Stay up to date on news, events and services in Sefton by subscribing to the My Sefton e-news bulletin. Sign up is quick and easy to do.

Sign up

Your good health checklist

If you’re feeling unwell, there is plenty of help and advice available. Please don’t put off seeing a health professional if you need to.

This checklist will help you find the right advice or treatment when you need it. Click on the links below for information and support.

You can also find this useful information in the NHS Winter leaflet. 

If you have any questions about this information, please contact

Many common illnesses and minor ailments can be easily treated at home for most people.

The NHS and partners have produced some useful videos, fact sheets and audio books for a range of common illnesses, if you, a loved one, or neighbour need advice on how you can treat them and when you should seek medical advice.

The NHS website also has a host of information on symptoms, conditions and treatments.

The ORCHA Health App Library is available to people in Sefton. Access safe, accredited health and wellbeing apps, whether it's help to keep active, eat healthier, support your mental health or manage long term conditions such as diabetes or asthma.

You can find the ORCHA Health App Library here.


Visit the NHS 111 website where the online tool can help direct you to the advice or support you need or call 111 first if you need medical help but it is not an emergency.

NHS 111 will direct you to the right health service for you, which could include a pharmacy, GP practice, or a booked time slot at a walk-in centre or hospital accident and emergency department.

Remember, you should still dial 999 for a medical emergency, such as a suspected stroke or heart attack.

If you:

  • need medical help fast;
  • are worried about your symptoms;
  • are not sure what to do;

you should go straight to:

For minor health concerns, your local pharmacy team can help. If you can’t get to a pharmacy yourself, ask someone to go for you or call them.

For other non-urgent health needs, contact your GP practice who can offer remote consultations online, by phone, or face to face if needed.

For urgent consultations, advice and treatment for minor injuries and illnesses in both children and adults, the Litherland Urgent Treatment Centre on Hatton Hill Road is open seven days a week from 8am until 8pm. You can make an appointment via NHS 111, or walk in without an appointment.

If a child is unwell, you can find up-to-date expert information from the Alder Hey Children’s Hospital Emergency Department online by using their Symptom Checker.

You can use the Symptom Checker to search for information on several of the most common symptoms in children requiring urgent care, and decide where best to get the right care for your child.

Anyone in pain or in need of dental support, help or advice, can telephone their dental practice in the usual way. Anyone without a usual dentist and in urgent need can call the local dental helpline on 0161 476 9651.

A range of GP appointments are available on weekday evenings and weekends for all residents registered with a GP practice in Sefton.

The ‘enhanced access’ service provides patients with access to pre-bookable appointments outside of normal practice hours to ensure that people can get the right care when convenient for them. A range of services are available for residents including routine appointments, smear tests, screenings and more.

Patients can pre-book appointments with the enhanced access service through their own GP practice either by calling, using an online form or visiting their usual practice during normal opening hours.

The services are delivered by different providers in south Sefton and Southport and Formby, meaning there is some variation in the opening hours and services in each area.

Services available in south Sefton

The GP Extra service is provided by South Sefton Primary Healthcare in partnership with South Sefton Primary Care Network. The following services are available at Litherland Town Hall, Monday to Friday, 5pm–8pm and Saturday, 9am–5pm.

  • General practice routine appointments
  • Cervical screening
  • Chronic diseases annual reviews (diabetes, heart disease, respiratory problems)
  • Pill and HRT reviews
  • Physiotherapy
  • Blood tests
  • Blood pressure checks

Patients may be called during weekdays by an advanced nurse practitioner to see if their need can be dealt with over the phone, or if they can be directed to a more appropriate service. 

Services available in Southport and Formby

The 7 Day GP Service is provided by Southport and Formby Health in partnership with Southport and Formby Primary Care Network.

The following services are available at The Family Surgery, 107 Liverpool Road, Birkdale, Southport, PR8 4DB, Monday–Friday 5pm-9pm, Saturday 9am-5pm and Sunday 9am-1pm:

  • General practice routine appointments
  • Cervical screening
  • Ear syringing
  • Health checks
  • Pill checks
  • Physiotherapy – assessment and advice
  • Blood tests
  • Blood pressure checks
  • Foot checks
  • Electrocardiography
  • Mental health support 

Find more information on Southport and Formby Health’s website.

To book an appointment with the enhanced access services across Sefton, patients should contact their usual GP practice during their normal opening hours.

Outside of office hours or at weekends, anyone who needs to book an urgent appointment should continue to get in touch using the NHS 111 service.

Pharmacy teams are expert healthcare professionals who provide a range of clinical services. As well as providing easily accessible over the counter advice, you may be referred for a consultation with a community pharmacist by NHS 111, your GP or another healthcare professional.

  • Advice on which medicines you should have at home this winter
  • Advice and treatment for minor illnesses like coughs, colds or earache
  • Advice on staying well and preventing disease
  • Support to maintain good sexual health Help to quit smoking
  • Arranging repeat prescriptions

You can find your nearest pharmacist here.

