Listening for Answers

This week we have held a number of mega conversations on various sites to discuss our plans to turn Mersey Care into a ‘Just Culture’ organisation.


It’s important to remember how important events like mega conversations are. It’s a great chance to hear the views of frontline staff that may not get the chance to discuss their opinions with a senior executive. To put this into perspective, our Trust values – Continuous Improvement, Accountability, Respect and Enthusiasm – came out of these events several years ago.


I’d like to thank everyone who took part in the conversations and the response from staff has been hugely positive. The events were honest, open and reflected the Trust’s values. We will compile all the information and opinions we received over the course of the last week and I’ll give you the main themes and feedback next week. Everyone who attended one of the conversations will also be contacted in the near future.


Forensic Social Work

At Mersey Care we are always looking to raise standards for mental health care and one of the best ways of doing that is through sharing best practice. I have two examples of this over the last week, firstly with the publication of a national professional capabilities framework for forensic social workers.


Robert McLean, our Head of Forensic Care, collaborated with colleagues and partners locally and nationally in the development of the document titled ‘Forensic Social Work: National Publication of the Professional Capabilities Framework’, which was launched in London by Lyn Romeo, Chief Social Worker, Department of Health. More information can be found here.


Sefton Asperger’s Group

Some of you may remember that an Asperger’s Group for service users and carers was established a couple of years ago in Sefton following determined lobbying from a passionate local carers’ group, who previously had to travel out of area for a diagnosis or post-diagnostic interventions.


Colleagues from Mersey Care developed a diagnostic and assessment service for autistic adults was developed that includes post-diagnostic support and interventions and have been recognised for their efforts after being selected to share best practice by the Autism Network, a prestigious website that is distributed to around 50,000 professionals.

The article can be read here and an edited version was presented recently at the National Autistic Society’s International Conference in Edinburgh.


MC Magazine

I am very proud of our MC Magazine, which is produced quarterly and has steadily grown into a high class magazine that accurately reflects our values in each issue.


We now know that its readership is steadily climbing and over the last year over 60,000 people have read the magazine either through the physical copies we send out to members, stakeholders and Mersey Care sites or digitally.


Just to put that into perspective, we would do very well in comparison to many more established and national magazines. The last full year circulation figures were published for magazines was 2015 and our figure of 62,978 would put us above What Car, Classic Rock, Auto Express and the Sunday Times Travel Magazines. It would also put us in touching distance of Four Four Two magazine, which is one of the leading football publications in the country.


New Appointments

I’d like to finish this week’s blog by adding my congratulations to Des Johnson, who has been appointed as the Secure Division’s Chief Operating Officer in succession to Astrid Henderson, who retires in June after 37 years with the NHS.


There has also been a significant appointment in the Local Division to replace Chris Fisher as Deputy Chief Operating Officer, who also retires next month after 39 years of service with the NHS. Her successor will be Andy Williams, who is currently Acting Service Manager at Scott Clinic.


Both Des and Andy have exciting but challenging roles ahead while I’m sure Astrid and Chris will be looking ahead to their retirement after many years of service in senior roles.