In Mind: Chief Executive Joe Rafferty's latest blog on the importance of promoting our services

ere at Mersey Care we’re always happy to show off our staff and the services we offer to influential figures within the health industry. In recent times we’ve had Rosie Cooper MP being shown around HMP Liverpool and in the past we’ve had various politicians visiting different sites like Ashworth High Secure Hospital and Clock View Hospital.

Ensuring Mersey Care’s achievements and our challenges are recognised by decision makers is an important part of our job so we can perhaps influence their thinking now and in the future. This week Trish Bennett, our Director of Nursing and Operations, showed three senior officials from the Royal College of Nursing, Margaret Dowd, their staff side representative, Ian Fletcher, their Senior Regional Officer for Liverpool and Southport and Estephanie Dunn, their regional representative, around our services.


 Pictured (left to right): Johanna Reilly (Chief Operating Officer, Liverpool and South Sefton Community Services Division, Mersey Care), Margaret Dowd (Staff Side, Royal College of Nursing), Ian Fletcher (Senior Regional Officer for Liverpool and Southport, RCN), Estephanie Dunn (Regional RCN Representative) and Trish Bennett (Director of Nursing and Operations, Mersey Care).


They were invited by Trish and visited ward 35 at the University Hospital Aintree and then on to Clock View where they met with staff and were given an update on our plans for the integration of mental and physical healthcare.

 Trish tells me that Estephanie was particularly impressed with the motivated and passionate staff at Mersey Care working with winter pressures to improve outcomes for patients. She also highlighted the focus on safety in patient areas and made the point of noting this wasn’t just a tick box exercise.

Pictured (left to right): Estephanie Dunn, Trish Bennett and Jenny Hurst (Deputy Director of Nursing, Mersey Care).


Another area that impressed her was the work we are doing with red to green and she noted that we are doing what everyone is talking about, getting people home quicker, and said our staff are a credit to the organisation, the North West and the UK. Estephanie also took time to praise the light and spacious areas in Clock View, so a big thank you to all concerned for ensuring their visit went so smoothly.


Healthcare summit

I attended a Health Service Journal’s healthcare summit last week which was attended by a collection of healthcare leaders from across the country. Among the many items discussed was the quality of the provider offer and digital opportunities within the health service in the years ahead.

As many of you will know, Mersey Care has been chosen as a digital exemplar and I’m looking forward to the Trust’s first Global Digital Exemplar (GDE) Expo at Aintree Racecourse on Monday afternoon. We will be discussing collaboration in action, we will hear from a ward manager about electronic prescribing and we will hear about all our research into an app to help our Zero Suicide programme.

It’s our first opportunity to put our mark down as a GDE trust and will be a great opportunity to share our expertise with colleagues and leaders on how we are aiming to innovate digitally in the immediate future.

One of the other topics discussed at the summit was how the NHS is moving towards providing more complete services for patients. Following the arrival of Liverpool and South Sefton community services under the Mersey Care umbrella, that’s exactly what we’re trying to achieve with healthcare for mind and body issues, which are often linked anyway. It’s good to know we’re heading in the right direction.


And finally

Can I please introduce our new colleagues from Liverpool community services to our talking therapy service, Talk Liverpool. Many of you who have just joined Mersey Care may not know this service is available to anyone who is registered with a Liverpool GP. That means it is open to anyone – service user, staff, families or friends – should they have worries, anxieties or mental health issues.

You don’t have to access the service through a GP - there is an opportunity to self refer. More information is available about Talk Liverpool at their website.Talk Liverpool staff have taken part in a video about their work in a documentary based around men’s mental health. If you can spare 15 minutes it’s worth a look and can be accessed here.