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0151 230 8957

‘Foundations of Quality Improvement should always have what patients tell us about their treatment and care, at the heart of everything as a system we plan and do. We must be able to evidence that all actions and decisions made come back to this, making certain that everyone feels respected, involved, and valued at each and every part of the journey. We should all feel confident that we are either giving or receiving quality care.’

NHS England and NHS Improvement, Healthwatch Wirral, Age UK Wirral, Wirral System

Bridging Resources Information and Direction for Everyone (BRIDGE) Forum

Invited guests

  • Michael Chantler – Wirral CCG
  • Rebecca Mellor – Public Health – Personalised Care Lead
  • Louise Harland-Davies and Michelle Gough – Wirral Community Champions
  • Gary Rickwood – Flu Campaign

Wirral CCG update

  • COVID-19 vaccinations started last Tue (8th Dec)
  • It will take months – 65 million people in UK! But NHS has stepped up to challenge
  • Pfizer vaccine currently available – has to be kept at -70 which limits where they can vaccinate people currently
  • Only able to start vaccinations at Clatterbridge last week – appropriate infrastructure is in place there
  • Additional work has meant they can vaccinate at selected locations around the Wirral e.g. some GP surgeries
  • Priorities – raise awareness of the programme and reassure people about the safety and efficacy of the vaccine (countering antivax movement)
  • Limited number of allergic reactions in people who have history of allergies
  • Very limited number of people who can be vaccinated currently – driven by govt guidelines on cohorts
  • Wirral has started vaccinating health and care staff and over 80s (in hospitals/GP surgeries currently)
  • Vaccine will be more available once stock of other vaccines is available
  • Do not contact NHS/GP to ask when you’ll be vaccinated – you will be contacted
  • Will be vaccinating on Christmas Eve/Boxing Day!
  • Planning comms and engagement for wider programme
  • Two additional vaccines – Moderna and Oxford-Astra Zeneca – can be kept at different temps
  • Oxford is most conventional vaccine and can be delivered more like flu – can be administered in more locations including mass vaccine sites and community venues
  • Oxford vaccine waiting for approval – will hopefully come in before Christmas – was developed in 2 days in Jan!
  • Govt has pre-ordered many doses of Oxford vaccine
  • Health and care staff, care home residents, over 80s, clinically vulnerable will be first to get it – under 50s/healthy will get it far into 2021
  • Currently in 2 doses and takes a week after 2nd dose to develop full immunity
  • Will be working closely with HW and other orgs to get comms out

NHS 111 First

  • NHS 111 First has been live in Wirral for about 2 weeks and has gone live nationally too
  • Making sure people are signposted correctly – gathering feedback

Consultation on Field Road Medical Centre

COVID-19 situation locally

  • Liverpool City Region has done really well in driving rates down – less than 100 cases per 100k (from over 700 in Liverpool!)
  • Revised tiers to be announced soon- which may include tighter restrictions
  • This is driven by people’s behaviours – plea to be careful, especially over the Christmas period – have to avoid the 3rd wave
  • Jan-Feb is a very difficult period for NHS and this year 10% of available beds have been taken out for IPC (infection Prevention Control)
  • Vaccine is light at the end of the tunnel. But we must all continue to behave responsibly – it can’t be a normal Christmas – minimise risks, especially for elderly family members
  • Use testing services to help! in addition to Isolating in advance of Christmas.

Statutory changes to CCG

  • CCGs may be merged – We are not sure what the impact will be on Wirral yet
  • Some things may be commissioned at a Cheshire and Merseyside level but there will always be a need for local commissioning also

Issues discussed

  • What is the CCG doing about myth busting? E.g. there have been rumours about the vaccine affecting fertility
    • Public Health England will be doing a campaign to help myth busting. Wirral CCG recommended the recent Panorama programme to reassure people about the speed of the vaccine development. If approved by MHRA people can be assured that it’s safe and effective
    • Communications are going to feature actual patients on the Wirral who have been vaccinated
  • Question about health inequalities and using the learning from the flu vaccine to make sure we’re not making health inequalities worse
    • Mentioned the study which showed BAME communities are far less likely to take up flu vaccine – important question for CCG to consider
    • Flu vaccine states are lower in Birkenhead – CCG is going to work with Community Connectors and local grassroots organisations to help get the message out. The Oxford vaccine will help reach more local areas because it’s easier to store and administer.
  • PUBLIC are encouraged to use the Feedback Centre to give feedback around the vaccination:

Key messages

  • We are being told that the vaccine is safe and effective. The roll-out has started on Wirral; when the other vaccines become available this will help us to vaccinate more people in more locations
  • Please stay safe over Christmas despite the relaxed rules. Consider social mixing very carefully, especially with elderly relatives, and try to mitigate the risks – we don’t want a third wave next year
  • For additional information visit

