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Chief Inspector of Hospitals rates Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust as Good

27 June 2017
Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust
  • Media,
  • Hospitals

England's Chief Inspector of Hospitals has rated Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust as Good following its latest inspection by the Care Quality Commission.

The trust has been rated as Good for providing services that were caring, effective, responsive, and well-led and Requires Improvement for safety. The reports from this inspection in March have been published on our website.

CQC undertook the inspection of Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust following its acquisition of Calderstones NHS Foundation Trust in July 2016. The inspection also included high secure services and some of the areas where CQC had identified the need for improvement at the previous inspection in June 2015.

Inspectors found that most patients and carers were positive about staff and the service. Patients said that staff were supportive, helpful and kind and respectful.

Staff took a proactive approach to understanding the needs of different groups of patients. All of the wards provided access to separate rooms where patients could practise their faith. Wards were also able to cater for specific dietary needs.

The trust’s services were planned and delivered to meet the diverse needs of the population. There were good escalation procedures in place for delayed discharges, and the inspection team could see that the trust had a clear vision, values and strategy. Safety and quality were paramount.

This inspection took place eight months after the trust assumed responsibility for Calderstones NHS Foundation Trust. Overall, staff morale was good despite service pressures, staff and patients were engaged in all aspects of strategy delivery.

The Deputy Chief Inspector of Hospitals and lead for mental health Dr Paul Lelliott, said:

“Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust provides specialist inpatient and community mental health, learning disability and substance misuse services for adults in Liverpool and the wider Merseyside area. Mersey Care were faced with significant new responsibilities when it took over the management of services previously provided by Calderstones NHS Foundation Trust in July 2016."

“It is encouraging to note that they have maintained the quality of these services."

"We were also impressed with in the high secure services where staff were striving to minimise the use of restrictive practices. They were developing and piloting other models to build on this."

“In substance misuse services, managers had set up a partnership project to provide support specifically for military veterans and reservists seeking addiction treatment across the UK. The trust was in partnership with Royal British Legion and Tom Harrison House (a military specific rehabilitation unit for people who had been addicted to drugs and or alcohol). The service, through the partnership, had been awarded a two year grant via a Ministry of Defence covenant which funds detoxification beds within Mersey Care."

“On wards for older people with mental health problems, teams from different specialities meet on a regular basis to review the frailty of their patients. At the reviews, staff discussed patients’ fall risk, physical health conditions, infections and delirium, continence, modified early warning system score, weight, and diet and fluid intake."

“The trust still has work to do. Safety in some areas was not as good as it could be. For example, on a ward for people with learning disabilities and autism, there was not a sufficient number of staff to manage patients’ level of need. Also, some staff were not up to date with all of their required training."

“This inspection shows Mersey Care are providing an effective service and I am pleased to be able to rate the quality of these services as Good. I congratulate all involved and I encourage them to now take action to improve further in those areas we have identified.”

During the inspection, CQC found some areas of good practice including:

  • In learning disability and autism secure services there was excellent use of positive behaviour support to reduce restrictive practice. There was a human rights based approach to risk assessment, and the service promoted equality and diversity.
  • Patients were seen as experts in their own care. Patients had been involved in filming a number of short videos about the wards. These videos were available online to help new patients know what to expect from admission and the transforming care agenda.

CQC has advised the trust that they must take action in some areas, including:

Forensic inpatient/secure wards (medium and low secure)

  • In forensic inpatient/secure wards, the trust must ensure that good infection control measures are in place to ensure the separation of clean and dirty areas of the laundry.
  • All staff must complete training necessary to ensure they are able to deliver safe and effective care. Required training includes basic life support, immediate life support, moving and handling of people and dysphagia training.

The Care Quality Commission will be working with the trust to agree an action plan to assist them in improving the standards of care and treatment.


For further information, please contact David Fryer, Regional Communications Manager - North, on 07754 438750.

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Last updated:
27 June 2017

Notes to editors

The Chief Inspector of Hospitals, Professor Sir Mike Richards, is leading significantly larger inspection teams than before, headed up by clinical and other experts including trained members of the public.
Whenever CQC inspects it will always ask the following five questions of every service:
  • Are they safe?
  • Are they effective?
  • Are they caring?
  • Are they responsive to people’s needs?
  • Are they well-led?
Since 1 April, registered providers of health and social care services have been required to display their ratings on their premises and on their websites so that the public can see their rating quickly and easily.

About the Care Quality Commission

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) is the independent regulator of health and social care in England.

We make sure health and social care services provide people with safe, effective, compassionate, high-quality care and we encourage care services to improve.

We monitor, inspect and regulate services to make sure they meet fundamental standards of quality and safety and we publish what we find to help people choose care.