Welcome to the March issue of the Champs news round up containing news, stories and informative updates from Champs Public Health Collaborative and Partners. 

Champs Support Team on the Move

The Champs Support Team will be moving offices over the next few days so there may be some disruption to phones and e-mails through to Friday 1 April. We are not moving far away, just to a smaller office in the same building to reduce our accommodation costs.
Following the move our new address will be:
Riverside Park,
1 Southwood Road
Wirral CH62 3QX
Tel: 0151 666 5123
If you need to contact a member of the team and cannot contact us by the phone number above, please use the following mobile numbers:
Helen Cartwright 07771 388038
Tracey Lambert 07554 114349

Directors' news

Key messages from the Directors of Public Health

The Cheshire & Merseyside (C&M) Directors of Public Health (DsPH) met on Friday 18th March for their system leadership meeting and welcomed Sue Forster, Interim Director of Public Health for St Helens and Muna Abdel Aziz who will take over as Acting Director of Public Health in Warrington following Rita Robertson’s retirement in April. The key messages from the meeting are:
  • C&M DsPH lead roles – Eileen O’Meara, Director of Public Health for Halton has agreed to become lead Director of Public Health for Health Protection and Sue Forster will become lead Director of Public Health for Suicide Prevention, following Rita Robertson’s retirement in April.
  • Public health contribution to Devolution – There is a need to link the existing public health system priorities with the Devolution programmes and respond to requests for public health support. The following work streams are agreed:
    • State of Health Reports, now called ‘Case for Change’ – Lead Matthew Ashton. The Case for Change report for Liverpool City Region for adult social care is near completion. Reports for Children and Young People and Cheshire & Warrington are to be developed shortly.
    • Next steps from the Case for Change reports – Lead Eileen O’Meara. Next steps are being agreed following the Case for Change reports for Liverpool City Region and the Cheshire & Warrington report is being developed.
    • Mental health and wellbeing – Lead Sandra Davies. This workstream will focus on improving mental health and wellbeing for children and young people and enabling young people to be ready for work, reducing welfare dependency. It will also lead the implementation of the NO MORE suicide strategy.
    • Workplace health and health related worklessness – Lead Fiona Reynolds. A group has been formed to work together on workplace health and an evidence review is underway for worklessness to outline key actions to keep people in work and promote health at work.
    • Single approach to licensing – Lead Fiona Johnstone. An initial meeting will be held to look at the possibility of a single approach to licensing, with input from colleagues in Greater Manchester.
  • Development of Sustainable Transformation Plans (STPs) – A Cheshire & Merseyside STP is to be developed for NHS England to support delivery of the Five Year Forward View. 6 local delivery systems will input into the sub-regional plan and it is anticipated Cheshire & Merseyside’s public health system priorities will be incorporated.  Heather Grimbaldeston of Cheshire East Council has agreed to be the lead DPH on the steering group for Cheshire & Merseyside with Eileen O’Meara from Halton Council as Deputy.
  • Test bed update – Following last year’s application to NHS England to become a test bed site, using technology to identify and manage high blood pressure and Atrial Fibrillation, the C&M test bed team met recently to review the feedback from NHS England and discuss future development of the work. Despite being unsuccessful at the final stage, the Cheshire & Merseyside team wish to reframe and refocus the approach and are developing a high level implementation plan should other funding opportunities arise in the future. The DsPH gave their support to this approach and the development the C&M high blood pressure care pathway.
  • Child Poverty Commission – Eileen O’Meara updated the DsPH following a recent meeting of the Liverpool City Region Child Poverty Commission. An update on a programme that increased screening and immunisations levels in Halton was given to the Child Poverty Commission and was well received. It will be circulated to share the learning.
  • NHS England/PHE updates – Julie Kelly from NHS England Cheshire & Merseyside updated the DsPH around STPs and Dianne Draper from PHE North West presented an update paper on sexual health in the North West and progress made against key indicators.
  • Sugar Tax – The C&M DsPH welcomed the recent announcement in the Budget that a tax will be introduced on sugar sweetened drinks.
The next meeting of the C&M DsPH is the Executive Board meeting on 15th April 2016.