Care at the Chemist

This scheme provides anyone in Sefton with free, fast and expert health advice and treatment for a number of conditions, without needing to see a GP.

It means pharmacies can provide the recommended minor illness medicine for a number of conditions, free to patients who do not pay prescription charges.

You can find participating pharmacies here.


You can find out if you’re eligible for help with NHS costs such as prescription charges, travel or dental treatment by calling or checking online.

If you pay for your prescriptions, you could save money by buying an NHS Prescription Prepayment Certificate. You can pay a set price for prescriptions for 3 or 12 months, no matter how many prescriptions you need or what your financial circumstances are.

Buy the certificate online or at a pharmacy that is registered to sell NHS Prescription Prepayment Certificates.

For help or more information, call 0300 330 1341.

Make sure your medicine cabinet has all you need.

Speak to your local pharmacist for more information including how long symptoms are likely to last and checking that any of the medicines you buy over the counter are OK with any prescribed medication you may take.

Examples of useful medicine cabinet items:

  • A first-aid kit, including bandages, plasters, a thermometer, antiseptic, eyewash solution, sterile dressings, medical tape for dressings and tweezers.

  • Pain relief medications: Paracetamol or Ibuprofen are effective in treating minor ailments such as headaches, minor aches/pains, period pains, inflammation from arthritis or sprains, the common cold, reducing your temperature.

  • Oral rehydration salts to replace lost minerals and fluid after a fever or vomiting and diarrhoea.

  • Lozenges, antiseptic sprays/mouthwash, and paracetamol: these are great for treating symptoms of a fever, cough or sore throat.

  • Antihistamines: these can be in the form of tablets, nasal sprays and eye drops and are great for treating insect bites, allergic reaction, itchy rashes, itchy eyes and hay-fever (note: some antihistamines can cause drowsiness. Please check with your local pharmacist for further information).

  • Anti-diarrhoea, constipation and indigestion remedies: There are a variety of products you could buy over the counter to help relieve your symptoms. Speak to your pharmacist for more information.

Note: please read and follow the patient information leaflet available with each over the counter medication or speak to your pharmacist for more information.

Care at the Chemist

This scheme provides anyone in Sefton with free, fast and expert health advice and treatment for a number of conditions, without needing to see a GP.

It means pharmacies can provide the recommended minor illness medicine for a number of conditions, free to patients who do not pay prescription charges.

You can find participating pharmacies here.

If you are feeling anxious, depressed or simply need someone to talk to, there is plenty of help available:

  • In Sefton there is a range of local and national organisations who can support you with your mental health.

  • If you’re registered with a GP in Sefton, Talking Matters is a free, confidential service to help with common mental health difficulties.
    Find out more about Talking Matters here. Or call 0300 303 2708.

  • There is also free, confidential, 24/7 text message support from Mersey Care's HEAL 85258 service, for anyone who is feeling overwhelmed or struggling to cope. Trained volunteers will work with you, to take your next steps towards feeling better. Text HEAL to 85258.

  • For anyone over 16 in need of urgent mental health support as they no longer feel able to cope or be in control of their situation, there is a free 24- hour crisis telephone service from Mersey Care, on 0800 145 6570.

  • The Sefton Crisis Cafes in Crosby and Southport are open on Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings for mental health crisis support.
    You can find out about Sefton Crisis Cafes here. Or you can 0300 323 0197.

There's strong evidence that people who are active have a lower risk of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, some cancers, depression and dementia.

Regular exercise can also help improve your mental health, reduce the risk of falling and can support recovery from illness.

It doesn’t matter what you do, as long as it’s something that keeps you moving like dancing, gardening, or housework.

Don’t do anything that doesn’t feel comfortable and trust your instincts about your own limits. Stop if you are feeling any pain or are lightheaded, and stay hydrated.

Living Well Sefton is a FREE service with a local network of people who can work with you to live a happy life and improve your health and wellbeing.

Living Well Sefton mentors can provide in-depth support by working out how physically active you want to be and assess your wellbeing by tailoring a plan just for you.
You can self refer online here, or call 0300 323 0181.

Sefton Council for Voluntary Services (CVS) can also put you in touch with a wide range of local voluntary, community and faith organisations that may be able to help. Take a look at their Here for You Directory – there’s more than 1,000 organisations delivering over 3,000 services that are available to residents across Sefton, or call Sefton CVS on 0151 920 0726.

If you have a moderate to high risk coronary heart condition, your GP can refer you to a supported programme of physical activity, with proven health benefits.
You can find out more about getting an exercise referral here - or by calling your GP.

Sefton Council for Voluntary Services (CVS) can also put you in touch with a wide range of local voluntary, community and faith organisations that may be able to help.

Take a look at their Here for You Directory – there’s more than 1,000 organisations delivering over 3,000 services that are available to residents across Sefton, or call Sefton CVS on 0151 920 0726.

