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Happy New Year from Healthwatch Wirral! We are still here to support you during the current lockdown and this bulletin contains lots of information on other local support available at this challenging time. 
Your Healthwatch team continues to work hard on key priorities, including:
  • Providing clear and understandable advice and information to the public
  • Alerting services to issues that could have an impact on the safety of local people
  • Supporting the system and wider community response to COVID-19
  • Supporting communities who find it hardest to be heard to get the support they need
If you need more information you can ring 0151 230 8957 or email us at

You can also visit our website:


  1. Equality and Inclusion – accessibility
    1. ReciteMe
    2. EasyRead lockdown and vaccine information
    3. Information about vaccines: For people with a learning disability and autistic people
    4. Local COVID information in EasyRead format and other languages
  2. BRIDGE Forum News
  3. Feedback Centre – vaccine campaign
  4. Mental Health
    1. Local NHS support
    2. Child and adolescent mental health support
    3. Workforce wellbeing
    4. EveryMindMatters
    5. Kind to Your Mind
    6. Wirral Mind
    7. Open Door
    8. Martin Gallier Project
    9. Wirral InfoBank
  5. COVID-19 updates and support
    1. Book to access symptom-free testing on Wirral
    2. Protect yourself from vaccine misinformation
    3. Emergency food support
    4. COVID Winter Grant Scheme
  6. Other healthcare updates
    1. How to access healthcare this winter
    2. Flu Jab
    3. Sexual Health
    4. CQC consultation
  7. Maternity, children and families
    1. Translated maternity safety information
    2. Wirral Maternity Voices update
    3. Disabled Living KidstoAdultz event
    4. Lockdown support for parents
    5. Wirral Family Coaches
    6. Parent Carer SEND snapshot
  8. Carers
    1. WIRED Carers Support free PPE
    2. Unpaid carers included in vaccine priority list
  9. Domestic Abuse
    1. Ask for ANI
    2. How to get help in an emergency
    3. Family Safety Unit
    4. Wirral Women’s and Children’s Aid
    5. National 24 Hour Domestic Abuse helpline
    6. Wirral Domestic Abuse Alliance
    7. Abusive Relationship support and guidance
    8. Involve Northwest Domestic Abuse Team

1. Equality and Inclusion - Accessibility

a. ReciteMe
We 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 supports additional accessibility:

Look for this button on our website:

We also work with services across our system to work to improve the information we receive. If you have identified issues with accessibility of information or barriers to accessing services across health and social care for any reason, please get in touch with your Healthwatch Wirral team. We are currently working with our Wirral System Inequalities Board to drive improvement and equity to services, treatment care and support.

b. EasyRead Lockdown and Vaccine Information
Mencap has produced EasyRead information about the national lockdown and about the coronavirus vaccine to help people with a learning disability understand the current situation.
Click here for EasyRead lockdown information
Click here for EasyRead vaccine information

c. Information about vaccines: For people with a learning disability and autistic people
NHS England has put out a short video to give more information about vaccines to people with a learning disability and autistic people:

d. Local COVID info in other languages & EasyRead

The Wirral CCG website has lots of information about coronavirus available in multiple languages and in EasyRead format, including resources for those who may struggle to understand social distancing.
Click here for information in other languages
Click here for EasyRead guides

2. BRIDGE Forum News – Bridging Resources, Information, Direction and Guidance for Everyone

The BRIDGE Forum is an opportunity for us to come together with community friends and colleagues across the peninsula, to share information and receive local updates. This month we heard updates about the local COVID-19 vaccination programme, the progress of the winter flu campaign and the Healthwatch Wirral Feedback Centre. Colleagues from different community groups shared information about their current work across the peninsula.

Please click below for notes from the meeting and details on how to join the next meeting
Find out more

3. Healthwatch Wirral Feedback Centre

Healthwatch Wirral has been visiting vaccination hubs across the Wirral to deliver leaflets to help us gather people’s experiences of the vaccine, especially those who may not be able to access the Feedback Centre on our website. There is a really positive atmosphere at the hubs which is reflected in the feedback we have received about the COVID-19 vaccine so far. Below is a snapshot of some of the most common words people have used to describe their experience with the vaccination programme.

