Trust Wide news

Mersey Care nurses win national digital app award

A new digital app, designed by Mersey Care to provide all the information needed by newly registered nurses and healthcare professionals, has won the Proven Concept category at the prestigious Nursing Times Digital Awards.

The Mersey Care Preceptorship App (Powered by PIOTA), collates all the preceptorship information previously cascaded via physical paperwork, email, intranet and presentations, into one place.

This content is aligned to the National Preceptorship Framework for Nursing. More information about the app and the award is on our website. The app was also a finalist at the Technology and Data in Nursing category at the general Nursing Times 2023 awards.

Virtual Ward earns media focus

Mersey Care’s virtual ward has been the focus of extensive media coverage following a joint press release distributed by NHS England in association with Mersey Care and Liverpool University Hospitals’ NHS Foundation Trust (LUHFT).

The press release was used by 198 different media outlets, both national and local. The coverage follows the launch of the North West’s first heart failure virtual ward in May 2022 and a successful joint bid from Mersey Care and LUHFT to secure funding from the NHS Digital Health Partnership Award on behalf of NHS Cheshire and Merseyside.

The virtual ward, run in partnership with digital health company Docobo and part of our Telehealth Service, ensures heart failure patients can receive the same care by remaining at home as they would expect when in hospital. 

A feature on the virtual ward programme was also included in Hospital Management Asia, which can be found here.

More Mersey Care recognition

Two of Mersey Care’s newer hospitals have earned recognition at recent awards events with Hartley Hospital in Southport winning Best Public Building at the Sefton Design Awards.

Aspen Wood, our new low secure unit based at Maghull Health Park which is due to be fully operational in the New Year, also won the Clinician’s Award at the Building Better Healthcare Awards and was highly commended in the Best Public Building category at the Sefton Design Awards.

Our work with NHS England has also been recognised the Restraint Reduction Network with the Best Initiative Award. HOPE(S), the model which we’ve designed to successfully move service users out of long term segregation, has been adopted in Trusts across the country. More information about the service can be found on our website.

NHS England official visit

Dr Ronke Akerele, NHS England’s Director of Culture Transformation, visited the Trust to hear about the second year of our People Promise, an NHS England scheme aligned to the annual staff survey designed to improve the experience of working in the NHS.

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Pictured above: Felicia Hodji (left), a staff nurse at Longmoor house, meets Dr Ronke Akerele after presenting a case study on the Preceptorship pilot project.

The Trust delivered a presentation to Dr Ronke, showcasing our initiatives and strategies around the People Promise agenda. Colleagues from NHS Cheshire and Merseyside ICB were also present, and the feedback was very positive.

Dr Ronke said: “I was very impressed with your approach to improving culture, team development and the approach you’ve adopted to integrate diverse initiatives and priorities towards implementing the People Promise. It was good to observe a wider Board ownership for this agenda and hear evidence of Felicia’s experience of participating in the career development programmes, including her preceptee experience of an inclusive and compassionate culture.”

Launch of winter wellbeing resources

Mersey Care has enhanced and improved its ‘Help Us Help You’ website page designed to give Cheshire and Merseyside residents advice and tips to support their general wellbeing during the colder months.

The one-stop shop web page has been developed to include tips and advice about keeping warm, looking after your physical and mental health, NHS111 first, and when to go to A&E or ring 999. It aims to keep residents away from hospitals and inpatient units, which are traditionally high in demand during winter while a campaign to promote the new resources is planned for Greatest Hits Radio.


Have you had a look at our working for us pages recently? The pages are regularly updated with our latest vacancies. Here’s some that caught our eye this week:

Share this if you know someone who would be a perfect fit for Mersey Care.

Universities have also been engaged with when the Trust invited student mental health and learning disability nurses to apply for roles within our mental health and secure care divisions. Applicants for the roles were invited to attend an event on the 7 November to learn more about the opportunities on offer and take part in an interview on the day.

Celebrating our learning disability nurses

Learning Disability Nurse Day took place on Wednesday 1 November and our fantastic LD nurses marked the day with a video and postcards celebrating the diversity and importance of the role – the one below features head of LD nursing, Amy Shaw.

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Whalley Remembrance 2023

The annual commemoration of remembrance at our Whalley learning disability site, which was used as a soldier’s hospital during two World Wards, took place last weekend alongside the Royal British Legion.


The vicar of Whalley held an act of remembrance in the war cemetery on the site, including the laying of wreaths by the Ribble Valley Mayor and Elaine Darbyshire, Mersey Care’s Chief Communications, Engagement and Estates Officer. Representatives from Lancashire and South Cumbria NHS also participated for the first time, who are due to take over the Whalley site in the near future.

Physical Health News

Life Rooms to promote Winter Wellbeing

Life Rooms are supporting communities through the cold approaching winter months, with several of our sites across Liverpool and Sefton establishing themselves as warm hubs, where individuals and families can use the facilities as a social warm hub and receive social and practical support in areas such as housing and debt.

