Mersey Care’s fourth Annual Members’ Event was a ‘full house’ of people eager to find out more about the work of the trust and discuss issues that concern them across services.
It was an opportunity for talking, listening and even singing…as the audience of more than 200 members were given presentations, took part in lively question and answer session, dementia-friendly awareness training and “singing for the brain.”
A busy marketplace of health and information stands also attracted strong interest from visitors to the Liverpool Town Hall venue.
Chairman of Mersey Care Beatrice Fraenkel opened the event, welcoming members and thanking them for a “deeply shared interest” in mental health, learning disability and addiction services.
In his address, chief executive Joe Rafferty stressed that Mersey Care “must see things through the eyes of our service users – we have to build our systems around the needs of people who use them.” He reinforced that our strategy would ensure we have high quality, better services and would have to find the most effective ways of doing more with less money.
Medical director Dr David Fearnley talked about improving the way people are cared for under our model of care and how new facilities such as the Clock View Hospital in Walton would provide benefits to the service user experience. He wanted to see 100% satisfaction for people who use its services as well as Mersey Care being the organisation of choice by commissioners looking to meet the health needs of the community.
Executive director of Secure Services Ray Walker talked about the high incidence of people in prisons with mental health issues and the work Mersey Care was doing around offender health, including proposals to replace Scott Clinic with a new medium secure facility by 2016.
One of the most surprising speeches was from the government’s dementia tsar, national clinical director for dementia in England, Alistair Burns, who posed the question: “How many stages are there in making a cup of tea?”
It was an example of shared understanding as he threw into the equation that some people needing a cuppa might have dementia – so what would their thought process be? By 2021, there will be more than one million people in the UK with dementia.
Progress was being made by the trust in becoming a foundation trust, project lead Rachel Hurst said. The penultimate talk was about creation of Mersey Care’s Recovery College helping service users learn new skills, build confidence, as well as understand more about their condition and to promote recovery.
Ending on a high note was entertainer and ‘singing for the brain’ leader Nuala Duxbury, who used techniques gained from dementia and care settings to get everyone at the members’ event singing along.