Directors of Public Health News
Rita Robertson to leave Warrington Council
After a 40 year career in the NHS and latterly in the Council, we will be saying goodbye to Rita Robertson, Director of Public Health for Warrington who is retiring at the end of April. Rita has been an invaluable member of the DsPH Board and has led the establishment of a Suicide Prevention programme and strategy.  Rita also chaired the Health Protection Leads Group,  We wish Rita good luck and happiness for the future.

Congratulations to Muna Abdel Aziz who will take over as Acting Director of Public Health for Warrington following Rita's retirement.

Liz Gaulton leaves St Helens Council for new role in Marmot City
This month we say goodbye and good luck to Liz Gaulton, Director of Public Health in St Helens and previous Chair of the Champs Collaborative Directors of Public Health Group. Liz has been a strong public health leader across the sub-region and chaired the tobacco leads group leading up to the smoking ban. Liz leaves us for a fabulous new role as Deputy Director of Public Health with Coventry City Council, which is a Marmot City and we wish her every success.

Congratulations to Sue Forster who will now take on the role of Interim Director of Public Health at St Helens Council.

Matthew Ashton becomes Director of Public Health for Knowsley and Sefton
Congratulations to Matthew Ashton, Director of Public Health at Knowsley Council as he takes on a new role as Director of Public Health for both Knowsley and Sefton Councils. The new arrangement will commence with immediate effect. Matthew will split his time across both areas, providing leadership across the patch and will be supported by deputies Sarah McNulty in Knowsley and Margaret Jones in Sefton. Matthew, who is also Chair of the C&M DsPH Executive Board, said, “I am delighted to take on this new role, it’s a good opportunity to collaborate on health and wellbeing initiatives in these financially challenging times. I am proud of what has been achieved in Knowsley, which I will continue to build on and I am looking forward to working with colleagues and residents in Sefton.


High blood pressure news

BUPA insight work for World Health Organisation blood pressure tool kit presented to National Blood Pressure Board 
In March, Dr Heather Grimabaldeston (Lead DPH for Blood Pressure) and Dr Mel Roche (Champs support team BP lead) updated the National Blood Pressure System Leadership Board on the exciting progress that is being made with the BUPA, WHO, PHE collaboration.
The Be Healthy, Be Mobile (BHBM) programme delivers international mobile health interventions in order to reduce the burden of non-communicable diseases. The UK is one of eight participating countries, and hypertension is a priority for the programme.
As key partner in BHBM, BUPA is supporting the early stages of the UK programme; helping to facilitate the collaboration between PHE (including integration with the ‘One You’ campaign) and WHO. In light of progress being made in Cheshire and Merseyside around tackling high BP, the sub-region was identified as a key area for further innovation around BP prevention, detection and management to take place. The aim of this work is to develop a conversational model of engagement (a tool) that empowers communities to take control of their blood pressure in their everyday lives and environments.
Champs Collaborative linked the BUPA team with local clinical and non-clinical “subject matter experts’ in Cheshire and Merseyside who took part in semi-structured interviews and focus groups in December and January, so their experience and expertise in the field of behaviour change in relation to high blood pressure can feed into this exciting work.
Insights gained were developed with local authority partners into a conversational tool that was ‘tested’ in homes and workplaces in  Liverpool. The next steps include planning of a larger scale pilot of the tool across Cheshire and Merseyside,  exploration of digital solutions such as an ‘app’ and aligning the final tool with PHE’s ‘One You’ campaign.
Ultimately, this work will contribute to a WHO toolkit of global examples of ‘mHealth’ programmes relating to high BP to support the BHBM programme and governments around the world.


Fire & Rescue Services to carry out blood pressure checks in Cheshire & Merseyside

Blood pressure (BP) will be one of a handful of health interventions in the new Cheshire and Merseyside Fire and Rescue ‘Safe and Well’ Visits. Fire and Rescue Services have a good track record for proactive fire safety prevention work, and are now looking to expand this prevention role to include wider health promotion and prevention roles. This is a great opportunity to widen the reach of the blood pressure work across the sub-region that aims to prevent, identify and manage high blood pressure more effectively, as the Fire and Rescue teams are able to identify and reach many vulnerable homes.

The Safe and Well programme will be introduced in two phases. The first phase will launch in April 2016 and will include slips trips and falls, smoking cessation, alcohol reduction and bowel cancer screening. The second phase will roll out in autumn 2016, and will add in BP testing/ awareness and hospital referrals following admission for fall in >65s. Champs Collaborative will support the blood pressure element of the Safe and Well checks, linking in with the Cheshire and Merseyside Cross-Sector BP Strategy.

