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.


Need a sick note for COVID-19? Here’s what you need to do

People unable to work for more than seven days because of COVID-19 can obtain an isolation note through a new online service.

Isolation notes will provide employees with evidence for their employers that they have been advised to self-isolate due to COVID-19, either because they have symptoms or they live with someone who has symptoms, and so cannot work.


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:

NHS Long Term Plan ‘an endorsement of what we’ve been doing across the Fylde Coast and Lancashire and South Cumbria

Health leaders across the Fylde Coast have welcomed the publication of the NHS Long Term Plan.

The 133-page plan, which was published today (Monday 7 Janaury 2019), outlines the priorities for the health service over the next decade.

It describes how the NHS will make sure people get the best start in life, and how patients can expect world-class care for major health problems.

The plan also details how different organisations should work closer together to make sure health and care services are more joined up and delivered in the right place and at the right time for local people and their families.

It outlines how services should be joined up within neighbourhoods – geographical communities with populations of typically between 30,000 to 50,000 – to support people to stay well.

Moreover, the plan describes how the NHS needs to take stronger action to reduce health inequalities, citing premature deaths in Blackpool – the most deprived part of the country – as being twice as high as affluent areas of England. To address health inequalities, the plan states that a bigger share of funding will go to areas with the highest health inequalities.

Dr Amanda Doyle OBE, a local GP and chief clinical officer for both NHS Blackpool and NHS Fylde and Wyre Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs), said: “We are delighted that there will be a significant increase in relative investment in primary and community care, which will see expanded neighbourhood teams working together in a more joined up way – from GPs, pharmacists and district nurses to physiotherapists, social care workers and colleagues in the voluntary sector. We also applaud the move to strengthen work on preventing ill health and tackling health inequalities. I am proud that we are going further than ever before to improve care quality and outcomes for key priority areas, including cancer, mental health, learning disability and autism, diabetes, stroke and children’s health.

“The plan clearly endorses what we have been doing for some time in terms of partnership working and bringing services together. We enjoy extremely strong working relationships with our local authority partners, as well as those from the voluntary, community and faith sector and the many groups of people who volunteer their time to help shape and improve health and care services.

“We are confident that closer integration of services and partnership working is vital to improve the experience of patients and also to support people to keep well. People often fall through the gaps which exist between organisations; bringing services and teams together will help to stop this.

“We are looking forward to working in partnership with local authority, public sector and voluntary and community organisations over the coming months to involve local people, health and care staff and our partners in the detail of the work which is taking place and how we will deliver the Long Term Plan.”

One example of how closer collaborative work has improved services on the Fylde Coast includes neighbourhood care teams, which bring groups of GP practices together with community health services, social care, mental health services, and others, to provide joined-up health and wellbeing services.Working together in this way, the teams can make a complete assessment of a person’s health, wellbeing and social needs and liaise with their colleagues to make sure they receive the right support.

Another example is work being done in neighbourhoods, often led by patients and the public, to improve health and wellbeing through initiatives which reduce social isolation and boost physical and mental health. Examples include Just Good Friends in Lytham which provides a lifeline for many people who feel isolated and a series of citizens’ inquiries in Blackpool which have opened up conversations with some of our seldom heard residents.

Dr Doyle said: “On the Fylde Coast we were an early pioneer of neighbourhoods and these have helped bring health and care services together with the voluntary sector and local people to improve health and wellbeing. The 10-year plan endorses this and will allow us to further build on this important work.”


Notes to editors


  • For more information about the NHS Long Term Plan visit:
  • For more information about the work and priorities of Healthier Fylde Coast, the partnership of NHS, local authority, public services and community organisations for the area, visit:
  • Dr Amanda Doyle is also chief officer for Healthier Lancashire and South Cumbria


Don’t miss out on your chance to be a Guinness World Record breaker

People living across the Fylde Coast can still sign up to break a Guinness World Record on Saturday morning.

As part of the NHS’ 70th birthday, people across the area have been encouraged to bring their children and families to Lytham Festival’s main arena on Lytham Green to help break the record for the most people exercising to a fitness video. The current record, set in China, stands at 4,814 people.

