In Mind: Chief Executive's blog

Friday 23 June 2017 

CQC Announcement

I know many of you are wondering when we are going to find out the results of the Care Quality Commission’s (CQC) report into our services, following their intensive inspections earlier this year.

From what we’ve been told, they are in the final process of checking their report and we are expecting publication some time next week. As soon as we know the results, we will of course communicate that to you all via email while your manager’s can also brief you on the finer points for your particular service.

In advance of the report, I’d just like to say thanks to everyone for all your hard work in the preparation for the inspection and making yourselves available at busy times to answer questions about your roles and duties.


Friends and Family

Here’s just a quick reminder to share your views in the 2017/2018 NHS Staff Friends and Family Test (FFT). The FFT is a quick and simple survey which allows staff to give their feedback on our services – it’s NHS England’s vision for you to be able to give this feedback and this Trust absolutely wants staff to be heard and acted upon. 

Some fantastic improvements have already been seen through the patient FFT, simply from hospitals listening to, and acting on, patient feedback. You may have to look back a week or so for the email headed “Please complete – NHS Staff Friends and Family Survey” but don’t forget, there’s a random prize draw of £50 High Street Vouchers for those who complete the survey.


LD in the Spotlight

My thanks to LD consultant Mark Spurrell for his part in keeping the flag flying for high quality LD research. The paper "An exploration of valuation practices in case management: an exploration in a Learning Disability Service", written by Dr Spurrell, along with colleagues from Manchester Business School, received plaudits at a conference at the Naples International Forum on Service last week. 

The Naples Forum is held every two years and is for a leading group of international academic experts on Services Marketing and Management and Mark’s paper was awarded the overall best paper in conference. 

More locally, the NHS Confederation in Liverpool also saw good learning disability representation last week. Service user Stephen spoke on video movingly about his care pathway, through secure services and on into community. He talked proudly of the challenges he’s overcome and the professionalism of his MDT, as well as his recent work supporting the Safety in Town initiative which promotes good community relations between shop owners and vulnerable people. 

The Trust wide work on our Just and Learning Culture rightly attracted interest as we move into a new way of working for the NHS. This is also typified by our status as a global digital exemplar, with the mental health technology that we are leading on now being seen and applauded across the wider health care system.


Hello Sefton

My thanks to GPs and stakeholders across Sefton – and beyond – who joined us at Aintree this week as we formally introduced ourselves to Sefton healthcare leaders. Dr Yassir Abbasi spoke about the transformation of addictions services in the borough and Trish Bennett gave a proper welcome and introduction to our new services which came to us from Liverpool Community Health this month. 

Trish told the conference that Mersey Care haven't started from scratch, we've taken over services and recognise there are some very good things that have gone on in the borough already. We’ve pledged to build on this and develop services together, sharing good practice across the patient groups. 

On the day I was delighted to meet Sefton’s Mayor, Cllr Dave Robinson. He has a good background in issues such as dementia awareness and health and wellbeing, and expressed a very keen desire to visit our services in Sefton and also the Life Rooms. It’s great to have strong community allies as we develop our services in that borough.




Carer’s Charter

Last Saturday at Whalley, service users, carers and other guests formally launched the Carer’s Charter. It was co-produced and moves us on further on our journey with carers – we already have the maximum two gold stars from the national Triangle of Care initiative and this charter makes a formal pledge on behalf of Mersey Care that we will support and consult carers, work collaboratively with them on decisions that affect the person they care for and promote forums and assessments.

Carers can be family members, neighbours or friends. Some people who “care” do not see themselves as “carers”. If someone is involved with and gives significant support to one of our service users, irrespective of whether they live with that person or not, they should be considered to be a carer and be actively engaged by the care team. I regularly hear from carers, including at Board, and amid the cakes and conversations up in Whalley at the weekend, the team pledged their full commitment to listen and work with them.


Smoke Free

As part of our commitment to falling in line with National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE) guidelines, this Trust will become completely smoke free on 4 September, 2017.

This will mean that service users, carers, visitors and staff will no longer be able to smoke, including e-cigarettes, on Trust sites. Both Secure Division and our new Liverpool Community Health services are already smoke free and all the other divisions will follow in September.

I’m aware this will not be a popular decision among some of you, but we have a duty to protect the health and wellbeing of all in our care and employment and becoming smoke free is one of the best methods to achieve that.

As part of our programme for smoking cessation, we will support service users to manage their own routines in a compassionate way, promoting health and wellbeing and also respecting personal determination and choice.

We have also provided stop smoking training for staff and further support will be provided to staff who find it difficult in complying with the policy. As from September staff will only be allowed to smoke away from Trust sites and during lunch breaks.

Just take a quick look at some of the frightening statistics related to smoking for reasons why the NHS is committed to this policy.

  • Every year around 96,000 people in the UK die from diseases caused by smoking
  • Smoking accounts for over one third of respiratory deaths, over a quarter of Cancer deaths and about a seventh of cardiovascular disease deaths
  • Tobacco smoke contains over 7,000 chemical compounds present as either gases or as tiny particles, including carbon monoxide, arsenic and cyanide.


Help us name our new addictions unit

Refurbishment work is underway creating our new inpatient facility for the addictions service, to be based on the former Kevin White Unit site in Wavertree, Liverpool.

This new facility will combine both the former Kevin White Unit (on the Smithdown Health Park) and the Windsor Clinic (currently on the Aintree Hospital site) and is due to open in the autumn.

We’ve been working with staff and service users at a local level to hear their views on a name for this combined building. We’d like to hear from our wider Mersey Care staff what they think of initial suggestions as well as your ideas for a new name for the unit.

Please click here for the Survey Monkey link that will enable you to give us your feedback.


And finally…

Dr Abassi also featured in an interesting phone-in discussion on BBC Radio Five Live this week on painkiller addiction following admissions that TV presenter Ant McPartlin and golfer Tiger Woods both struggled with the problem. You can listen to Dr Abassi here – their segment starts 10 minutes and 40 seconds into the programme.


Joe Rafferty

Chief Executive