Learning Lessons


I know l wrote last week about the CQC inspection and the publication of its report, but it was such a comprehensive document it was impossible to cover all the main points, so I think it’s only fair to return to it over the coming weeks.


You often hear football managers talk about learning more from defeats than victories and, to a certain extent that is the way we should also be thinking about the CQC report. We know there were areas of the report into our services that we need to improve and we have already begun taking steps to rectify that.


As much as we have learned from those isolated areas that need improvement, we should also take note from our successes. Our community-based mental health services for older people achieved an excellent rating in the report, which is an outstanding effort for all those concerned.


While everyone involved should rightly celebrate their achievement, we should also not regard this as the end of the journey. The challenge now is to maintain that level of performance and for other parts of the trust to perhaps look at how that excellent rating was achieved and learn from those practices.


We have also fared well in another CQC publication – this time their community mental health survey, where we were one of only five out of 55 trusts to reach a ‘better than expected’ rating on questions asked to over 13,000 respondents. This is particularly impressive on the back of a year when, particularly in local division and community programmes, staff have been forced to adapt to a number of changes.


It also reflects well on improvements to staff engagement and the continued investment in both staff and their skill sets to ensure real progress has been made and that is why Mersey Care has done so well in this survey.


Awards recognition

There is a moral calling for the majority of NHS workers, a desire to care and help seriously ill patients at a time when they are at their most vulnerable. A little recognition, however, goes a long way and we have certainly received that in the last week or so with mentions for several awards.


Clock View hospital won the Patient Experience category at the 2015 Healthcare Estates Awards held in Manchester this week to follow being ‘highly commended’ in the Positive Practice in Mental Health Awards held in Newcastle for the ‘Art, Mental Health and Wellbeing’ category.


The Big Brew was also highly commended in the Digital Technology/Social Media category in Newcastle, while our campaign to raise awareness about mental health has also been nominated in three different categories for the CIPR Pride Awards in Manchester on 5 November.


Our Innovate Dementia programme also deserves a mention after being shortlisted in the Outstanding Contribution to Patient and Public Involvement category in the North West Coast Research and Innovation Awards 2015. The team will find out if they have won an award at a ceremony at Chester Racecourse on 30 November.


Staff Survey

One of the main reasons for our success both with the CQC report and survey and our recent awards and nominations is that we have become a trust that has developed a good listening mechanism. When you have made observations and provided constructive criticism we have tried to act.


Through initiatives like ‘Your voice, your change’, which will be revisited in the New Year, and the staff survey, we have been able to glean information that has helped us develop as an organisation. The more we learn the more we can do so please take your opportunity to fill in the staff survey.


I would like to thank the 14 per cent of you that have already completed the survey and we really appreciate you taking the time to let us know how it feels to work for Mersey Care. Reminders will be sent out soon to those of you who have yet to return it, so please do find the 10 minutes or so to share your views.


As an extra incentive for completing the survey, providing our response rate within the trust is better that the 2014 rate of 56%, two staff from each division will be selected randomly by Quality Health to win a prize of one extra day’s annual leave.   


Joe Rafferty

Chief Executive