Community Hubs offering support during COVID-19 outbreak

Hubs have been set up in each district of Lancashire to help support the people who need it most during the COVID-19 outbreak.


Funding appeal for Whitegate Drive defibrillator

People living in Blackpool are being asked to donate funds to help buy a piece of life-saving equipment. Staff at the Blackpool Urgent Treatment Centre are raising money for a community defibrillator to be put in a busy and under-resourced part of the town.

A defibrillator is a device that gives a high energy electric shock to the heart of someone who is having a heart attack, also known as cardiac arrest.

Dr Peter Smith, GP partner for Bloomfield Medical Ltd said: “For every minute a victim of sudden cardiac arrest does not receive treatment, their chance of survival decreases by 10 per cent.

“If a defibrillator is used within one minute of the victim collapsing, the victim’s survival rate increases to 90 per cent.

“Help us improve the survival rate of those that could collapse nearby by donating today.”

Currently, the nearest community defibrillator is a 20-minute walk away, or four-minute drive from the urgent treatment centre

Community defibrillators are easy to use, easy to carry and they won’t deliver a shock unless it is required. There is no clinical training required to be able to use the machine.

Dr Smith also said: “Defibrillators allow everyday members of the public to become lifesavers by providing the all-important shock before our ambulance crews arrive. Even just two or three minutes earlier can make a huge difference.”

To donate, go to:

Poplar House to move into modern health centre

Poplar House Surgery is to relocate to the local primary care centre in a move that will see more than 7,000 people benefit from services in a building fit for the future.

The Surgery has been based at its premises in St Annes Road East for more than 50 years. The building is outdated and in need of significant improvements to meet the needs of modern healthcare.

On 10 May, the practice will move to the ground floor of St Annes Primary Care Centre, which is 0.3 miles away from its current premises, alongside the existing Parcliffe Medical Centre practice. Poplar House will operate as an individual practice and all patients will continue to see their existing GPs and other practice staff.

Work has been completed recently to increase the number of car parking spaces at St Annes Primary Care Centre in Durham Avenue. A disused section of the St Annes railway station platform has been bought by the landlord to provide additional parking at the primary care centre. There are also some minor internal alterations being carried out to provide appropriate space for the practice to see patients.

Dr Shahid Samad, senior partner at Poplar House, said: “We are delighted that we will soon be able to give our patients the care they need in a modern setting that is fit to provide services in the 21st century.

“Poplar House has served us well for many years but this opportunity to relocate is one we really cannot pass up.

“Our patients have told us overwhelmingly they want to move and we are delighted to have their support in this project.”

In 2016, Poplar House surveyed its patients to ask if they were in favour of a move to the primary care centre. All of the 1,196 responses were in favour.

Harry Ashworth, from building owners Rushcliffe St Annes PCCC Ltd, said: “We are delighted to be able to bring Poplar House Surgery into the medical centre as this will mean more local people receive their care in our state of the art building.”


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New handy guide to making choices in the NHS published

[column] NHS Fylde and Wyre Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has this week published a guide to help patients make choices about their NHS care.

This follows a survey earlier in the year which showed that nine out of 10 local people would like to be able to choose their GP practice.

A similar number would like to choose the hospital they are referred to, as well as the time and date of any appointments, according to the poll of 1,004 people living in Fylde and Wyre.

The online guide includes patients’ rights to making choices about their GP practice, hospital and which healthcare professionals they see. It also includes choice with regard to maternity and community services, as well as end-of-life care.

Dr Tony Naughton, a local GP and clinical chief officer at NHS Fylde and Wyre CCG, said: “Helping patients to make choices about their care is crucial. We know how important choice is to people, and we want to make sure they have the information they need to do this with confidence.”

[column]Dr Tony Naughton

The guide to patient choice can be found here.

As well as information about the choices available, it explains what people should do if they believe they have not been offered one. It also highlights that if a patient needs to see a consultant or specialist and has to wait longer than 18 weeks, they have the right to ask to go to another hospital.

