Publish date: 14 July 2023

Dear Colleague,

I wanted to write to you following a meeting that we have had with our Staff Side Colleagues on 14 July 2023.

As a Trust, we are usually cautious about any sensitive information we share on a Friday.  However I have been requested to do so from Staff Side who are mindful that many colleagues would appreciate an update as soon as possible, knowing that the meeting has taken place today and thus will be expecting an update. I recognise the uncertainty that many colleagues on the Whalley site will be facing at the moment, and I will try and make this process as smooth as I can.

You will already be aware of the postponement of the site retraction following my recent communication. The ownership of the Whalley site was due to transfer to LSCFT on the 1 October 2023 however this has now been delayed until 2024 – we will provide you with an exact date once confirmed.

We have continued to communicate with both affected colleagues and staff side representatives that there are job opportunities for all affected colleagues at Aspen Wood or in the wider Trust and it is not our intention to make anybody redundant as part of this process. We have shared with you details of current incentives which we hope will encourage colleagues to transfer to Maghull as we want to retain the knowledge, skills and experience of our colleagues. There also continues to be a robust recruitment drive in place for new recruits.  We have been working tirelessly with colleagues in particular at Lancashire and South Cumbria and other NHS providers to ring fence and secure redeployment opportunities for our Whalley colleagues particularly for those affected colleagues who would like to continue working on the Whalley site.

These ongoing discussions continue to be positive and we are now in a more advanced position than we have been despite efforts where we have previously missed opportunities.

We are also in the process of developing a timeline for next steps for our Whalley colleagues and this will be shared with you once a date has been agreed.

We will continue to maintain in regular communication with staff side and yourselves and I give a personal commitment to share as much information as I am able to at the earliest possible stages.  

We will write to those colleagues based at the IPC houses under separate cover to provide further information in relation to the TUPE transfer.

On a final note I would like to thank you for your ongoing commitment to our services and patience in regards to this process.

Yours sincerely,

Steve Newton

Divisional Director Secure Care

Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust

Staff support 

It is important that we take time to focus and invest in our psychological and physical wellbeing as well as feel supported, listened to and cared for. Support is available for you.

We have our Staff Wellbeing Hub for wellbeing advice and support and Occupational Health and Wellbeing for advice on health and work.

Talking Therapies is a free, confidential service offering psychological support.