In Mind: The latest round up of news from Chief Executive Joe Rafferty

Thank you

 I’d like to start this week’s blog by firstly thanking the series of guest bloggers for their contributions in my absence. We heard from Elaine Darbyshire, our Executive Director of Communications, Governance and Estates, that gave those of you who don’t know a far greater insight into her important role at Mersey Care.

We also had an important update from Amanda Oates, our Executive Director of Workforce, regarding the work she is leading on a Just and Learning Culture, while Dr Arun Chidambaram (our newly appointed Medical Director of Operations and Interim Medical Director), Des Johnson (Chief Operating Officer, Secure Services Division) and Lee Taylor (Chief Operating Officer and Director of Integration) gave updates on the challenges of their new roles.

I’d also like to thank those of you who have worked during the busy holiday period over the last few weeks. As we are all too aware, working in the NHS is a 24/7 operation and it’s only through the dedication and commitment of everyone in this organisation that we are able to maintain continually high standards of healthcare across our services.

Many of you will no doubt have taken advantage of summer holidays recently, but please spare a thought for your colleagues who may not have had a chance to get away for a break during these busy times.

CQC return

As many of you will be aware, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) will be making routine checks of our services as part of their regular visits to NHS services across the country.

Their next scheduled visit is to our community services on 3 September, which is another opportunity for all our staff to show their dedication and professionalism and demonstrate the great strides we have made in these areas over recent months.

Further information about the visits, including helpful guidance for every member of staff, can be found on our CQC portal, which can be accessed here.

Hartley Hospital

I promised in previous blogs to keep you updated about the progress of Hartley Hospital, our new state of the art mental health facility in Southport.

Phase one of the development is due for completion this October, when the main building should be completed and we begin the process of moving patients into the new facilities, and we hope it will become fully operational in March next year. More information will be provided as we get it, but we have also developed a new Hartley Hospital microsite to keep you informed of any developments.


 I wrote several weeks ago about how important our volunteer programme has been to this organisation’s development and how they help support a wide variety of different activities across the organisation.

There are a wide variety of volunteering opportunities across the Trust, which is run and facilitated through the Social Inclusion and Participation Team at the Life Rooms, and include:

  • Activity volunteer
  • Welcome volunteer
  • Befriending
  • Life Rooms volunteer.


All of our volunteers have an up to date DBS and have completed aspects of corporate essential mandatory training as part of their induction to the Trust. There is a useful guide to getting the most from the volunteer programme, which can be found here.

World Suicide Prevention Day

In just less than a month we’ll be marking world suicide prevention day again on 10 September and we’d love to be able to report a spike in people taking the Zero Suicide Alliance suicide prevention training in the build up to it.

This training, which takes only 20 minutes, has been developed using clinical expertise within Mersey Care and real life experience of people who have lived through suicide. It provides real life scenarios and teaches you the skills to approach someone who may be struggling.

It would be great if everyone reading this blog either does the training themselves or takes it home and shares the link with their family and friends. Here’s the link to the training:

Joe Rafferty

Chief Executive