In Mind: Chief Executive Joe Rafferty reflects on the end of the CQC inspection

CQC Completion

All I seem to have written about recently in this blog is the Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspection of our services, which seems to have dominated all our thoughts for the last couple of months.

 Yesterday, the final CQC interview took place and I will update you on our results as soon as I have more information. I can’t comment at present because the inspection and the information they gathered is subject to complex evaluation but I would like to thank you all once again for the efforts you put in during the preparation and during the inspection.

The reflections I have been given from managers about the inspection are that the work we put in for the 2015 inspection helped us stay on top of things this time around.

Safer staffing, for instance, is a clear priority for this organisation. There will always be debates about the levels required and from time to time they will not be where we want them to be, but if we are to aim for ‘Perfect Care’ then having necessary staffing is part of that.

After several months of scrutiny and preparation for the inspection, it is time for us all to take a deep breath. I know you won’t misinterpret this when I say we can all relax, although the challenge of the work is there every day. The period of scrutiny during a large scale inspection from the CQC – two within three years – is over and there should not be a further one for another three years.


My personal reflection is that the work we did in 2015 trying to get the message through that we need to tell our stories and what we do well helped this time around. Talking about the exceptional things we do and showing inspectors the remarkable work around innovation has been greatly improved this time around. I think it shows an improvement in our confidence as an organisation without letting apathy creep in.


Five Year Forward View

Since I wrote last week, NHS England Chief Executive Simon Stevens has set out his plans for the next steps on the NHS Five Year Forward View.

They include boosting mental health services by increasing beds for children and young people to cut out of area care, more beds for new mothers and more mental health professionals in the community and hospitals to prevent crisis admissions. I will write more on this topic in the coming weeks.


Autism Conference

This week, psychologists and other colleagues from Whalley were flying the flag for specialist LD in on a high profile professional platform. The snappily-titled 16th International Conference on the Care and Treatment of Offenders with an Intellectual and/or Developmental Disability was held at the Manchester Conference Centre this week.

The likes of Doctors Mark Spurrell, Tim Riding and Paul Withers plus others were presenting and participating during the two days in the North West’s second favourite city. Calderstones has long been a lead sponsor of this important gathering of European experts in forensic psychology.

I’m proud to learn that not only is Mersey Care continuing that tradition, but also that our Mental Health and in particular Zero Suicide agenda was of interest to delegates as well. The respect in which our division’s work continues to held by their peers and professional experts in LD is very reassuring, especially at this current time.