Date published: 14 November 2022

One of the leading mental health and community health NHS Trusts in the North West has today launched a new campaign aimed at easing pressure on hospital A&E departments and demand for inpatient beds this winter.

Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust’s new campaign, which marks the start of Self Care Week, is aimed at residents of Cheshire and Merseyside who may need access to services during the winter months, which are traditionally high in demand for NHS services.

They are once again publicising their successful ‘Help Us, Help You’ messages, which highlights the different services available in the region and gives useful tips to residents like keeping medicine cabinets well stocked as temperatures drop and dark nights close in.

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“We found the ‘Help Us, Help You’ messages hit home last year and helped the people of Cheshire and Merseyside work out which service best served their medical needs,” explained Dr Noir Thomas, Mersey Care’s Medical Director.

“We’re expecting the demand for services to be greater than ever this year because of the fuel crisis and many people already suffering with Long COVID-19, so we’re doing everything we can to help ease the pressure on hospital resources.”

Last year’s campaign resulted in nearly 150,000 people attending the Walk In Centres run by Mersey Care, over 46,000 hospital beds were saved and over 8,000 hospital admissions were avoided by ensuring the ‘Help Us, Help You’ messages were sharded across the region.

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A spokesperson from NHS Cheshire and Merseyside said: “Self Care Week is all about empowering people to prioritise their own health and stay well, particularly over the colder winter months – and one of the best ways to do that is by getting a COVID-19 and flu vaccination to boost your immunity, if you are eligible.

“It’s also really important that people know where to go when they need help, particularly at peak times or out of hours when their GP surgery is closed. Although NHS services continue to be extremely busy, help is still available when you need it. For more urgent problems, we would strongly urge people to call NHS 111 so that you can be directed to the right care and get seen as quickly as possible.”

To help explain the different resources available, Mersey Care has produced a number of animations, including one highlighting the five ways to wellbeing and a final one explaining the urgent mental health services.

Mersey Care has also made a number of free self help guides available for depression, stress, panic and many other issues, while there is a special ‘Help Us, Help You’ page on the Mersey Care website for all the resources available to Cheshire and Merseyside residents.