In mind: Chief Executive Joe Rafferty's latest update Sustainability and Transformation Plans

Sustainability and Transformation Plans

It is hard to escape any mention of the NHS without reference to STP at the moment, which I know has caused some uncertainty among you. I’d like to start this week’s blog by explaining Mersey Care’s position towards STPs.

You will have seen Mersey Care referenced in relation to Merseyside, but despite the fact they are called ‘plans’, it is still very early in the process and I would advise you all not to read too much into them. They will need a bit of work before they are ready to implement, but we are already working with Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital to see if there are areas where we can work together to benefit both trusts and the communities we serve.

Looking at the plans for the STPs, I think community is a big part of what they are trying to achieve. When you think about the NHS and NHS buildings they are key parts of the community, local residents trust them and I think the focus of the NHS being local so they can serve the local community is a key part of that.

As a Trust, Mersey Care have followed similar guidelines when we have tried to build or renovate buildings over the last few years. We pride ourselves on making the Life Rooms a key part of Walton’s community and have encouraged local people to use the facilities as much as possible.

The same applied when we built Clock View Hospital. There were many meetings with local residents, community groups and interested local parties to ensure that once it was opening in February last year, everyone knew about it and saw it as a new addition to the community.

I was delighted when Clock View opened because it was so different from everyone’s traditional image of a mental health hospital, run down and often housed in old Victorian buildings. The proof of the pudding, though, is how it benefits our patients, service users and carers and I was great to read an article from one of our service users praising the facilities available at Clock View.

Southport new-build

Just as we have attempted to centre Clock View around the community, we are attempting to repeat that success by building new state-of-the-art hospitals in Southport and on the site of Mossley Hill Hospital.

The proposals will ensure the Liverpool patch towards the centre and south of the city, and the Southport and Formby areas in the north of the Division, have modern, fit for purpose inpatient mental health care. There will be no North/South divide either as inpatients at both hospitals will have individual en suite bedrooms to promote privacy and dignity, as well as an array of therapeutic space. These new hospitals will also be much-improved places of work for our staff, and welcoming to visitors.

We would like the Southport redevelopment to be on land at our existing Boothroyd Unit; this will also integrate inpatient facilities with outpatient services and community teams on one site, replacing the Hesketh Centre, which was originally a Victorian hotel.

I think the fact the proposed Southport new-build is also located off a main route into the town is a statement of intent by the trust in tackling the stigma associated with mental health.

Later this month (13 and 14 December) we’re holding two public consultation events in Southport, when I’d urge everyone to go along. There you will be able to hear more and see drawings and layouts of the proposed Southport new-build. These public consultations are another landmark for us, so we want to hear your views to help us progress from the drawing board and into real bricks and mortar.

And Finally

Congratulations to Mersey Care’s Library and Knowledge service for attaining a 95% compliance rating with national standards. As part of the Trust’s Learning and Development Agreement with Health Education England, we are required to submit a self-assessment against national standards which is then verified by the Health Care Libraries Unit team.

By gaining 95% - improving on the 94% from last year – it means they have maintained their green rating, the highest available. Well done to all involved.

And further congratulations to our No Force First team, who were shortlisted for the ‘Patients as Partners’ awards in the Supporting Individuals to Take Control of their Care category run by at the King’s Fund.

We were the only mental health trust to be represented and head judge, Lord Victor Adebowale, the CEO of Turning Point and Non-Executive Director of NHS England, said: “This is the first time I’ve seen an associated cost saving which could save millions and lives if rolled out across NHS.”