Date published: 21 December 2022

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It’s usual at this time of year to wish our patients, service users, carers, workforce and stakeholders a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year as we approach the festive period. This year we’re doing it in a very special way with the card below being both designed and chosen by our colleagues as part of a staff competition. The winning entry was from Louise Reynolds, Maghull District Nurse Team Leader, and I’m sure you’ll agree they’ve selected well.

As ever, I’d like to say thanks to colleagues who may have to work during the holidays to ensure our services remain open to those who need them most. Christmas can be a tricky time for many of our patients, some of whom are lonely and prone to mental health issues and our thousands of community service users who need our services 24/7 and 365 days a year.

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I’ve decided to look back in my final blog of 2022 on another busy year for Mersey Care, which I know has been challenging for many of you. On behalf of the Executive Board, I’d like to thank everyone who has overcome many challenges over the last 12 months and went the extra mile to care for our population. We’ve had a CQC inspection, the impact of a COVID-19 pandemic and we’re continually looking to improve what we do. I’ve also been able to welcome a new chair in Rosie Cooper, who succeeds Beatrice Fraenkel after 14 years in the role, and has a long history of campaigning on healthcare issues. In the coming weeks and months Rosie will be visiting teams within the Trust to find more about what issues affect you.

Once again we’ve upgraded our estate to ensure the highest standard of facilities for our communities. Aspen Wood, our low secure hospital, is due to be fully operational by next Autumn. We have also opened the refurbished Leigh Moss Hospital, which is now the base for our specialist dementia and older people’s mental health services and established a new Life Rooms project alongside YMCA in Bootle.

There’s also been progress on a new mental health inpatient centre in Liverpool, which will be named as Mossley Hill after the old hospital site on which the new unit is being built. Significantly, once it is opened in 2024, it will signal the end of dormitory wards in Liverpool.

As a Trust, 97 percent of our contacts are now through our community services so we’re now providing care that genuinely reflects our community from cradle to grave with both physical and mental health. I’m always amazed at the sheer variety we deliver with over 100 different community services, from district nurses to allied health professionals, therapists, equipment supplies, speech and language therapy to falls teams.

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There’s too many to highlight each one individually, but I’d like to focus the spotlight on our Building Attachments and Bonds Service (BABS), a new parent and infant service in Sefton, and the Integrated Mersey Palliative Care Team (IMPaCT), which is one of the first of its kind in the UK. It’s made up by a group of healthcare professionals who work collaboratively to deliver high quality, person-centred palliative care across Liverpool and South Sefton.

Our Telehealth service continues to go from strength to strength and, after being established to help with the demand for health services during the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s now developed into the North West’s only heart failure ‘virtual ward.’

Bed pressures is a constant theme this time of year, as is the demand for NHS services during the winter months. Mersey Care is among those trusts in the region that will face a surge in demand and our importance to the system is underlined by the statistics below from last winter.

winter stats 2021-22.jpgOnce again, I hope those of you who can take a break have a peaceful time with friends and family during the festive period as we look forward to the new challenges ahead in 2023.

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