In Mind: The latest update from Chief Executive Joe Rafferty including the CQC inspections and recognition for Chairman Beatrice Fraenkel

CQC Pride

I’m going to try to avoid writing a blog that has everyone singing that great Heather Small anthem from about 18 years ago when I ask you: what have you done recently that’s made you feel really pleased with your work.

As your Chief Executive I have many serious issues to deal with but there’s also a steady stream of heart warming news: awards won, new facilities being built and most importantly of all, people’s lives being changed for the better by great care. I share many examples in this blog and we tweet about successes every day.

What I wanted to do when I came to Mersey Care six years ago was help foster a culture where success could happen and innovation would flourish. We’ve made major progress in doing this – Life Rooms, the Centre for Perfect Care, a huge bucking of the national trend with restraint reduction, becoming a Global Digital Exemplar and supporting newly acquired services. Our Just and Learning Culture typifies this – making ourselves better and stronger through how we deal with the problems we encounter.

When the Care Quality Commission (CQC) ask us – ask you – how we deliver high quality sustainable care, when they ask how we manage the risks and issues we inevitably find in supporting vulnerable people, we’ve a lot of positives things to tell them. We can all point to where we’ve made a difference. And, as part of a culture that is really starting to focus on restorative justice not blame, I’m sure you can share examples of learning and change.

I get it that there’s a lot of road still to travel. When people say we’re “brave” in admitting past challenges, Amanda Oates, our Executive Director of Workforce, says that if other organisations don’t think they have the same issues, they are not being realistic. It’s true. When things don’t go right, I hope people know how they can get support: from their manager, from staff side, from the Freedom to Speak Up Guardians, or perhaps from a trust governor who could signpost you to the right place. Just as we celebrate success, we will support you when there are issues.

Thank you for whatever you’ve done this week to make our services deliver for our patients. Yes, plenty of issues and I do not downplay the work we need to do, but it is really important that we reflect on the difference we make to people’s lives and the work we do that we can be proud of delivering.


On the subject of pride, we were all delighted to learn this week that Beatrice Fraenkel, our Chairman, has been awarded the prestigious Honorary Fellowship of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA).

For those of you who only know Beatrice as the Chairman of our Trust, you should be aware that she’s a qualified industrial design engineer and ergonomist with an established career in regeneration across the region. She has used her expertise to chair the Trust’s Design Board, working with service users to influence the caring environment at Clock View and current new-build mental health hospitals in Southport and Maghull.

Beatrice’s expertise has assisted the Trust to significantly improve our estate. She has been a consistent voice, nationally, for the need to lift the standards expected for mental health, which for so long trailed behind the care provided for physical health.

She is in good company as an Honorary Fellow with the 2018 list including Tamsie Thomson, the Director of the London Festival of Architecture, Mayor of London Sadiq Khan and Maria Balshaw, the Director of the Tate Gallery. Well done Beatrice!


It’s now several months since we took over responsibility for delivering community services in Liverpool, becoming the only trust in the region to provide the full spectrum from physical health care in the community to high secure inpatient mental health.

This is a great opportunity to provide all health services under the same umbrella, but to do that effectively needs high quality staff so we’re aiming to expand our workforce by creating a number of new clinical and career development opportunities for nurses.

In order to help our search for high quality staff, which will complement our existing workforce, we’re running a recruitment campaign, starting with a series of advertisements on Radio City and including a recruitment day scheduled for Saturday 17 November at Maghull Health Park (see below).

Many of you will know that recruitment nationally for nurses is a struggle and we are trying to be proactive so we can attract the highest quality staff to Mersey Care and keep raising our standards of healthcare. Please register at the event here and forward to any of your friends or colleagues that might be interested.