Service changes

Internal view of Lytham Primary Care Centre

To comply with government social distancing guidance many services that involve group or face to face contact with patients will be changing the way they work. Additionally, in order to help focus staff and resources where they are most needed, some services will inevitably alter the way they work over the next few weeks. Please see below for changes to some services and thank you for your understanding as we do all we can to deal with the current pandemic.

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GP practices

If you are able to you should make an appointment using online booking where possible, this will allow reception staff to deal with telephone calls from those who are not able to book online.

You must not attend your GP practice without an appointment. If you have symptoms of COVID-19 you must declare this and you will receive the appropriate advice and treatment.

When making an appointment you may be asked some questions, these will allow your GP to direct your health need to the correct health care professional. Please be patient.

You may be offered a telephone or video consultation. Please accept this offer if possible as it will mean you do not need to attend the practice.

GP-led urgent treatment centre at Blackpool Victoria Hospital to move to Whitegate Health Centre - (UPDATED 26 AUGUST 2020)

The GP-led urgent treatment centre has now returned to Blackpool Victoria Hospital.

The urgent treatment centre that has always been at Whitegate Drive Health Centre has remained.

Blackpool Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust (UPDATED 15 Sept 2020)

Visiting restrictions at Blackpool Victoria Hospital and Clifton Hospital are currently in place.

However there are some exceptions in the cases of: end of life, sick children and birthing partner visiting.

Find out more here

Outpatients Update

Referrals for outpatient appointments are now being accepted.

All new referrals will be clinically triaged and when possible will be offered a face to face or virtual consultation. Where this is not possible patients will be placed on an Appointment Holding (AH) list until such a time the appointments can be safely rescheduled.

Those currently on hold are being reviewed and will either be offered a face to face appointment or telephone appointment or will continue to be on hold. Patients affected will be contacted.

COVID-19 Urgent Eyecare Service

The COVID -19 Urgent Eyecare Service (CUES) offers primary eyecare services within community opticians, reducing the demand on general practice and hospital services.

To find your nearest CUES, visit

Alzheimers Society

Local Alzheimer’s Society teams continue to provide information, support and guidance to those who need it. To ensure the wellbeing of service users, volunteers and staff, the Alzheimer’s Society has made some changes to how this support is provided. This may change depending on future government guidance, but at present the following is in place across the Fylde Coast:

Direct support for people affected by dementia:

  • All face-to-face and home visits have currently been suspended.
  • The Alzheimer’s Society will increase the number of keeping in touch telephone calls with service users to help support their wellbeing and guard against isolation.
  • The Alzheimer’s Society will be extending the operating hours of our national Dementia Connect Support Line. Trained advisors can be contacted via 0333 150 3456 for advice and guidance.

Group support:

  • All local group sessions have been suspended.
  • The Alzheimer’s Society are working with our volunteers to develop ways to continue to support group members via other methods.

Online support:

  • Advice and guidance on a range of issues is available on the Alzheimer’s Society website.
  • The Alzheimer’s Society would encourage people to join Dementia Talking Point. This is an online community where people affected by dementia can receive valuable support from people in similar situations.

Further support:

  • People with questions about what they should be doing and how they should be interacting with people living with dementia at this time can access this guidance.
  • Any community groups or individuals that wish to support vulnerable adults during this time can contact Alzheimer’s Society for information and guidance. This includes how to access our online Dementia Friends awareness sessions.

Liverpool Women's Hospital and fertility services

Liverpool Women’s Hospital (LWH) has advised us of changes to their fertility services.  LWH’s Human Fertility and Embryology Authority (HFEA) responsible officer has advised that due to the escalating situation with coronavirus (COVID-19) and the categorisation of pregnant women in the ‘at risk’ group, they have taken the decision to put fertility treatment on hold. This will also affect patients managed by Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh, who operate under LWH’s licence as a satellite site. Their notice in full is as follows:

“The Hewitt Fertility Centres Liverpool and Knutsford have today made the very difficult decision to put fertility treatments on hold due to the impact of coronavirus (COVID-19).

