Board to Board
Those of you who have worked at Mersey Care for any length of time will know there is a colourful history regarding our ambitions to become a Foundation Trust. We have been prevented from applying before now because of a Secretary of State ruling that required a direct line of communication and accountability for our High Secure services because we care for patients who have been detained under the Mental Health Act.
That all changed following the election of the coalition government, who introduced the 2012 Health and Social Care Act that called for all NHS Trusts to make the transition to Foundation Trust status. Since then we have been making progress towards that objective.
There is now a different process for determining whether we are fit to become a Foundation Trust and, for the first time in the Trust’s history, we have had a Board to Board meeting with Monitor, the regulatory body that decides whether we can make the transition.
To reach that stage we needed a “good rating” in last year’s inspection of our services by the Care Quality Commission (CQC), we needed to show a robust financial reporting process and have a meeting with Monitor, which took place last week in London.
It’s hard to predict what will happen with these things but the feeling in the room was that everything was very positive and there is no reason to believe that we won’t progress. That’s not to say, of course, that this is a foregone conclusion and I would like to ask you all to co-operate with the FT team for any requests for information in the coming weeks.
The meeting in London was like a big interview. They tested our five-year plan, our finances, our quality, governance and the board’s understanding and capability. Monitor will now make more deliberations and decisions but I think we gave a good account of ourselves. I will update you with further information and a possible timeline just as soon as I get it.
Board of Governors
Many of you will be aware that in order to progress to Foundation Status, we must also elect a Board of Governors. You can read the full results of the election at this website in due course, but those who have been elected are listed below. Congratulations to all of you and I look forward to working with all our Governors in the near future.
Public: Liverpool (three to elect): Sandra Jane Wright-Perkins, Jess Chittenden, Jayne Moore
Public: Sefton (two to elect): Eileen Petrie, John Mousley
Public: Knowsley (one to elect): Mark Tattersall
Public: West Midlands, North West of England and Wales (one to elect): Ian MacFarlane
Staff: Medical (one to elect): Hetalkumar Mehta
Staff: Nursing Staff (two to elect): Maria Tyson, Scott Parker
Staff: other Clinical, Scientific, Technical and Therapeutic staff (two to elect): Sara Finlayson, David Kitchen
Staff: Non-Clinical (two to elect): Mandi Gregory, Mike Jones
Service User – Local (Liverpool, Sefton and Knowsley) (five to elect): Johanna Birrell, Debra Doherty, Mark McCarthy, Teresa McDonnell, Martin Murphy
Part of our job is to fight the stigma surrounding mental health and the best way to get our message across is through our service users and experts by experience. They have lived through it and can articulate their problems in a way that has a far bigger impact than anything clinicians or chief executives can say to battle against stigma.
We are very proud of Iris Benson being awarded an MBE for her services to mental health and she has recently been interviewed by Pete Price for his late night show on Radio City. Pete has also written a very nice column all about Iris in the Liverpool Echo that you can read here.
International Women’s Day
Iris is one of many inspirational women involved in mental health and Mersey Care and I’m delighted our conference to mark International Women’s Day went so well at Oakmere Conference Centre on Tuesday. I was unable to attend myself but I understand the event was a great success and is always a great opportunity to celebrate the role of women inside our Trust and the great work they do for mental health.