In Mind: In his latest blog Chief Executive Joe Rafferty focusses on the Trust values


It seems timely to reflect back on the Trust’s values at present in a week where we have just marked international anti-bullying day, which of course aligns with one of our key values – Respect.

We are an organisation that has changed considerably in recent years, with the acquisition of services like Talk Liverpool and Ambition Sefton and expanded to bring our Specialist Learning Disability Division and Liverpool and Sefton Community health care on board.

Those changes to Mersey Care’s footprint and its diversity of services all present individual challenges of how best to welcome new colleagues into our family and how to learn from the best practice that each new service and organisation brings.

What I have been most pleased with during this period in our history is how respect, in particular how we treat others in an inclusive and supportive way, has played a key role in the success of how each new service has been assimilated into the organisation.

Indeed, one of the workstreams for this year for our Just and Learning Culture is to support colleagues’ psychological safety through the development of bullying awareness for staff based on a preventative approach to recognise bullying behaviour and develop a process to resolve issues.

Every time a new service and new colleagues join our organisation, there is inevitably a period of transition when new teams learn how to work alongside each other and get used to new work practices and guidelines. The most pleasing thing about all this is that staff have approached the changing environment with a desire for inclusivity and mutual respect.

A key part of that has been the important decision for this Trust to implement a ‘Just and Learning Culture’ throughout the organisation. To introduce a culture where colleagues feel supported and empowered to speak up rather than feeling blamed has been crucial to that process.

I was pleased to see the efforts we have made towards establishing a ‘Just and Learning Culture’ were highlighted on the Care Quality Commission’s website this week as part of a series of features spotlighting the HSJ awards, which you can read here in case you missed it.

Triage service

Serena Kennedy, the Deputy Chief Constable of Merseyside Police, has written a lovely letter to the Trust thanking us for all our support and hard work to help ensure our joint Triage service initiative has been such a success.

The Triage service has been mentioned in Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services Report (HMICFRS) into policing and mental health. The report highlighted it as an example of good practice and will encourage innovation and continue to promote improvements in policing for the public.

Serena wrote: “I wanted to pass on my sincere thanks for your hard work as you continually drive the service forward. Your support is invaluable and is significantly contributing to helping our vulnerable members of society.

“I look forward to continuing this excellent partnership. Thank you again for your creativity, willingness to change and ongoing focus on improvement.”

 ‘One Team’

We’re working together with Liverpool and Sefton Provider Alliance partners to transform the current model of care to one that promotes wellbeing, provides early detection and diagnosis and empowers people to manage their own health more effectively within their communities.

Twenty key areas for improvement from a community services perspective (health, social care) have been identified from feedback collected from patients, carers, families, commissioners and partners.

Aintree and Childwall have previously been identified as the pilot sites for Liverpool and Crosby and Bootle will form the same role for South Sefton. As part of the pilot phase, a series of improvements have been implemented, including the revision of the comprehensive assessment tool which enables patients to tell their stories just once.

As a Trust we remain committed to the continued analysis of our practices to see if we can find better ways to provide health care across our footprint. Importantly, feedback also highlights significant improvements in relationships between health and social care staff, which has enabled more effective communication, management of patients and increased trust. It is only by acting as ‘one team’ that we will start to think and deliver in unison and initiatives like this can only help us in that regard.