In Mind: Chief Executive Joe Rafferty discusses the Southport Members' Event and plans for Liverpool Community Health

As Chief Executive of this organisation I try to get out and meet as many staff and service users as possible to find out what we can do better and what you all like about what we’re doing.

With that in mind, it was good to attend a Big Brew event in Southport last Saturday. Our Life Rooms site is a great new venue and chatting over a brew is always valuable as an informal engagement event and chance for me to hear one to one from service users, carers and friends of the Trust.

We also attended a more formal event at the Atkinson Centre, where colleagues including our Executive Director of Operations, Mark Hindle, Des Johnson, the Chief Operating Officer from Secure Division and Michael Crilly, Director of Social Inclusion and Participation, took part in a question and answer session.

I’d like to thank staff who gave up time on a weekend for this event, governors who made journeys to be with us and in particular service users and experts by experience who asked the questions. Mark and I updated the meeting about the need for new learning disability services and the approval for our new build medium secure unit on Maghull Health Park. 


We discussed a full range of topics, but concentrated largely on our plans to develop a new state of the art mental health hospital in Southport. We discussed the services that will be provided there, how the hospital will fit in with the local community and the importance of co-production in design and how it will be built with a sense of space in mind.

We also explained the Trust’s ambitions for zero suicide, zero restraint, a fair and just culture and improved health and wellbeing. We talked openly about the challenges we would face implementing those ambitions and our determination to provide the highest possible standards of care for our patients and service users.

We'll keep you all updated on our plans for all our estates projects and will report on any news as we have it. We are also planning a similar event in Liverpool in the new year so we can have a chance to meet and answer questions from those of you who were busy or live some distance from Southport.

Liverpool Community Health

Regular readers of this blog will know that everyone at Mersey Care is delighted that we were named as the preferred provider to deliver Liverpool Community Health (LCH) core services. This includes district nurses, community matrons, sexual health and children’s services to name but a few.

Our delight at winning the bid at the beginning of this month has developed into a real determination to make sure the transition of staff and services is done as smoothly as possible to ensure the people of Liverpool receive high quality health care.

The first stage of that is when we take over management of LCH on 1 November and we will be appointing a board made up of our existing executive team and non-executive directors. Staff and services will then be transferred on 1 April next year and will become part of the Mersey Care family.

We have already started engagement sessions with staff at Liverpool Innovation Park last week and at Everton’s Goodison Park and the Lace Conference Centre this week, which have been attended by around 300 future colleagues. 

Flu jabs update

I’m delighted to be able to report that nearly half the Trust’s staff have now had flu injections, so a big thank you to everyone who has already had their jab. As of mid-day yesterday, 46.44% of Mersey Care staff have had their flu jabs and for those still waiting to have theirs, you can find out the latest information about clinics and updates on our new flu microsite. Remember that being protected from flu protects friends, family, colleagues and those you come into contact with and is an extension of our care.

In the battle of the divisions, it’s great to see so many of you hitting 50% compliance. Secure are the new leaders but Corporate, South Sefton Community Services and Specialist Learning Disability are hot on their heels - well done to all concerned.


Secure Services Division


Corporate Services Division


South Sefton Community Services


Specialist Learning Disability Division


Local Services Division


Whalley skills

It’s really humbling to see how some of our Whalley service users are developing their skills as they move on and into community. They’re now half way through an eight week course in first aid covering the following subjects: CPR, the recovery position, how to help someone who is choking and how to treat bleeding and burns.



This week saw ‘National Restart a Heart Day’ so there was a focus on defib. The training has gone so well that training and OT staff intend to roll it out to those in secure areas.

Service users like Ken, Adam and Steven say it’s about keeping yourself safe, but also friends and families too. The men take part in sport off site and have leave to go out shopping or on social events – I hope they never need to use their life saving skills but I am really pleased and proud that they are learning them.