Regular readers of this blog will know I regularly try to push Mersey Care to the forefront and engage in national debate that will benefit this Trust. As part of that I am delighted to announce I have been appointed on the 2016 Guardian Public Leaders Editorial Board.
The idea behind the Board is for us to discuss public areas of interest and I feel very privileged and honoured to be selected as one of eight members. I believe my appointment reflects well on the work we do here at Mersey Care. As an organisation we like to explore new boundaries and this will be a good platform to discuss new areas of innovation and methods where we can deliver our care in better and more cost efficient ways.
I believe our partnership with Risk Authority Stanford and Stanford Medical Hospital sums up the standards of innovation and discovery that we are constantly striving for at Mersey Care. We have teamed up with one of the most distinguished hospitals in the world to develop a programme that will look at data from ourselves, other Trusts in the UK and the US and analyse whether we can better identify risk and situations that may put our patients in danger.
This is Silicon Valley cutting edge technology which should help bring data to life and have an immediate impact on our services. We are also developing mobile technology – an app for your phones and tablets – and the aim is to launch the prototype this summer and start monitoring the first patients by next January.
For those of you that missed the report on BBC news last night you can access that here or read it off their website here. The important thing about this innovation is that it will help us see our services – and what improvements need to be made – through service user’s eyes. It will pick up on risk a lot better than we do now and the data should make real improvements to what we do.
Innovation should not be introduced just for the sake of it. It has to be done to help our services run more efficiently and cheaper than before. Our process is one of a virtual cycle of improvement and innovation and I am very proud of all your efforts in achieving this and other landmarks.
We hope this will be a ground-breaking moment for Mersey Care and society in general. The Office of National Statistics reminded us this week that we still have a long way to go to eliminate suicide. Their figures for 2014 showed that there was a 2% decrease on the previous year, but there were still 6,122 deaths by suicide and that is a figure we all need to bear in mind as we work towards eliminating this major problem to modern life.
Iris Benson MBE
Some of you may remember that Iris Benson, Mersey Care’s expert by experience, received an MBE in last summer’s Queen’s Birthday Honours List for her services to mental health.
It is a tremendous achievement and this week Iris and her family went to Buckingham Palace to pick up her award from HRH Prince Charles.
I could not be more pleased for Iris, who has been a particular help to me ever since I arrived at the Trust four years ago. Her guidance and advice have been invaluable.
One of the traits that makes Mersey Care so extraordinary is the commitment we have made to co-production with current and former service users. Iris is at the forefront with that, including helping our development of No Force First, and has also helped develop new ways of working to ensure we set the highest possible standards for patient experience.
The input of Iris and her colleagues has been invaluable to that process and everyone here at Mersey Care is very proud of Iris’ achievement.
Further congratulations are also due to the Memory Services team at Mossley Hill Hospital. They have been accredited once again by the Royal College of Psychiatrists’ Combined Committee for Accreditation, which follows the positive feedback of those services in the CQC report published last year.
As from last month, the College are no longer rating anyone as excellent so this current accreditation is the best rating they could have hoped to achieve. I am sure everyone in the Trust is inspired and offers their congratulations for your achievement.