In mind: Chief Executive Joe Rafferty talks about Rowan View Hospital, Eid-Al-Adha and more

This week, it will be August. Normally, the height of the holiday season and a time to relax and breathe a little. I’m sure you will all share my wonder at the preceding months, which have been both astonishing and awful. The suffering, the tragedy and, of course, the good spirits and great innovation – all have shown the best and worst of humanity. It has definitely demonstrated the value of the National Health Service.


A new hospital

Today (Monday) sees the handover of Rowan View – our stunning state of the art new hospital on Maghull Health Park. A proud moment for the team who have managed its design and build, working as they have with service users, the best therapists and clinicians, our contractors and, in the last few months, against the odds through the pandemic.

As Mersey Care takes the keys we will be rigorously testing and bedding staff into learn how every room and ward works for them, and how they can use the space and opportunity Rowan View offers. There will be mixed feelings for some and I know from being in Whalley last week that it’s not easy for many staff there in particular. For anyone, moving always brings out emotion and there’s a lot of history and apprehension for some in this development.

This new service is the right way forward for our service users, who will see a new model of care and a real focus on getting them through and into a positive future for each of them.


Better than Before

From August, it will be at the discretion of employers as to how staff can continue working safely. Home working is one way to do this but workplaces can be made safe by following Covid-19 secure guidelines. For us, as part of our “Mersey Care Better than Before” initiative, your manager will talk to you about how you can work safely in a safe environment. There are specific guidelines for those who are vulnerable, for those who are shielding and for those showing symptoms. We’ll listen and support you as we consider adjustments to enable people to go back to work.

And of course so many of you have been carrying on in wards and communities, working through in an evolving situation of PPE and process, but relying on people supporting you corporately from home. All staff are valued and we have phased our return to workplaces into three parts. These essentially are: those who never left, those who now need to return to effectively fulfil their role, and those who do not need to be in the workplace and should home work. As ever, we have some corporate staff who spend time in public facing areas, so managers and team will be having detailed discussions there, as we said in our Big Four journey plan for this month.


Get involved 

We’re looking for great people to join us. As well as recruitment for staff across our services, there are vacancies to join our Council of Governors and also for a Non Executive Director with specialism in research discipline. Do consider joining the Trust family, and feel encouraged to come into supporting our trust if you’d not considered this kind of involvement before. We would especially welcome hearing from BAME applicants.



Our Muslim Chaplain recently sent around a valuable guide to the festival of Eid-Al-Adha in challenging times. This important celebration will take place at the end of this week and marks the end of the Hajj. It is a time of charity and celebration. It is a time for supporting family and friends. To those marking Eid-Al-Adha, Eid Mubarak to you and your families. And for us all, heading for August brings a reminder of the need for breaks and time off when we can, and a move beyond the first spike of Covid as we look ahead to being ready and prepared for winter, flu and perhaps further Covid instances. Throughout, each of us should be supportive of friends and colleagues, of service users, patients and our whole Mersey Care family.


Joe Rafferty CBE

Chief Executive