Friday 10 November 2017 

It was good last week to blog about winning a selection of awards and being recognised for what we do. It’s great for service users to know that we’re constantly being innovative and creative. This week, it was wonderful to see the Criminal Justice and Liaison Service shortlisted for an award from the Howard League. They are hugely effective at helping people find their place in their community again with pride. This week I want to focus on that idea of supporting our community.

The Trust has been successfully chosen as the preferred new provider (subject to the completion of the approvals process) to deliver the Liverpool Community Health Liverpool Core Services. That’s Community with a capital C. More widely, true community needs to drive everything we do, so we can maximise the impact of our work on families, keep people in employment, give young people a strong sense of connection to a place and make older people feel less fragile and more resilient.

There’s a good example from the community in Bootle which I saw a few days ago with colleagues from local services. Mersey Care, Sefton Council and Safe Regeneration have helped a project with a modest pot of funding. On Oriel Road local artists have smartened up and created stunning designs in what was, to be fair, a dark and intimidating railway underpass. The underpass provides a much needed route to Ambition Sefton on Canal Street and thanks to the transformation, service users now have a safer path into treatment. This project is a terrific example of small scale inter-agency activity that makes an immediate difference. Sometimes in my job it is all about the high level strategy and we can miss the smaller things that really matter to people. It’s not about doing good for its own sake, it’s about supporting people to deliver a community response. The NHS needs to give more attention to connections with such partners. The reality is that we can have a massive impact on the community’s health and wellbeing with big projects and these local initiatives as well. Read the news item here 

OT week

Occupational therapists have been described nationally as the health and care system’s “secret weapon”. They are the only registered profession qualified to work across mental and physical health and in NHS and social care settings: they see the whole person and that is a great model for us as a Trust as we embrace both physical and mental health. This week’s been Occupational Therapy Week, a chance for us to promote how they improve the lives of patients and service users. Our occupational therapists enable people, either to progress on their care pathway through secure services or to remain in their own homes. They work with patients and carers, aiming to increase independence in their lives and their communities. This “theme week” gives me chance to salute our OTs on behalf of service users. See them in action in this short film from the amazing Specialist LD Division Media Crew team of service users.

BIU accreditation

My congratulations to staff at the Brain Injury Unit. They’ve recently had their Headway accreditation reviewed in an unannounced inspection and have seen real progress. Headway accreditation is the quality standard of services for units that provide support for people with an acquired brain injury. The unit was already assessed as good or excellent in domains such as communication, culture and governance. This inspection saw improvements and a crucial lifting of the standard in the development category from adequate to good. With all the changes to this service in the last couple of years, I’m pleased to recognise and thank the team for their commitment to improving service delivery. 

Clock View AIC

The Assessment and Immediate Care Team’s formulation skills are delivering for service users. They’re using formulation to learn more about what makes a person ‘tick’ and exploring how past and current personal experiences can contribute to how a service user sees themselves, the world and other people.

They know that disentangling some of a person’s experiences can lay the foundations for the identification of protective factors and personal strengths whilst keeping a firm eye on recovery. And it is great to hear from Denise Carey and her team how this theory has been put into practice. It’s a positive culture shift. Denise decided that ‘actions speak louder than words’ and got in the formulation driving seat quite soon after training. The team then took on the challenge of reaching a target of 20% of their service users having a completed formulation in place. They’ve now achieved this and are exploring new things, such as a podcast. Many of us will download and listen to programmes as podcasts on our computers or phones already: this one shares the team’s implementation thoughts and experiences. When supporting service users the team explains the process of formulation using the metaphor of a journey. The completed formulation template then becomes a personalised ‘sat-nav’ for the service user.  Have a listen!

Worldwide pressure ulcer reduction day

It’s good to hear that Mersey Care staff are supporting a series of events to support the European Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel’s (EPUAP) worldwide pressure ulcer reduction day. District nurses, community matrons, podiatrists and student nurses from across Mersey Care are coming together for a roadshow as part of the annual event on 16 November.

The team will be visiting community services and local care homes to share educational resources and best practice for reducing the risk of pressure ulcers which is one of our Perfect Care priorities.

Keep Friday Free in local division

As a result of feedback from previous NHS Staff Surveys, one leadership team has already adopted ‘Keep Fridays Free’: a meeting-free day to give them chance to visit operational teams. It’s operating well in local services and something to consider across the Trust – again, a small way to foster a sense of community and connection between staff at different levels and disciplines.




In Remembrance

Last weekend Beatrice and I joined the Mayor of the Ribble Valley and dignitaries from the Royal British Legion in the chapel on our Whalley site. The hospital had a distinguished service for troops in two world wars and every year, slightly ahead of the national commemoration, the Legion holds a service of remembrance there. It’s a tradition the Chairman and I are proud to uphold as we stand side by side with community representatives and partners in the Legion.

This weekend our thoughts turn to those affected by conflict, and we can also reflect at our continuing work in the Trust with veterans and those whose health has been affected in the service of our nation. We remember them.