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As we head into winter and experience changes to local restrictions, don’t forget that Healthwatch Wirral is here for you. It’s more important we hear your experiences, and we are able to ensure our collective Wirral voice is heard by those who commission, deliver and regulate health and care services.
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
  2. BRIDGE Forum News
  3. Feedback Centre
  4. Accessing healthcare during the pandemic
    1. NHS 111
    2. GPs open for business
    3. Dental services
    4. Flu vaccines – next stage
    5. #HelpUsFindYou
  5. COVID-19 information
    1. Wirral Champions
    2. Keep up to date - get the latest data
    3. COVID testing
    4. Testing for people with no symptoms
    5. Access to testing for people with a Learning Disability
    6. COVID recovery
    7. Clinically Vulnerable – Seeing the Light through the Armour
    8. CWP Little Book of COVID-19 Best Practice
  6. Community Support Update
    1. Big Community Check-in
    2. Carers
    3. Young carers
    4. SEND parents/carers
    5. Mental health services
    6. Domestic abuse
  7. Local news & events
    1. Healthwatch Wirral – Dr James Kingsland OBE
    2. CAB Wirral Award
    3. Treat Me Well

1. Equality and Inclusion - Accessibility

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.

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. At November’s BRIDGE Forum we heard updates from Wirral CCG and Public Health and discussed experiences of e-consult.

Please see the link for notes from the meeting and details on how to join the next meeting.
Find out more

3. Healthwatch Wirral Feedback Centre

In October Healthwatch Wirral launched our new Feedback Centre to help you share your experiences of health and social care services. We have continued to update and improve the Feedback Centre and have now added categories for NHS 111 and COVID-19 testing, so you can give feedback on those services.

You can find the Feedback Centre here:

We have a how-to guide on our website which explains how to use the Feedback Centre if you are unsure.

Please note that if you wish to share your experience of e-consult you can do this by searching for your GP service and mentioning e-consult in your feedback, as different GP services use e-consult in different ways.
#Spare5 to share your experiences and have your say – it starts with you.
Visit Feedback Centre

4. Accessing healthcare during the pandemic

Although the ways in which we access healthcare may have changed this year, it is important to take care of your health and to access care when you need it.
  1. NHS 111 - From 24th November this week, Wirral residents who need urgent NHS care are asked to call NHS 111 First service before attending A&E. Anyone who needs an ambulance or is in a life-threatening situation should still call 999, but in non-emergency cases you can call 111 or go online to be given a time slot to attend A&E. Click here to find out more
  2. GPs open for business - Message from your GP Services- Still open for business! Your practice will be in touch with developments around the COVID-19 vaccination. People are very much being encouraged to have their Flu vaccination as soon as possible in preparation for this winter - see update on CCG website. Click here to find out more
  3. Dental services - Please see this article on changes to accessing dental care during the pandemic.

  4. Flu vaccines – next stage - The Government has announced that people aged 50 to 64 will get free flu vaccine from 1 December as part of expanded flu vaccination programme this winter. You should be contacted if you are eligible. The groups now eligible are: 
    • adults aged 65 or over
    • pregnant women
    • those with certain pre-existing conditions
    • NHS and social care workers
    • all children up to year 7
    • household contacts of those who are clinically extremely vulnerable
    • adults aged 50 to 64 (from 1 December)

    Click here to find out more

  5. #HelpUsFindYouNorth West Ambulance Service have shared useful information on how to make sure the emergency services can find you quickly if you need them this winter. Click here to find out more


5. How to get COVID-19 information

With COVID-19 situation changing every day, it can be hard to know where to get reliable information or where to go for support. Here are some trusted sources where you can find updates on COVID-19 as well as finding local support.
  1. Wirral Community Champions - Can you #Spare5 to be a Wirral Champion?

    More than 500 people have already signed up to be a Community Champion since the initiative launched in September, with many helping to spread the information further by cascading it through their own networks.

    Developments will be announced shortly, including a new online training module. If you know someone who hasn’t signed up yet, please encourage them to register here.
  2. Keep up to date - get the latest data- make informed decisionsWirral’s latest COVID-19 data is published on the Council website each day.

    The information, which includes the number of cases and is broken down by gender, age, ethnicity and Council ward, is available here.

    A more in-depth, weekly report of Wirral’s statistics is also available on the Wirral Intelligence Service website.
  3. COVID Testing - Got symptoms? Need a test? Wirral has four local testing sites (LTS) which are at Birkenhead, Bebington, Liscard and Heswall. Each has the capacity to carry out approximately 288 tests per day for people with symptoms.

    Testing is also available at Bidston Satellite Testing site with priority given to key workers and NHS staff.

    The Heswall Library site is Wirral’s first indoor testing facility and has an accessible bay for people with a disability or for family groups to get tested together. You don’t need to make an appointment, but we do advise pre-booking to guarantee a time slot and avoid a wait. Click here to pre-book
  4. Testing for people with no symptomsLast week, the government announced a significant expansion of COVID-19 testing for those with no symptoms. Wirral will be among some of the first to benefit and will receive an allocation of the rapid turnaround tests (known as lateral flow antigen tests).