Active Lifestyle, falls within the Active Sefton Umbrella and is a Sefton Council-run initiative to improve physical health and mental wellbeing.

Active Lifestyle services include free NHS health checks for anyone aged between 40 and 74, who have no underlying health conditions.

These free health checks are aimed at picking up early signs of conditions that can then be prevented such as

  • heart disease;
  • stroke;
  • diabetes;
  • kidney disease

and helping people live longer, healthier lives.

To be eligible for an NHS Health check, you must be:

  • Aged 40-74
  • A Sefton Resident
  • Have a registered Sefton GP
  • have no pre-existing health conditions
  • Not had a Health Check in 5 years

You can register for an NHS Health Check online or by calling 0151 934 2352.

Active Ageing

Active Sefton, Active Lifestyles team also run services aimed at providing people with the opportunity to live more active and healthy lifestyles and support for older people who may be at risk of a fall, to reduce their risk and maintain their independence.

Speak to your GP practice about these services or visit for more information.

Healthier lifestyles

Sefton residents can access Change Grow Live, a free drug and alcohol support service.

Change Grow Live helps adults, children, young people and families who are struggling with drugs or alcohol and can support people through their journey to recovery, as well as giving advice about reducing the harmful effects of drugs and alcohol.

The service is free and confidential and open to anyone experiencing difficulties with drugs or alcohol.
Find out more about the support available here.

A ‘Lower My Drinking’ app offers support for people to think about alcohol and the role it plays in our lives. The app is free to download for anyone who lives or works in Cheshire and Merseyside and uses scientifically-proven tools to support you to reduce your drinking to the recommended limit of 14 units a week or less.

Find out more about Lower My Drinking here.

It is never too late to stop smoking and the health benefits are felt immediately.

Smoke Free Sefton offer FREE support to stop smoking and access to proven treatments. By accessing your local Stop Smoking Service you are 3 times more likely to quit.
For more information or to make an appointment, telephone 0300 100 1000 or visit  the Smoke Free Sefton website.

Keeping warm over the winter months can help to prevent colds, flu and more serious health problems such as heart attacks, strokes, pneumonia and depression.

Heat your home to at least 18°C (65°F). You might prefer your main living room to be slightly warmer. Wear several layers of light clothes. Several layers trap warm air better than one bulky layer.

Anyone struggling to heat their home, can find our more about the Affordable Warmth Scheme here. Or you can call the Affordable Warmth team on 0151 934 2222.

You can also visit the Sefton Council Cost of Living webpages to get a variety of advice and support with increases in the cost of bills and goods.

Warm Spaces for Sefton residents

Sefton’s ‘Warm Spaces’ are heated, safe and friendly places where you can comfortably spend time reading, studying or chatting with others.

The ‘enhanced hub’ Warm Spaces also offer hot drinks and food, activities and other services such as free Wi-Fi.

You can find out where Sefton's Warm spaces are and when they are open, here. 

With both flu and COVID-19 circulating during the winter months, it's even more important to get vaccinated to stay protected.

Flu vaccines

Flu can be far more serious than you think. It can lead to serious complications such as bronchitis and pneumonia, and it can be deadly.

That’s why the flu vaccine is free if you’re aged 50 or over, or if you have a long-term health condition or are pregnant. If you have young children or grandchildren they may also be eligible for a free nasal spray vaccination.

Just speak to your GP practice or pharmacist to book your flu jab.

You can also find more information here.

COVID-19 vaccines

COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective. They give you the best protection against COVID-19. You can find out more about the COVID-19 vaccine, who is eligible, and book an appointment online or find a walk-in vaccination sites on the NHS website at

Think you have COVID-19?

Try to stay at home and avoid contact with other people if you have any symptoms of COVID-19 and have a high temperature.

You should avoid being in close contact with people at higher risk from COVID-19 for 10 days, even if they have been vaccinated.

If you are experiencing Long COVID symptoms, speak to your GP. They will arrange some tests and can refer you to the Long COVID service in Sefton.

To help prevent the spread of bugs and diseases and make sure everyone in Sefton has a healthy and happy winter, we must all remember to do these simple things:

  • Wash hands
  • Sanitise surfaces
  • Keep your distance
  • Cover your face

Find out more here. 

Healthwatch Sefton’s independent signposting and information service can help you make the right choices.

You might have questions like:

  • How can I find an NHS dentist?
  • Can I get support or equipment to help me live safely at home?
  • How can I register with a GP?
  • Is there a local support group to help me?
  • How can I complain about an NHS service?
  • Can I get help to pay for care at home?
  • Where can I find information and support for my health condition?
  • How can I find a good care home?

Healthwatch Sefton provide helpful independent information to guide you to the right health and social care services.

The team are available Monday to Friday on 0800 206 1304 during normal working hours.

Last Updated on Friday, September 8, 2023

Recite Me Button