On Thursday millions of people from across the United Kingdom voted in the referendum, and a majority expressed a desire that Britain’s future is to be outside the European Union.
The outcome of this referendum has been determined by the people of this country. It is now the responsibility of the Government, with the support of Parliament, to take full account of the outcome of the referendum, and, in the light of this, decide upon the next steps.
The vote to withdraw from the European Union means that now we must all reimagine both what it means to be the United Kingdom in an interdependent world and what values and virtues should shape and guide our relationships with others.
The implications of the UK’s historic vote, and for the NHS, are yet to become clear. Until that is resolved, our focus must be to concentrate on raising standards of care for all our service users.
As part of that, can I please encourage you all to take part in the ‘Direct the Directors’ initiative. The best way of bringing matters to our attention is to invite us to visit your team by using the link lower down in this newsletter.
I know Beatrice Fraenkel, our chairman, has visited Moss House, one of our essential hubs that provide a specialist community mental health service that includes crisis and home support and rehabilitation. Beatrice was impressed with the staff and their commitment and will report back on any issues or concerns they raised during her visit.
Those of you who regularly look at our website may have spotted an article regarding a recent visit to the Calais refugee camp by Emad Lilo, Mersey Care’s Social Care Professional Lead.
His visit was part of an initiative to celebrate Refugee Week and he joined a delegation that aimed to help the refugees, many of whom are living in appalling conditions after fleeing persecution or war zones.
You can find out more details on Emad’s visit by looking at the website. His work follows on from our work with the Somali community, which was a great success with 48 clinicians from the Habeeb Hospital in Mogadishu recently completing our online distance learning programme. We are also looking into doing further pro bono work in the future.
Working for the NHS we can sometimes become consumed with our own worries, but we can learn a lot from working overseas in places like Somalia and now Calais. Often in these situations, the solutions to the biggest problems are the simplest.
Extreme situations give clarity of thought about what is needed most and Emad’s experience in Calais, having worked with refugees for the last 30 years, has been no different.
Working out what’s essential and what’s not is often the key to solving even the most complex of problems. We’re all lucky that we do not live or work in a war-torn environment like many of the refugees, but we can apply some of the lessons we have learned in those type of situations.
One of the simplest lessons to help solve any problem is the act of sitting down and talking, which of course is the main thrust of our Big Brew campaign. We believe that just by sitting down and talking to a friend or relative, it is possible to vastly improve their chances of accessing help early and significantly improve their chances of recovery.
Remember, too, that talking is not just a solution for patients and careers. It is vital that we, as staff members, talk to each other. Many issues that are raised with me could be resolved by better bi-lateral discussions. And of course, don’t forget to talk to me and other Board level colleagues – we cannot act to correct if we don’t know!
Armed Forces Day
Mersey Care has long championed the need for greater support for our military veterans and provides a range of services to help support them. They range from talking therapies to help with addictions and we have staff trained in veteran’s awareness, some of whom are veterans themselves.
We are also constantly looking to increase our services for military veterans and we hope to be able to make an announcement regarding that in the near future. We will continue to campaign for greater support but every one of us should spare a thought for our veterans more so than normal tomorrow for Armed Forces Day.
More Clock View Success
Fresh from winning three awards at the recent Design in Mental Health Awards, Clock View Hospital has been recognised again for another prestigious award.
This time it’s been shortlisted for the European Healthcare Design Awards in the Mental Health Design category. The winners will be announced at their conference in London next week, but congratulations again to all involved for earning more recognition for Clock View and Mersey Care.