Chief Executive's Blog - Health and Wellbeing

Mersey Care 400

You may remember that last September we launched our new Your Connect staff app, which is being piloted across the trust via the Mersey Care 400, which is a group of 400 colleagues who represent 10% of our total workforce.


The group will use the new App, which can be downloaded onto your personal phone to access news and information about the trust at the swipe of a finger. An initial baseline survey has been launched and another one has just been sent out to members asking them to recommend a friend.


At present, 75 have already signed up, but we would like to invite other interested people to join in with this innovative pilot. To download the App, please contact Jack Ryan by email or ring 0151 330 4112.


Just like the staff survey, all these views are very important to us at Mersey Care because without them, we cannot know what is important to you, what needs changing and what is working well. It is only by knowing this information that we can take action and ensure all our working environments are the best they can be.


Staff Survey

Talking about the staff survey, there is just one week to go before its deadline. I would again like to thank those colleagues who have found the time to complete it and, as of today, we have a response rate of 44%, which means 1793 people have shared their views with us.


There also appears to be a healthy level of competition between divisions and the race is now on: Corporate 53%, IM 51%, Secure 45% and Local 44%.


We’d really like to beat last year’s response rate of 56% so can I ask you all one last time to find the 10 minutes or so  to tell us how it feels for you (both good and not so good) to  work for Mersey Care. Just like the Mersey Care 400 surveys, all the results are totally anonymous but give us a good idea of what is good, bad and what needs changing.


Mental Health in the news

As a trust we are committed to keeping mental health on the media and political agenda – it is only by continuing the debate that we will secure greater funding and establish its equal importance to other parts of the NHS.


That said, I have been saddened by two recent reports which highlight how mental health services are being stretched by resources. The first, which you can access here, highlights how nearly one in four areas in England has unacceptably high rates of early deaths among people with mental health problems.


The report, funded by the Cabinet Office, looked at deaths before 75 in 2011-12 in more than 200 local areas and followed another report by the King’s Fund that claimed cuts to adult mental health services have damaged the quality of care and there was now “widespread evidence” of poor quality care.


Saddened as I am by those reports, neither of them comes as a great surprise and it is now time to keep the pressure on politicians and society in general to ensure mental health gets a fair allocation of resources.


We know that resources generally in the NHS are at a premium and we have to adapt to ensure the public pound stretches further with different ways of working and thinking about our processes to see if improvements can be made.


There are lots of challenges within that but Perfect Care includes physical as well as mental health and we need to look at the whole person in our care. That is one of the many reasons why, as a Trust, we are looking to go smoke free in 2016.


We are also working closely with the GP community to ensure there is a clear pathway of referral and we aim to constantly challenge our commissioners to ensure we have the resources to provide the standards of care for which we are proud.


Dr Feelwell

As part of our commitment to Perfect Care, a virtual doctor to promote health and wellbeing called Dr Feelwell has been developed to help patients understand the importance of leading a healthy lifestyle.


Dr Feelwell is the result of two years’ work, shaped by a group of patients and staff around the limited availability of healthy lifestyle messages within inpatient settings. His messages will be officially launched in December, but those of you who wish to find out more can do so by clicking here.


Joe Rafferty

Chief Executive