Chief Executive’s Update: Change Ahead – Joe Rafferty @Mersey_Care

Joe Rafferty

Joe Rafferty

Political Changes


I am starting this blog once again reflecting on the heart breaking scenes coming through from Nice overnight. As healthcare workers we are programmed to care about others and I would ask you all to spare a thought for friends and family of those who died.

Those tragic events have put another busy week of political change into perspective. Anyone who has watched any news bulletins over the last few weeks will know we are in the middle of an historic time of change politically. We have a new Prime Minister, the country has voted out of Europe and the Labour Party looks on course for another leadership election.

It is perhaps understandable, given everything else that has happened, that Labour’s decision to scrap the Shadow Mental Health Minister post held by Luciana Berger MP has not been as widely reported as some issues.

We are still in the early days under the new Prime Minister and we will wait to hear where mental health falls in her list of priorities. It is, though, very disappointing that the main opposition party have chosen to drop their specialist mental health post, the first of its kind in UK politics.

These are challenging times for everyone in healthcare and it may be some time before we become aware of the new cabinet’s plans for mental health. Whatever happens, we need to maintain high levels of care for our service users and it may mean looking at different ways of delivering our services. We have already shown that when we break down our processes, often in conjunction with our experts with experience, we can make a big difference with initiatives like No Force First.


While we await news of future plans from the new Government, here at Mersey Care we will continue to ensure mental health remains a key part of the national political agenda by talking to local MPs and the media about the issues that need addressing.

Kevin White Unit

The Kevin White inpatient detoxification is relocating today, 10 days ahead of schedule for operational reasons to ensure patient needs are fully met.

Clinical staff and patients will be the first to relocate from the Smithdown Health Park in Liverpool, to the Windsor Clinic based on the Aintree University Hospital site. Admin staff will remain for a short overlapping period and continue to operate a 9am to 5pm service.

Please note that existing contact telephone numbers for the Kevin White Unit are still usable and calls will be relayed to their new location.

The move is prior to a major redevelopment of the Kevin White Unit to provide an integrated addictions detoxification inpatient facility with modern facilities including single bedrooms with en-suite bathrooms.

Should you have any queries about the move or access to this service, please contact the Addictions Service Clinical Project Lead Katie Taylor on email:

More details on the relocation can be found in the Local Services Division blog (link lower down this newsletter).


More congratulations are in order after Mersey Care was shortlisted for two categories in the Positive Practice Mental Health Awards. We were shortlisted for the Mental Wellbeing of Staff category for our Health and Wellbeing at Work initiative while the ‘Imagine Your Goals’ initiative, run jointly with Everton in the Community, were also shortlisted in the Integrating Physical and Mental Healthcare category. At the time of going to press, we were still waiting for the shortlists in other categories so hopefully there’ll be further good news.

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