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Healthwatch are here for you and listens to everyone who use, and deliver, health and care services and are able to ensure the voice of all of us is strengthened and heard by those who commission, deliver and regulate health and care services.

The team at Healthwatch Wirral are still working hard on key priorities during this challenging time, this includes:

  • Providing clear and understandable advice and information to the public
  • Alerting services to issues that could impact on the safety of people
  • Supporting the system and wider community response to COVID-19 and the reset and restoration needed for all of our services.
  • Supporting communities who find it hardest to be heard or get the support they need
If you need more information ring: 0151 230 8957 or email info@healthwatchwirral.co.uk

Or you can visit our website. https://healthwatchwirral.co.uk/

It's more vital than ever that we hear people’s experiences of care for people of all ages- young and old. CQC have launched a public campaign as part of the new Emergency Support Framework to encourage people to feedback on care, working with us. Healthwatch Wirral want to hear about good care, and not so good, so we can develop and build on best practice. #Spare5 to encourage your Friends, families and networks to get in touch if there are things that they need to know or want to share about their health and social care.

Contents

  1. Bridge Forum News
  2. Equality and Inclusion- accessibility
    1. ReciteMe
    2. British Sign Language- Deaf Community 
    3. Wirral Society of the Blind and Partially Sighted
    4. Learning Disabilities
    5. Easy Read
    6. Languages
  3. NHS Help Us Help You campaign
    1. Face Coverings- visiting your health services
    2. Heart Attack
    3. Eye Care
    4. NHS Website
    5. Healthwatch Wirral App Library
  4. KEEP.WIRRAL.WELL
    1. Outbreak Prevention and Control plan
  5. Shielding update
    1. Social Prescribing Link Workers
    2. “We Are Undefeatable”
  6. Wirral infoBank
  7. Mental Health
    1. Talking Together Wirral
    2. Cheshire and Wirral Partnership (CWP) 24/7 all age urgent mental health helpline
    3. Self-Injury Support
    4. Veterans
  8. Parents/carers
    1. HPV Vaccine clinics
    2. Support for parents
    3. Wirral’s Local Offer
    4. Health Child Clinics
  9. Young People
    1. Young Carers
    2. Freephone helpline to support young people
    3. CAMHS website, MyMind
  10. LGBT+
    1. Pride Month
    2. Health Inequalities
    3. LGBT+ specific support services
  11. Sexual Health Wirral
  12. Unpaid Carers
  13. Drug and Alcohol Support
  14. Update from Diabetes UK
  15. Bereavement
  16. Latest Government Guidance

1. BRIDGE Forum News - Bridging Resources Information Direction and Guidance for Everyone

Healthwatch Wirral are putting on a virtual coffee morning for third sector organisations and PPGs to gauge the feeling of how we are all coping and what the key issues are for people.
 
Attendances at A&E and to GP’s nationally is lower than normal. Healthwatch would like to ask you and your members how they are coping at this time with their health and care needs. (e.g. are people self-caring or are they struggling to get help?) It has never been more important for us all Spare 5 and feel confident to  put people in touch with the right services.
 
Dates are as follows:
22nd July 11am – 12:30pm Third Sector Organisations
23rd July 11am – 12:30pm Patient Participation Groups
 
To book your place please email spare5@healthwatchwirral.co.uk by 17th July 2020
 
You will then be sent a link and joining instructions.

