Date published: 26 July 2023

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For this month’s blog I thought it was timely if I wrote about our Trust Strategic Framework which was first established around 10 years ago. It has evolved in the years since and recently been refreshed in line with the changing population needs, the continued increased demand for services, post pandemic learning and the changing landscape.

Over the last five to 10 years Mersey Care has grown significantly and now we find ourselves operating in a climate with significant challenges right across the NHS system. The waves of crises followed the global recession, increased health inequalities and climate change to name but a few. We know and understand more about population health and the needs of our communities than we did a decade ago and will require the collective efforts of our partners to address and help people to live healthier lives.

We have a clear vision of where we want to be by 2028, one we’ve spoken about for a while, to lead the way in whole person lifelong care that helps people live healthier lives, but what does that mean in practice and what actions and steps will we take to respond to these challenges and achieve our vision?

We’re calling them our ‘Super Six’ objectives, which we believe will take Mersey Care to a place five years from now which will have been guided by patients, carers, staff and other stakeholders. Their input will allow us to evolve into an organisation which truly fulfils and delivers of the best possible outcomes for its population within the resources available to us.

The ‘Super Six’, which are explained in the illustrations below, will be:

  • Operational and Clinical Excellence
  • Staff will feel valued and supported
  • Supporting patients with their ‘total health’ needs
  • Increase value from the resources available
  • Using data and technology to enhance care
  • Leading world class research and innovation in mental health and wellbeing.

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So, what do we mean by operational and clinical excellence? Put simply, it means consistently safer, efficient and effective services – the foundations of which place our patients as the number one priority and provide standardised, equal and high quality services wherever people access them.

Those foundations need to be supported by staff that feel valued, engaged and supported, which we’ll achieve by working alongside our staff networks. We want people to choose to work and be part of our Mersey Care family, and when they come to work, they are part of a culture that is committed to continuous learning and improvement.

We also want to support people with their total health needs, which means having a greater focus on prevention and also a more co-ordinated service offer. This will enable us to reduce fragmentation and duplication, and people’s whole care needs are met in less contacts with our services, whether they are mental health, physical health or social needs.

Of course, we can’t do all this alone and we need to work in partnership with other organisations to ensure the public pound is stretched further to gain maximum value for our population. When Chief Executives talk about ‘stretching finances’ people often assume they are talking about cuts, but that’s not what we mean – we want to work smarter, together with others to find the best solutions.

Mersey Care wants to continue to be an innovator. We already have a long-standing reputation for pushing the boundaries, finding solutions and new ways of working. Examples of this include ‘Perfect Care’, our commitment to zero suicides in our care and our work on a Restorative Just and Learning Culture. We will focus on using data and technology coupled with the insights into our population to drive the way we design, deliver and further improve our services.

Our exciting new partnership with the University of Liverpool via the Mental Health Research for Innovation Centre (M-RIC) will deliver world class research and innovation and will improve mental health and wellbeing. We are aiming to shorten the time it takes to for effective innovations to reach those patients and service users who would benefit the most.

More information will be available in the coming weeks and there will be more opportunities to learn about our strategy and be involved in setting what it means in practice. I will give greater detail to what I’ve outlined here in time, but it’s only by having ambitious goals that organisations can evolve, innovate and thrive. I hope, in five years time, we reflect back on a Mersey Care that genuinely delivers greater value for the needs of its population.

If anyone would like to get in touch if you would like to be further involved in discussions to help us to refine and develop our priorities further, please contact our communications team on

Thank you again for your hard work and dedication.

Prof Joe Rafferty CBE

Chief Executive, Mersey Care