In Mind: A guest blog from Sandra O'Hear, Deputy Director of Nursing

CQC Blog

I’m Sandra and it’s great to be invited to take part in the Mersey Care’s guest blog whilst Joe Rafferty is away. 

I’ve worked at the Trust for just over two years now as Deputy Director of Nursing and Quality, a role that I also previously held at Calderstones NHS FT. So for any staff reading this that have recently transferred into Mersey Care from other services - Liverpool Community Hospital Trust, Ambition Sefton, part of HMP Liverpool or anywhere else - I know how it feels to be the new person coming into such a large organisation! 

But alongside some feelings of nervousness, there are lots of great opportunities and a warm, welcoming team of people to offer support on your journey. 

As my job title would indicate I’m a nurse by profession and it’s a profession I’m still very proud to belong to. I trained in Scotland as a learning disability nurse and for 23 years after that I worked in forensic secure services both in the private sector and the NHS. 

I moved from Glasgow to Hertfordshire, then to Cambridgeshire, then down to Norfolk before settling here in the northwest 14 years ago. I feel very much at home here in this part of the country: I love the great humour, the never ending optimism, the friendliness, the great countryside and of course the weather! I think this year is the first time since I moved here that the seasons have actually included a summer.

I spend a great deal of my time off walking with my lovely dogs - Snoopy my 11 year old Dalmatian and Reggie my two year old Beagle. 

My role here at the Trust includes a few key responsibilities that I’m sure you will all be very familiar with. 

I’m the Trust’s lead for CQC registration and inspection and also the Trust lead for Safeguarding Adults and Children. With the recent addition of the Liverpool and South Sefton Community Division, I have also taken on a professional lead role for Children’s Services. 

So with the recent news announcement by Joe Rafferty that there is an expected CQC well led inspection imminent, it’s timely for me to remind everyone that we have started to get everything prepared for this.

It’s important for us all to use this as an opportunity to show the wider systems what we do best. I have been closely involved with raising standards and supporting teams to prepare for inspection for a number of years now, and with our Just and Learning culture and ambitious Trust goals, we are well placed to keep pushing the boundaries and raising expectations. 

So in the next few months I’m hoping to become a more familiar name and a face that you will recognise - and together with my amazing supportive colleagues in the Nursing Executive Team, the Safeguarding, Clinical Audit and CQC team, I will do my absolute best to support you to continue to do the great work that you already do right across the Trust.

Sandra O’Hear
Deputy Director of Nursing