Chief Executive's Blog: Inside View

Staff Survey

Those of you who have worked at Mersey Care for any length of time will know that, as a Trust, we place a great emphasis on hearing your views. It’s only by learning what we are doing wrong and what we do well that we can make the right decisions to take us forward.


With that in mind it was heartening to discover the results of the national staff survey 2015 and that 59% of you completed it, which represents the second highest response rate of any Mental Health Trust. It also equates to around 2,500 staff so we are now getting a real representative perspective of life at Mersey Care.


You will see from the graph below that staff engagement figures, staff motivation and recommending Mersey Care as a place to work/be treated have all continued to improve, which I am delighted about.


Staff also rated improvements in staff satisfaction with the quality of work and patient care they are able to deliver and level of responsibility and involvement. It was also pleasing to see improvements in a number of indicators about staff being supported to maintain their health, well- being and safety. It’s critical to our organisation’s safety culture and drive to deliver perfect care that staff have increasing confidence and security in reporting unsafe and clinical practice.


While those results are encouraging, as ever there is more work to do, particularly around equal opportunities in career progression of promotion and staff contributing towards improvements at work and the experience of the staff appraisal process (PACE).


What is particularly pleasing is that these results have been achieved against a background of swingeing cuts in mental health services and to our colleagues in primary care, yet we have still maintained good quality service. It shows how, as a Trust, we have adapted to work in different ways yet still ensure care of the highest standards.


These results follow a good rating for our CQC inspection and positive responses for the majority of the categories in the CQC’s mental health survey. When you also consider the Trust’s financial stability and the growth we have seen over the last few years, it gives greater opportunities for all.


Outstanding care


What we must remember is that we can only deliver outstanding care if we are committed together to making improvements that benefit each other, so thank you for your commitment, hard work and dedication. We want to make the same difference to your lives as you do for our patients and by working together we can achieve that.


With that in mind, I would like you all to please use the up and coming roadshows – details of which you can find later in this newsletter – to provide your thoughts and suggestions about working at Mersey Care and what more we can do together.


The roadshows are arranged specifically to give you an opportunity to air those views so please make sure you support them. Alternatively, you can always contact me directly by emailing


No Force First

Mersey Care are hosting the No Force First Conference at Aintree Racecourse on Monday, which is a great opportunity for our staff and colleagues from Calderstones NHS Partnership to share practice and reflect on our progress in reducing restrictive practice.

We are also presenting the No Force First journey to over 31 external organisations, people with lived experience and carers as a result of being identified by the Department of Health and the Care Quality Commission as a leading organisation in this field. 

No Force First is a great example of a process that has been driven by both the people who use our services and our own dedicated staff teams to create safe and compassionate cultures across our wards. The event next week captures some of the benefits and challenges of delivering a No Force First approach and I want the day to be a celebration of our successes.

I also know that it will be a forum for critical examination of how we can ‘hard wire’ positive change into our systems and some of the challenges that lie ahead. It is a fantastic opportunity for staff to shape our Perfect Care priorities and contribute to our discussions about how we transform and sustain the initiatives which make a real difference to people’s lives.  

Liverpool Mental Health Consortium

Service user and carer engagement is part of the very DNA of Mersey Care and since its inception the Trust has had a strong relationship with user led organisation, the Liverpool Mental Health Consortium.

This week Donna Robinson, Deputy Director of Operations within the Local Division, and Michael Crilly, Director of Social Inclusion & Participation, attended an Open Forum with the Consortium. This proved to be a valuable and informative discussion during which we were able to talk about the challenges and opportunities we face as an organisation as well as providing a real chance to improve lines of communication with individuals and third sector stakeholders.    

Calderstones CQC summit

Since I wrote last week’s blog, our colleagues at Calderstones have had more good news at their Care Quality Commission summit, where they received formal feedback on their good rating following the inspection of their services.

This represents a real turnaround in fortunes and great leadership at Calderstones. It is also great news that an organisation we hope to work closely with has progressed so impressively and another example of how team work can reflect results beyond the sum of its parts. I have sent my congratulations to our colleagues at Calderstones, as has Beatrice Fraenkel, our chairman.


Joe Rafferty

Chief Executive