In Mind: Chief Executive Joe Rafferty provides his latest update on Just Culture @Mersey_Care

Joe Rafferty

A Just Culture

I’d like to start my first blog of 2017 by wishing service users, patients, carers and members of staff a Happy New Year. I hope this year will be prosperous for all concerned and as good as the last in establishing Mersey Care at the forefront of research, innovation and setting new standards for mental healthcare.

My last couple of blogs for 2016 focussed on our achievements during the previous year, and particularly concentrated on establishing a ‘Just Culture’ within our organisation. That doesn’t mean we currently have an unjust culture operating, but there’s a difference in a clear focus and a system in which we are always just.

The concept of a Just Culture was discussed at length during a Centre for Perfect Care Event at Aintree just before Christmas, which was attended by over 140 staff. One of the presentations at the event was from Captain Mike Davidson, who explained how the airline industry had made cultural changes in their operating procedure to ensure there was less of a blaming approach.

We are at a stage of developing a Just Culture where it is now actually about what we want to do with this – turning talking into action. It’s about being open and learning together, which isn’t new in itself, but having a Just Culture is a new way to approach it.

The slide below gives a brief example of how we are going to approach it. We’ll get away from the complicated and resource-hungry bureaucracy of legalities when things go wrong, and support people to be responsible and accountable from the start. This fits nicely within our goal for Perfect Care.


Brew Monday

Those of you who have been at the Trust some time will know that Mersey Care have been at the forefront promoting the importance of getting people to talk about their problems so they can access services early and stand a better chance of recovery.

Our campaign, the Big Brew, is vitally important at this time of year with so-called ‘Blue Monday’ approaching on 16 January, which has been calculated by experts as being the most depressing day of the year. If you consider that most suicides happen because people do not believe they have anywhere else to turn, it’s crucial we get the message out there to share a cup of tea or coffee with someone and talk about your problems.

Given our campaign, we are renaming Blue Monday as ‘Brew Monday and we’ve had great success in the past getting our message out there and you can see a video of what we’ve done here.

There will be more details next week of how you can support this year’s campaign, but for now please get behind the ‘Brewfie Challenge’ – we’re asking as many people as possible to take a selfie, or Brewfie, with their favourite mug and challenge three other people to do the same. More details of what to do can be found here.


There is also a ‘Brew Monday’ page on our website, which can be accessed here and will be updated with a list of events for the day as soon as they are all confirmed.

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