In Mind: Chief Executive Joe Rafferty reveals the new name for our state of the art MSU

Mersey Care recently began work on a new, state of the art, medium secure hospital which will be based at Maghull Health Park next to Ashworth. As with all our projects, one of the most difficult processes is finding a name that will suit the new facility.

We’ve been asking for suggestions for some time now and you all responded brilliantly with over 120 different ideas that have caused plenty of discussion and debate about the best one to choose.

It’s been an extremely robust process, involving discussions between service users, clinical nurse managers, project managers, estate experts and communications. The final suggestion was then put before the Executive Board and I’m delighted to inform you that the new state of the art medium secure hospital will be known as Rowan View.


For those of you who don’t know, a Rowan tree is sometimes known as a Mountain Ash and, in Celtic mythology, it was regarded as the tree of life and would be grown by people’s homes. They were supposed to signify courage, wisdom and protection which I think is a fitting strapline for those we will be caring for in our new hospital.

Now we have completed the process of naming the new hospital we can begin to ensure the interior design reflects this and also see how wards and rooms may be named along similar themes. I’d like to thank each and every one of you that contributed suggestions and I hope you’re all going to like the new hospital once it is operational by the autumn of 2020.

Awareness Weeks

Followers of our social media accounts will know that we often support different awareness days and weeks, which sometimes all come at the same time. This week, for example, has included Healthy Eating Week, Men’s Health Week, Diabetes Week, Cervical Screening Awareness Week, World Blood Donor Day and Carers Week.

These national theme weeks may seem endless and arbitrary but they serve as a very useful reminder of important issues and enable us to focus attention on areas that may get pushed into the background. I don’t want to give the impression that one campaign is more important than another, but I would like to highlight Carers Week.


There will be many of you on the frontline who may assist carers or give them support and will be aware of the crucial role of carers, especially in supporting Learning Disabilities and mental health issues.

This year’s Carers Week has been highlighting the physical and mental strain felt by unpaid carers and the focus of the campaign has been to support them to look after themselves – many of them fail to do that while they are looking after others – and make sure they are connected to services or networks that can offer support.

I’ve always been delighted that many carers speak extremely highly of our staff and I noted there was a Carers Day event at our Whalley site last weekend that was well supported and included several interesting talks and a tour around the beautiful grounds.


Visit to Sefton Services

I always like to go around and visit all our services when I get the chance to talk to people out on our different sites and this week I was able to go over and see colleagues at South Sefton Community services. It was a very timely visit because it was the last time I will be going before it becomes the Liverpool and South Sefton Community Division.

It was also good to reflect on the progress made over the last 12 months within that service, with significant progress in clinical quality and a smooth transition into the Mersey Care family.

The most pleasing part of Sefton Community’s progression is how good people have worked hard together to achieve tangible results. A year ago there were worrying pressure ulcer figures within the division, yet now they have virtually removed the issue. They’ve done that by looking at the process and looking at ways to improve and trusted in good people to get results, which of course is the cornerstone of our Just and Learning culture.


I'd also like acknowledge the contribution of Associate Director Judith Malkin (pictured centre above), who is due to retire at the end of this month after over 30 years working in the Sefton Community. It’s not often in life that you get the chance to retire on a real high but her contribution to the success over the last year has been significant and I’d like to wish her the best of luck in whatever she chooses to do in the future. She will leave behind many friends at Mersey Care.

NHS Confederation

I also visited the NHS Confederation event in Manchester this week where there is usually a lot of talk about imminent anouncements and decisions made about the NHS. This year it was unusually quiet, which may have been because everyone is focussing on the imminent celebration of NHS 70, but the feeling was that there may be announcements on the way. For those of you interested in this sort of thing, I’d guess that the Andrew Marr political show on BBC 1 may be worth a watch on Sunday.

Interestingly, we also had a Life Rooms stand at the event, which was very well received. Gary Thorpe, the Life Rooms’ Head of Recovery College, reflected that most of the questions he answered were not about why but how, which is a good indication that people are now accepting that a community base with learning is the best way to help with the recovery cycle.