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The sites at Walton, Belle Vale (Lee Valley), Southport and Bootle offer free hot drinks and soup at selected times to help keep individuals warm and fuelled. Free Winter Wellbeing Packs including hot water bottles, soup sachets and information leaflets can also be picked up at the various Life Rooms Winter Wellbeing Events.

The events, which can be found on the Life Rooms website, will highlight help available from The Life Rooms services and the wider community. The events will feature a community marketplace, which will include various local and partner organisation with a focus on support around issues such as Debt, finances, Benefits advice, Energy Advice Support, Food insecurity, Housing and Mental health support.

New base for our Liverpool City Walk-in Centre

Our City Walk-in Centre has moved from The Beat in Hanover Street, Liverpool to the Linda McCartney Centre as part of our plans to further improve and upgrade facilities. More information is below.


Mental Health News

Ruby Wax OBE opens new Neuromodulation Suite

One of only two Neuromodulation suites in the North West has been officially opened by actress, comedian and mental health campaigner Ruby Wax OBE at the Knowsley Resource and Recovery Centre based at Whiston Hospital.

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Chief Medical Officer Dr Noir Thomas (left) with Ruby Wax OBE at the official opening of the Neuromodulation Suite.

The American born author and performer opened the suite during a gap in the schedule of her nationwide tour, ‘I’m not as well as I thought I was.’ She met representatives from Mersey Care alongside service users and was given a tour of the new facility. More information can be found on our website.

The new address for the Neuromodulation Service, which provides Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation and ECT, is:

Neuromodulation Service
Knowsley Resource and Recovery Centre
Whiston Hospital
Dragon Lane
L35 5DR

Telephone: 0151 250 5069


Launch of 24/7 Children’s Crisis Response Team

A new 24-hour response team is now available for young people up to the age of 18 experiencing emotional, behavioural or mental health difficulties which are causing difficulties in their school, family or social life.

The service is open to children and young people who are registered with a GP in Halton, Knowsley, St Helens and Warrington, until they are 18, in crisis and needing an emergency response.

They provide:

  • No wrong front door for emergency referrals, providing advice and consultation to professionals, parents, carers and children and young people
  • Emergency assessment and follow up
  • Brief intervention and home treatment.

They will provide an assessment within four hours, a risk assessment, and offer advice to children and families, working with social care, schools and other professionals.

The team is available on 01744 415 640 and more information about the team and the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) are available on our website.

More information on the service is also available by listening to a recent BBC Radio Merseyside interview.

Global Forum on Zero Suicide

A free Global Zero Suicide Institute Forum is being held which will include healthcare leaders, behavioural health experts, digital health innovators, and policymakers from around the world aiming to revolutionise access to behavioural healthcare.

The international event aims to bring together conversations on innovation and leadership and will be held virtually on Thursday 16 November, 2-11pm. Those who can’t attend live who are registered will be able to watch recordings of the sessions.

The speakers include Prof Joe Rafferty CBE, Chief Executive Officer at Mersey Care, Jennifer Kilcoyne, Mersey Care’s Clinical Director of the HOPE(S) project, and Claire Iveson, Consultant Clinical Psychologist at Mersey Care.

ZSA Training funding boost

The Zero Suicide Alliance (ZSA), supported by our Mersey Cares charity, is one of four successful projects in a bid for funding from NHS Charities Together. The funding will be used to update and refresh its original 20-minute free online suicide awareness training course and the social isolation training introduced during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Can you please help the ZSA by sharing your feedback about the training? What do you think works well? What would make it better? You can find the free training modules on the ZSA website.

Building Attachment and Bonds Service (BABS) launch in St Helens

Mersey Care’s new BABS service in St Helens is inviting professional referrers to come and meet their team and find out more about our new service at an event on 6 December at 1pm. Details are below, including how to get in touch for more information.


BABS in Sefton re-opens for referrals

Referrals have re-opened in Sefton for the first time since the pilot ended earlier this year for BABS, which aims to support parents and infants during pregnancy and post birth.

Initially launched as a 12-month pilot with a directive to help 70 families in Sefton, it closed for referrals last December after reaching its target whilst still supporting families in the service until March this year. The service has now been awarded recurrent funding to help many more parents and infants across Sefton.

The service accepts referrals from parents and carers who are pregnant or have a baby aged up to six months, who are struggling with their own wellbeing and/or struggling in their relationship with their baby. Although the referral window is short, we can work with families up until the baby is two. More information on our website.

Listening and working in partnership with young people

Mersey Care’s Mental Health Support Team has received enthusiastic feedback on their animations from young people while engaging with Halton school councils. They loved the short films, both from the patient story perspective and the animation style itself.

It prompted a young person with special education needs (SEND) to approach the team with an idea for a storyboard for a new animation, particularly one of the worry strategies the team cover in the intervention.

It’s sometimes hard for some young people to understand and after seeing the other patient stories, they thought a video animation would be better – the Communications Team worked with the Mental Health Support Team and the young person to turn this into an animation.

The animation is an excellent example of listening to patients, ‘and being able to capture feedback from the video itself, in terms of its helpfulness to support patient care and treatment. More information about the service can be found on the Trust’s website.

MC Magazine - out now 

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