Building Partnerships

Friday, 15 May 2015

Talk Liverpool

I would like to start this week’s blog by officially adding my congratulations to everyone involved with our Talk Liverpool service, which is committed to delivering high quality IAPT Services. Although it was officially launched on 1 April, it is now fully up and running with the addition over 100 staff, to help ensure we provide the service to everyone that needs it.

I attended the Welcome Event for Talk Liverpool at the Titanic Hotel in Liverpool and it was great to get together with staff, hear their experiences and their enthusiasm for the service. Many of the staff have moved over from Inclusion Matters, the previous service provider, and they are now part of our Mersey Care team. If you see them out and about during the course of their work, please make them feel welcome.

Staff met executives and were able to ask as many questions as they liked and it was a good way to mark the service becoming fully operational. Since I last wrote about Talk Liverpool, plenty has changed with the launch of the service’s Facebook site, which you can access here and you can get further information about the service at their website. I would urge everyone in the Trust to encourage people to use this service, which they can access by emailing or calling 0151-228-2300.


I have been out visiting several of our services this week, either to sit in on roadshows or to talk to staff and patients more informally. As always, I was welcomed and found the engagement with all parties informative and stimulating.

I was also struck that, even when people were telling me about issues that irritated or irked them, by and large the comments were made politely and with a civil tone. It was a very good example of how three of our four organisational values were being demonstrated.

First, people were feeling their accountability in the sense that they felt it important to be open and transparent - because that’s what people in a team with a shared mission do for each other. No one was making excuses; they were saying that as people who feel accountable for services, there is more we can do to drive that other value of continuous improvement\learning.

The third value for me emerged in the very respectful way that staff and patients alike spoke to me and to each other. In a recent study of about 20,000 employees in different industries conducted across the world, being treated with respect was considered more important than many of the other issues that people identify with good leadership and management.

One of the critical aspects of making sure that a respectful approach operates is to seek feedback on a regular basis. That is why we have put a lot of effort into our Personal Achievement and Contribution Evaluation (PACE) and the reason we have launched the ‘Say Thank you’ system for living the values. If you have not used or looked at the latter, then please look on SharePoint; it is really easy to use and the feedback is that people feel it is a really good innovation

MSU Update

This week, local councillors from Sefton and St Helens gave approval to our plans to progress with planning permission for the medium secure unit at Maghull. Planning permission is on target to be submitted on 4June, with a possible approval date mid-August.

You may see some of the planning application enabling work taking place on the roundabout at Maghull. This work ensures the ground is construction-ready, has suitable access routes and safe parking areas for construction vehicles. The Outline Business Case is due to be presented at the Trust board in July, followed later in the year by the Full Business Case. 

The project team will continue to meet with staff and local residents of Maghull and continue community engagement, if you need more information about the project please contact Elaine Wilkinson or Des Johnson. A travel plan has also been sent to staff working in the secure division, it is important that the project team has information about how a move to Maghull may affect you, so if you’ve received one, please complete it, your views are important.

This is good news that we have cleared another hurdle in our journey towards building a state-of-the-art new MSU unit, but there is still a long way to go. We know there are areas that need improvement and there is an extensive planning application process to clear before we can start getting genuinely excited about the building of his new facility.


Improved Working Environments

As you will be aware we have started work across the Trust to improve the care and working environments for our service users, carers and staff. It is part of our Trust strategy that aims to ensure all service users and staff are accommodated in new or refurbished buildings by 2020.


There are major strategic schemes being planned such as a second new inpatient unit for Liverpool and one for Southport alongside several smaller but equally important refurbishment schemes. We have listened to our service users and carers, staff and commissioners and have responded in the delivery of ambitious plans to improve the Trust’s estate.


Just as we listened in the design of Clock View to deliver an outstanding new care environment for mental health patients, all the projects underway and in planning will ensue the service user experience is at the core. If you would like further information on the estates plans please contact Alison Jordan, the Deputy Director of Estates on 0151-472-2744 or email:

Mental Health Awareness Week

I was delighted Mersey Care played such a significant role in promoting Mental Health Awareness week. This Trust is committed to raising awareness of mental health issues and stopping the stigma surrounding it and it was great to see Mersey Care enjoying such a leading role this week.

We worked closely with Merseyside Police and I know Mark Sergeant was interviewed by Radio City and Bay TV about the excellent work he and his team are delivering as part of our Triage Car service. It is an initiative we are rightly proud of and one we are hoping to expand into control rooms.

Our police partnership was extended yesterday lunch-time when I appeared on a phone-in during Roger Phillips’ programme alongside Jane Kennedy, the Police Crime Commissioner, and Detective Superintendent Tim Keelan. We talked about our partnerships and mental health issues and I was particularly pleased that one listener rang in to say how much the triage scheme had helped him.

Another partnership, this time with Everton in the Community, caused quite a buzz among staff and patients at Clock View Hospital, thanks to a guest appearance by Everton captain Phil Jagielka on Tuesday. He spent more than his allotted hour speaking to service users and staff during a tour of facilities and interactive session with Imagine Your Goals participants. The visit heralds our agreement with Everton in the Community to do weekly activity sessions at Clock View starting next month, You can read the full story here.


I have already informed you all via this blog that we agreed a £2.4 million commitment to recruitment and I am happy to announce that has been implemented over the last three months. In Local Services we have recruited 69 qualified and 66 unqualified staff, all of whom will have started by June. In Secure Services we have recruited 26 qualified staff and 62 unqualified staff that have already started. There are a further 14 unqualified staff that will start in July once pre-employment checks and notice periods have been completed.


Joe Rafferty

Chief Executive