News Round Up  

As 2016 comes to a close, it gives us time to reflect on the achievements made across all public health teams in Cheshire and Merseyside (C&M).

It was a privilege to have our suicide prevention work featured in a new Public Health England/National Suicide Prevention Alliance film and welcome the Health Select Committee to C&M last month. The Committee benefitted from a programme full of examples of innovation and best practice. They were clearly impressed that we had prioritised suicide prevention and energised the system as part of the comprehensive NO MORE Suicide Strategy. We are also close to being the first sub-region to achieve ‘Suicide Safer Communities’ accreditation and this requires a final push next year using our sector led improvement approach.

The C&M Blood Pressure Partnership Board have also reflected on the success of their first year and considered where to focus energy and effort for maximum effect in the coming year. A new delivery framework will enable local areas to implement best practice consistently, building upon the sector led improvement workshop. The Beacon Practices for blood pressure will accelerate progress and inspire others. This will all be underpinned by the new Education and Training Programme focusing on key themes, a top recommendation from the international experts in Canada.

We look forward to 2017 and are certain that our acclaimed collaborative, system led approach will build on progress and achievements made this year.

The Champs DsPH would like to thank
all colleagues and partners for their contribution to the Champs Collaborative in 2016. We wish you all a peaceful Christmas and a very happy and healthy New Year.


Directors' news

The Cheshire & Merseyside (C&M) Directors of Public Health (DsPH) met for their Board meeting on 16th December and the following items were discussed.
  • The DsPH discussed a new opportunity across the Liverpool City Region (LCR) to work more closely with portfolio holders at a new meeting with lead Chief Executive for health in LCR Margaret Carney. This meeting will allow DsPH to brief portfolio holders on topics such as the Youth Connect 5 emotional wellbeing and resilience courses, the highly acclaimed suicide prevention work and other collaborative projects.
  • The Cheshire & Warrington Case for Change has been presented to the Public Sector Transformation Board and just recently to the Cheshire & Warrington CEOs. The report was well received by the Cheshire & Warrington CEOs and is being used to inform the development of the sub-regional strategy.  A follow on report on worklessness has also been requested.
  • The C&M Sustainability and Transformation Plan "prevention at scale" priorities of high blood pressure, alcohol harm reduction and anti-microbial resistance (AMR) were discussed. The DsPH will support the NHS local delivery systems' actions plans for the priorities, providing knowledge and expertise.
  • The Collaborative Medicines Management approach for 2017-18 has been approved and John Hampson will continue to provide support in this area for the Collaborative.
  • The Champs Public Health Collaborative performance report was shared with some excellent achievements from the programmes of work including:
    • Health Select Committee visit Cheshire & Merseyside - To assist with their parliamentary report, the Health Select Committee saw examples of best practice on suicide prevention in C&M. The chair of the Committee, Dr Sarah Wollaston MP said the evidence presented was "compelling".
    • Bereavement by suicide film used in PHE masterclass - Sue Forster, lead DPH for Suicide Prevention and DPH in St Helens, took part in a film on bereavement by suicide and the commissioning of the C&M suicide liaison service, Amparo. The film was shown at a recent PHE masterclass on suicide prevention. 
    • Community "Gatekeeper" training for suicide prevention commissioned - A train the trainer programme for basic suicide prevention training has been commissioned for implementation by 31 October. Wirral Mind is developing the programme.
    • Improving outcomes for blood pressure - A high blood pressure variation report was produced for each CCG in C&M along with information on how the C&M blood pressure strategy can support CCG blood pressure outcomes
    • Beacon practices launched - The launch of the Beacon practices for blood pressure took place in Wirral and each practice is currently developing its practice-level action plan to prevent, detect and optimally manage blood pressure.
    • British Heart Foundation Awards 2017 - An expression of interest to the British Heart Foundation for up £100K funding has been successful with the final bid to be submitted in January 2017.
    • Building resilience for children and young people - Testing and piloting of the Youth Connect 5 course is underway with the workforce currently being trained in most areas, ahead of free courses that will be available to parents and carers across Cheshire & Merseyside. The course aims to help parents and carers build emotional wellbeing and resilience in their children.
    • Licensing work gains approval - The licensing work programme has gained approval from both LCR and Cheshire & Warrington CEOs and Leaders.
    • Ensuring safe and resilient communities - A health protection event called "Coping with influenza" was held in November with PHE as part of the Champs CPD programme.
    • STP prevention PIDs "exemplary" - The prevention PIDs for the C&M STP were such high quality, the C&M STP steering group described them as "exemplary"
The Directors of Public Health will next meet in January 2017.

Champs Public Health Collaborative News


New DPH for Cheshire East

Fiona Reynolds, Interim Director of Public Health at Cheshire West and Chester has been appointed as Director of Public Health for Cheshire East. Fiona will take on her role later in the New Year.

