In Mind: Joe Rafferty's latest update - Exciting Medium Secure plans and an update on Liverpool Community services

Easter Greetings

This is an important week for Mersey Care. A good number of you will have been part of our services since before the Trust was founded in 2001. Many will have seen our transition to a Foundation Trust, enabling us to bring in the expertise of those working in learning disabilities and in the community in Sefton. Those developments started to move Mersey Care away from being specifically a Mental Health trust towards where we stand at Easter 2018: ready to take on a set of new services that means we support the whole person, mind and body.

My warmest thanks to those who made this change happen. There’s been a long journey to enable Mersey Care to have acquired Liverpool Community Health from the 1 April, 2018, (which equates to £95 million of services). As we welcome new colleagues, new services and new expertise, my priority remains that staff have a smooth transition. I want them to feel supported through the transfer process and understand our service improvement aims.

For staff in our current corporate, secure, local and specialist LD divisions, we will be engaging with you further after Easter about how our new look Trust is working. We’ll listen to your views and questions about services.

Medium Secure Unit

It’s also not every day I get to sign a contract worth £48 million, so when it happens it’s good to stop for a moment to reflect on such a milestone and what it means for the development of our services.

Having just signed the formal agreement for construction partners Kier Group to build our new Medium Secure Unit (MSU), it feels good to be hitting the ground running as we enter a new financial year with such a positive project that will transform mental healthcare.

The deal, co-signed by Executive Director of Finance Neil Smith (see below) and witnessed by Elaine Wilkinson representing the MSU project board, will ensure construction can start within the next month on a purpose-built 123 bed joint mental health and learning disability facility on our Maghull Health Park, close to Ashworth Hospital.

It’s been a long-time objective of ours to improve the therapeutic environment in which we care for some of our most vulnerable, and at times challenging, patients. This new unit will enable us to transition services from Scott Clinic in St Helens and Woodview in Whalley to a state-of-the-art hospital which will be part of a Centre of Excellence for forensic mental health care when it opens in 2020.

And Finally..

If you’re marking Easter, taking holidays with families or having a rest, please have a good break. Others will be working over the long weekend, not only to ensure the smooth landing of our new services, but for many, just getting on with the day job (or night shift). I thank you all. Next week, with a larger team and bigger profile, we carry on with our mission to deliver Perfect Care.