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Happy Christmas from the Healthwatch Wirral team! We want to wish you and your loved ones a happy and healthy holiday season.
Healthwatch Wirral will be closed from 23rd December, reopening on 4th January, This shorter bulletin contains lots of information on support available during this period.
If you need more information before 23rd December or after 4th January you can ring 0151 230 8957 or email us at info@healthwatchwirral.co.uk. You can also visit our website: https://healthwatchwirral.co.uk

Contents

  1. Equality and Inclusion – accessibility
  2. Feedback Centre
  3. COVID-19 testing
  4. COVID-19 vaccination
  5. Flu vaccination campaign
  6. CCG consultation
  7. Scam information
  8. Support available over the Christmas period

1. Equality and Inclusion - Accessibility

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.

Learning Disabilities
Easy read COVID-19 Information- National Mencap
https://www.mencap.org.uk/advice-and-support/health/coronavirus-covid-19

Deaf Community- BSL
Translations of government announcements and other health advice- https://signhealth.org.uk/resources/coronavirus/
 

2. Healthwatch Wirral Feedback Centre


It’s more important than ever to hear about your experiences of health and social care, so that we can share positive stories with frontline staff and help to improve any areas that need changing.
 
You can #Spare5 to share your feedback using the Healthwatch Wirral Feedback Centre: https://speakout.healthwatchwirral.co.uk/ It’s quick and easy – just search for the service you have used or filter by category and answer a few questions about your experience.
 
We have recently added NHS 111, COVID-19 testing and COVID-19 vaccinations to the Feedback Centre. We are keen to hear about your experiences with these services, as well as other services such as GPs and pharmacies.
 
We have a guide on our website which explains how to use the Feedback Centre if you are unsure, just click the button below.
Visit Feedback Centre
View Feedback Centre Guide

3. COVID-19 testing


COVID-19 testing is a vital part of keeping our local community safe and well, especially something we should all be thinking about over the Christmas period.
There are two different types of test available: one is for people who have symptoms, and one is for people with no symptoms (asymptomatic).
You can find more information on the Wirral Council website: To leave feedback on your experience https://speakout.healthwatchwirral.co.uk/service/covid-19-testing

4. COVID-19 vaccination


The COVID-19 vaccination is being rolled out across Wirral with frontline staff and elderly people among the first to be vaccinated. Those who are eligible will be invited to get their vaccination so there is no need to contact your GP to ask about it.

Healthwatch Wirral will keep you updates with further information.

There is also a shout out for local volunteers to come forward to help support the vaccination programme with stewarding and signposting. Find out more about volunteering here: https://healthwatchwirral.co.uk/wirral-nhs-covid-19-vaccination-service-call-for-volunteers/

5. Flu Vaccination Campaign


The NHS flu vaccination programme has so far successfully vaccinated more people than in previous years with a high proportion of those most at risk already vaccinated. However, there are still more people to reach and the aim is to get as many people vaccinated in the next few months as we possibly can.

If you are over 65, pregnant or if you have a long term health condition that puts you at greater risk, the flu vaccination is the best protection for you and those around you.

The flu vaccine won’t protect you from COVID-19 but it will help to protect you from getting flu and COVID-19 at the same time, which can lead to becoming seriously ill.

Find out more here: https://healthwatchwirral.co.uk/an-update-regarding-the-flu-vaccination/

6. CCG consultation – Field Road Medical Practice


NHS Wirral CCG has begun a consultation on the proposed merger of Field Road Medical Practice in Wallasey with Earlston Road Medical Centre. They are especially interested in hearing from patients registered at Field Road so if this is you or someone you know please consider filling out the consultation: https://www.wirralccg.nhs.uk/get-involved/public-consultations/proposed-merger-of-field-road-health-centre-with-earlston-road-medical-centre/

7. Scam Information


There have been reports of scam emails which claim to be from well-known delivery companies saying they have been unable to deliver packages. These emails may ask for a fee or additional details in order to rearrange the delivery.