Local doctors have teamed up with Lytham Festival organisers Cuffe & Taylor to hold the attempt in the middle of the Lancashire music festival. Local councils and other organisations including the Blue Skies Foundation have also played a part in organising the record attempt.

Dancing on Ice star Daniel Whiston has choreographed and filmed a fitness routine, called the Whiston Wave, to be used at the event and promote a ‘fitter Fylde Coast’.

Daniel said: “I can’t wait for this Saturday. It’s a great excuse to get together with your friends and family and be part of a Guinness World Record attempt.

“Loads of people have been limbering up to get ready for this and the support is fantastic, so we want to see as many people as possible taking part and hopefully they will all go away with a record breaking medal.”

Dr Tony Naughton, clinical chief officer at NHS Fylde and Wyre Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), who has spearheaded the attempt, has urged people to go to and sign up.

Dr Naughton said: “We have had a fantastic response to our Guinness World Record attempt so far and I am really excited to see all the children and families come down on Saturday to become record breakers.

“I would urge everyone who wants to join in to go online and book a free ticket as this is the only way to guarantee entry and to avoid queueing on Saturday morning.

“This is going to be a great day for everyone and what’s more, everyone who takes part will get a medal as a memento of the special occasion.”

The Guinness World Record attempt for the most people exercising to a fitness video will take place in the main arena at Lytham Festival from 10am on Saturday July 21. To register, visit

Pharmacy+ Clinics

Did you know, if you’re suffering from a minor condition or illness you could visit your local Pharmacy+ Clinic.

You don’t need an appointment; you can just walk in at a time that suits you for advice and treatment for minor health problems.

To find out which pharmacies in your area are signed up to the scheme, and for more information, visit the Pharmacy+ Clinic website.

Christmas and New Year opening times

Pharmacy opening times this Christmas

A good selection of pharmacies on the Fylde coast will be open over Christmas and New Year to offer advice and treatments for minor illnesses and injuries.

Pharmacists are highly trained professionals with a wealth of knowledge of how to deal with common ailments that are prevalent at this time of year. Illnesses such as coughs, colds, stomach bugs, indigestion or hangovers can all be dealt with simple remedies bought over the counter with advice from the pharmacist.

The festive period is traditionally an extremely busy time for the health service with more people suffering injury or illness and automatically going to A&E when they are better off going to places like the Walk-in (Blackpool) or Same Day (Fleetwood) centres. Similarly, GPs see more people making appointments for complaints such as colds which take up time that could be used to see people with more serious conditions which are often made worse by the cold.

It is essential people use the right service so other services are not put under unnecessary pressure.

It is also important to know where to go to get medication if you need a prescription over the festive period.

In Blackpool, all pharmacies will be open on Christmas Eve, however, some pharmacy opening times may vary. Speak to your local pharmacy for more information

The pharmacy at Whitegate Drive Health Centre will be open on Christmas Day from 8am to 9pm.

On Boxing Day, pharmacies will be open at:

  • Whitegate Drive Health Centre, 8am to 9pm
  • Boots, Bank Hey Street, 9am to 5.30pm
  • Lloyds, Sainsbury’s, Red Bank Road, 9am to 6pm
  • Morrison’s Pharmacy, Squires Gate Lane, 10am to 4pm

All pharmacies will be open as normal on New Year’s Eve, however some pharmacy opening times may vary. Speak to your local pharmacy for more information.

On New Year’s Day, pharmacies will be open at:

  • Whitegate Drive Health Centre, 8am to 9pm
  • Lloyds Pharmacy, Sainsbury’s, Red Bank Road, 10am to 4pm
  • Boots, Bank Hey Street, 10am to 5pm

In Fylde and Wyre, all pharmacies will be open on Christmas Eve, however some pharmacy opening times may vary. Speak to your local pharmacy for more information.

