18 Nov 2019

CCG Clinical Accounatable Officer, Professor Sarah O'Brien, gives her latest update on what is happening in health and social care including a new campaign starting next month on knowing what community health services to use in St Helens.

Welcome everyone to another of my blogs to update you all on everything happening in health and social care across St Helens.

Winter is starting to kick in now and October / November have been tough for A&E at Whiston Hospital with really high attendances and ambulances being held.  We have been asked by NHS England and Improvement for assurances and specific actions on what we are doing to keep beds open and ensure people receive a good quality of care if they are in A&E – waiting in an ambulance or on a corridor is not what we want to be doing so it’s really important that people understand what other options other than A&E are in the community. 

We are launching a campaign on 2nd December to tie in with the Urgent Treatment Centre transferring to STHK and everywhere you go you’ll see information on what services are out there and when to use them so together we can keep A&E free for those who really need to be there.  I’d urge you to get on board with this and tell your friends and family as using the right service in the community can make a real difference to the experience people will have.  More information is on our St Helens Cares website: www.sthelenscares.co.uk

Budgets are also very challenging at the CCG and the local authority and we will see what the outcome of the general election next month has on all of this.  There is no new money in the system but we’re working really closely with our providers and having constructive discussions around integration and think of the wider impact of what we do.  Our five year health and social care plan for St Helens  is coming together and we’ll be launching this next year – delivering the actions in this will be the hard part but we are committed to improving life and outcomes for our population and out plan is focussed on how we aim to do that.

As you know, our Ofsted inspection of children’s services report was not the outcome we wanted.  We have done a lot of hard work and we are still on our improvement journey and lots of challenges and priority actions to do.  We will continue to make our improvements and we welcome the fact that Ofsted are going to monitor us closely over the next two years to make sure we achieve what we need to – to ensure we improve outcomes for our children in care and care leavers.

This leads me nicely to two Christmas appeals here I’m keen to support:  A Christmas hamper and collection for our 16-25 care leavers who may not have anyone to spend Christmas with and presents for our vulnerable families.

Our reception teams at Atlas House and The Gamble will happily collect any donations of gifts suitable for the 16-25 age group, including gift vouchers or gift experiences from staff and members of the public.  We are also collecting new toys to give as presents to our most vulnerable families in the borough who may have very little this Christmas.  Please do what you can to support this – I thank you in advance for your support.