Service changes

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.

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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 more to Whitegate Health Centre

The GP-led urgent treatment centre at Blackpool Victoria Hospital will move to Whitegate Health Centre as the Fylde Coast NHS responds to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The move will allow for the expansion of clinical services at the hospital A&E department and for additional urgent care services to be available at Whitegate Drive.

Read more here.

Well Pharmacy at Arnold Medical Centre and Langdale road Blackpool

Well Pharmacies (based in Arnold Medical Centre) and Langdale Place will be temporarily closing from Wednesday 1 April due to staff shortages.

Their nearby branches in Highfield Road and Cherry Tree Road will still be open for patients to access their medicines. If you currently use these pharmacies but haven’t ordered your medicines yet, when you next order you will be asked to nominate which pharmacy you wish to collect from during the period of closure – this can be any pharmacy that is most convenient for you.

Please look out for further updates.

Well Pharmacies based in Moor Street, Kirkham

Well Pharmacies based in Moor Street has temporarily closed due to staff shortages.

The nearby branch in Market Square will still be open for patients to access their medicines. If you currently use these pharmacies but haven’t ordered your medicines yet, when you next order you will be asked to nominate which pharmacy you wish to collect from during the period of closure – this can be any pharmacy that is most convenient for you.

Hospital

Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has taken the decision to temporarily suspend visiting.

Please visit the website for more information by clicking on the link below:

Visitor guidance

Outpatients Update

Following the Prime Minister’s message on Monday, the Trust has taken the difficult decision to postpone all routine non-essential outpatient appointments.

Patients will be placed on an Appointment Holding (AH) list until such a time the appointments can be safely rescheduled. Patients affected will be contacted.

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.”

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 https://youtu.be/ndwlyhZdyxM

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

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

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.

Mental Health - Rapid Intervention and Treatment Team (RITT)

The RITT is reducing hours to 9am-5pm for the next few weeks to provide additional support people in crisis, specifically to add capacity to liaison and home treatment.

The service is continuing to support all older patients and is offering the chance for face to face contacts if they want it as well as telephone and digital support. Face to face  is being prioritised to those in most need. The Home treatment team is providing support from 5pm-9am.

Richmond Fellowship

The Richmond Fellowship has taken the decision to temporarily cease all support which is delivered face to face if safe to do so and implement different ways of working to support people.

Over the past few days and weeks the Fellowship has seen a downward trend in people accessing its Haven, Outreach and Crisis house services due to the Coronavirus outbreak and guidance to minimise it spreading.

In light of this they have actively been contacting people they currently support and agreeing different ways of working such as:

  • Telephone support
  • Video calls using WhatsApp, Zoom and Skype
  • Text messaging and email

Partners within home treatment teams and other agencies’ staff will not be completing face to face appointments within Richmond Fellowship services.

To keep the people they support, their staff and the wider community as safe as possible they have taken the decision to stop all face to face support within their non essential services meaning the buildings will close. This will affect:

  • Oak House Crisis House, Burnley
  • Willow House Crisis House, Chorley
  • Willow House Haven service, Chorley
  • Central Lancashire Haven, Preston
  • Blackpool Light Lounge (Haven,) Blackpool

All these services will continue to operate the shifts times as normal and staff will be accessible during these times. There may be the need for the shift times to be extended in some services which will be agreed on an individual basis.

The referral route for each service will be:

  • Oak House Crisis House, Burnley – telephone: 07990793506 24 hours a day
  • Willow house Crisis House, Chorley – telephone: 07557034239 24 hours a day
  • Willow house Haven service, Chorley – telephone: 07557034239 10am – 10pm
  • Central Lancashire Haven, Preston – telephone: 07342058887 10am – 10pm
  • Blackpool Light Lounge (Haven), Blackpool telephone: 07741834840 3pm – 11pm

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.

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.

Last updated on 31 March 2020 at 15:39 by Senior communications and engagement officer N