“New cycles of treatment will be put on hold, and we will endeavour to continue treatment for those patients who have already started their stimulation.

“We have also made the decision to stop all embryo transfers due to the recent government guidelines on the vulnerability in pregnancy.

“We will be in contact with all Hewitt Fertility Centre patients currently in treatment and those about to start treatment, to provide guidance and reassurance regarding next steps. We will also publish answers to some frequently asked questions to keep you informed about your treatment, including questions about funding, re-starting treatment, and also guidance for those who have had recent treatment. We understand you will have many questions due to this decision but please bear with us while we put these together. We will also update the FAQs regularly to address any additional questions you may have as this situation evolves over the coming weeks and months.

“We apologise for any anxiety and stress this decision may cause. We have not made this decision lightly, but our priority must be your safety and support.

“We urge all of our patients past and future to stay safe and remain in touch as the situation changes.

“The Hewitt Fertility Centre team want to thank you all for your continued support, patience and understanding at this very difficult time.”

Lancashire and South Cumbria NHS Foundation Trust


In line with national guidance, the Trust has taken the really difficult decision to suspend face to face visiting on our wards, except for parents visiting children and those with families receiving end of life care. This is to protect everyone currently receiving inpatient treatment from being exposed to the virus and, of course, reduce the risk to everyone from the team that is based in these settings. We have invested in technology for wards including tablets and smart phones to help people keep in touch with their loved ones.

Other services

The following steps have been taken in Lancashire and South Cumbria NHS Foundation Trust:

  • We are prioritising mental health patients at admission in acute wards and A&E to minimise the time spent by these patients in the wards
  • Secure service assessments will now be undertaken using video conferencing instead of using face to face appointments
  • The forensic inpatient service is restricting admissions to those under the forensic community mental health team assessed as requiring urgent admission, those in a non-hospital setting i.e. prison assessed as requiring admission and those who are assessed as being unmanageable in a PICU environment
  • Perinatal, rheumatology and older adult services will be moved to video consultation with high risk service users where appropriate
  • The living skills service provided by our community teams in Pennine, Central and West Lancashire have been suspended
  • We have engaged a company called Language Empire to provide telephone interpretation as an alternative to face to face discussions with people

South Cumbria

  • The Community Learning Disability Team and Adult Social Care in South Cumbria are now working together to maintain support to vulnerable families and carers
  • The Memory and Later Life service in South Lakes has suspended memory assessments and all annual cognitive enhancer reviews unless urgent

Central Lancashire

  • Phlebotomy clinics have been remodelled to be able to operate from a reduced number of sites
  • The way patients take leave from our Guild Lodge facility in Preston has been amended to reflect government guidance which aims to reduce the time people spend outside and to prevent service users from gathering with peers from other wards
  • We are going to reduce the number of people seen in treatment rooms and focus on priority care only to release staff to other areas in the trust

Fylde Coast

  • Blackpool Local Authority Clinical Psychology Service will reduce face to face contact and move to Skype/telephone consultations and assessments

NHS Diabetes Advice helpline

NHS England and NHS Improvement have launched a new helpline in response to disruption to normal diabetes services due to the COVID-19 pandemic and response.
The service is for adults living with diabetes who use insulin to manage their condition and require clinical advice.
Where routine care has been disrupted, the helpline is available for clinical advice to help you understand how to effectively manage your diabetes.
You can access NHS Diabetes Advice helpline via Diabetes UK’s Helpline on 0345 123 2399 Monday-Friday from 9am-6pm.

Dentist services

If you have a dental issue during the COVID-19 pandemic, it is important that you know how to access help when you need it.

NHS commissioners in the North West team are working with Local Dental Committees and dental practices across the region to consider how we can safely restore dental provision from 8 June.

A number of options are being considered to ensure this can be done safely for staff and patients, as this remains our top priority.

