Chief Executive's Blog: Acting on your Views

You Said We Did

I spend a lot of time listening, both to understand staff issues and working out how to respond effectively. Many of you tell me it's one of the things that really matters to you.


One issue that has been raised by some staff relates to clinical staffing levels, and I’m delighted to be able to report on real progress in this area. Just since April alone, we have recruited 114 both qualified and unqualified nursing staff for the Secure Division with a further 30 in the recruitment process but yet to start their new jobs.


It is a similar story in Local Division where 226 qualified and unqualified nursing staff have been recruited with a further 38 going through the recruitment process.


In addition to significantly adding to our workforce, through working with colleagues from workforce and staff side, a safer staffing steering group has been established to oversee all safer staffing processes and a review of the standards for safe wards which will inform the revised self-assessment framework.


This £2.4Million investment in recruitment underlines our commitment to listening to what our staff have to say. Below is a list of issues you have identified through various channels that we have acted upon.


Your wellbeing, working environment and general happiness is important to this trust and we want to keep improving all areas where we can do better. We will continue to strive for further improvements and I look forward to updating you on the progress and the positive impact of this work in the near future.


YOU SAID - WE DID 2014/15


You Said



We Did

We’re working too many extra hours and work pressure is increasing

Investing additional £2.4m in recruiting to frontline posts. A new central sickness team established to offer more support and speedier solutions.


We’d like to feel more supported by managers

Running Collaborative Leadership and Managers Forums so your managers have up to date information to keep you informed.



We don’t feel as motivated at work

Making a real effort to recognise each other (Your Recognition includes: thank you, employee and team of the month, positive achievement awards).



Effective team working could be better

Supporting teams using Aston Team Coaching and getting better at holding regular team meetings, supervision, reflective practice.



We don’t have a well structured appraisal, if we have one at all


Improved on-line Personal Achievement and Contribution Evaluation (PACE) process. More training and support for managers to carry out high quality PACE reviews.


We still experience physical violence and harassment or abuse from patients or relatives

Rolling out No Force First  and “Positive and Safe Violence Training”, Case Formulations and CCTV




We don’t always feel able to contribute to improvements at work

Using staff road shows to provide opportunities to share your ideas and suggestions and to keep you informed. Piloting the Mersey Care 400 and the Your Connect staff app to seek feedback on work developments and improvements.


We don’t always agree that feedback from service users is used to make informed decisions in our department(s)

Using team development to help teams consider how to improve feedback mechanisms for patients/ service users in their area.



We don’t always feel our health and wellbeing is prioritised

Immediate referral to physiotherapy for all staff reporting muscular skeletal concerns as well as investment in staff support and physiotherapy.





Staff Survey


You can see from the actions above how important it is to us as a Trust to get your views. We cannot make improvements if we do not know where we need to make them, which is why your feedback is crucial to all our decision-making.


There are various different channels to provide that feedback but the most effective is the staff survey, which gives us a real sense of what is good about the trust and what needs changing for the better.


I wrote last week that we had a response rate of 44% for the trust and we wanted to beat last year’s figures of 56% and I am delighted to report that we are currently standing at 58%. We promised that if that happened there would be an extra day’s annual leave for two people from each Division, which will be randomly selected in the near future.


I’d like to thank each and every one of you that has taken the time to do so, but I’d like to make one final push to ask those who have not done so already to find the 10 minutes or so to complete the survey. By doing so you will be telling us how it feels for you to work for Mersey Care. All the results are totally anonymous, but they give us a good idea of what is good, bad and what needs changing.


You have until the end of today to complete the surveys, so please ask your colleagues and friends to make the time. At present the figures for each division stand as follows:


  • Corporate - 66%
  • Secure – 59%
  • IM – 57%
  • Local – 54%




Foundation Trust Status


I know many of you are curious where we stand in relation to applying for Foundation Trust status, so I thought it would be wise to give you all an update. We had our first meeting this week with Monitor who, for those who don’t know, is the sector regulator for Foundation Trusts and acts in a similar role to the way the Trust Development Authority (TDA) regulates NHS Trusts at present.


Monitor and the TDA are due to merge soon, but this meeting was the first step towards establishing ourselves as a Foundation Trust. There is still a long way to go before we realise that ambition and there will be further meetings and inspections but it is exciting news that we are starting the process.


As part of that, room 9 at V7 has been set aside as the FT Operations room until next March and more details of that are available elsewhere in this newsletter.