In Mind: Chief Executive Joe Rafferty's latest update welcoming new staff from Liverpool Community Health

Our new division

I’d like to offer a really warm welcome to colleagues from Liverpool Community Health (LCH), who officially joined us at Mersey Care yesterday. Services including community matrons, community cardiac teams, district nursing, treatment rooms, speech therapy, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, podiatry, adult diabetes and adult dietetics, intravenous fluids therapy and community respiratory care will be delivered by Mersey Care and over 400 dedicated NHS staff are now part of our Trust.

It is less than a year since Mersey Care welcomed the former Calderstones into our organisation and then the Ambition Sefton service came on board. I don’t want staff to lose track of these developments - each group of staff are now part of our family and contributing to our great work. 

I have made many new contacts and friends in these teams and I’ve been incredibly impressed with the quality of care and patient focus across our divisions. LCH – now our new South Sefton Community Services Division – brings new skills and a real focus on physical health into our Trust. 

I hope we have helped to make the transition smooth, with visits and conversations from Trish Bennett, our Director of Integration, online resources, blogs and a comprehensive welcome booklet delivered to you - you’re all a valuable part of our services for the people of Merseyside and beyond.

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(Pictured above: New staff from Liverpool Community Health mark their first day with Mersey Care outside the Biz Hub in Bootle.)

If you have any questions, your first port of call will be your manager and we also have a dedicated room on the first floor of V7 where you can pop in or call 0151 471 2498 for advice or queries.

Time to Vote

The next week should be a momentous one for our country and by the time I write next week’s blog, we should know the outcome of this year’s General Election. Many of you will be forgiven for being a little weary at yet another election – it is, after all, our third national vote in as many years – but they do tend to signal a time of change and a bit of a clean slate for all.

I’m delighted that the future of the NHS has been such a major issue for all parties during these last few weeks of electioneering. It will be interesting to see how the new Government addresses the challenges of managing that situation.

Our priority as a Trust will be introducing ourselves to any new MP’s in the area and, of course, to any new Ministers that are appointed. No matter what party wins power, our aims are the same – to champion the work of this Trust and to further the cause of mental health.

Below is a summary, but by no means a comprehensive, guide to what the three main parties are promising for mental health. There are, of course, more than three parties contesting this election and a useful guide to what party has promised what can be found here.

 Conservative:

  • Claim to have invested £11.4 billion in mental health up to 2016/17 and pledge a further £1 billion by 2020/21
  • Aim to make the UK the leading research and technology economy in the world for mental health
  • Pledge to reform laws to ensure those with mental illness are treated fairly and employers fulfil their responsibilities effectively
  • Plan to introduce first new Mental Health Bill for 35 years, putting parity of esteem at the heart of treatment
  • Make changes to health and safety regulations so employers must provide appropriate first aid training and needs-assessment for mental health as they currently do for physical health.

Labour

  • Pledge to ring-fence mental health budgets and ensure funding reaches the frontline
  • Stop children being treated on adult mental health wards and stop people being sent across the country for treatment by ending out of area placements by 2019
  • Aim to create the first ever Minister for Mental Health if they are elected
  • Will invest in early intervention by increasing the proportion of mental health budgets spent on support for children and young people, including counselling services for all children in secondary schools
  • Will ask the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) to evaluate the potential for increasing the range of evidence-based psychological therapies on offer.

Liberal Democrats

  • Ring-fence funding for mental health by a penny in the pound on income tax, which will provide additional investment in mental health
  • Continue to roll out access and waiting time standards for children, young people and adults, including a guarantee that people will not wait more than six weeks to receive therapy for depression or anxiety and no young person will wait more than two weeks for treatment when they experience a first episode of psychosis
  • Ensure no one in crisis is turned away, with new waiting time standards and better crisis care in accident and emergency departments, in the community and via phone lines, which will enable the end of police cells being used for people facing a mental health crisis
  • End out-of-area placements, ensuring those admitted to hospital for mental ill-health are able to be treated close to home
  • Ensure all front-line public service professionals, including in schools and universities, receive better training in mental health.

 

Volunteers’ Week

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This is the week where we celebrate the fantastic contribution of millions of volunteers make across the UK for Volunteers’ Week, which takes place from 1-7 June every year. We’re extremely proud of all our volunteers that support our services, participating in an array of volunteering opportunities across the Trust.

This organisation is extremely lucky to have over 500 registered volunteers with over 60% having direct lived experience of our services or caring for someone using our services. I’m also delighted that over the past two months, four of our volunteers have secured full-time employment - two of which have been employed within the Trust.

We’re also holding our annual volunteer celebration event on Saturday, 10 June in Walton Life Rooms from 11am–1pm. If any of our wards or services would like to develop volunteering roles for their areas please email volunteering@merseycare.nhs.uk

 

The Next Generation

Great to hear from local division about the student nurse pilot between Mersey Care and Liverpool John Moores University. Our clinical psychologists, Drs Lyndsey Holt and Christy Laganis, have been training second and third year nursing student to deliver psychological interventions. 

With 96 per cent satisfaction and relevance ratings from the students, it’s good to know our expertise is supporting the next generation. The comments about how to really listen to patients were valuable to hear and one response really resonated for me: in answer to the question “What were the most important things you learnt today?” someone replied “Don’t ask what’s wrong with me, ask what happened to me”. I can’t think of a better example of a Just and Learning Culture!