and their loved ones, more information can be found here.
Our Patient Experience and Involvement Group (PEIG) meeting also took place again. This group is made up of representation from the CCG, Local Authority, Public Health, Health watch, VCA and Patient Rep. The PEIG is a sub group which reports directly to the CCG Quality & Performance Committee, in line with the quality strategy. The group supports and advises on borough-wide engagement, consultation and communication activity and initiatives relevant to the delivery of the CCG commissioning strategy and St Helens Health and Well-being Strategy click here for more information on this group or how to get involved with the work of the CCG.
During the coming months the CCG will running a number of engagement events within the local community, we would like as many people to get involved in the events and come along and have their say.
During September the team supported two local campaigns, Know your Type (KYT) and Atrial Fibrillation campaigns. Firstly the KYT campaign was a joint campaign in partnership with NHS blood and transplant. The aim of the campaign was to raise local awareness of becoming a blood donor and provide the opportunity for people to have a simple test to find out what their blood type is. During the week we had over 40 people adding themselves to the register to give blood and finding out what blood type they are. The CCG will continue to work with the blood and transplant service to carry out a similar campaign with a local workplace.
The second campaign was in partnership with the Innovation Agency and was aimed at testing as many people as possible to identify if they are living with Atrial Fibrillation, the team held a number of drop in session during the week to capture as many people as possible, during the week over 540 people were tested. Atrial fibrillation is a heart condition that causes an irregular and often abnormally fast heart rate. A normal heart rate should be regular and between 60 and 100 beats a minute when you're resting. In atrial fibrillation, the heart rate is irregular and can sometimes be very fast. In some cases, it can be considerably higher than 100 beats a minute, this can cause problems e.g. dizziness, shortness of breath and tiredness. You may be aware of noticeable heart palpitations, where your heart feels like it's pounding, fluttering or beating irregularly, often for a few seconds or, in some cases, a few minutes however sometimes atrial fibrillation does not cause any symptoms and a person who has it is completely unaware that their heart rate is irregular. You can find out more about the symptoms of atrial fibrillation here.
We also held our Patient Experience an Involvement Group (PEIG) meeting, this group is made up of representation from the CCG, Local Authority, Public Health, Health watch, VCA and Patient Rep. The PEIG is a sub group which reports directly to the CCG Quality & Performance Committee, in line with the quality strategy. The group supports and advises on borough-wide engagement, consultation and communication activity and initiatives relevant to the delivery of the CCG Commissioning Strategy and St Helens Health and Well-being Strategy for more information on this group or how to get involved with the work of the CCG.
On Thursday 5th July the NHS celebrated its 70th Birthday, to mark this occasion locally the NHS St Helens CCG held a number of events as part of our Talkfest along with holding our Annual General Meeting.
During the week the team attended a number of locations including St Helens Hospital and Asda Supermarket asking local community members what they think the NHS will look like in the future and to also make a pledge on how they will support the NHS going forward, for example: I will – look after myself, I will – use the right services at the right time, I will – be as independent as possible in managing my healthcare. During the events the CCG engaged with approximately 600 people face to face with 244 making pledges.
Alongside this, NHS St Helens CCG also held a community talkfest workshop. Members of the community who attended were asked to tell us what’s happening within their communities and how they can support us going forward along with identifying challenges. 34 members of the community attended the event as well as representation from third sector and voluntary organisations.
Following on from the workshop attendees stayed and joined us for our Annual General Meeting along with local councillors, partners, MPs, third sector and voluntary representatives as well as nursing students and pupils from Cowley International High School choir who opened and closed the meeting. In total approximately 120 were in attendance for the AGM to hear updates from Geoffrey Appleton – Lay Chair, Sarah O’Brien – Strategic Director People's Services / Clinical Accountable Officer and Iain Stoddart – Chief Finance Officer. Delegates from Stuttgart were also in attendance to mark the 70 year anniversary of the twinning of the two towns.
The week came to an end on Saturday 7 July when the CCG attended the Food and Drink festival, the festival was set up to celebrate the 150 anniversary of St Helens.
