Below you can view information aimed at health professionals and other professionals working with our services to support you to make appropriate referrals to our services in Sefton. This page provides information to help you reach a decision as to whether our service is right for your patient or client and how to make a referral so they can begin accessing support.

If you have any further questions about any of the services below, either visit the service's page on our website (linked below under each service section) or contact the team using the telephone numbers provided.

Adult community health services

We have teams of advanced clinicians working in the community who can respond within two hours if someone’s health or wellbeing suddenly deteriorates at home, which will avoid the need for an ambulance and prevent hospital admissions.

Our advanced nurses and therapists can provide assessment, treatment, support and a two hour rapid response for Sefton via the ICRAS team for registered patients who are aged 18 and over and at risk of a hospital admission.

In addition, Sefton offers a 2-hour response for IV administration to avoid hospital admissions. This includes antibiotic therapy for cellulitis, urinary tract infections and lower respiratory tract infections.

Open 8am to 8pm, seven days per week. The last referral accepted by the service will be at 6.30pm.

To make a referral, please call 0300 323 0240 and select option 1.

Visit the service page for more information.

Further resources:

Our eating disorder service provides psychological assessment, formulation and intervention for adults (aged 16 and over) who are experiencing an eating disorder. Referrals for the eating disorder service, including the FREED pathway are accepted from GPs and other medical practitioners.

First Episode Rapid Early intervention for Eating Disorders (FREED)

FREED is a novel early intervention service, based on the staging model and has been developed specifically to target adolescents and young adults (16-25 years) in the early stages of an ED (less than three years illness duration).

The FREED service model includes a rapid and proactive referral process, a holistic and non-stigmatising assessment (within two weeks of referral) based on a biopsychosocial approach, followed by an evidence-based treatment plan. Not all eating disorder services offer FREED, but it is always worth referring early.

For a list of helpful resources for patients and carers please visit the FREED website.

To refer to the eating disorder service or FREED, please complete the referral form and send it to:

Remember: Refer early for the best outcomes

For further information see our guidance on completing referrals for GP’s and the information provided by FREED below:

Rapid detection and treatment of eating disorders (EDs) are crucial in promoting a fullrecovery. This leaflet provides guidance for GPs to aid the detection and rapid referralof those with EDs.

What are EDs?

  • Eating disorders are serious psychiatric conditions characterised by abnormal or disturbed eating behaviours
  • Anorexia nervosa has the highest mortality of any psychiatric disorder
  • Onset of ED is typically in adolescence or early adulthood
  • Psychiatric comorbidities are common, e.g. anxiety, depression, and obsessive-compulsive disorder.
  • Patients with EDs often use a higher number of primary care appointments.

Scoff screening tool

S: Do you make yourself Sick because you feel uncomfortably full?

C: Do you worry you have lost Control over how much you eat?

O: Have you recently lost more than One s tone?

F: Do you believe yourself to be Fat when others say you are too thin?

F: Would you say that Food dominates your life?

1 point for each ‘yes’.

Score of 2 indicates a likely eating disorder.


DiagnosisMajor criteria (adapted from ICD-10 and DSM-5)

Anorexia nervosa

  • Low BMI (<18.5kg/m2) due to restriction of energy intake
  • Fear of fatness or weight gain
  • Significant body image disturbance

Bulimia nervosa

  • Usually normal weight
  • Regular binge eating (>3 months duration) with compensatory behaviours, such as vomiting, laxatives, or excessive exercise
  • Body image disturbance or weight concerns

Binge eating disorder

  • Often overweight or obese
  • Regular binge eating (>3 months duration) with associated distress
  • No regular compensatory behaviours

Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID)

  • Substantial weight loss and nutritional deficiency
  • Weight loss not due to shape/weight concerns, or due to unavailability of food
  • If this arises in the context of a medical condition, weight loss exceeds that expected due to the condition

Other specified feeding or eating disorder (OSFED)

  • Replaces the previously used term of ED not otherwise specified (EDNOS)
  • Includes AN, BN and BED of low frequency and/or limited duration, Purging Disorder and Night Eating Syndrome


What are the barriers to detecting EDs in primary care?

