In Mind: Chief Executive Joe Rafferty urges staff to join the Flu Resistance

Anyone who has been outside for the last few days will know that colder days and nights are with us, which is usually the signal for Flu season to begin. We’ve been preparing for the last six months to make sure we have robust plans in place to be able to offer the vaccine to all frontline Mersey Care staff and service users who have underlying health problems.

 The vaccines arrived at the beginning of the week and we’ve staff across the Trust who are ready to administer the vaccine. Influenza can cause a spectrum of illness ranging from mild to severe, even among people who were previously well. The impact on the population varies from year to year and frontline health workers are more likely to be exposed to the virus, particularly in the winter months, when some of their patients will be infected.

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 I cannot stress enough how important it is for as many Mersey Care staff as possible to have the jab. It protects patients, service users, carers, colleagues, yourselves and your families. By not having the flu injection, every single one of those groups is in danger of being infected.

 In our Trust, we see having the flu jab is an extension of our care. Please contact your local vaccinator and ensure you get yours today and, in case you hear rumours about the vaccine – what we’re delivering is based on the latest clinical evidence. It will protect you and those you come into contact with. 

Recognition

It’s not often in this Trust that we take a step back and give recognition to staff for the great job you all do around the Trust. We’re all so busy trying to provide the best care we can that we lose the opportunity to recognise those efforts.

 I’m delighted that wasn’t the case this week, when there was a celebration and learning event for our Specialist Learning Disability (SLD) Division and their amazing achievement in receiving an ‘Outstanding’ rating in the recent report of our services by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

It was wonderful to meet service users, carers, guests and the amazing staff and I want to thank Lee Taylor, Chief Operating Officer for the SLD Division, and all the organisers for providing an informal and friendly platform to discuss how we deliver Perfect Care with an audience that truly reflects the partnership we have with community, colleges, families and professionals.

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It was also a great example of how ‘Just and Learning Culture’ is now a key component of our Trust, with everyone coming together to both celebrate and, crucially, to learn how the ‘Outstanding’ rating was achieved. Over three CQC inspections, SLD Division has improved each time by learning and improving, which is what we pride ourselves as being able to do within this organisation.

 I know our chairman, Beatrice Fraenkel, will want to pass on her thanks and delight at sharing the really high quality care offered by Whalley staff and the wonderful welcome from the great many service users who joined us on the day.