2. Equality and Inclusion- accessibility 

a. ReciteMe
Healthwatch Wirral continue to do our best to try to ensure all of our information is accessible to all; please get in touch to request in different formats. The Healthwatch Wirral website also offers ReciteMe functionality that support additional accessibility:

b. British Sign Language
Translations of government announcements and other health advice https://signhealth.org.uk/resources/coronavirus/
 
The Deaf Health Charity, SignHealth and online interpreting company InterpreterNow, have together launched ‘BSL Health Access’ which enables the provision of immediate, on demand access to British Sign Language (BSL) interpreters for communication with Deaf people in health settings free of charge during the current Coronavirus situation.

https://www.bslhealthaccess.co.uk/
 
Locally please also contact MSDP (Merseyside Society for Deaf People) by Telephone: 0151 649 8194

Email: reception@msdp.org.uk or go to their website: https://www.msdp.org.uk/

c. Wirral Society of the Blind and Partially Sighted are currently looking at how they reintroduce their services are still available if you have any questions or queries on 0151 651 0635
https://wirralsociety.org.uk/
 
d. Learning Disabilities
We recently celebrated Mencap’s #LDWeek2020- focus being on friendships during lockdown. We know that people with a learning disability already experience high levels of loneliness and social isolation and that this will only have been made worse by the lockdown.
 
In addition to friendships there was also the important message that the NHS is still here to look after you if you have a medical condition or injury which needs treatment.  If you have a learning disability you can get extra support when visiting the doctor.
 
Join the learning disability register - which could also mean you can have a free Annual Health Check Mencap have resources to help you! https://www.mencap.org.uk/advice-and-support/health/dont-miss-out/dont-miss-out-guides-and-resources

Wirral Mencap are continuing with their usual programme of events running online and on FB.
https://www.facebook.com/WirralMencap/
 
There is also a fab team of Mencap volunteers ready to take on people who might need someone to contact them for a friendly chat.  For more information on all they are able to offer, please call or text mobile number 07597986437 for details.
 
Wirral CCG have some excellent information and resources on their page: https://www.wirralccg.nhs.uk/news/learning-disability-awareness-week-15-21-june-2020/

e. Easy Read
Keep Safe is a free resource from Photosymbols

https://www.keepsafe.org.uk/posters

This provides Links to Easy read posters and resources - free to print or share online. Use them on their own or in combinations to get the message across.

Beyond Words is providing free picture stories and illustrated guides to support people with learning disabilities and autism through the coronavirus pandemic

f. Languages
Imperial College London, in partnership with the BME Health Forum and the North West London Clinical Commissioning Groups have produced a series of videos aimed at encouraging people to continue to use health services if they are unwell. They are available in English, Arabic, Farsi, Kurdish and Sylheti

NHS guidelines translated into up to 50 languages by Doctors of the World and find video advice here

3. NHS Help Us Help You campaign

NHS North West are support us all to know how to get the right treatment and are encouraging people to access urgent medical help and treatment when they need it during the current coronavirus outbreak. NHS Wirral Clinical Commissioning Group is reminding Wirral people that changes to GP and Walk-in services are still in place despite the easing of some lockdown measures.

Here are some key messages
  • If you need medical help, the NHS is still here for you
  • If you need medical help from your GP practice, contact them either online, by an app or by phone to be assessed
  • If you need urgent medical help, use the NHS 111 online service. If you cannot get help online, call 111
  • If it’s a serious or life-threatening emergency, call 999
  • If you are told to go to hospital it is important that you go to hospital
  • You should continue to attend your appointments, unless you have been told not to attend
a. Face Coverings - visiting your health services
When you visit a GP or nurse please be aware that you are expected to wear a face covering such as a mask or scarf that covers the nose and mouth.

The Government have provided information and guidance on how and when face coverings should be used and this includes a useful guide on how people can make their own covering, please click here for more information.

More information can be found by visiting: https://www.wirralccg.nhs.uk/news/using-a-face-covering-when-you-visit-a-gp-or-nurse/

b. Heart attack
If you or a loved one experience symptoms of a heart attack or another killer condition, you must seek help as you always would.

For a suspected heart attack that means phoning 999 immediately.