The survey of 1,004 people across Fylde and Wyre was undertaken by independent researchers Ipsos MORI on behalf of the CCG. The feedback was used to shape the CCG’s plans, as outlined in the recently published 2030 Vision for Health and Care and five-year Strategic Plan. [/column]

For further information please contact the media team on 01772 214213.


Think! Why A&E?

“Think! Why A&E?” That is the question patients across the Fylde coast are being asked as part of a new campaign.

To raise awareness of healthcare services, the campaign featuring six highly identifiable cartoon characters, has been devised by NHS Blackpool Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), NHS Fylde and Wyre CCG and Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust to encourage people to choose the right NHS service for them and their families according to their symptoms.

It will reinforce the crucial message that A&E is for emergencies and life-threatening illnesses only, such as:

  • Suspected heart attack
  • Chest pain
  • Unconsciousness
  • Heavy blood loss
  • Suspected broken bones
  • Deep wounds such as stab wounds
  • Severe breathing difficulties
  • Head injuries

If someone is seriously ill or injured, and their life is at risk then 999 should be called.

Many people attend emergency service departments with minor ailments which could be better treated elsewhere. This puts extra demands on already pressured emergency departments, particularly during the winter period.

Coughs colds, sore throats, vomiting and other minor ailments such as sprains, do not necessarily require a trip to see a health professional. There is a range of alternative and more appropriate treatment options, such as:

  1. Self care – Minor illnesses, ailments and injuries can be treated at home. Coughs, colds, sore throats, upset stomachs and aches and pains can be treated with a well-stocked medicine cabinet and plenty of rest.
  2. Pharmacy – Pharmacists offer a range of health services. As well as dispensing prescriptions and other medicines, your pharmacy can provide free confidential expert advice and treatment for a variety of common illnesses and complaints, without having to book a GP appointment. You can find your nearest pharmacy by visiting the ‘services near you’ section of
  3. NHS 111 – This is a free telephone service, available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You should call 111 if you urgently need medical help or information, but your situation is not life-threatening. When you dial 111, you will be directed to the best local services to make sure you get fast and effective treatment.
  4. Walk-in or same day centres – These centres provide consultations, guidance and treatment for minor injuries and illnesses, as well as emergency contraception and sexual health advice. There are two centres on the Fylde coast, (locations can be found at both operating seven days a week from 8am onwards.
  5. GP surgery – If you have an illness or injury that won’t go away, make an appointment with your GP. They provide a range of services by appointment, and when absolutely essential, can make home visits. If you need to see a GP outside of the surgery’s normal opening hours, telephone the surgery and your call will be forwarded to the GP out-of-hours service.

Blackpool GP and chief clinical officer of NHS Blackpool CCG, Dr Amanda Doyle, said: “There are often more appropriate alternatives which can help people get the right treatment more easily and quicker.

“We aren’t telling people who are in need of urgent medical attention not to attend our emergency departments but ask people to consider whether they actually need to go or could be seen and treated elsewhere.

“Pharmacists and the NHS 111 service are excellent alternatives that people can contact should they need any advice on minor ailments.”

Dr Tony Naughton, Thornton GP and clinical chief officer of NHS Fylde and Wyre CCG, said: “With people’s help we can reduce the pressure on busy emergency departments and ensure those who do need it are treated quickly.

“We want people to be better aware of the alternative services on offer to them and assess whether they actually need immediate urgent care before seeking it.”

Prof Mark O’Donnell, medical director at Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “For the past few years we have seen a year on year increase in the number of people using emergency NHS services. We are asking people for their support, to make sure that we can give urgent and emergency care to those people who need it.

“Every minute that an A&E doctor spends treating very minor problems reduces the time they can spend attending to those who have suffered heart attacks, strokes and life-threatening injuries.”

Residents can now also visit the specially designed website for information and advice on what to do if they, or a loved one, falls ill or gets injured.


For further information please contact the media team on 01772 214213.