In Mind: Chief Executive Joe Rafferty writes about the new staff charter and Stoptober

Staff Charter

As you will all know, as a strong and capable organisation we have grown considerably over the last few years with the introduction of Talk Liverpool, Ambition Sefton, our Specialist Learning Disability Division to the Trust and, most recently, colleagues from Sefton and Liverpool community services. Having the majority of out of hospital services in our portfolio, we now stand shoulder to shoulder with the large acute trusts in Merseyside in size, scope and importance to the people of our area.

Those of you who have been with Mersey Care for some time will know that I have often spoken about a staff charter which sets out our values to existing colleagues and explain the ethos of our organisation to newcomers. I’m delighted to report that the Executive Board has now agreed to one that will serve that function.

In effect it is a contract between the Trust and our colleagues in every part of the organisation. It highlights what is expected of you in supporting our ‘Just and Learning Culture’ and what can you expect from the Trust in return.

We are a now a mature organisation that prides itself on the leadership being in tune with the people who run our services every day by supporting the leadership aspirations and needs of our workforce. This is done through dialogue and fully understanding the needs of our service to continually set new standards for physical and mental healthcare. The below slide sets out the important parts of the Staff Charter:

Just as Mersey Care has developed in recent years to incorporate co-production in everything we do, we want everyone to take ownership of this so we all – everyone from the Executive Board to the newest members of staff – know what to expect from each other as we continue to try and set and implement new standards for healthcare.

Smoke Free

For those of you who follow the Trust’s social media channels, you will know that today is the start of the month-long campaign for Stoptober, which aims to encourage as many people as possible to give up smoking for 28 days in the hope they will quit for good.

You will all be aware that Mersey Care took the decision to become a smoke free trust some years ago to remain in line with guidelines set out by the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) and achieved our objective a year ago tomorrow. I know it’s not been popular with some of you but it’s important to remember that this is a national agenda we are following and we never make decision like this on a whim.

We looked at the NICE guidance and the available evidence, which is outlined below, before making any decision. We also have a big responsibility as an employer to look after the health and wellbeing of our workforce.

  • 484,700 hospital admissions were smoking related in 2016/17
  • 77,900 deaths were attributable to smoking in 2016

We’re not just protecting staff with this initiative, we’re protecting service users, patients, carers and staff. We want you all to have healthy environments at work so we can provide high standards of healthcare for everyone who uses our services.

We are aware it is a very challenging agenda, but it is one we think that is worth supporting. We’ve already had some success with this since introducing a new team to travel around our inpatient wards to help those struggling to quit by offering support and advice to service users and staff that haven’t succeeded yet in stopping smoking.

The team travel around 16 wards at Broadoak, Clock View Hospital, Mossley Hill Hospital, Park Unit, Hope Centre Rathbone and Windsor House and offer advice on smoking cessation and alcohol dependence.

Since this initiative started in April it has exceeded all targets set by Commissioning for Quality and Innovation (CQIN) (see below) over the first quarter:

Preventing Ill Health by Risky Behaviours CQUIN Quarter 1 Data – Local Division

For more information on this initiative, please look at the Trust’s website while you can get further information about the Stoptober initiative here.


I was delighted to see that Mersey Care’s Learning and Development team has won the CIPD Management award for the best initiative in the public sector/third sector this week and I’d like to pass on my congratulations to everyone in the team, which is so capably led by our Executive Director of Workforce, Amanda Oates.

The citation for the award noted that Mersey Care concentrated on “helping under-represented groups” and turned to “local long-term unemployed people, blending its outreach activities with its own core business in a way that impressed judges.”

I was very pleased with this feedback because Mersey Care has always believed that we should position ourselves at the heart of our communities. We do that through services like school nurses, our children’s services, walk-in centres and our two (soon to be three) Life Rooms, that we pride ourselves on being community hubs for all. They are just a few of the many community services this Trust provides.

We are committed to help building the communities around us, which is why we have invested in our estates (the build of Clock View and the soon to be completed new hospitals in Southport and our new MSU in Maghull are great examples of this) to provide the people of Merseyside with high quality environments to help their sustainable recovery. We have also helped build health services and education through our Recovery College and right now we are having a major drive on also helping the community through employment, so this award fulfills and recognises all of these important criteria.

I was also pleased to note that our Liaison and Diversion team were nominated for a community award at the Howard Conference this well done to everyone on that team.