  • Patients may be ashamed or worried about stigma, be unable to recognize the severity of their ED,be ambivalent about change, or lack of knowledge about available help
  • Individuals with EDs do not readily present to primary care services with ED pathology as their maincomplaint
  • Patients may initially present with other mental health problems (e.g. depression), gynaecological/contraceptive problems, or gastro-intestinal problems.

Why are early detection and intervention crucial?

  • EDs are not likely to remit without treatment
  • Watchful waiting does not work
  • If someone has only been ill for a short period oftime (i.e. has a short Duration of Untreated EatingDisorder, DUED), treatment works better
  • After three years of illness duration, treatmentresponse becomes more muted, probably dueto the impact of ED symptoms on the brain.

Early intervention is key to halting illness progression and promoting full recovery.Rapid identification, assessment, and evidence-based treatment are crucial for improving outcomes.People can fully recover from an ED with the right treatment

Medical risk assessment:

  • BMI (NB this is less reliable at extremes ofheight)
  • BP and pulse (sitting and standing)
  • Muscle strength (e.g. sit up/squat test)
  • Regular bloods including FBC, U+Es, andLFTs, particularly if BMI <15 or currentpurging
  • ECG recommended if BMI <15

The following markers signify concern,and should be followed by urgent referralto a specialized eating disorder team:

BMI< 14 kg/m2

Weight loss/week> 0.5kg

Systolic BP< 90

Diastolic BP< 70

Postural drop> 10

Temperature< 35



Who we are

The Equipment Advisory Service (EAS) is a time limited service that supports a variety of stakeholders with safe, suitable and cost effective equipment provision.

Receiving the right equipment and understanding how to utilise its full potential can assist with keeping patients safe in their own homes, reduce admissions to hospitals and other care facilities and support discharges from hospital.

The service advises, assures and signposts patients and clinicians who have an equipment need, to reduce any associated risk/ harm and ensure a positive patient and prescriber journey.

The service will engage, collaborate and bench mark with stakeholders, various professionals and specialist associations to ensure safe and effective service delivery and a catalogue of equipment suitable to meet patients’ needs.

The EAS is a support service for health and social care staff who prescribe equipment from the Liverpool Community Equipment Service or Sefton Community Equipment Service and therefore referral is made via the professional caseload holder requiring support.


Contact us

Summers Road
Brunswick Business Park
L3 4BL

Liverpool EAS  
Tel: 0151 296 7736
Fax: 0151 296 7749

Sefton EAS  
Tel: 0151 296 7738
Fax: 0151 296 7749

We are open Monday to Friday 8.30am to 4.30pm


Referral form

Children and young people's services

Contact us for more information about the support we provide for breastfeeding families in Sefton on 0151 291 8010.

Visit the service page for more information.


Our Health Visiting Services works across the Sefton community, and offer support for pregnant women and families with children below school age. We visit families at home and in community venues such as health centres and children’s centres, and work closely with GPs, midwives, hospitals, schools and voluntary services. We have a number of different health visiting teams based across Sefton covering different localities.

Visit the service page for more information.


We provide safeguarding services across Sefton. You can contact the service directly on 0151 285 4661.

Long COVID service

Referrals are being accepted from GPs only, by submission of this form.

You will need to confirm that it is over 12 weeks since COVID symptoms started (or as early as four weeks in patients with a high symptom burden or significant, unmet rehabilitation needs), and you must include all of the information, test results etc. requested in the form.

Referrals are checked and if accepted, patients may be offered an initial assessment by phone prior to their appointment with the multi-disciplinary team (MDT).

