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New Year honour for Sefton CCGs' Head Pharmacist

SUSANNE Lynch, head of medicines management for both clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) in Sefton has been recognised in the Queen's New Year honours list with an MBE; a Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire. The honour recognises the Formby resident's services to Pharmacy, including her work responding to the Coronavirus Pandemic, which has seen Susanne and her team providing additional direct support to some of the borough's most vulnerable patients. Susanne said:- "I couldn't believe it and I thought it must be a practical joke when I received the official notification. It still hasn't fully sunk in and I'm simply overwhelmed to have been nominated, let alone to then have been chosen by the Queen to receive an honour in her New Year list. Each and every member of my team is completely dedicated and simply fantastic and this honour is a reflection of the work we do every day to improve patient care. Also, none of this would be possible without the support and encouragement at the highest level of the CCGs and of course my family, who have been there for me over the years."

The former Range High School student qualified as a Pharmacist in 1998 and started working in primary care in Sefton over 18 years ago. Susanne moved from high street chemists to working for local health commissioners in 2001, becoming the head of medicines management for NHS South Sefton CCG and NHS Southport and Formby CCG in 2014. Fiona Taylor, Chief Officer of both CCGs in Sefton, said:- "We are extremely proud of Susanne and all that she and her team have achieved for Sefton patients and we think this honour couldn't be more deserved. We particularly thank Susanne and the team for their unstinting work during the Coronavirus Pandemic, supporting some of our most vulnerable residents, and now working tirelessly to support the roll out of the Covid19 vaccination. This typifies Susanne's dedication to patient care, so well done indeed."

During her time with the CCGs, Susanne has overseen the development of some innovative programmes and schemes to increase the quality and safety of prescribing across the local health and care system, improving the lives of patients. Much of this good Practice has gained interest from CCGs elsewhere in the country keen to adopt similar approaches and has seen the team named winners in national and regional awards. At the same time as overseeing such developments, Susanne continues to carry out some clinical work when possible, including medication reviews and up until 18 months ago a weekly prescribing clinic seeing patients directly to help them get the most out of their medicines. Susanne said:- "Much of what we do is about building good relationships and we've worked hard to better join up the different services providing our patients care, such as Hospitals, GP Practices, high street Pharmacies and community services. There's always more to do but I'm proud of what we've achieved to strengthen the quality of prescribing across the health and care system. Alongside the main part of my day job, I think it's really important to continue my clinical Practice supporting individual patients as well as the wider population. I continue to find supporting and talking to patients or community and support groups really rewarding and it helps to keep me in touch with reality. Hearing people's experiences 1st hand often help to design some of the wider prescribing initiatives we put in place."


Stena Embla is the 3rd new ship to be added to Irish Sea routes

STENA Line's newest addition to its fleet, the brand new Stena Embla has arrived in Belfast. Stena Embla is the 3rd E-Flexer ferry to be commissioned for Stena Line's Irish Sea routes in the last 12 months, 3 of the most modern ferries in the world. Stena Embla will join her sister ship on the popular Belfast to Liverpool route later this month. Stena Embla has the capacity to carry 1,000 passengers, 120 cars and with 3,100 freight lane meters, it will increase Belfast to Liverpool freight capacity by 20% and raise passenger capacity by 33%. Stena Embla arrived in Belfast on 2 January 2020 and will complete preparatory works before going into commercial service. The Stena Embla will join sister vessel Stena Edda, which launched on the route in March 2020 and will replace the Stena Mersey.

 Paul Grant, Stena Line's Irish Sea Trade Director said:- "The arrival in Belfast of our newly built Stena Embla is yet another important milestone in the ongoing enhancement programme of our Irish Sea services. We have now invested over ₤400m in our ferries and port facilities on the Irish Sea in recent years. The Belfast Liverpool route is 1 of the most popular Irish Sea crossings for both freight and leisure traffic so having a 2nd vessel of the calibre of Stena Embla, with a host of high quality passenger facilities, will further increase its appeal and expand our capacity. In March 2020 we launched our new build Stena Edda onto the Belfast to Liverpool service and the feedback from our freight and leisure customers was extremely positive. Now we will have 2 ships offering identical services and facilities which will help take our service levels on the route to new heights. We have real confidence in the future of our Belfast services and our Irish Sea routes in general, which is why this region has attracted three brand new ships in the last 12 months alone."

Paul Grant concluded:- "Clearly 2020 has been a difficult year for our business, however, despite this Stena Line has remained resolute in our ongoing commitment to driving our freight and travel business forward in the Region."

Stena Embla will make 1 daily return trip between Belfast and Liverpool. Stena Line is the largest ferry operator on the Irish Sea, with the biggest fleet offering the widest choice of routes including, combined passenger and freight services, from:- Belfast to Cairnryan and Liverpool, Dublin to Holyhead, and Rosslare to Fishguard routes, as well as a freight only route from Belfast to Heysham, a total of up to 238 weekly sailing options between Britain and Ireland. Stena Line also offers a direct service, from Rosslare to Cherbourg, with 12 crossings per week.

Sefton Council to look at re-entering into the social housing market

AT their meeting on Thursday, 7 January 2021, Sefton Cabinet members are being asked to agree the Council's re-entry into the social housing market for the 1st time in nearly 15 years. Agreement by Cabinet members would enable the Council to start making preparations for the acquisition of nine apartments, as the beginnings of its future stock of new Council housing. The Council would acquire the apartments on the Sefton Grange development at Buckley Hill Lane, from its wholly owned housing development company Sandway Homes. This will be the Council's 1st new rented housing since its stock transfer in 2006. The move will require the Council to register with the Regulator of Social Housing as a social housing provider. It will also need to apply to become an:- 'Investment Partner' with Homes England, the public Government body that funds new, affordable housing in England. The next steps will include the development of a business plan, identifying options for housing management services and putting together a delivery team.

Cllr Trish Hardy, Sefton Council's Cabinet Member for Housing and Communities said:- "If Cabinet agrees these proposals on Thursday it will be a really decisive step for the Council not only in meeting the demands to house the most vulnerable in our society, but also in providing a choice and range of affordable housing types that meet the needs of our communities. While there is still much work to do, approving these plans would underline Sefton Council's commitment to supporting the Borough's residents by delivering a high quality and inclusive housing agenda."

Sandway Homes, the housing development company launched by the Council in January 2019, is already building 30 new homes at Hey Farm Gardens in Crossens and 47 more at Sandy Brook in Ainsdale. Due to be completed in 2021, these two schemes will add to the supply of housing in the North of the Borough. A further scheme on Buckley Hill Lane at Sefton Grange, which is currently at planning stage will enable the Council to provide the 1st phase of its new social housing offer. Details of next week's Cabinet meeting, including the agenda and papers can be found online.

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