Poster success at Faculty of Public Health (FPH) conference

The Champs Collaborative work on high blood pressure has been successful in achieving a poster presentation at the FPH conference in June. The poster will highlight the systems approach to tackling high blood pressure in Cheshire & Merseyside. Dr Mel Roche, lead for hypertension at the Champs support team said “We are delighted to be asked to produce a poster; it will give us an opportunity to share our work with others and gather new insights from colleagues at the conference”

Take a Moment blood pressure campaign

Through March and April 2016, the Stroke Association is raising awareness of the link between high blood pressure and stroke and showing people just how easy it is to get their blood pressure checked.
On 1 March the Stroke Association launched its Take a Moment campaign asking people to take a moment to order a free blood pressure information pack. By downloading the pack they will be taking the first step in preventing stroke, so that they can have more moments doing the things they love, with the people they love.

The free information pack is available to download from their website at The pack provides information about the link between high blood pressure and stroke, details about where to get a blood pressure check and tips on how to maintain good blood pressure control.

It’s the Stroke Association’s Know Your Blood Pressure day on Saturday 23 April so visit to register your local event.

One You partners with Asda to offer free blood pressure checks

One You, the new campaign from PHE launched on 7th March to help the nation’s adults, especially those aged 40-60 years, avoid future diseases caused by modern day lifestyles.
One You invites adults to take control of their health through an online quiz that assesses current behaviours and shows which areas they should look to change. The How are you? Quiz is available online at and is being promoted via TV advertising, print and social media.
The One You campaign includes a partnership with Asda and at those stores with a pharmacy, free blood pressure (BP) checks will be available. They are also selling blood pressure monitors for as little as £7.50!

Mental Health & Wellbeing and Suicide Prevention News


Champs Collaborative receives £198K funding from HEE Innovation Fund

The application to the national Health Education England Innovation Fund has been successful bringing in £198K of funding to Cheshire & Merseyside. This funding will support the Children and Young People’s mental health and wellbeing workforce with a particular focus on working with families and carers to gain the understanding, knowledge, skills and tools to support and promote resilience and wellbeing for children and young people.

Annual Suicide Prevention Summit sees sports clubs working to prevent suicide

Champs Public Health Collaborative, the Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) and the Time to Change campaign, which is run by the charities Mind and Rethink Mental Illness, hosted the annual suicide prevention summit on 11 February at Everton Football Club.
The 2016 Summit focused on actions to positively engage and influence men. Men account for 80% of suicides across Cheshire & Merseyside, with the highest numbers in men aged 35-54 years.
Expertly chaired by Councillor Claire Glare of Liverpool City Council, speakers included Dr Luke Sullivan, Director of Men’s Minds Matter which is a not for profit organisation which aims to reduce the high rates of suicide in men by improving psychological wellbeing.
The Summit also shared actions by local sporting groups with speakers from Everton in the Community and State of Mind Rugby in Warrington. A drama performance from students at Liverpool John Moores University and a rap performance from Will Randle from Time to Change left delegates energised to play their part in improving mental wellbeing and preventing suicide.
In September last year, Champs Public Health Collaborative launched its NO MORE suicide strategy with a bold ambition to eliminate suicide in Cheshire & Merseyside. For further information visit

Cllr Claire Glare and speakers from
the Annual Suicide Prevention Summit 2016

Cheshire and Merseyside present Suicide Liaison Service at National Conference

The Cheshire and Merseyside Suicide Liaison Service, Amparo, was presented at a workshop at the 2016 National Suicide Prevention Alliance (NSPA) Conference in London.
Richard Brown, CEO Listening Ear/Amparo, Katie Donnelly, Warrington Public Health Team and Christine Hurst, Senior Coroner’s Officer, Warrington, delivered a presentation and facilitated a workshop at the NSPA Conference which took place on Tuesday 2nd February 2016.  The aim of the conference was to support regional and local activity to reduce the number of suicides and better support those affected by suicide.  The presentation and workshop focused on ‘Amparo’ the Cheshire and Merseyside Suicide Liaison Service, sharing the learning from the development and implementation of the service.  For further information regarding the Amparo Suicide Liaison Service click here.