The service is suitable for patients who were treated for COVID-19 either in hospital or in the community and have signs and symptoms that developed during or after an infection that have continued for more than 12 weeks after initial infection (and are not explained by an alternative diagnosis) or as early as four weeks if clinically appropriate.

Timing is based on individual need and is at the discretion of the assessing clinician. Recovery time is different for everyone, for many people symptoms will resolve by 12 weeks (NHS, C1248, April 2021).

If predominantly organ specific problems have been identified, patients should be referred via existing routes to local specialists, rather than the Long COVID service. If patients have an underlying long-term respiratory condition and are experiencing an increase in breathlessness, once treatment has been optimised, they can be referred to the Long COVID service for further support and referral to appropriate services.

COVID disease is an infection caused by a corona virus. Long COVID is a term to describe the effects of COVID-19 that continue for weeks or months beyond the initial illness. The health watchdog NICE defines Long COVID as lasting for more than 12 weeks, although others consider symptoms that last more than eight weeks to be Long COVID.

Details of how some people are affected by Long COVID are still emerging, but research suggests around one in five people who test positive for COVID-19 have symptoms for five weeks or longer. For around one in ten people, they last 12 weeks or longer.

These long-term effects are often reported by people who didn’t need to go to hospital during the acute phase of COVID. Long COVID symptoms commonly experienced by patients include:

  • fatigue
  • breathlessness
  • anxiety and depression
  • palpitations
  • chest pains
  • joint or muscle pain
  • not being able to think straight or focus (‘brain fog’)
  • dizziness
  • persistent cough
  • loss of taste or sense of smell.

At our clinics, people can be seen by different members of the team. Each patient will have different problems due to their COVID-19 and our aim is for you to see the right people to help you and, meet your needs.

Members of the team you could see on the day of your appointment may include:

  • GP and Community Matron
  • Social Prescriber
  • Pulmonary rehab physiotherapist.

Each appointment will focus on the different symptoms that you may be experiencing so you may not need to see every member of the Long COVID Team.

The clinic is designed to help people who still have symptoms related to a COVID infection after 12 weeks. The aim of the clinic is to identify what symptoms a person is experiencing and how this is affecting them day to day. We help them find resources and/or treatments to manage these symptoms effectively so they can rehabilitate to living a fulfilling life.

The community matron will phone to introduce the service and complete the COVID-19 Yorkshire Rehab Screening Tool. This information allows us to understand whether the patient is experiencing problems related to coronavirus and allows us to focus on the things that are important to them.

If an assessment by phone is offered, the call usually takes place the week before the clinic appointment. It will take up to 30 minutes. This call focuses on the wider holistic assessment which means that we will assess physical problems but also consider the social, mental or financial impacts that symptoms have had.

A social prescriber from the health improvement team may also phone the patient. This call focuses on the wider holistic assessment which means that we will assess physical problems but also consider the social, mental or financial impacts that symptoms have had.

On completion of appointments, this may include referrals to other services, the team will meet to produce a care plan. This will be a summary of the plan that each person has discussed during the patient’s appointments. The care plan will be posted to the patient and the GP.

There are many helpful resources available:

Having Long COVID is very distressing and can often impact your mood, making you feel sad or low or more anxious than usual. There is support available, you can find the support local to you by following the links:

If you need information on sick leave please visit the following websites:

More information when planning return to work:

Other charities or services that you may find helpful offering emotional support and information to those experiencing mental health difficulties, their families and carers:

Call NHS 111 (free from a landline or mobile) when you need medical help fast but it’s not a 999 emergency. Available 24 hours per day.

Mersey Care also provides phone support for people experiencing a mental health crisis via the freephone numbers below:

Patient’s may be invited to attend the clinic six months later. The decision whether the patient needs to be seen in the clinic will be a joint one between the patient and the member of the team who contacts them.