The common symptoms of a heart attack can include:
  • chest pain – the chest can feel like it's being pressed or squeezed by a heavy object, and pain can radiate from the chest to the jaw, neck, arms and back
  • shortness of breath
  • feeling weak or lightheaded, or both
  • an overwhelming feeling of anxiety
c. Eye care
  • Eye care services are still running
  • People who need urgent eye care should contact any optician or NHS 111 without delay.
  • The sooner treatment can be provided the more positive the outcome for patients.
  • The COVID Urgent Eyecare Service has been established to support patients in Cheshire and Merseyside with their urgent eye care needs
  • The service will use technology to provide remote consultations to patients meaning more patients will be able to access services, either at or close to home, reducing the need for travel and hospital visits

d. NHS
Please always remember the NHS Website is full of information Around your health and care needs and queries https://www.nhs.uk/

e. Healthwatch Wirral Apps Library
Healthwatch Wirral work to provide links to Self-care Guidance, Apps, Information and Toolkits through the website. A lot of people are finding that Apps can be really helpful. https://healthwatchwirral.co.uk/apps/

4. Keep.Wirral.Well

Whilst the UK Government has relaxed some of the lockdown measures, we all still have a responsibility to help control the spread of the virus, to protect Wirral residents and provide support to those shielding. The Keep.Wirral.Well campaign asks residents to actively take part in breaking the chain of infection, in their everyday lives – as they have been doing, diligently, for the last few months. https://wirralview.com/covid-19-features/keep-wirral-well-and-we-all-win
 
COVID-19 has not gone away. We need to prevent local outbreaks and be prepared for when they occur.

a. To Keep Wirral Well, this link below contains information about our Outbreak Prevention and Control plan. It also explains what organisations and residents can do to support on Wirral.

https://www.wirral.gov.uk/health-and-social-care/coronavirus-updates/covid-19-outbreak-prevention-and-control

5. Shielding update: letter to patients

Following government announcements. A letter is being sent out to explain planned changes for the 6th July and 1st August 2020 and offers some advice. letter link.

a. Did you know that each GP practice on the Wirral now has a Wellbeing Practitioner/Link Worker as part of their team?Whether people have been shielding or not, a lot of people have shared that their health and wellbeing has been impacted in recent months. Your Link Worker is here to help and support you to look after your health and wellbeing.

The link workers and wellbeing practitioners have time to give, can explore wellness, solve practical issues (money, housing, lifestyle, welfare etc), signpost, handhold and just be a friendly voice whenever it’s needed.

For a referral please talk to a member of your GP practice
https://healthwatchwirral.co.uk/social-prescribing-theres-another-way-to-help-you-feel-better/

AgeUK Wirral are also still offering - shopping support and wellbeing calls to support older people in our local community. To find out more visit their website https://www.ageuk.org.uk/wirral/ or call us on 0151 482 3456

b. “We Are Undefeatable” is here on Wirral and is a movement supporting people with a range of long term health conditions to encourage finding ways to be physically active that work for you, if you have a long-term health condition

Tel: 077955823196

Email: weareundefeatable@wirral.gov.uk or click on the news link to find out more:

https://healthwatchwirral.co.uk/we-are-undefeatable-campaign/

6. Wirral InfoBank

Wirral infoBank has been a great resource for Wirral residents to support then in finding local community support services, online events and up-to-date advice and information on the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation.

https://www.wirralinfobank.co.uk/

7. Mental Health

a. Talking Together Wirral
Everyone goes through difficult times, but sometimes our problems affect our day-to-day lives and we feel that we can’t cope. If you are in this situation, you are not alone.
 
Talking Together Wirral (TTW) is a free and confidential service and is available to anyone aged 16+ and is registered with a GP in the Wirral.

To find out more and to refer yourself to this service, please visit the Talking Together Wirral website by clicking here. You can also contact the service if you do not have access to a digital device that enables video calling, to find out how you can be supported to access talking therapies.

Call: 0151 649 1859 or Email: info@talkingtogetherwirral.org

b. Cheshire and Wirral Partnership (CWP)
24/7 all age urgent mental health helpline is now a Freephone number. If you are from Wirral Council please call 0800 145 6485 if you require urgent support.
 