Whilst the Chief Dental Officer has given 8 June as a date for dental services to start to think about reopening, not all dental practices will be able to reopen straight away, depending on availability of equipment, training and staff capacity. When they do open, services may not be restored to normal for some time.

In the meantime, all high street dental and orthodontic practices can give advice, guidance and prescriptions, which you can collect from your local pharmacy.

If you are in pain or in need of support and need help or advice, please telephone your dental practice in the usual way.

If you are not registered with a dentist you can go to or call the dental helpline:  0300 1234 010

This may be because you have severe toothache or a dental infection, or you have noticed other changes inside your mouth such as a white or red patch, a lump or an ulcer that won’t heal.

You will be assessed and given advice over the phone, which may result in a remote consultation with a dentist.

To support NHS services, it is important that you do not visit hospitals or doctors’ surgeries with dental problems unless you are advised to do so.

Blackpool CAMHS support to children, young people and families

CAMHS is the child and adolescent mental health services.

Sinead Ward, Blackpool CAMHS Team Leader, has explained some of the changes in a short video which you can access by clicking here

Telephone 01253 957160 between 9am and 5pm Monday-Friday  

CAHMS information poster

CAMHS appointments

Appointments now will be by telephone.
Children, young people and their parents or carers, would be seen in the clinic ONLY if it is seen as urgent. Please call and discuss this with the person your appointment is with if you are concerned.

Prescription requests CAMHS

  • Please try giving CAMHS seven working days for repeat prescriptions
  • Note CAMHS are still giving only maximum 30 day prescriptions
  • CAMHS can assure you plans are being made to ensure repeat prescription of medications can be continued, do keep yourself updated through national/local news/media
  • If you are worried about your own, or someone else’s safety, or if your mental health is making you unwell, please phone CAMHS on the number above or ring one of the contact numbers below:

CASHER team:   07810 696565 Mon-Fri 5pm-10pm or Sat/Sun 10am-8pm

Childline: 0800 1111

Wellbeing Mental Health Helpline: 0800 915 4640

Samaritans: 116 123

Domestic Abuse Helpline: 0808 2000 247

Young Minds: Text YM to 85258 for urgent support 24 a day

ACE support for young people

ACE is continuing to support young people during the coronavirus pandemic. Staff and volunteers are working from home, keeping contact with all their existing case load by different methods using phones.

We are supplementing our usual service with a seven day a week 10 – 10 phone line for any young person aged between 11 and 25 in Fylde, Wyre and Lancaster Districts who is experiencing emotional distress and would like to talk to or text one of our emotional health workers.

There is also an email address for young people.

  • The phone number is 0800 144 8461
  • The e-mail is

Youtherapy support to clients and families

Telephone 01253 955858 between 9am and 5pm

If you call outside of the above times or your call isn’t answered leave a message and the team will call you back as soon as possible.

  • Youtherapy are able to offer mainly telephone appointments but a few face to face contacts may be able to be offered for clients with no symptoms of coronavirus.
  • We will try to continue with our drop-in appointments at Talbot and Brunswick Children’s Centre on Wednesday afternoons, between 3 pm and 5 pm, but please ring first to check staff are available to see you.
  • Please try to limit yourself to have only one parent or carer with you and no other children and young people, so that we can ensure social distancing requirements are kept, as our waiting area is not a big one.
  • New client appointments will be booked as telephone appointments rather than seeing you in person.
  • If you are worried about your own, or someone else’s safety, or if your mental health is making you unwell, please phone us on the number above or ring one of the contact numbers below:

Childline: 0800 1111
Wellbeing Mental Health Helpline: 0800 915 4640
Samaritans: 116 123
Domestic Abuse Helpline: 0808 2000 247
Young Minds: Text YM to 85258 for urgent support 24 a day.

Supporting Minds and Mindsmatter

Supporting Minds – the Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) –  service for people living in Blackpool is now no longer offering  face to face appointments, all therapy is taking place over the telephone.

