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Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust rated as Good

5 April 2019

England’s Chief Inspector of Hospitals has rated the services run by Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust as Good, following an inspection by the Care Quality Commission.

CQC carried out an inspection at the trust during October and December 2018, overall the trust has maintained its rating of Good. In respect of safe, effectiveness, responsiveness and caring, the trust has been rated as Good. In respect of well led the trust have been rated as Outstanding. This is an improvement on their last inspection, March 2017, when safety was rated as Requires Improvement.

The rating of safe improved, because inspectors could see that staff had the right qualifications, skills, training and experience to keep people safe from avoidable harm. The trust provided mandatory training in key skills to all staff and in most cases made sure everyone completed it. Mandatory training included infection control, moving and handling, health and safety and fire safety. Some of the features from the inspection included:

  • Inspectors rated ten of the trust’s twelve mental health and learning disability core services as good, one as requires improvement and one as outstanding
  • The trust had a clear vision and set of values.The trust’s strategy had been developed with involvement from staff and external stakeholders.There was a clear emphasis on quality improvement

The inspection identified a number of areas where improvement was needed, including:

  • In urgent care services, long delays waiting for ambulance services to transfer children and young people to hospital caused a potential risk to patient safety
  • Staff in community health services for adults and community mental health services could not always easily access patients’ electronic records

Dr Paul Lelliott, Deputy Chief Inspector for Hospitals and lead for mental health said: "This latest report represents good progress for Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust. I’m encouraged to note that the rating for safe has improved to Good. We could see that staff cared for patients with compassion and respect and staff involved patients and carers involved in decisions about their care and treatment.

"Although there is room for further improvement in some of the trust’s services, we have given the trust an overall rating of Outstanding for Well-led. The trust had the leadership capacity and capability to deliver high quality, sustainable care. The board was well-established and stable, with a broad range of experience and skills. Non-executive directors provided constructive challenge and expertise. The rating of Outstanding reflects this.

"It also recognises the work that the trust has done recently to take over a number of services from other local health organisations. On 1 July 2016 the trust acquired Calderstones NHS Foundation Trust and on 1 June 2017 the trust acquired the parts of Liverpool Community Health NHS Trust that were providing services in South Sefton.

"The trust and its leadership team have also developed new initiatives that are of national importance. Mersey Care's work on 'no force first' and 'zero suicide' have both led to improvements in patient care locally and been taken up by other trusts across the country."

Read the report


Last updated:
11 April 2019

Notes to editors

For further information please contact CQC Regional Engagement Manager David Fryer at or on 07754 438750 or Regional Engagement Officer Mark Humphreys at or on 01912 011675 / 07401 853206.

Please note: the press office is unable to advise members of the public on health or social care matters. For general enquiries, please call 03000 61 61 61.

Whenever CQC inspects it will always ask the following five questions of every service: Is it safe? Is it effective? Is it caring? Is it responsive to people’s needs? Is it well-led? Read more about CQC’s approach to inspection.

Registered providers of health and social care services are required to display their ratings on their premises and on their websites so that the public can see their rating quickly and easily. Read more further information on the requirement for providers to prominently display their CQC ratings.

Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust provides specialist inpatient and community mental health, learning disability and substance misuse services to adults in Liverpool, Sefton and Kirkby. It also provides community health services to adults and children in Liverpool and South Sefton. The trust provides specialist high secure and learning disability and autism secure beds to a much wider population encompassing North West England, parts of central England, and Wales.

The trust was established on 1 April 2001 and granted NHS Foundation Trust status on 1 May 2016. The trust currently employs almost 8000 staff. The trust provides local mental health, learning disability and community health services to a population of around 1.2 million people, and specialist high secure and learning disability services to a population of around 11 million people and has an annual turnover of £370 million.