In Mind: Chief Executive celebrates success and breaks new ground

Celebrating success, breaking new ground

Next week the Board of Directors will hold its regular meeting. There’s plenty for us to discuss: the approvals progress for our planned medium secure unit in Maghull, ongoing work with our new colleagues in Liverpool Community Health (LCH) and ground breaking at our new site in Southport which will replace our Boothroyd and Hesketh facilities.



I’m looking forward to my visit to Southport later today (Friday) to officially mark the start of construction of our new £20 million mental health hospital there. People in our care deserve the best standards of accommodation and therapeutic environments within the resources we have. It’s taken time and we’ve listened carefully to the local population. This new site follows the successful build at Clock View in Walton, and goes a long way towards parity for the people of Sefton who access our services.

The hospital will combine local mental health inpatient care and some related community services on one site. All 44 bedrooms will be single with en-suite bathrooms and patients will be able to access inner garden courtyards, therapy and activity areas. There will be an on-site café for patients, visitors and staff, a family visiting room, suite of offices and outpatient services. It’s good that we can pay for it outright – no PFI or other form of public sector mortgage. 


Ending the health silos

Bringing community services into the Mersey Care family is a real opportunity for us all and we have a unique opportunity to create perfect care in the whole person through our work with LCH. For those of you who don’t know the details – Mersey Care is managing the contract and preparing for a safe transition as of 1 April 2018. I am now Chief Executive there as well and am giving time to ensure we come together effectively as an organisation and, critically, for those we serve.

Beatrice, our chairman, has been out and about, visiting a number of LCH’s sites. Talking to her, I know how struck she has been by the range of services provided as well as the passion, pride and dedication of staff. My executive team colleagues are following suit, visiting a number of sites across the city. Those of you who came to us in recent transactions in Sefton and Whalley will know of the value of meeting and listening to staff at all levels. I hope you continue to see how, as the Trust progresses, it enables us to really deliver as a robust, respected and person-centred provider.

I’ve been impressed in conversation with many of you about how much support there is for the integration of physical and mental health. We are now at the place where it’s increasingly clear that it is not right to keep access to these aspects of healthcare in separate silos.


Specialist LD success

I want to thank again all the service users whose achievements we celebrated this week. The annual awards in the Specialist Learning Disability Division are a great occasion. The results of courses, classes and activities in the recovery college are rightly marked with certificates, applause and a bit of a party in Whalley. The real pride of service users is great to see and feel on the day.

I was also pleased to meet some of the partners and stakeholders – Accrington and Rossendale College, animal assisted therapy experts and the people from the stables with the splendid name, Only Foals and Horses. These links to the community are extremely valuable and give our service users those crucial skills and connections as they progress on their care pathway. I am pleased to see how many of them expect to continue with such links as they move into the community.


So many positive achievements

And there were awards again last night. The 2017 positive achievement awards were a fine showcase for our staff, service users, carers, volunteers and partners contributions. The evening allowed us to reflect on our year and listen to stories that showed the innovation, energy, determination and dedication of those who make up our now truly diverse range of services. My thanks again to the winners – and all nominees. 

Specialist LD, fresh from their service user successes, did really well: my congratulations to Lucy Ditri on her lifetime achievement and to ward manager Bev Barrett for her Commitment in Clinical Care Award. I also want to say well done again to Harrington Ward psychology team, employee of the year Stephanie Simmons, our team of the year the South Sefton discharge planners, the Life Rooms pathway advisors, safeguarding nurse Sarah Chadwick, Maddy Vaz of Sanctuary Family Support, 136 support workers from the Royal Liverpool and the Royal’s mental health liaison team who took home the Improving the Service User Experience Award. A special shout out to volunteer David Hartwell, our winner of winners last night and the voice of service users whose voices may not be heard. A good night and a great way to recognise our staff and partners. You can read more on the Trust’s Positive Achievement website.