For more info
http://www.cwp.nhs.uk/contact/need-urgent-help/

c. Self-Injury
Self-injury support are still here to support you by email, text and web support which is all free, confidential, non-judgemental support around self-injury and related issues.

All services open Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 7pm - 9:30pm.

Text - Message 07537 432444
 
They want anyone who uses self-injury to know they are not alone; that everyone understands that self-injury is a complex and important issue we should all care about; and that together we tackle both the causes and stigma of self-injury. For more information see their website:

https://www.selfinjurysupport.org.uk/

d. Veterans
If you or a family member has served in the armed forces Wirral Veterans CIC – is offering Mental Health/Crisis Support. Please call 0151 653 3998

8. Parents

a. HPV Vaccine clinics for year 8 pupils - appointment only
The 0-19 Health and Wellbeing Team has scheduled a number of appointment only clinics to enable 12 and 13 year olds to have their HPV vaccination and booking your child’s appointment is easy - please call the immunisation team on 0151 514 2509 or 0151 514 2510.

b. Support for Parents
Action for Children on hand to support parents, when they need. As coronavirus has put extra pressure on families, they have been offering even more online parenting support. You can find advice and resources on coronavirus, explore their online advice sites below, or speak to one of the parenting coaches in a 1-to-1 live chat.
They are updating info regularly based on issues parents are talking to them about.
https://www.parents.actionforchildren.org.uk/

c. Wirral’s Local Offer is providing regular updates and information for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities. 
https://localofferwirral.org/category/covid-19-support/

d. Health Child Clinics - appointments only
The 0-19 Health and Wellbeing Team from Wirral Community Health and Care NHS Foundation Trust has starting to introduce a number of appointment only clinics for local families. The teams have quickly and safely adapted their services and are delighted to be running a number of Healthy Child Clinics for parents and carers of 0-5-year olds. These appointment only clinics provide families with free and confidential support and advice around weaning and diet, weight checks and sleep and behavioural concerns, as well as signposting and referrals to other services if necessary. The clinics are running from St Catherine’s Health Centre and appointments can be made by calling the team. So, if you’re a parent or carer of a little one and would like to book an appointment please speak to the team on 0151 514 0219.
A range of resources (videos, web and social media links, helplines and leaflets) around weaning, safe sleep and mental wellbeing.
https://www.wchc.nhs.uk/services/wirral-0-19-health-and-wellbeing-service/self-care-resources-and-support/

9. Young People

a. Barnardo’s Young Carers
Supports children and young people in Wirral who are looking after a family member who is ill, disabled, has mental health problems, or is misusing drugs or alcohol.

Barnardo’s want to put out a plea for all our partner agencies/others to check whether young people may be struggling (possible young carers) and ask the direct questions as young people will not identify themselves unless asked.  The service takes self-referrals (from young people/families) and referrals from partners via referral forms or telephone referrals if easier.

https://www.wirral.gov.uk/health-and-social-care/adult-social-care/support-carers/support-young-carers

https://www.wirralsafeguarding.co.uk/young-carers-2/

Please contact wirralservices@barnardos.org.uk or call 0151 650 5488 (families can self-refer)

https://www.barnardos.org.uk/what-we-do/services/action-young-carers-wirral

b. Freephone helpline to support young people who may be struggling
Children and young people can call 0808 196 4147 to speak to one of the advisers who will be there to take their call Monday – Friday between 9.00am – 5.00pm. The team can also be reached via email: youthmatters@wirral.gov.uk

c. It’s normal to feel anxious about returning to school in these challenging times. CWP Mental Health Support Teams have created resources for young people & teachers to help with the transition. You can find them on the dedicated CAMHS website, MyMind, at https://www.mymind.org.uk/about-mymind/young-people/

10. LGBT+

a. Pride Month
This year’s most prominent Pride events kicked off at the end of the June and took place primarily online.Dubbed Pride Inside, the virtual celebration has seen artists, musicians, comedians, DJs and activists come together for a series of performances, talks and workshops honouring the LGBT+ community.

b. Health inequalities
The National LGB&T Partnership was established in early 2010, in order reduce health inequalities and challenge homophobia, biphobia and transphobia within public services.  The Partnership combines the expertise of ten key LGB&T organisations across England and works closely with many more. 
https://nationallgbtpartnership.org/

A lack of understanding of terminology, or fear of using the wrong language, is a significant, but easy to overcome, barrier to providing good health and care to LGBTQ+ people, both in policy and practice.

