Chief Executive's blog - CQC update

Friday, 2 October 2015
I know it seems some time ago since the CQC inspection but we are expecting to hold our quality summit with them next Friday, when we will discover their rating for our services.
The quality summit is a meeting of the Mersey Care Board, stakeholders and representatives from the CQC. They will present their report on our services, which will include areas and recommendations for improvement, and I will present a response.
We are expecting the official publication of the report the following week, which will be published on the Mersey Care website for any of you that would like to look at it in more detail. Any feedback will be cascaded down to all the teams by your managers and we will obviously be looking to act on any areas of improvement as soon as possible.
Another major date in the Mersey Care diary was the AGM this week at Aintree Racecourse, which was hugely successful. It was probably the best attended AGM we have had in recent years with over 200 people turning up to hear a review of last year and our plans for the next year.
There was a lively discussion with the floor about a number of issues and there was healthy support for our Perfect Care model and particularly our commitment to No Force First and Zero Suicide in our care.
I was also pleased that so many people were engaged in our market place, which featured stalls and stands of information about a number of our different services included the Recovery College, Talk Liverpool, Big Brew, our flu immunisation programme and our plans to go Smoke Free.
Flu Jabs
After the success of last year’s flu immunisation programme, we want to build on that and be even more successful this winter. Quite a few people who attended the AGM had their jabs done and it would be great if the rest of Mersey Care followed suit in the coming weeks.
We cannot stress how important it is for everyone to get the flu jab. It prevents the spreading of the virus to patients, colleagues, friends and family. It is also important to have a new jab every year, because the virus changes on an annual basis and we must protect ourselves and our services.
More information will be provided in the coming days and months about this, but please take the time to find out when and where your nearest flu jab clinic is and get it done.
Staff Survey
One of the most important parts of my job as chief executive of this organisation is to hear from the people that work at Mersey Care and listen to their views. It is only by hearing what you have to say that we can action change so your working environment improves alongside our standards of care.
One of the best ways of finding out what makes you happy and what makes you unhappy is through the annual NHS National Staff survey and we would like every one of you to complete one.
The survey is vital in telling us and our commissioners about what we do well and where we can improve. The survey takes no more than 10 minutes to complete so please do find the time to tell us how it is for you.
Look out for the e-mail that will be titled “survey” as it comes into your inbox. Only a very few staff members who genuinely do not work at a computer will be sent paper copies this year, so  make the time to log on and look out for it and the regular reminders over the next couple of weeks.
More information about the confidentiality of the survey and other questions you might have can be found here.  
Legal Highs
I visited our low secure unit at Rathbone this week alongside Amanda Oates, our Director of workforce, and the staff there highlighted the dangers of legal highs and their use on the wards.
The staff there have been doing some great work in training and educating their colleagues on the dangers of legal highs and the impact it can have on patients’ mental health. These drugs are often regarded as harmless because they are not illegal, but it is important to be aware they can still have a harmful impact on a patient’s health and their behaviour. Keeping up to date in what is being used out in the community will continue to be a crucial part in caring for our service users.
Integrated Care Project
The trust has always valued the work of our social workers, both seconded and employed, across the service. With that in mind, I am delighted that Mersey Care has been praised for its model of work and the way we work with social workers.
Emad Lilo, the project manager and social care professional lead for Mersey Care, presented to the North West Social Work Strategy Group hosted by Skills for Care on Mersey Care’s Integrated Care Demonstrator Site Project. It has been funded by Health Education North West and has had ethical approval and scrutiny from NHS ethics, the trust and the Open University.
During the course of its research, it found that:
·         Social workers integrate with other professionals but are able to maintain a distinct social work identity
·         The standards for employers of social workers are being met
·         In general the policies and the procedures of the trust are writing in a style that applies to all professionals.
The report also concluded that “Mersey Care have a model which can be seen as the best possible arrangement and which could be offered to other trusts and local authorities.”
Talk Walk
As you will know, this Sunday is the Big Brew Talk Walk, an event organised to make a collective stand against the stigma surrounding mental health that often stops those with suicidal thoughts asking for help.
It is not often you get the chance to walk around one of the most famous racecourses in the world, but the Talk Walk is taking place at Aintree Racecourse, home of the Grand National, starting at 1.00pm.
Radio City breakfast show presenters Leanne and Dave will start the walk and there have been regular adverts on the station throughout this week. It would be great if there was a big Mersey Care presence at the event. It is the start of our build-up to World Mental Health Day on 10 October, and details of how Mersey Care is involved are outlined elsewhere in this newsletter.
Joe Rafferty
Chief Executive