Fiona will continue to be Champs DPH lead on Employment & Skills, Communications and Workforce, Learning & Development.

The Board of Directors wish her every success in her new role.

Soft Drinks Levy summary of responses published

Further to the recently submitted Cheshire & Merseyside response to the Soft Drinks Industry levy, that will apply to the production and importation of soft drinks containing added sugar, the government has now published its summary of responses.

Please click here to read the summary.

The Department of Health explains more about the Levy in their online document Soft Drinks Industry Levy: 12 things you should know


Healthier Futures amplifies PHE Health Harms Campaign locally  

PHE’s Health Harms campaign is back for another year launching on December 30, driving people to make a change and quit smoking in the new year. Healthier Futures has been commissioned to amplify the campaign locally during the launch period.

Healthier Futures will support Cheshire and Merseyside local authorities to deliver a successful campaign locally, to increase awareness amongst Cheshire and Merseyside residents about the New Year Health Harms campaign. It will involve messaging through PR and social media and to increase the number of people quitting during the New Year and accessing stop smoking services to help them in their quit attempt.
All relevant contacts in all local authorities have been sent a toolkit to help in the promotion of the campaign as well as localised press releases. 

PHE publishes reports on mental health and wellbeing of children and young people   

PHE has published two reports describing the importance of mental health and wellbeing among children and young people along with the case for investment in mental health.

These reports will support commissioners in improving the mental health and wellbeing of children and young people as they summarise the evidence of what works to improve mental health among children and young people in order to inform local transformation of services.

Cheshire Fire launch Safe & Well visits    

Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service is preparing to launch Safe and Well visits - an exciting new initiative to help improve the health of potentially vulnerable people.

Safe and Well visits, which will begin in early 2017, build on the Service’s successful Home Safety Assessment programme that has helped protect thousands of people throughout Cheshire from the risk of fire in their home.

Eileen O'Meara, Chair of the Cheshire & Merseyside Directors of Public Health Executive Board and Director of Public Health for Halton said:

  "We are delighted to be working with the Fire & Rescue Service across Cheshire, Warrington and Halton. The service is highly regarded and trusted by communities and they are in an excellent position to give health advice and support to some of our more vulnerable residents."

Visits will be offered to residents who are aged over 65 or who are referred to the Service by partner agencies. The visits will still incorporate the traditional fire safety information but will also offer additional advice on slips, trips and fall prevention; bowel cancer screening as well as offering additional support to those who wish to stop smoking, taking drugs or reduce their alcohol consumption.

It is expected that over the next year the visits will be extended further to provide extra help to people who have just been discharged from hospital after a fall and to address blood pressure concerns.

Cheshire Fire, Cancer Research UK and NHS England attended the Directors of Public Health Board Meeting in December to officially sign the agreement to work together on the Safe and Well visits.

Liverpool glowed orange to tackle domestic abuse   

On Friday 25th November some of Liverpool’s most iconic buildings glowed orange in support of a U.N. campaign to break down the wall of silence surrounding domestic abuse.
Friday 25th November was the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and the city showed its support with a two week long campaign to raise awareness about how people can support friends and relatives by helping them to speak out.
Orange is the official colour of the UNiTE campaign, symbolizing a brighter future free from violence against women and girls, and several buildings were lit in solidarity between 5pm-7pm.
The campaign helped promote the website: which acts as a one stop shop in providing information and details for support and advice for those suffering domestic abuse.

Mental Health and Wellbeing and Suicide Prevention News


Official thanks from Health Select Committee  


Following the recent Health Select Committee visit to Cheshire and Merseyside to discuss the causes of suicide and barriers to prevention, Dr Sarah Wollaston MP, Chair of the Committee said in her letter of thanks to the Champs Collaborative “That the session and the group discussion in particular has really helped the Committee’s understanding of what action is necessary to improve suicide prevention in England.”

In July this year the Committee launched an inquiry into the action which is necessary to improve suicide prevention in England and used the visit to learn more about the strong collaboration in Cheshire & Merseyside on suicide prevention, intervention and postvention and the system leadership driving the NO MORE Suicide Strategy.

The ‘compelling evidence” provided by Champs Collaborative and its partners was also referred to during the final evidence session on suicide prevention at Parliament on 29th November at which Professor Kevin Fenton, Health and Wellbeing Lead at PHE referred to the great examples of best practice sharing in Cheshire & Merseyside. The Committee agreed stating that they were “very impressed by some of the services available”.

Sue Forster, Chair of the Cheshire and Merseyside Suicide Prevention Board and Interim Director of Public Health at St Helens said following receipt of her thank you letter: “We received much praise and thanks from the Committee during their visit and this letter compounds their belief that what they learned from the collaborative work across Cheshire and Merseyside was of benefit to their inquiry. The mention of our work during the final evidence session at Parliament gave us a further opportunity to take pride in our collaborative achievements within prevention, intervention and postvention”.


To view the thank you letter click here.