Click here to share your feedback about the COVID-19 vaccination

Remember that you can share your experience of any health or social care organisation on the Wirral, whether it’s your GP, dentist or a loved one’s care home. It’s quick and easy – just search for the service you have used and answer a few questions about your experience.

Click here for a guide on how to use the Feedback Centre
Visit Feedback Centre

4. Mental Health

We know that this is a challenging time for everyone and more people than ever may need some support with their mental health. There is lots of support available on the Wirral for people of all ages.

a. Local NHS Support
The Cheshire and Wirral Partnership website has lots of information on where to get urgent help, as well as general wellbeing support:

The CWP Crisis Line is available 24/7 at 0800 145 6485

b. Child and adolescent mental health support
MyMind is a website for children and young people on the Wirral with information on a range of mental health topics such as anger, bullying, low mood and stress. They also have specific resources on coping with coronavirus as a young person.

Click here for the main website
Click here for information on coping with coronavirus

Children and young people can also call the crisis line for urgent help at 0800 145 6485

c. Workforce wellbeing

Frontline workers may be facing additional mental health pressures as a result of the ongoing coronavirus crisis. Wirral Council have a dedicated section of their website to support key workers:

d. EveryMindMatters
EveryMindMatters is a national NHS campaign to help everyone take care of their mental health. The website includes self-help resources as well as links to find mental health care in your area.

Click here for the main website
Click here to get Your Mind Plan

e. Kind to Your Mind
The Kind to Your Mind website has a range of resources to help support your mental wellbeing. Through this website you can also access ALMA, a range of free online therapy courses developed by medical professionals.

Click here for the main website
Click here for ALMA

f. Wirral Mind
Wirral Mind is offering a range of online and telephone support services during coronavirus, including a ‘Check in & Chat’ telephone service, a regular Zoom coffee morning and telephone befriending.

Click here to see an up-to-date list of their services

Make a referral for Check in & Chat by calling 0151 512 2200 or email

For more information on counselling and telephone befriending, call 0151 678 5111 and ask for Wirral Mind

g. Open Door
The Open Door Charity offers a range of services for young people and young adults who are experiencing anxiety, low mood, stress or panic attacks. They have recently created an online version of their CBT and Mindfulness programme, called ‘Bazaar Solus’, which can be delivered remotely and is free for anyone aged 17-30.

Click here for more information about Open Door and Bazaar Solus

h. Martin Gallier Project
The Martin Gallier Project is a Wirral-based suicide prevention charity. They offer support to individuals experiencing suicidal crisis as well as those support them, and individuals who have been bereaved by suicide.

Contact the Martin Gallier Project by calling 0151 644 0294

i. Wirral InfoBank

There are many other local organisations offering support and advice across the Wirral. You can find support using the Wirral InfoBank:

5. COVID-19 Updates

a. Booking to access symptom-free testing on Wirral
Symptom-free COVID-19 testing is now appointment only on the Wirral and is being prioritised for key workers.

Click here to find out more and book a symptom-free test

If you have symptoms, you must self-isolate and book a test as soon as possible. You can book a test by calling 119 or using the link below.

Click here to find out more and book a test for those with symptoms

b. Protect yourself from vaccine misinformation
There is lots of information being shared about COVID-19 and the vaccine online but it may not always be accurate. The government has set up a website to help you check information you are reading and to access accurate information.

c. Emergency Food Support
Wirral Council is offering a range of support with welfare needs, including emergency help with food, support with food shopping and help with utilities.

Click here for more information and to apply for emergency support

For help completing an application, call the Wirral Coronavirus Helpline on 0151 666 5050

For help accessing assistance if English is not your first language, contact Wirral Change on 0151 649 8177

d. COVID Winter Grant Scheme (EPP)

Energy Project Plus has funding to support residents in financial hardship who have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. They can help with emergency fuel vouchers, reducing or clearing utility debts and emergency heating and plumbing repairs.

Click here to make a referral

You can contact Energy Project Plus on 0800 043 0151

6. Other healthcare updates

a. How to access healthcare this winter
Wirral residents are being asked to consider the most appropriate options for their healthcare as the local NHS is currently facing a huge demand for its services.

If it’s not an emergency, visit or call 111 who can make an appointment for you at an urgent treatment centre, GP out-of-hours or telephone consultation. NHS 111 can also book a time slot for you at A&E to avoid lengthy waits and allow for social distancing.