Another busy month in June for the team. At the start of the month I attended the 'Making the right choice' event which was organsied by Healthwatch St Helens. The aim of the event was to promote local services and when to use them and what to expect. I presented on behalf of the CCG talking about what services are available in primary care and who you could expect to see when accessing them. The event was a huge success and was attended by over 100 members of the local community as well as third sector, voluntary orgnisations and Health Professionals. We hope that this event helped to raise awareness of where the right places to go for care are in St Helens and that those who attended would share the messages.
I also spent some time at the local Autism and Asperger Society talking to service leads as well as service users around future work of the CCG and how they can get involved and have their say.
During this month the team have spent a lot of time planning for our next Talkfest event as well as planning for the NHS 70 birthday and our AGM which will all take place in July. For more information or book a place please visit https://www.sthelensccg.nhs.uk/get-involved/annual-general-meeting-agm/ or call 01744 624269
Finally, a representative from the Alzheimer’s society ran a dementia friends training session for staff. The session provided staff with information to transform the way the people think, act and talk about dementia and how it affects people. All staff then made a pledge on what they can do on a daily basis to support people living with dementia. For more information on becoming a dementia friend please follow this link. https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/get-involved/dementia-friendly-communities/dementia-friends
During May we celebrated national nurses day, as part of this the team worked with the quality team and held a local event. The event was to celebrate the work of nurses across the borough and what they contribute to the local community. Invites were sent out to all nurses across a range of settings, Community, Primary Care, Acute, Mental Health, Learning Disabilities, Local Hospice, infection control, continuing healthcare nurses. As part of the event our Chief Nurse, Lisa Ellis talked about the vital role nurses play and thanked gave thanks for their dedication, Sarah O’ Brien then talked though comments received from patients on how thankful they are for what they do. Awards were also given out to nurses across a number of categories as recognition of their hard work.
Also during May a number of workshops have taken place which I have attended, these include healthy weight and alcohol the workshops looked at how we can work together on these key areas and how best to communicate and engage with the local community.
The team have a survey out at the minute looking at capturing peoples experiences of accessing the Walk in Centre locally, these experience will be collated and will support the commissioning team in the development of a specification for an urgent care treatment centre later in the year.
Spring is in the air and last week we certainly had a lot to talk about!
We have been working hard on planning for our next Talkfest Spring event, which is taking place on Thursday 26th April 2018. This will be focused around the topic of mental health, talking with local community groups, work places, schools and colleges about mental health issues and services available in St Helens. Plans with our Public Health, Healthwatch and Voluntary colleges are underway to plan in workshops, information sessions and drop ins all to get people talking about mental health. We also want to hear from you if know any groups who might want to get involved and talk to us about mental health services or experiences.
We are keen to spread messages about Mental Health services and promote great campaigns like 'Stamp out Stigma' on this day, so if you have any ideas about how we can get as many people in the area talking about Mental Health on April 26th 2018, please get in touch.
I have also been out and about across St Helens working with the 'Clinical reference group' as part of St Helens Cares. This is a group where all of the leads across the St Helens Cares programme shares learnings and talks to each other giving updates on the work we are all doing to deliver better health and social care. I updated the group on the engagement work happening in the CCG such as A&E and GP extended hours which link into key work streams such as 'Front Door' and 'Primary Care'.
We also went and talked with our local ADHD group about what NHS services are available for them and how they can use them. Talking with them also meant we could learn from some of their experiences of services and feedback to our teams.
Check in next week to read more about how our Talkfest plans are going and some more about our GP engagement plans.
This week, we are using technology to reach out to our GPs and Practice Managers, linking them in more closely to what is happening in our area.
Using a webinar system, GP practices can directly link in with us having a two way conversation about what is happening in our local healthcare.
This week, we had updates from our Clinical Accountable Officer, Sarah O'Brien, Our Lead Nurse for Adult Safeguarding, Helen Newton and our Interim Head of Primary Care, Karen Leverett.
It is a new idea which is already proving to be a great way to engage with our primary care community.
We have also attended the Suicide Memorial event on Wednesday evening, which was a fantastic and moving event. We met some inspirational people and have also learned that the prevalence of suicide in St Helens is really high, especially amongst men of all ages. Some of the new people we met and things we learned will now also be getting involved in and used in our Talkfest Mental Health event in April.