Please see below for a guide produced to support:
https://nationallgbtpartnershipdotorg.files.wordpress.com/2020/03/terminology-guide-final.pdf

c. If you are feeling isolated or struggling there are LGBT+ specific support services, you can access:
National LGBT Domestic Abuse Helpline - http://www.galop.org.uk/galop-to-run-national-lgbt-domestic-violence-helpline/
  • National LGBT+ Helpline (more general)- 0300 330 0630 - provides support and information around anything that you want to discuss and issues you may be facing https://switchboard.lgbt
  • Mindline Trans+ is an emotional and mental health support helpline for anyone identifying as transgender, non-binary, genderfluid…are also here to support family members, friends, colleagues and carers http://mindlinetrans.org.uk/

11. Sexual Health Wirral needs your help

Sexual Health Wirral would love to hear from you about your experience of using their sexual health services during the pandemic. Please complete their short survey https://tinyurl.com/y97trzgm

Your feedback is greatly appreciated and will help to develop and shape the service moving forward.

12. Carers

Wirral Carers Support
WIRED are still working to support Wirral carers during this time. If you are a carer - text "CARER" to 87007 for free advice and support from Wirral Carers Health and Wellbeing Service.

13. Drug and Alcohol Support

Wirral Ways to Recovery is a free and confidential drug and alcohol service offering support for adults (including offenders), young adults, families, carers and affected others in Wirral.

The Nightingale’s Recovery Hub has also reopened primarily for take-out food, although most of the support is still being undertaken remotely, Self-referrals / referrals can be made via the café- to find out more or to refer yourself or someone you care for please click on the link below.

https://www.changegrowlive.org/wirral-ways-to-recovery/referrals

For more information please call 0151 556 1335

Follow their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/WirralWaysCGL/

14. Update from DiabetesUK

People with diabetes are not in the clinically extremely vulnerable (shielding group). People with diabetes are in the 'clinically vulnerable group' which means they should follow stringent social distancing advice. There may be some people with diabetes who need to shield based on other conditions, for example those with cystic fibrosis-related diabetes. But under current guidance, most people with diabetes do not need to do this.

Further information can be found on: https://www.diabetes.org.uk/about_us/news/coronavirus

See also helpful information to help people staying at home and managing their diabetes. To access diabetes education or support during this time our Learning Zone is a good place to access simple information from our Diabetes UK clinical team, and sensible advice from people living with diabetes.

15. Bereavement

The death of someone close can be very distressing and it is natural to grieve. Everyone experiences grief differently; there is no ‘normal’ or ‘right’ way to grieve. Some people cope with the support of family & friends, whilst others choose to work through their grief with the support of someone trained in Bereavement Support.

Cruse have a local bereavement support service for Wirral residents, which is provided by trained, experienced volunteers and is confidential and free. Support can be accessed at any time following a death, and the initial assessment process will aim to ensure that bereaved people are offered the right support for them.

To find out more or to refer yourself for bereavement support, you can access the service through Talking Together Wirral on 0151 649 1859 or info@talkingtogetherwirral.org. Alternatively, you can complete a self-referral form on www.talkingtogetherwirral.org

During the Coronavirus epidemic, all support is currently being provided by telephone. Information, guidance, details of the national bereavement helpline and other useful resources can be found on the Cruse Bereavement Care website: https://www.cruse.org.uk/
 

16. Government guidance regarding COVID-19

The latest government guidance regarding COVID-19 can be found here.


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