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A festive message from Chair Rosie Cooper and Chief Executive Officer Prof Joe Rafferty CBE

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As we move towards the end of 2023, we wanted to personally thank every one of our Mersey Care stakeholders for your support during what has been another challenging and busy year.

Whatever your plans over the festive season, whether you celebrate Christmas or not, please take time to pause, reflect, and recharge. We have asked a lot of you, and you have all made a huge difference to the many thousands of people we care for each and every day.

Also, a huge thank you to our staff who will be working around the clock over Christmas and New Year to provide the best possible care for our patients and service users.

On behalf of the Mersey Care Board of Directors, we’d like to wish everybody a Merry Christmas and a happy and healthy New Year.

The Blog: Read Prof Joe Rafferty CBE’s round up of Mersey Care’s 2023

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This month’s blog. Joe’s final one of the year, reflects on another busy 12 months for Mersey Care and picks out the highlights from 2023. You can read the full blog on Mersey Care’s website.

Help Us Help You during the festive period

We’ve updated our ‘Help Us Help You’ resources in time for this year’s Christmas and New Year period. It’s packed with advice and resources, including animations on mental health, mental wellbeing, loneliness and self care, on a host of illnesses and complaints which may crop up at this time of year. You can find all the information on our updated webpage.

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Life Rooms extends Warm Hubs

The Life Rooms’ Warm Hubs initiative has been extended during winter with sites at Walton, Southport and Bootle now open between 9.15am and 4.45pm, Monday to Friday.

A free hot drink and soup is also available on selected days at our Walton, Southport, and Bootle Life Rooms. More information, including our IT facilities and device charging, can be found on The Life Rooms website.

A new winter wellbeing document is also being made freely available to download and keep. It has advice about how to 'heat the human, not the home' to keep energy costs down while still looking after your health and wellbeing. It also includes cheap and simple recipes to feed four people for under £5 per meal and tips to combat loneliness and more.

Virtual wards – what are you views?

The North West Virtual Ward Programme Board has created a survey to understand how the public in the region feel about virtual wards.

The survey attempts to understand any concerns people would have about being on a virtual ward, so that these can be addressed moving forward.

Mersey Care’s Telehealth programme, which delivers remote monitoring services across Cheshire and Merseyside, and West Lancashire, supporting around 2,000 patients a day with long term conditions like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, diabetes and heart failure. It has featured on BBC Morning Live and BBC Radio Four’s World at One programme.

M-RIC moves into new headquarters

The Mental Health Research for Innovation Centre (M-RIC) has moved to a new Liverpool headquarters within the University of Liverpool’s new Civic Health Innovation Labs (CHIL).

The new base was formerly opened by Professor Lucy Chappell, Chief Scientific Adviser for the Department of Health and Social Care and Chief Executive of the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR). More information can be found on the M-RIC website.

New BABS service for St Helens

As part of the early years support for children and families, Mersey Care has launched a new Building Attachments and Bonds Service (BABS) in St Helens.

BABS is a Parent Infant Mental Health Service supporting vulnerable families while mum is pregnant and in the early weeks after the baby is born. The service offers specialist, therapeutic support to families in St Helens to help them build good bonds and attachment with their baby.

Sessions may take place in the family home or in local family hubs in the community, while we also offer specialist parent infant mental health training and consultation to multiagency professionals locally. More information can be found on the website.