On Christmas Day, pharmacies will be open at:

  • Wesham Pharmacy, Station Road, 10am to 1pm
  • Tomlinsons Chemist, Market Square, Lytham, 11am to 2pm

On Boxing Day, pharmacies will be open at:

  • Lloyds Pharmacy, St Andrews Road North, St Annes, 9am to 5pm
  • Boots, Clifton Street, Lytham, 10.30am to 4pm
  • Boots, Victoria Road West, Cleveleys, 10am to 4pm
  • Boots St Annes Road West, Lytham, 10.30am to 4.30pm
  • Morrisons Pharmacy, Amounderness Way, Thornton Cleveleys, 10am to 4pm
  • Asda Pharmacy, Dock Street, Fleetwood, 9am to 6pm

All pharmacies will be open on New Year’s Eve, however some pharmacy opening times may vary. Speak to your local pharmacy for more information.

On New Year’s Day, pharmacies will be open at:

  • Lloyds Pharmacy, St Andrews Road North, St Annes, 9am to 5pm
  • Asda Pharmacy, Dock Street, Fleetwood, 10am to 6pm
  • Morrions Pharmacy, Amounderness Way, Thornton Cleveleys, 10am to 4pm

Speaking on behalf of NHS Fylde and Wyre and NHS Blackpool Clinical Commissioning Groups, Dr John Calvert, a Blackpool GP and Clinical Advisor at NHS Blackpool Clinical Commissioning Group said: “We really need people to remember that the Accident and Emergency department is strictly for accidents and emergencies.”

“People with minor ailments could face a lengthy wait to be seen and would be better off visiting a pharmacist or looking after themselves at home.

“The other services such as the Walk-In and Same-Day Health Centres should be kept free for those who are in need of treatment for an urgent complaint.

“A&E especially should be kept free those in need of emergency treatment for life-threatening conditions. The festive period is the busiest time of the year for the NHS so it’s important people remember to use the most appropriate service when required.

“Anyone who is feeling unwell and isn’t sure what they should do can always ring 111 for help and advice on where to go and who to see.”

A full list of Christmas opening times for pharmacies and other services across the Fylde Coast is available at

Protect yourself from flu this winter


Fylde coast residents are being urged to get their flu jab as soon as possible by local doctors.

The message comes as the NHS prepares for the busy winter period, with doctors encouraging those particularly at risk from the effects of flu to protect themselves and their families.

Flu is a highly infectious disease and can lead to serious complications if you have a long-term health condition like COPD; bronchitis, emphysema; diabetes; heart, kidney or liver disease or have suffered a stroke. Flu, on top of health conditions like these, can easily develop into something very serious and could land you in hospital. People with these and other long-term health conditions are eligible for a free flu jab through their GP or pharmacist.

Pregnant women, children aged 2 and 3 as well as school children from reception class through to year 4 are also eligible for the free flu vaccine. For eligible children, the flu vaccine is not an injection, just a quick nasal spray.

Flu can be horrible for little children, and if they get it, they can spread it around the whole family. Children who get the flu have the same symptoms as adults – including fever, chills, aching muscles, headache, stuffy nose, dry cough and sore throat.


Some children develop a very high fever or complications of flu, such as bronchitis or pneumonia and may need hospital treatment. The flu vaccine can help protect your child from flu and also reduce the chance of flu spreading to others.

If you have a child aged 2 or 3, get them vaccinated against flu with the free nasal spray flu vaccine from your GP. School children from reception class through to year 4 will get their vaccinations through their school.

Speaking on behalf of the Fylde coast NHS, Dr Amanda Doyle, who is a GP in Blackpool said: “If you are eligible for the flu vaccine then it’s because you need it. It’s important you get it.

“Flu isn’t just a bad cold. It can lead to more serious complications like pneumonia and bronchitis.

“The vaccine provides year-long protection from flu which not only protects you as an individual, but also helps to stop the spread of the virus to your family and friends.”

Contact your GP practice as soon as possible to arrange your flu vaccination appointment. Alternatively, you can visit your local pharmacy, many of which offer walk-in appointments. Pregnant women should speak to their midwife.

Visit for more information.