Where clinicians have deemed it is not safe or appropriate to undertake therapy via telephone (for example trauma processing work) they have put the clients on a patient delay and this will start again whenever face to face treatment can be resumed safely. Clinicians continue to call clients weekly to check in with them.

Mindsmatter – the Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) –  service for people living in Fylde and Wyre is also no longer offering  face to face appointments, all therapy is taking place over the telephone.

Blackpool Primary and Intermediate Mental Health Team

The single point of access currently continues to function as normal, providing telephone triage for both same day and planned appointments.

The team has stopped all face to face contacts and are providing telephone support to all active caseloads.

Wellbeing Mental Health helpline

The freephone wellbeing mental health helpline and texting service has extended its opening hours. It is now open from 9am, rather than just evenings and weekends.

You can find more information about the service on the website here Mental Health Helpline.

Age UK Lancashire

Age UK Lancashire are continuing to work in partnership with the NHS and Social Services to provide frontline Take Home and Settle Hospital Aftercare services and will help with shopping and prescription collection according to the availability of staff/volunteers in any given area.

Staff and volunteers are providing regular telephone calls to existing clients who are self-isolating on a formal basis to enable them to track and respond to individual needs.

Age Uk Lancashire poster

The below links may be helpful to carers or family members supporting people with dementia.

Please see the Age UK Lancashire website for services updates and initiatives to help older people keep  focussed and active over the coming weeks.

Lancashire breastfeeding peer support service

During this testing and worrying time of Corona Virus, Lancashire’s Breastfeeding Peer Support service, Families and Babies (FAB) are still providing much needed support to families, but in a reduced format, following the guidance for social distancing.

Although the service are not offering home visits, running groups and are not  present on the Hospital wards, mums and families can still access their support in other ways. Click here to see how.

Quit squad

In order to protect the health and wellbeing of our service users, staff, the wider community and following government guidance, since 17 March 2020, Quit squad has been providing telephone support to our service users after making the decision to stop all face to face appointments.

Those interested in stopping smoking can still receive specialist stop smoking support and order their stop smoking medications from Quit Squad by calling 0800 328 6297. They can now access online support via the My Quit Route App (available for the App Store and Google Play)

National Diabetes Prevention Programme

As with many services the national diabetes prevention programme face to face sessions with patients have now ceased until further notice. We have been working with provider, Ingeus, to ensure the programme can continue and patients do not miss out. This has included some negotiations with NHS England and the Healthier You programme to ensure the options given to patients are suitable and provide the best outcomes

Any patients currently on the programme have been contacted and notified that the face to face sessions have been stopped. These patients have been given the option of continuing with the programme using a virtual ‘remote’ platform. This platform uses video conferencing to run the sessions as they would be if they were face to face but tailored to work in a virtual way. If a patient accepts this offer they are called beforehand by course leaders and talked through the process of accessing the virtual sessions. This option gives the patient the benefit of still being able to take part in group discussions and taking inspiration from their peers.

If the patient does not wish to take this option they are then offered the opportunity to pause the Programme until face to face sessions resume. They will then be contacted by course leaders on a monthly basis to keep them engaged and when face to face sessions are started they will continue straight away.

Any patients yet to start on the programme or patients that you subsequently identify as eligible and refer will be contacted and given the option to access the Programme virtually as described above, offered access to a Digital Programme or offered the choice of pausing commencement until face to face sessions resume. They will be encouraged to take up the virtual programme so they still have the benefit of engaging with a group and are not waiting for too long.

Pulmonary rehabilitation

Blackpool Provider (BOC) have paused Face to Face delivery and are replacing it with Telephone contacts.

Stroke association

Face to Face contact is paused but the stroke association is continuing to provide proactive support to stroke patients and their carers via telephone and where possible via digital channels. Six month post stroke reviews will also be carried out over the phone but will of course not include a blood pressure check.

