Chief Executive's blog - Estate Update

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Friday, 25 September 2015

New Clock View

 

Now Clock View is fully operational, we’re working on plans to build a second new in-patient facility along similar lines for Liverpool. We’ve initiated a project called 'Liverpool 2' and we’re aware staff, service users, carers and other stakeholders need to be informed of progress.

 

At this time there is still much to decide and also we need to ensure we have the required approvals from our commissioners and the TDA to proceed fully with this project. I will provide regular updates via this newsletter as progress unfolds, although I can say that the project board, chaired by myself, has agreed that a feasibility study be undertaken at Mossley Hill to see if it is a suitable site for the new hospital.

 

The project board, which includes the chair of staff side and a service user/carer representative, met this week while a full communications strategy is being developed to ensure we engage with stakeholders in the right way at the right time.

 

The local division board will also be considering the proposals and will be a key part of the communication strategy development with key clinicians, service user representatives and divisional managers at the forefront of the project.

 

Open Evening

 

As Chief Executive of this Trust, my duties sometimes prevent me from meeting those of you on the frontline as much as I’d like. It’s why I always savour the opportunities to meet relatives, carers, friends, patients and staff, which I was able to do this week by attending an open evening on Olive Ward at Scott Clinic.

 

I was able to talk to loved ones about our services, what we hope to achieve and listen to their concerns. It was a great example of how the Trust is keen to remain transparent and open to those who use its services and their loved ones. I certainly enjoyed the conversations and I hope those who attended felt the same.

 

The thing that stuck out most for me during the evening was the gym facilities now available for our patients. I remember in days gone by when exercise facilities were very limited, but what came over from talking to people the other night was how much they enjoyed organised exercise classes. We all know that health and wellbeing are central to an individual’s road to recovery and having improved gym facilities we hope will provide a much better balance for our patients.

 

Opioid Painkiller Dependence

 

I was delighted to hear that Dr Yasir Abbasi, Mersey Care’s renowned consultant, has done various media interviews this week to highlight Opioid Painkiller Dependence Awareness Day on Tuesday. This is an increasing problem in society and, similarly to mental health in general, it does not get the profile or the publicity it warrants.

 

The addictions services at Mersey Care were heavily involved in publicising the awareness day, with Dr Abbasi talking to various media outlets locally and nationally to discuss the problems that are faced by services, service users and their families. Dependency to alcohol or tobacco rightly gets highlighted as high risk areas in our society, but opioid painkiller dependency is increasingly becoming another area for concern.

 

A recent survey estimated that nearly one in 10 respondents believe they could be or could have been addicted to opioid painkillers. That’s why the work of Dr Abbasi and his team is so important in highlighting this condition. He is also actively involved in in a new charity that hopes to change all that called the Painkiller Addiction Information Network, and more information about them can be accessed here.

 

 

Talk Walk

I wrote telling you all last week about 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. For racing fans, it is taking place at Aintree Racecourse, home of the Grand National, on 4 October at 1.00pm.

 

Some of you may have seen the posters around the V7 building advertising the 5km walk, for which you can register here.Leanne and Dave, the presenters of the popular breakfast programme on Radio City, will be joining us for the walk and it would be great if there was a big Mersey Care presence at the event.

 

We are still looking for marshals to help on the day so anyone who would like to volunteer, please contact communications on communications@merseycare.nhs.uk 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