Children and Young People's Mental Health & Wellbeing Report

The C&M DsPH commissioned LJMU Public Health Intelligence Team in August 2015 to provide a report on Children and Young People’s Mental Health. .
The report had the following aims:
  1. To provide updated information and data of local and national profiles relating to promoting, preventing and early interventions for children and young people's mental health and wellbeing.
  2. To provide a framework for a collaborative children and young people’s mental health plan for promoting resilience, prevention and early intervention.
The evidence-base and benchmarking framework provides the basis for a Sector Led Improvement approach to support improved outcomes for children and young people’s mental wellbeing in C&M.

View the report here

Champs Public Health Collaborative News

"Be a Lover not a Fighter" successful for a second year

The Be a Lover, not a Fighter campaign was launched on 8th Feb 2016 and ran for 4 weeks across areas in Cheshire, Merseyside and Lancashire.  It has engaged nearly 60,000 people over this month - through face to face and virtual methods including 12 local engagement events which took place across the areas.
The campaign, which had a similar spend per head of population, has reached an estimated 1.5 million people in total and social media was again particularly popular with engagement far higher than last year’s campaign, especially on Facebook.
‘Be a Lover not a Fighter’ attracted a great deal of celebrity support including DIY SOS and National Lottery presenter Nick Knowles, This Morning’s Philip Schofield and Holly Willoughby,  Superbike World Champion Carl ‘Foggy’ Fogarty,  ‘Shameless’ and ‘Cuffs’ star Karen Bryson, Dancing on Ice’s Dan Whiston, ‘Benidorm’s’ Crissy Rock, Hannah Hobley and Philip Olivier, Broadcaster Pete Price, Everton Football Club’s Ambassadors, Singer Russell Watson and five times World Champion kickboxer and actor Lee Charles.
There is no formal evaluation this year but final hard copies and PDFs of the Campaign Report, with achievements and activities, numbers engaged and qualitative feedback from the public and stakeholders will be available by the end of March.


Time to Talk campaign a success in St Helens

St. Helens Healthy Living team launched the ‘Time to Talk in St Helens #10000minutes’ campaign on 5th October 2015 with a celebratory event taking place at St. Helens Town Hall.
St. Helens Healthy Living team adopted the community champion based approach to get the people of St. Helens talking about mental health. The aim was to get 100 people to have a 10 minute conversation with 10 people over the next 3 months.
The campaign has been extremely successful smashing its target of 10,000 minutes and achieving over 20,000 minutes of conversations.
For more information about the Time to Talk in St. Helens #10000minutes campaign, view the campaign report

Champs Intelligence Network releases new report

Maternity Services Needs Assessment for Cheshire, Merseyside and West Lancashire

Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU) was commissioned by the Cheshire and Merseyside Directors of Public Health to conduct a maternity services needs assessment for Cheshire, Merseyside and West Lancashire. This research was conducted as part of the ‘Improving Me’ programme, a review programme commissioned to assess and improve maternity provision for women and families and led by NHS Halton CCG.
The report outlines recommendations which have been produced based upon national and local evidence and drawing on best practice of what is effective in improving maternity health care.  Also included within the report is a range of quantitative data, a brief review of national policy, and the findings of interviews with women who have recently accessed maternity services across the area.
Click here to view and download the document.

CPD & Events News

Be brave, be bold - Promoting healthy weight conference

Colleagues from Public Health, Food Active, the University of Liverpool, Sustain and the Jamie Oliver Food Foundation came together on Wednesday 23 March to review and consider local plans and priorities that promote healthy weight.

Feedback from the group work of actions to be considered were the adoption of local authority declarations on healthy weight and utilising the potential of planning to create healthier environments.

Read the media coverage on Blackpool's healthy weight declaration here

The 2016 CPD Calendar has been updated. Please keep your eye on the events page of the Champs website for the latest details of our events as the calendar is subject to change www.champspublichealth/events
Champs Public
Health Collaborative

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Champs Public
Health Collaborative

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your thoughts

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Champs Public
Health Collaborative

Suite 1, Marwood, Riverside Park, Southwood Road, Bromborough, Wirral CH62 3QX, United Kingdom
We'd love to hear
your thoughts

If you have any feedback on this issue, please email:
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