To watch the video of the parliamentary session click here.


19th December saw the release of the Health Select Committee Suicide Prevention Interim Report. Click here to view the document.  

Film about Champs commissioning of Suicide Liaison Service, Amparo now available to watch


The Chair of the Cheshire & Merseyside Suicide Prevention Board & Interim DPH for St Helens, Sue Forster, took part in a film produced by PHE and the National Suicide Prevention Alliance on support following suicide and the commissioning of Amparo.

The film is being shown at a series of regional PHE masterclasses and is now available via the Champs website.


Successful Champs bid sees Youth Connect 5 resilience training underway across Cheshire & Merseyside


Funded by Champs Public Health Collaborative through a bid made to Health Education England and facilitated by Merseyside Youth Association, Youth Connect 5 is a free of charge course for parents and carers that will:

  • Build upon parents’ and carers’ knowledge, empathy, skills and attributes to promote and strengthen children and young people’s resilience and emotional wellbeing
  • Strengthen parents’ and carers’ own levels of resilience
  • Increase confidence and ability to explore different ways to support their children
  • Improve/enhance relationships parents/carers have with their children

To learn more about the programme download the briefing document or visit

A dedicated news bulletin about the programme will follow in the New Year.

High blood pressure news


Expressions of interest gathered from GP practices for high blood pressure test bed opportunity  

Cheshire and Merseyside partners identified high blood pressure as a priority for cross-sector collaborative action over two years ago and have made great progress in forging a cultural shift towards integrated working and prevention.

Champs Public Health Collaborative, The North West Coast Innovation Agency and Warrington Public Health Team recently presented to a number of GP practices to seek expressions of interest for a select few to become part of a unique opportunity to become a test bed for effective identification and management of high blood pressure.
The opportunity is to develop and test small scale pilots (prototypes) to test out a range of interconnected technologies in a range of settings enabling individuals to interact with the technologies, independently or in partnership with their health professional (whilst integrating with the Warrington Care Record).

Start-up investment has been secured from the North West Coast Innovation Agency and additional resource may be available to amplify the approach should a bid to the British Heart Foundation Innovation award be successful. 

December/January will see a small number of practices identified to co-create and design the approach.

Updates and progress on the programme will be communicated in future bulletins and via the Champs website.

CPD and Events News


Learning Hubs added to the Champs CPD Calendar 

Learning hubs are an exciting new addition to the Champs CPD and events programme that give an opportunity for practitioners within local authorities to build their knowledge and skills in public health.

Hubs will facilitate sharing of good practice across teams in Cheshire & Merseyside. Each learning hub will be hosted by a particular local authority and topics to be covered will be decided by the host area.

Save the date: Warrington host first learning hub

The first Learning Hub will be hosted by Warrington Public Health Team on 30 January 2017 from 9.30am to 1.00pm at New Town House, Warrington on flu preparedness and health in business. Registration for this event will open in the next few days on a first-come, first served basis.

A number of Learning Hubs are in planning for 2017. Please keep your eye on the Champs website.

Other future CPD events include a Home and Health workshop from PHE (details below) and a Licensing event in March. An event on High Blood Pressure will follow in April 2017. Details of the CPD Calendar for 2017-18 will be available in the New Year.

The latest Champs CPD calendar to March 2017 can be viewed here.

Please e-mail any queries to

Save the Date - Enabling healthy homes in which to start, live and age well 

28 February 2017, Halliwell Jones Stadium, Warrington
Homes and neighbourhoods provide our ‘health setting’ for most, if not all, of our lives. This free, one day, workshop held by Public Health England and Champs Collaborative will enable participants from across the local public health system to take action so that everyone has a home and neighbourhood that enables them to ‘start, live and age well’, including at times of crisis and following other changes in circumstance.
Places are limited for this event. Further details will be issued in the New Year.

Registration open for 2017 NSPA Conference  

The third National Suicide Prevention Alliance (NSPA) Conference 2017 will take place on Tuesday 7th February 2017 at the Kia Oval in London 10am – 4.30pm.
‘Suicide prevention: the changing conversation’ will be the theme of the conference this year. As well as a series of high profile speakers, the programme will include a series of breakout sessions showcasing good practice, innovative work and the latest research in suicide prevention.
Full delegate rate, including lunch and refreshments is £95 plus VAT. NSPA members benefit from 50% discount on up to three delegate places.
For further details and to secure your place please visit:

Public Health In Focus seminar - January 2017 

The next Public Health Institute (PHI) Public Health in Focus seminar will take place on Wednesday 25th January 2017 from 1.00pm to 3.30pm.  The seminar’s focus is ‘A Force for Good? How the criminal justice system can support the public’s health’.

If you would like to attend this FREE seminar please email the Public Health Institute with your name and organisation details and any special dietary or access requirements at no later than Wednesday 18th January.

For more information visit the PHI website.

Champs Public
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