In Mind: The latest update from Chief Executive Joe Rafferty on exciting news for our Medium Secure plans

Regular readers of this blog will know that one of Mersey Care’s main objectives over the last few years has been to build a new, state-of-the-art medium secure unit in Maghull. This became a priority for the Trust after Scott Clinic, our existing medium secure unit, was deemed unfit for purpose under current care regulations.

It’s been a long process but we have received excellent news this week with confirmation of approvals for a new 123 bed facility for the Maghull Health Park, which will be sited on the ‘roundabout’ near Ashworth High Secure Hospital. It will provide innovative state of the art joint mental health and learning disability care as a result of the revised model of care. 

The full business case was approved by the Trust Board in April 2017 and further approvals followed from NHS Improvement (in September 2017) and the Department of Health (in January 2018). You can see a short film of the proposed vision for the new build below.


We now can expect building work to start on site in Maghull in the next couple of months with a completion date of May/June 2020 and a possible move into the new building beginning later that summer. Work is underway to look at the practicalities of the transition from Scott Clinic and Woodview into the new unit.

I’ll keep everyone informed and involved in progress as much as I can. It’s expected that medium secure learning disability services will remain at Whalley and mental health facilities at Scott Clinic until the summer of 2020.  

I’d also like to thank the capital development team for all their hard work and perseverance in getting us this far. Justifying the use of capital funding is a very difficult job in the NHS at the moment and for the team to achieve agreement from the highest levels in Government and our regulators shows the level of professionalism and expertise that we have in Mersey Care.

What I am now keen to see is the development of a real centre of excellence as the very latest technology, best skills and absolutely the best people work to start to deliver services from the new site from 2020.

National No Smoking Day

As you know, this Trust went smoke free last September, which brought us in line with national guidelines set by the National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE). As a Trust we’ve been working towards this for some years and this is part of our duty to protect the health and wellbeing of all in our care and employment.

I know this wasn’t a popular decision with some of you but it’s important that Mersey Care follows the national agenda with regard to looking after everyone’s health. In the last report published by the Department of Health, it estimated that around 16 per cent of all deaths in the UK in 2015 were because of smoking.

Since going smoke free, each division has implemented their action plans and we have linked closely with Public Health England and other local partners to try and offer staff and patients all the support they need.  We’ve also recruited staff to help work with inpatients within the Local Division to try and ensure Mersey Care is as healthy an environment as possible for both patients and staff.

As we approach National No Smoking Day next Wednesday (14 March), can you all please keep an eye out on Mersey Care’s social media channels and help support them where you can by liking our posts. Should any of you need any further advice, NHS Choices also provides 10 self help tips for giving up, which you can access here.

And Finally 

I have several congratulations to make to some of our innovative teams who have won awards this week. I’ll start with the Life Rooms, who won the Partnership in Innovation Award at the North West Coast Research and Innovation Awards in Preston.

Congratulations are also due to our restrictive intervention reduction programme, No Force First, who won the Innovative Practice Award at the Restraint Reduction Network Conference this week. They are also in line for another award after being nominated in the 2018 Health Service Journal Value Awards.

The HSJ awards, which recognise both the quality and value of care we provide, will take place in Manchester in June. The team will present to the judging panel next month in the ‘Communication’ category.

I’d also like to thank Danny Angus for his work on reducing restrictive practice, which is being recognised at the very highest level this month. Danny has been invited to a reception at Buckingham Palace with a number of other frontline nurses on 14 March.

Danny is the first to say he’s representing all our hard working, dedicated staff and service users, but I know many of you will be aware of his work, and that of Dr Jennifer Kilcoyne and the team, in delivering a real positive change in how we support vulnerable people in crisis. You can see a short video of Danny below, in which he says how positive risk taking, part of our Just and Learning Culture, is able to support recovery.