07 Oct 2019

Read the latest blog from Prof Sarah O'Brien, Clinical Accountable Officer at the CCG and Strategic Director of People's Services at St Helens Council, to find out what has been happening across health and social care in St Helens.

Welcome everyone to another of my blogs updating you on what has been happening across health and social care within St Helens Integrated People’s Services.

September has been an extremely busy month, not least because we finally received the call we had been waiting from Ofsted to come and inspect our Children’s Services.  This began on Monday 23rd September and will conclude today (Friday 4th October). I’ll receive some indicative feedback today but findings from the inspection won’t be published until Monday 4th November.  This has been an really intense process for everyone involved and whatever the outcome, there is learning that will help the department and partners in their bid to improve.  Thank you to all the staff in Children’s for their hard work, support and patience during what has been a challenging two weeks

The past few weeks have also seen a number of summits and conferences take place for staff and partner agencies.  Today we have been holding a Care Home summit to consider how we can increase nursing home beds and how we can support our nursing care homes who are dealing with more complex residents when they are discharged from hospital.

This week also saw a St Helens Domestic Abuse summit which was really useful in setting the scene in relation to domestic violence  and the challenge of tackling this issue in our local community.  Some really inspiring people spoke at the event including sharing personal stories and Dr Emma Katz from Liverpool Hope University gave a presentation on the difference between coercive control and situational couple violence.  We also heard about data, current service provision and the urgency for action.  Domestic abuse is one of the priorities of the St Helens People’s Board and a workshop and consultation on a revised strategy and action plan will follow this event.

The CCG also held a conference this on children and young people’s resilience and confidence which highlighted the good work already happening in St Helens such as the PATHS project (whole school approach to emotional wellbeing); specialist midwifery support for perinatal mental health; the Parents in Mind project supporting new parents and THRIVE which addresses self-harm.  We’ve made real strides here in an area which is also a St Helens People’s Board priority and this again will be followed with a workshop to set out next steps in terms of developing resilience and confidence in young people.

One other thing I’ve been really proud to be a part of is the event we put on in September for all year 11s in St Helens with Edge Hill University and St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust. Edge Hill will be opening a new medical school in  2020 and over 250 of our young people who have an interest in a future career in medicine or healthcare came along to be inspired and find out more.  We want to grow our own medical workforce in the borough and this was one way of widening access to medicine and giving our young people support to apply to the new school and something to really aspire to.

Finally, the NHS launches its flu vaccination campaign today and with this week feeling like summer is now well and truly over and winter is just around the corner, I’d encourage everyone who is eligible to get a flu jab – and if you aren’t in the one of the target groups to consider getting it from your pharmacy to stay well this winter.  We’ll be promoting it within the CCG and Council and with our partners at the hospital to ensure our staff protect themselves, their families and the people they care for in their line of work to keep the NHS and social care services running at one of our busiest times of the year.

So, as you can see it’s a busy time in health and social care but we’re up for the challenge going forward!