You will all know by now that the CQC inspection is starting today. After months of preparation, hard work and extraordinary commitment from you all, it is now time to show the inspection team exactly what Mersey Care NHS Trust is all about.
There has been a lot of attention given to our preparations for this inspection and rightly so. It is important it goes well for the future of the Trust and our ambitions to gain Foundation status, which will allow us to develop our services and provide us with the independence to retain our own identity.
This inspection, though, is not all about those ambitions. This is our opportunity to shine, to show the outside world about the great innovation, best practice and extraordinary skill and expertise within our Trust.
Those of us working at the Trust can sometimes take those abilities for granted, but this is an opportunity to show our pride in what we do. Raising standards is all part of our journey towards Perfect Care and helps in our objectives to develop new types of care and the way we approach our services.
I am extremely proud to be chief executive of this Trust and no more so than the last few months when I have seen for myself how hard everyone has worked to help prepare for this inspection. I thanked you all last week for your efforts and I’d like to do so again because each and every one of you has gone the extra mile to help ensure we are as prepared as we could be.
As you all know, Clock View is now fully operational and we have begun planning for a second inpatient Liverpool unit with plans for further conversations about a Southport inpatient unit in July.
As part of our Strategic Plan, we will have ensuite facilities to all our inpatient facilities and provide new or refurbished facilities to every member of staff and service users by 2020.
Clock View and our Community Hubs are part of that, while our new projects will hopefully benefit from the experience we now have with the design, construction and day-to-day management of Clock View.
This experience will also aid our plans to build a new medium secure facility on our Maghull site. We have already been given approval by local councillors from Sefton and St Helens to progress with planning permission, which is on target to be submitted on 4June, with a possible approval date mid-August.
We pride ourselves on being a modern organisation and we want to continually improve our services to benefit both staff and service users. I know from talking to both groups this week at Clock View that they are both benefitting from a bright and new environment.
Some of you at Clock View this week will have seen cameras filming around the hospital from Granada Reports. It is part of a week-long series of reports into mental health they plan to feature in June. I will give you the exact dates as soon as I have them.
There may be more media coverage in the coming days of a staff member at Ashworth Hospital who was found guilty at the Old Bailey of Misconduct in a Public Office. He is still to be sentenced, but as a Trust we believe justice has been served.
The success of our care and services can depend on trust being established between carer and patient and this case has highlighted a terrible betrayal of that trust with deliberate attempts to breach the confidentiality of patients and the security at Ashworth Hospital.
This conduct is totally unacceptable and potentially jeopardises the high standards of care we pride ourselves on delivering throughout our services. I would particularly like to thank those staff called upon to assist with the police investigation that carried out their duties with great professionalism.
As a Trust we regularly review our security procedures and protocols at Ashworth Hospital and all other sites in our care. Since this incident we have implemented an additional investigation and made changes to further enhance security.
National No Tobacco Day
I know we have all been concentrating on our preparations for the CQC inspection but the other major project this year is our decision to ensure all Mersey Care sites are smoke free by March 2016.
It seems timely to remind you of that with World No Tobacco Day being staged on Sunday, which is a day set aside to highlight the health risks associated with tobacco use and advocating effective policies to reduce tobacco consumption.
Our move towards smoke free will be a staged progression, beginning with our Secure Services who will go smoke from 1 July this year. An animated film explaining all about our decision is currently being worked on and will be shared with you all in the near future.
That's all from me, so to everyone in Mersey Care I hope that you have a great inspection and that the pride that you have in what you do is there for all to see.