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Southport Reporter®

Edition No. 173

Date:- 30 October 2004

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National recognition for 'back to work' scheme

AN innovative recruitment scheme pioneered by Mersey Care NHS Trust and NHSU has been short-listed for a prestigious Health Service Journal Award. 

The scheme, known as Access to Employment aims to increase the number of people employed by the trust who have been affected by mental health, ensuring that the trust's staff are more representative of the community it serves. 

ACE has been designed specifically to meet the needs of those re-entering employment, matching their skills and aspirations to jobs available within the trust. Since it began, 10 people who have been unemployed for a total of 66 years have taken part in the scheme. Six have now secured full-time jobs in roles such as personal assistant, activity worker and nursing assistant. Two others have gone on into further education. 

Those joining the ACE scheme participate in NHSU's pre-employment programme, Health Learning Works, to ensure that they are ready for full-time work. Working with local organisations such as Job Centre Plus, Health Learning Works combines class and work-based learning to help people who have been affected by mental health issues get up to speed with the skills and information they need to be job-ready.

Ruth Iveson, Human Resource Manager at Mersey Care NHS Trust said:- "The scheme recognises the real value that those affected by mental health can bring to the trust. We are delighted with the scheme's success and plan to extend the number of places available on ACE in the future." 

Results of the HSJ awards will be announced on 15 November. 

Spooked Out at Pleasureland?

A SPOOKY night of fun awaits you at Pleasureland Southport on Sunday Night...  and we will be on hand to capture the events...   

A representative of Pleasureland said:- "We have captured for the ghostly goings on that will be happening on Halloween and extra broom closets have been fitted to park the broom sticks."

Have fun this Halloween in a safe environment.... Come to Southport Pleasureland. 

How to become a healthcare expert… at home

SOME 231,000 people in the St Helens area are set to become healthcare experts in their own home … thanks to a new health guide, based on information from NHS Direct.

The 64 page guide is part of the Thomson Local directories that are currently being delivered.

Over the next month, it will be delivered to homes in St Helens, Wigan, Atherton, Golborne, Leigh, Mossy Lea, Rainford and Skelmersdale as part of a massive distribution across Greater Manchester, Cheshire and the Wirral.

Since the free publication was introduced, in 1999, two million copies of the 'Not feeling well?' guide have been distributed by NHS Direct through pharmacies, GP surgeries, NHS Walk-in Centres, ‘new mother packs’, supermarkets and local initiatives.

The information and easy to use step-by-step healthcare advice equips people to make day-to-day healthcare decisions as part of the widening range of healthcare options that includes GPs, pharmacies and the NHS Direct telephone service.

It covers over 25 of the most common adult and child health problems with advice on how to treat symptoms at home where appropriate. 

And it contains Department of Health campaign messages such as tobacco education, immunisation and Get the Right Treatment, a campaign that informs people about the range of healthcare options available and how to use local services appropriately.

The unique partnership between NHS Direct, the Department of Health and Thomson Local directories now means that the self-help guide will reach over 18 million households in England.

“This initiative is an important step in responding to needs,”
says Dr Mohammed Jiva, Medical Director of NHS Direct. “By making the right choice at the right time, people will now get the fastest, best possible treatment.

"The NHS Direct self-help guide has always proved popular and demand has always exceeded supply. This opportunity to provide useful health information in telephone directories is an excellent way of making this valuable resource widely available to almost every home in England. 

It is a cost effective way of providing people with quality-assured, trusted information about healthcare choices.”

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