Here are some tips to protect yourself this Christmas:
  • Criminals will send out emails with links leading to fake websites used to steal personal and financial information. These emails may appear to be from trusted organisations and may use official branding to convince you they’re genuine. Always access websites by typing them into the web browser and avoid clicking on links in emails.
  • Check delivery notifications very carefully to ensure they are genuine. Emails, texts or cards through your letterbox may look very similar to those that are genuine but may use generic greetings, such as Dear Sir/Madam, or include spelling errors.
  • Always question claims that you are due goods or services that you haven’t ordered or are unaware of, especially if you have to pay any fees upfront. Consider whether you’re expecting a delivery from the company named on the card.
  • If you receive a delivery card through your letterbox which you do not believe is genuine and which asks you to dial a premium rate number, contact the company direct, using a number you know to be genuine.
Customers can report suspected scam texts to their mobile network provider by forwarding them to 7726, and forward any suspicious emails to report@phishing.gov.uk, the National Cyber Security Centre’s (NCSC) suspicious email reporting service.

Find out more at https://takefive-stopfraud.org.uk/

Friends Against Scams

People are being encouraged to protect their neighbours by joining Friends Against Scams, which provides free online training to empower people to take a stand against scams. To complete the online modules, visit www.friendsagainstscams.org.uk

8. Support available over the Christmas period


We know that Christmas can be a difficult time for many in our community. There are many services, both local and national, who will be available to support you.
  1. Wirral Infobank
Has information from local organisations, charities and businesses offering community support to Wirral residents during the festive period. Community offers include:
  • Hampers
  • Dinners
  • Gifts to local residents who are in need, to help tackle festive poverty. 
The information also includes referral pathways, so you can assist someone else who is in need, as well as details of how to make donations to service providers. After you click the link, you can refine your search results further by typing in a keyword, such as "Toy", or "Hamper" and clicking Go.
https://wirralinfobank.co.uk/Search?AI%5b0%5d=125&UDG=True&OrderBy=Name&SM=ServiceSearch&SME=False&CategoryId=383
 
  1. CWP Crisis Line
The CWP Crisis Line is the first port of call for mental health help on Wirral. They are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and is open to people of all ages. The Crisis Line is operated by people in your local area who will know best how to support you.
 
You can call the crisis line for free on 0800 145 6485
 
  1. Staff wellbeing
There is a staff wellbeing magazine had been produced by CWP- this can be accessed online: https://issuu.com/cwp.essential/docs/cwp_wellbeing_magazine.l__1_
 
  1. National support and helplines
Carers UK
The national Carers UK Helpline will be open as usual from 9am-6pm including Christmas Day if you are a carer needing support this Christmas: 0808 808 7777 https://www.carersuk.org/help-and-advice/talk-to-us
 
Domestic Abuse
The Refuge National Domestic Abuse Helpline is open 24 hours a day. You can call them for free on 0808 2000 247 or chat to them live on the website: https://www.nationaldahelpline.org.uk/
 
Sexual Health
Wirral Contraception and sexual health services still have online postal STI support/testing and additional remote care pathways around access to condoms and repeat pills.

There is a common Q&A to help support both patients and colleagues in the community- this also includes Christmas and New year Clinic opening hours.
 
Eating Disorders
Beat, the UK’s Eating Disorder Charity, has put together a useful guide to coping with Christmas: https://www.beateatingdisorders.org.uk/christmas
 
The Beat helpline will be open 4-9pm from 24th December-1st January so you can also give them a call on 0808 801 0677.
 
Grief and bereavement
The Cruse National Helpline is open every day over the holidays (with some changes to opening hours.) You can call them on 0808 808 1677 https://www.cruse.org.uk/telephone-support/christmas
 
Kooth – support for young people
Kooth offers free, safe and anonymous support for children and young people: https://www.kooth.com/
 
LGBT Foundation
The LGBT Foundation helpline is open every day over the festive period on 0345 3 30 30 30 or email helpline@lgbt.foundation

Marie Curie
Marie Curie has lots of information on their website to help you make decisions about Christmas during coronavirus if you’re living with a terminal illness or a condition that makes you vulnerable, or caring for someone who is: https://www.mariecurie.org.uk/help/support/coronavirus/christmas-coronavirus

Older people - loneliness
If you’re an older person who is alone this Christmas, the Silver Line is open 24 hours a day every day of the year for conversation, advice and friendship. You can call them for free on 0800 4 70 80 90

PAPYRUS is the national charity dedicated to the prevention of young suicide. Their HOPELINE is open 9am-midnight every day including Christmas year – you can call 0800 068 4141, text 07860039967 or email pat@papyrus-uk.org

The Samaritans remain open over Christmas so if you need support or someone to talk to you can call them for free on 116 123 or email them at jo@samaritans.org  
 
Copyright © 2020 Healthwatch Wirral, All rights reserved.


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