In Mind: Joe Rafferty reflects on a challenging week

As Chief Executive of this Trust I am continually proud of the professionalism, resilience and dedication of the staff that work at Mersey Care. That has been highlighted time and again over the last few years, which has enabled us to make great strides forward that have included the transition to Foundation Trust status and the acquisition of Calderstones Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, Ambition Sefton and Talk Liverpool.

We are also due to welcome staff from Liverpool Community Health in a couple of weeks, which I will discuss later in this blog, but I think they are joining the Mersey Care family at a time when we have shown the real strength of this organisation.

You will all know that this Trust, in common with many others, fell victim to a cyber attack that demanded money from all those that were affected. It’s a credit to everyone who was working - on Friday when the attack began, over the weekend and at the start of this week – that our services continued during the disruption and were largely unaffected.

I must give particular thanks to our colleagues at Informatics Merseyside, who worked extremely hard to ensure the computers could be switched back on as soon as it was deemed safe to do so. I want to stress that the accident that led to large parts of the Trust losing the use of their computers on Wednesday, had no connection to the cyber attack or to Informatics Merseyside.


Possibly the most impressive thing during all the disruption has been how staff and teams have worked together. In some examples, staff have had to improvise, but the important message this week has been how you have all got together to ‘keep business as usual’ and get the job done.

That has also applied to how we handled the death of a very high profile patient at Ashworth High Secure Hospital earlier this week. It has been a story that has dominated the news and I believe the way it was handled reflects well on our organisation.

We had a robust media plan in place for just such an eventuality and colleagues from Ashworth and Communications liaised with other partner organisations to ensure a minimum of disruption to other patients and staff, including maintaining the confidentiality of our patients at all times. That said, can I also add a big thanks to our service users, partners and staff for their tolerance and understanding during a difficult time.


Liverpool Community Health

We’re counting down to the moment we welcome staff from Liverpool Community Health (LCH) into the Mersey Care family to help with the smooth transition of community services for residents of south Sefton. The service will be run alongsideNorth West Boroughs Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust (previously 5 Boroughs Partnership) and starts on 1 June.

Building on the current work to improve the health and wellbeing of borough residents, the services transferring from Liverpool Community Health NHS Trust will include blood testing, community matrons, district nursing, treatment rooms, foot care, intermediate care, adult diabetes and adult dietetics, IV therapy and community respiratory care.

Referral routes and contact details will remain the same and, aside from a new logo on appointment letters and buildings, residents using the services should not see any changes. Staff will transfer to Mersey Care and North West Boroughs Healthcare, remaining within the NHS and delivering a high standard of care.