Members' AGM 2019

The Annual General Meeting and Members Event took place at Aintree Racecourse in the Lord Sefton stand in June.

Annual General Meeting 2019

Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust held its 2019 AGM at Aintree Racecourse on Wednesday. This important event in the life of the organisation was very well attended and gave over 150 members of the Trust the opportunity to talk directly to senior leaders. You can watch a short film of the highlights of 2018/19.


Chief Executive Joe Rafferty began by reflecting that he had joined Mersey Care almost seven years ago and at that time, staff, patients and stakeholders, told him that they wanted to change some things.

In his presentation, Joe charted the main change, which was the transformation of an organisation which was, he said: “Principally a mental health trust defined primarily by our high secure hospital at Ashworth, and has grown in recent years to provide the full range of mental health, learning disabilities and addictions services, along with community services in our core geographies of Liverpool and Sefton.”

Joe described the complex needs of the populations we serve and explained that a biopsychosocial, integrated approach is necessary if the Trust is to meet local need effectively. He characterised Mersey Care now as providing a literal “head to toe” service of care; a whole person approach. This was typified by the development of the Life Rooms where the average cost for the patient cohort is lower than those not engaged with a Life Rooms: “You wanted me to look at how we prevent mental illness and support people to live a life well beyond care. We’ve set up three Life Rooms across the northern edge of our area with active planning going on to support two new Life Rooms in the centre and south of the city.”

Joe noted the investment in the Trust’s estate, including three new hospitals. He reported on restraint reduction, reduction of assaults on staff and, at 3 percent vacancies, one of the lowest rates in the country. The Trust is a net provider of staff and currently has the lowest ever vacancies for qualified nurses.

The Chief Executive added: “You also wanted me to look at how we make Mersey Care the very best place to work and develop your career.” Joe detailed the progress towards our Just and Learning Culture. He also spoke about the latest Care Quality Commission inspection, which saw the Trust receive an overall “good” score, with “outstanding” for the CQC domain of well-led.

The next part of the AGM came from Chief Finance Officer Rob Collins, who presented the Trust’s accounts. Rob noted national funding issues and said: “Even in a tough financial climate we believe we should be striving to provide perfect care for those we serve because that’s what we are passionate about. We know there are opportunities to sustainably improve our services and save money at the same time.”

Executive Director of Nursing Trish Bennett presented the Quality Report. She set out the account priorities for the year 2018/19 and provided updates on progress:

  • Priority 1: Reducing restrictive practice
  • Priority 2: Zero suicide
  • Priority 3: Improvements in physical health
  • Priority 4: Just and Learning Culture
  • Priority 5: Reduction in community acquired pressure ulcers
  • Priority 6: Learning from deaths

Trish noted that, for example, there had been a 42 percent reduction in length of stay in long term segregation over 12 months since April 2017. With regard to improving physical health pathways, one measure was for clinical staff to recognise the deteriorating patient through NEWS2 (National Early Warning Score for acute illness) to ensure prompt intervention to treatment required. And this year, she was able to tell the meeting that 100 percent of inpatient wards have implemented NEWS2 and the sepsis pathway.

Trish reflected on comments from the Care Quality Commission, whose 2019 report into Mersey Care said:

  • “Managers at all levels had the right skills and abilities to run a service providing high quality sustainable care”
  • “The Trust had the leadership capacity and capability to deliver high quality, sustainable care”
  • “There was a culture of high quality, sustainable care”
  • “Excellent communication between staff and patients was noted”

Finally, Trish announced a new priority area for 2019/20: tackling delays. This would seek to reduce patient waiting times and delays in service. All speakers thanked staff and partners for their work and contributions to the development of the Trust.

The last part of the AGM involved a range of senior staff taking questions from the floor. There were specific cases raised, which the CEO said would be discussed in more private surroundings at the end of the meeting, as well as praise for the work of the Life Rooms and an eagerness for their expansion.

Attendees were able to have a light lunch and visit a market place style collection of stalls and stands representing Trust services. Later the Board met for a development session.

For more information you can phone: 0151 471 2303 or 0151 473 2778


Write to: Alison Bacon, Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust,
V7 Building, Kings Business Park, Prescot, Liverpool L34 1PJ


Your next meeting

Taking part at Mersey Care means getting involved and being a part of everything we do.

We have a long track record of involving the people who use our services, and their carers, in planning and delivering our services.

By taking part you can bring a whole new perspective to what we do. Come along to our Members' event and find out more.

Our next members' event will take place at Golden Miller Suite, Aintree Racecourse, Ormskirk Road, L9 5AS on Friday 28 February 2020 from 12.30 to 3.30pm. If you would like to attend this event RSVP to or call 07772546289 or 0151 473 2921.

For more information about becoming a member visit: 

Getting involved, becoming a member or call 0151 473 2778.