In an emergency you should still call 999.

Click here to find out more

b. Flu Jab
The NHS flu vaccination programme has vaccinated more people than in previous years but it is still more important than ever to get the flu vaccine if you are offered it. This winter adults aged 50-64 are also eligible for the free flu vaccine.

Click here for more information

c. Sexual Health
Sexual health appointments on the Wirral are currently by appointment only and people are urged to book only if they have an urgent need or feel in danger, unsafe or vulnerable.

Click here for more information

You can contact Sexual Health Wirral on 0300 1235474

d. CQC consultation

The Care Quality Commission, which is the independent regulator of health and social care in England, is considering changing the way it operates, and they are looking for feedback from the public.

Click here for more information
Click here to complete the survey

7. Maternity, children and families

a. Translated maternity safety information
The NHS in the North West has produced information on maternity safety in a range of languages which is available on their website.

Click here to access maternity safety information in different languages

b. Wirral Maternity Voices update
Wirral Maternity Voices reports that one support person or partner can accompany a pregnant person to ALL antenatal scans as long as they have a negative test result from an asymptomatic testing site within the previous 24 hours.

The support person or partner can book a testing appointment as people who need a test to attend medical appointments are a priority group for asymptomatic tests.

c. Disabled Living KidstoAdultz event
Disabled Living is running a ‘Venue to Virtual’ event dedicated to children and young adults with disabilities and additional needs, their parents, carers, and the professionals who support them. This free virtual event will take place during the week beginning 1st March 2021.

Contact Venue to Virtual on 0161 214 4592

d. Lockdown support for parents
The Positivitree is offering support for parent-carers of children, young people or vulnerable adults with any additional need (including those waiting for a diagnosis). Parents can be referred by professionals or they can self-refer using the link below.

Click here to find out more
Click here to self-refer for support

You can contact the Positivitree by phone on 078777 82826

e. Parent Carer SEND Snapshot
Local Offer Wirral has produced a SEND Snapshot to help keep Wirral parents and carers up to date with adjustments to SEND services.

Click here to read the SEND Snapshot


8. Carers

a. WIRED Carers Support free PPE
Do you provide unpaid care for a family member or friend? WIRED Carers Support Service are now able to provide PPE free to all unpaid Carers to support them in their caring role and combat the spreading of COVID-19.

For more information about this service please contact the Carers Helpline on 0151 670 0777 or email

b. Unpaid carers included in vaccine priority list
At the end of last year the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) published new guidance which recommended that carers should be included in the Priority 6 group for the COVID-19 vaccination, alongside people with underlying conditions.

Click here for more information

8. Domestic abuse

a. Ask for ANI

The government has recently launched the Ask for ANI campaign to help victims of domestic abuse access help in participating pharmacies. ANI stands for Assistance Needed Immediately and will signal that the person wants to speak in a private place.

Click here to find out more

b. How to get help in an emergency
In an emergency always phone 999. If you are unable to speak press 55 to let the police know it is an emergency

c. Family Safety Unit
Wirral Family Safety Unit provides support to victims and their families who are experiencing domestic abuse, as well as victims of honour-based abuse and forced marriage.

Contact the Family Safety Unit on 0151 666 4914

Click here for more information

d. Wirral Women’s and Children’s Aid
Wirral Women’s and Children’s Aid offers safe refuge accommodation, therapy, outreach for children, advice and guidance about your options, and much more.

They have a 24 hour Domestic Abuse helpline: 0151 643 9766

e. National 24 Hour Domestic Abuse helpline
The National Domestic Abuse helpline is free on 0808 2000 247 and also offers live chat on their website:

f. Wirral Domestic Abuse Alliance
Wirral Domestic Abuse Alliance offers information and support for victims, children and young people, and perpetrators of domestic abuse.

g. Abusive Relationship support and guidance
Wirral Council has information on their website about domestic abuse, including how to access support.

Click here for more information

h. Involve Northwest Domestic Abuse Team
Involve Northwest offers a range of support for victims of domestic abuse, including specialized support for children and their mums and peer support from volunteers who have recovered from an abusive relationship.

If you have any questions for the Healthwatch Wirral board, please email 
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