Citizen's advice

In Fylde and Wyre
  • We have suspended all face to face services
  • We have moved our face to face staff and volunteers onto our other platforms – telephone, email, web etc
  • We have introduced video conferencing for individual teams to stay in touch and updated.
  • We have added additional capacity to our email and web chat teams as well as a voicemail facility that prevent people needing to hold on the telephone. This facility sends an email to us and we contact the client by return.
  • We are expanding our Refernet professional referral tool for public self-referral. These will be actioned and referred on to the appropriate agency (where necessary) in their area.
  • All pre booked appointments are still being delivered at the same date and time as booked.

We wish to confirm that all our services are running at normal levels and we are answering all requests for assistance within 24 hours of receipt.

As a reminder all the main services in operation include:

  • General advice, covering advice areas such as welfare benefits, employment, housing, immigration and family and relationship issues
  • Help to Claim- Assistance to make Universal Credit applications
  • Help through Crisis-Advocacy Support (Chorley and South Ribble only)
  • Debt- Specialist Debt Advice
  • Energy Advice Programme
  • Pension wise- Specialist Pension advice (across all Lancashire local authority areas)
  • Money Plan- Independent Financial Advice
  • Law clinics- Representation and advice in all key areas
In Blackpool

Please note that our face to face services are currently suspended.

We will not be answering any telephone calls except those to the Advice line 0300 330 1184 and the Universal Credit Help to Claim line  0800 144 8 444.

You can also access advice at​ address where there is a facility to chat to an adviser. For advice on the main Citizens Advice website about coronavirus and what it means for you, click here

UR potential

URPotential are communicating with our LGBT groups via digital media. They are running at the same time as they were in a physical space before lock down. We are also supporting young people 1 to 1 in whatever way suits the young person, i.e. phone, face time, messaging etc.  We continue to take referrals and have had 3 new members this past month, and have a few pending.  Young people are responding well to our digital youth work sessions and taking a lead by delivering activities during some of the sessions e.g. teaching peers sign language, applying make up, sharing artwork, quizzes..etc

Online Group times:

Monday Fylde – 5-7pm
Tuesday Wyre – 5-7pm
Tuesday over 18’s – 5.30-7.30pm
Wednesday trans – 5-7pm
Wednesday (last of month) Family Support – 7-8.30pm
Thursday Blackpool – 5-7pm

They are also trialling a new session that is open to everyone from our groups no matter which night they ordinarily attend. 

To refer to us is easy, email or text/call Jade on 07453959567. 

Renaissance UK / Horizon

As the situation with coronavirus (COVID-19) evolves daily, we feel our work is needed now more than ever. We want to reassure you that we are continuing to offer all our vital services across Lancashire, Blackpool and Blackburn with Darwen.

We want to ensure everyone is kept informed with the latest information, therefore you will receive regular texts and phone calls from the team here at Renaissance to provide you with the latest Public Health England and Government advice.

Your key worker will also be staying in touch with you and ensuring you have continuity of care at this time, our office remains open for telephone support (01253 311431) and needle exchange services only, please stay safe and keep talking to us.

These are the steps we have put in place:

  • The office opening hours have reduced to Monday to Thursday 10am-4pm.
  • Our Head Office at 102 Dickson Road is open only for needle exchange clients.
  • All social and support groups have been suspended.
  • The M2M Clinic has been suspended.
  • Peer support through digital platforms.
  • Volunteer led befriending online and telephone support.
  • The Renaissance UK admin team are picking up all enquires and concerns on 01253 311431
  • Our office is closed to the public on Fridays, though services still operate remotely.
  • All staff are equipped with IT provision to be able to offer appropriate support.
  • Face to face assessments and key working appointments have been replaced with support by telephone and online.
  • Sexual health outreach has been moved to online only and support is available through the chat applet at
  • The postal condom scheme is still running as normal. Sign up is still available through our website

No service or project has been suspended, please contact key-workers and project leads by email or telephone.

Last updated on 12 February 2021 at 16:05 by Senior communications and engagement officer N