Rebecca Mellor – Public Health – Personalised Care

  • Personalised care – This means keeping the individual front and centre in care – ‘what matters to you’ not ‘what’s the matter with you’!
  • Social prescribing link workers who are available across the Wirral – one of key components-
  • Health coaching is now also available on Wirral – supporting self management – peer support, digital app support – depends where person is at with their health and wellbeing.
  • Enabling and empowering people to manage their own condition – better outcomes for individuals, clinicians and the system
  • Personal Health Budgets and support planning being built with individual and clinician are crucial
  • Shift in relationship between clinicians and individuals – everyone bringing expertise to the table
  • Lived experience, co-production, making sure all voices are heard
  • What’s happening across the borough in lived experience groups? PHE wants to know and connect to make sure PC agenda locally is driven by what communities are telling us
  • Email – talk to Becky after meeting

Issues discussed

  • How does this link in with Telehealth?
  • Link with social prescribers and the importance of shared decision-making – what are the discussions that happen before telehealth becomes an option?
  • Any connections with carers/WIRED?
  • Carers play a key role in these conversations so Public Health needs to pick up those relationships
  • Are we focusing on people who are already in the system or is there scope to get people the right support before it becomes a crisis?
  • We need to address both – looking at local systems
  • Prevention is key – what do our communities need and want to keep happy, healthy and well?
  • Links with WOPP and Age UK – staff need personalised care as well! Potential for mental health problems for front line staff
  • Feb session – follow-up to summit – what do our communities need?

Key messages

Personalised care is an important part of the healthcare system on Wirral; Public Health wants to work with local organisations and partners to ensure all voices are heard

Louise Harland-Davies and Michelle Gough – Wirral Community Champions

  • Update on community champions
  • Still recruiting – sign up on Wirral Council website to share messages around COVID –
  • 541 signed up currently- but keen to get more on board!
  • Louise is one of two engagement offers leading on the network
  • Demographics – presently of the Wirral Champions- most are 30-59 – working with key groups to encourage them to sign up (BAME community, young people)
  • Have some businesses signed up also?
  • Lateral flow testing – Greasby Library and Eastham – photographers to capture people getting tested. Important to encrouage others to go along and get tested.
  • The team are working on gaining community insights – regular meeting with Outbreak Hub – issues with people who are socially mixing – negative test doesn’t mean you can ignore hands/face/space!
  • Encouraging feedback about what’s happening in community – eg council champion – community glad that parks are still open
  • Champions currently get weekly email – want to bring it to life – working to create an interactive engagement platform for champions
  • They will tailor messages in response to what they’re hearing – currently themes are around the vaccine and testing

Issues discussed

  • Some attendees aren’t getting champion emails even though they have signed up
  • Check spam; Louise and team will look into it
  • ‘’ – do they link in?
    • No direct link yet but will look into it

Key messages

Sign up as community champions to help share accurate information about COVID-19

Healthwatch Feedback Centre

  • Majority of the feedback so far is for hospitals/GPs
  • Currently doing a push around mental health services; in the New Year will be looking for info about breast screening and other routine screenings
  • Lots of positives as well as negatives!
  • How best to share the info? Community Connectors suggested a ‘hear how we got on’ option so that people can receive reports/outcomes
  • This week we’ve added a category for COVID-19 vaccinations to help gather experiences – hoping to work with local providers to get the message out and to support the local rollout of the vaccine

Issues discussed

  • Question about follow-up from feedback submitted about vitamin D tablets and GPs
  • Healthwatch have raised this in the appropriate forums; it’s good to know that people want to hear back about their feedback

Key messages

Try out the Feedback Centre and let Healthwatch know how easy it was to use

 Public Health Wirral – Flu vaccination

  • Lots of focus on COVID vaccine is clear but in the meantime, we need to keep getting the message out about the flu vaccine
  • It doesn’t protect people from COVID but it does protect people from having both at once
  • High coverage of over-65s – over 80%
  • New group – 50-64 year olds – initial rush has slowed down so go and get it!
  • There IS enough vaccine stock in the system
  • Be ambassadors for the message – the flu vaccine is safe and effective; the more people who are vaccinated the more everyone is protected
  • Some GPs have delivered many more vaccinations than others – Public Health will approach GPs with lower rates to find out about problems and to assist getting the numbers up
  • GPs are having to order their stock now for next year – concerns about wastage – but GPs need to make sure they use the vaccine they order!

Issues discussed

  • Need a break between flu and COVID vaccination – get the flu vaccine now so that the gap isn’t an issue!
  • Use the Feedback Centre to tell Healthwatch about the flu vaccine
  • People can be put off if they asked for the vaccine early (Sep) and GPs didn’t have enough stock
  • GPs are now sharing stock with each other – there is enough stock in the system

Key messages

Get the vaccine if you’re eligible and encourage others to do the same


  • Everyone is exhausted – frontline workers have had a very difficult year
  • It’s hard to offer news even though everyone is working hard – lots of crisis calls and more people to support than ever
  • Reports and experiences shared that Carers are struggling in the local community and not getting a break
  • Email from Barnardo’s Action with Young Carers – their service is sorting out deliveries for Young Carers – service users have plans in place over the holidays – emergencies/safeguarding concerns via usual routes but they do have minimal cover over the holidays and can be contacted
  • Email Healthwatch with information about when you’re open over the holidays and we can share in our bulletin-
  • Call for feedback on the Feedback Centre – let us know how we’re doing!

Dates of Next BRIDGE FORUM Meetings

20th and 21st of January 2021

Invites to follow – if you require any further information please email: [email protected] or call 0151 230 8957

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