Joe Rafferty's update: The Goldilocks thing

Making A Difference
This week we were pleased to host a visit to Mersey Care by Alistair Burt MP, Minister of State for Community and Social Care.
 
As is usually the case with these visits it was a packed agenda. His first port of call was Clock View Hospital. This was followed by a chance to see our soon to be opened Life Rooms in Walton before finally moving on to Ashworth Hospital.
 
At each of these venues he had the opportunity to meet with colleagues and service users, to visit wards at both hospitals and get a better understanding of the important and ground breaking work we are doing here. 
 
This visit gave him the chance to talk to people involved in most aspects of our services and help him towards a better, first hand understanding of what we are doing right across the trust as we strive towards the delivery of perfect care. 
 
He learned more about our commitment to Zero Suicide, No Force First, Emergency Care, Criminal Justice Liaison, The Recovery College and our Dr Feelwell programme which links approaches to physical and mental health. The minister also gave thanks to all those making the Crisis Care Concordat work and mentioned how impressed he was with our ground breaking partnership work with Merseyside Police.
 
It was interesting to reflect with him that odd emotional mix of being amazed at the passion for improvement and the extent to which there is so much more to do. This is a theme I come back to time and time again in this blog and it is one of the underpinning reasons I have been so keen on our Perfect Care/Zero based approach. It is comforting to breath out after a period of deep change but if that goes on too long it can develop into a type of inertia. The Minister was very complementary about our focus on co-production and safety on suicide and restraint. He was keen to praise our approach of not doing the 'Goldilocks thing' of always choosing the middle ground and taking a distinct stand on what the best looks like.
 
Seeing our staff engage with candour (with me often not in ear shot) reminded me again of the knowledge and breadth of experience that our staff and service users possess and the need for me and others to constantly harness your insights. 
This makes a huge difference, both to what we do (effectiveness, safety, timeliness) and how we do it (experience). This defines our culture, which in turn can result in really positive benefits for the people we care for. It was a point that was underlined by a patient in high secure. He told the minister about how much he had improved since moving to Ashworth and attributed much of this improvement to the attitude and standards of care given to him by staff there.
                                                                                                           
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Alistair Burt MP with Joe Rafferty and staff at Clock View
 
 
Autism Friendly City
Whilst in Liverpool Alistair Burt took the opportunity to find out more about the city’s bid to become one of the country’s first autism friendly cities. A project being run by Merseyside based Autism charities.
 
We facilitated Alistair meeting with representatives from Autism Together with colleagues from our own autism services a as part of his visit to Clock View.
 
The Minister  is on the record as saying that “75 percent of autistic people say they feel socially isolated and half say they are sometimes - or often unable - to leave the house because of how the public may respond to them”.
 
That’s a shocking statistic and as a trust we support this project. Gaining wider public understanding is crucial and I’m pleased to note that Liverpool’s initiative has already attracted an impressive list of businesses backers including Mersey Travel, Liverpool Jon Lennon Airport, National Museums, Everton FC and representatives from retail, hotel and leisure.
 
Commenting on this Alistair Burt said, “Their collective willingness to make changes is inspiring.  This is yet another reason for Liverpool to be very proud of itself and its community spirit”.
 
Mossley Hill
Many of you will know that we are looking to develop our premises at Mossley Hill Hospital and we will holding a series of public consultation events there to share exciting plans for its redevelopment.
 
The proposals for this site aim to replace existing buildings updating and transforming the hospital into a bright, modern facility that supports people towards recovery.
 
The consultation events are being held from 10am to 7pm on Wednesday 27 April, Thursday 26 May and Wednesday 15 June at Mossley Hill Hospital on Park Avenue, Mossley Hill, Liverpool, L18 8BU. No need to book just drop in.
 
Darkness into Light
Finally this week I am pleased to announce that we are supporting this year’s Darkness into Light Walk in Liverpool which is taking place next month and is organised by suicide and self-harm crisis centre Pieta House. It is being promoted locally by Irish Community Care and I would ask as many of you who can to sign up and show your support for this really important event. 
 
It’s a 5k walk aimed at raising funds and awareness. The organisers say “Walk it or run it, first or last, it doesn't matter. What matters is taking part, what matters is the scourge that is ‪suicide and ‪‎self-harm and what coming together in solidarity can achieve”taking place on Saturday 7 May 2016 at 4.15am. For more information visit the website, email dilkieranobrien@gmail.com or find them on facebook
 
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