    Information about how Wirral will use this new testing technology will be available next week, so please watch this space!
  5. Access to testing for people with a Learning DisabilityHealthwatch Wirral are aware that there have been some examples of people with a learning disability struggling to access the COVID testing services available.  

    To support this, HWW and Wirral Mencap have highlighted this. As a result, work is taking place with our Local Testing Sites (LTS) to make sure there are flexible options / reasonable adjustments they can provide to support access and assist those who require it to complete sampling.  Further information will be shared once available.

    Some individuals will not be able to access the LTSs and will rely on testing in their own home.  The national home testing kit solution should be utilised where possible and available via If you are struggling with any of this you can contact or call 0151 666 5050 Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm.
  6. COVID RecoveryHave you been ill with COVID-19? A new site, Your COVID Recovery, has been developed to support all impacted by COVID-19. This website helps people to understand what has happened and what they might expect as part of their recovery. There is also information for friends and family.
  7. Clinically Extremely Vulnerable – Seeing the Light through the ArmourWe have heard from people in our community that it’s been hard for many people to know what to do if you have been shielding and feel vulnerable. Healthwatch Wirral has produced a simple resource in collaboration with Citizens Advice Wirral and Age UK Wirral to help those who have been shielding to reflect and plan; it also includes key contacts who can offer additional support. Click here to find out more.
  8. CWP Little Book of COVID-19 Best PracticeIn recognition of innovation and positive practice during the COVID-19 pandemic, Cheshire and Wirral Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (CWP) has published a special edition version of its annual Big Book of Best Practice. Aimed at anyone interested in local health and care services, the Little Book of COVID-19 Best Practice focuses specifically on the Trust’s response to the pandemic and the achievements of its services throughout this period. Read it here.

6. Community Support Update

  1. Big Community Check-in - The Big Community Check-in campaign aims to encourage our local community to check in on people who live alone or with little support. The campaign provides tools and tips on how to support your neighbours, friends and family. Click here to find out more.
  2. CarersA carer is someone of any age who provides regular unpaid care for a relative, partner or friend who could not manage without this help. Carers are an essential part of our community and there is support available if you or someone you know is a carer. Click here to find out more.

    For carers of people with dementia, there is an upcoming season of events run by TIDE (Together in Dementia Everyday). Click here to find out more.

    The Healthwatch Wirral bulletin from Carers Week 2020 has lots of information and advice for all carers here on Wirral.
  3. Young Carers Young Carers are Children and Young People who have taken on caring responsibilities for a parent or family member. This could be anything from personal care and administering medication to cooking and cleaning.

    On Wirral, young carers can receive support through Action with Young Carers, a support service provided by Barnardo’s. You can refer a young carer to Action With Young Carers Wirral by emailing or calling 0151 650 5488 to obtain a referral form. Click here to find out more
  4. SEND parents/carersAre you are a parent or career of a child with additional needs? Check out this update around local support and services here on Wirral. Click here to find out more.
  5. Mental health services Talking Together Wirral is a free and confidential service and is available to anyone aged 16+ who is registered with a GP in the Wirral. You can contact them by calling 0151 649 1859 or email Click here to find out more

    Cheshire and Wirral Partnership (CWP) also offers a 24/7 all age urgent mental health helpline. If you are on the Wirral and require urgent support, please call 0800 145 6485. Click here to find out more.
  6. Domestic abuseWirral Council have worked with partners and co-produced a new Domestic Abuse strategy. The aim is for Wirral to be a place whereas few people as possible are affected by domestic abuse, but those who are can get help to end the abuse and live the lives they want. Click here to find out more.

    For support and advice here on Wirral, please visit

7. Local news & events

  1. Healthwatch Wirral – Dr James Kingsland OBE One of Wirral’s most prestigious GPs, Doctor James Kingsland OBE, retired from General Practice this summer. Cr James Kingsland works closely with Healthwatch Wirral. We filmed a very informative, humorous, and honest interview with James, which is available for you to view on our website. 

    Click here to see the trailer

    Click here to see the full film

  2. CAB Wirral Award - Citizens Advice Wirral have won a national award for going above and beyond supporting the wellbeing of their staff and volunteers during the COVID-19 pandemic. The national charity Citizens Advice, which has 220 local Citizens Advice offices as members, awarded Citizens Advice Wirral, the ‘Championing Wellbeing’ award.

    Click here for more information
  3. Treat Me WellWirral Mencap are restarting their Treat Me Well group. This is part of a national Mencap campaign to improve hospital treatment for people with a learning disability. They are keen to recruit new members – you can find out more by contacting Lizzie from Wirral Mencap at or call 07597 986 437.
Copyright © 2020 Healthwatch Wirral, All rights reserved.

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