Publish date: 15 May 2023

Message from Steve Newton

Dear Colleague

I write to provide you with an update on the current position of the Whalley site retraction process which has been managed in accordance with the Trust Organisational Change policy.

The consultation process commenced on 14 February 2023 and ended on 27 April 2023. During this process I did not receive any significant challenges or alternative proposals to the organisational change set out in the consultation paper. Therefore, I can confirm that the recommendations put forward in the consultation paper are to be implemented.

Your contribution and engagement during this stage of the organisational change process has been invaluable. I would like to express my thanks for flexibility shown by all colleagues working at the Whalley site, through your engagement in the consultation phases and for the positive collaboration between our staff side representatives.

Work has already commenced to review the information captured from the individual consultations and to plan out the next stage of the process. I aim to provide you with a more comprehensive update with regards to what this will entail in the forthcoming days.

I would like to reassure you that the information provided within the individual consultation documentation will be held confidentially and will be used when determining whether a role is then deemed suitable for redeployment for any displaced colleague. For example, if you have stated that you do not believe that a role at Aspen Wood is a suitable alternative post for you, then your reasons for saying so will be taken into consideration at that time.

I recognise that any organisational change can be a difficult process for some, particularly the nature of this change which involves a full site retraction, and I am equally mindful that a lot of our colleagues have dedicated many years of service on the Whalley site making this process even more sensitive. I do hope that many of you will transfer with us to Aspen Wood and recognise the many opportunities we have available. If you have not visited Aspen Wood yet, I would urge you to do so to see the building for yourself. It truly is impressive. Please contact your manager who can arrange this for you.

Please be assured that the Trust are working hard to retain colleagues within Mersey Care wherever possible and to support others who may be unable to continue their journey with us to secure employment elsewhere within the wider NHS family and local Trusts via a clearing house process. Further detail of this will follow.

I also intend to engage directly with our colleagues within the Individual Packages of Care in relation to the proposed TUPE transfer of services to Lancashire and South Cumbria NHS Foundation Trust.

In response to the possibility of understandable concerns you may have, we have developed a support package which will be offered to our Whalley colleagues, details of which will be provided to you under separate cover.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your professionalism, continued support and dedication to our services, especially during this time of uncertainty.

Staff side have been consulted throughout this process and will provide support to you moving forward. If you have any queries with regards to this process, please contact your line manager in the first instance or you can direct your query to the Whalley retraction email inbox on

On a final note, should you wish to contact the Trust’s staff support service they are available on 0151 473 0303.

Yours faithfully,

Steve Newton.

Divisional Director of Secure Care