Mersey Care Assessment Team 

The national framework sets out a single policy on who should receive NHS funding, this can be fully funded NHS Continuing Healthcare (where the NHS funds the whole care package) or NHS Funded Nursing Care (where the NHS is responsible for the nursing required from a registered nurse in a care home through a single payment).

Mersey Care is responsible for the assessment processes within the National Framework for NHS Continuing Healthcare and NHS Funded Nursing Care and will also contribute towards care planning for individuals who meet continuing healthcare eligibility.

Our assessment team will accept referrals completed by a health or social care professional who has sufficient knowledge of the patient and is involved in their care i.e. GP, district nurse, ward nurse and or a registered therapist or social worker.


  • Before completing the referral form, the referrer is responsible for ensuring that consent is obtained from the patient and this is recorded. Where the patient does not have capacity and the family member has a registered Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) – for Health and Welfare (please ask the family member to provide the original authorisation documentation and check that the document clearly identifies the authorisation to act in the persons best interest and that this has the official court stamp and it is signed and dated. Please ensure that a copy is retained and submitted with the completed referral form.
  • Where the person does not demonstrate mental capacity, the referrer must ensure that a full mental capacity assessment and ‘Best Interests’ consent to screening and assessment for NHS Continuing Healthcare/Funded Nursing Care/Fast Track tool has been undertaken.
  • Once the referral is complete and sent to the team, it will go through an initial screening to book in a checklist or a full NHS Continuing Healthcare assessment if appropriate. 
  • If the referral meets the criteria for a full CHC assessment, a member from the Mersey Care team will contact the referrer and the patient (or the most appropriate person to arrange a suitable date for the assessment to take place).
  • A comprehensive assessment to support completion of the decision support tool (DST), involving two or more disciplines from the multi professional disciplinary team (MDT) will then take place including a social worker where possible. 
  • The Mersey Care nurse assessor coordinates the assessment process, which usually involves requesting additional supporting evidence from other specialists e.g. physiotherapist, speech and language therapists, consultant neurologists, psychiatrists, care providers.  The nurse assessor will also keep you and/or the appropriate person informed and involved in the assessment process.
  • Once the multi disciplinary team has agreed a recommendation, this will be sent to the Commissioning Support Unit for verification of eligibility.  The person or family representative will be notified in writing by the Clinical Commissioning Group of the decision.

South Sefton

Please refer the completed referral form to

Tel: 0151 247 6740

Coordinator Mobile: 07825 726322

Step Forward Psychological Intervention Service

The Step Forward psychological intervention service in Sefton and Kirkby is a key element of Mersey Care’s community mental health transformation programme. Requests for the service are only provided via GP or another health professional referral.

Our service aims to meet need outside of secondary mental health care, maximising community assets and providing psychologically informed interventions to support recovery. We work closely with secondary mental health care teams to support seamless transitions between primary and secondary care, and we are passionate in developing our pathways with key statutory and non-statutory services in order to provide a seamless journey for our service users.

We are also aware of the difficulties experienced by people from black, Asian, mixed backgrounds and other minoritised ethnic groups, when accessing mental health services. We work closely with underrepresented communities across the footprint to increase our knowledge and understanding of the challenges people face, and we adapt our services to reduce and overcome the barriers identified.

Our psychological intervention teams primarily comprise: clinical psychologists, psychological practitioners and assistant psychologists. We consider input for anyone aged 18 years and over who present with common mental health problems that have greater chronicity or complexity than would be typically seen in an Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) service, but whose complexity would not be considered to meet secondary care threshold. Typical presenting issues might include complex multiple trauma, emotional and behavioural dysregulation, and/or moderate or chronic self-harming behaviour (but not severe or life threatening self-harm).

Clients might also present with a history of difficulties with managing emotions safely and difficulties establishing or maintaining positive relationships. The psychological interventions offered are tailored to each individual, and through this, we hope to create a therapeutic setting of mutual trust and respect in which everyone feels heard, valued and understood.


Further information

For further information please contact: