Publish date: 31 May 2022

Message from Julia Musker, Service Manager, Secure and Specialist Learning Disability Division


I want to update you on news about the site. We are working towards transfer of the Whalley site to Lancashire and South Cumbria NHS Foundation Trust (LSC).  They are currently working on our former MSU Woodview and we expect the transaction to take place this October.

A working group made up of colleagues from the two trusts, Lancs and South Cumbria and Mersey Care, will oversee the process.

I want to be clear that at this point no clinical services will be affected. That means no change for any areas, wards or care packages. After the transfer LSC will own the site and Mersey Care will rent the buildings that we need and use from them as our landlord. This will make sure that the site remains in the NHS family.

Herbstones, main reception, meeting rooms and parking will all still continue to operate as usual for us.

The timeline for the new service at Woodview becoming operational is expected around January 2023. At that point, we will then physically share the site with that trust’s services. Our clinical service managers will be involved in working with them on how we will use the site together and we will keep you all informed of this, so you and all service users can be assured of anything new or different on the site.

The new low secure service is called Aspen Wood in Maghull. It is under construction and we recently held a ‘first bolt’ ceremony in Maghull.  The trust chairman and clinical colleagues ceremonially tightened the first pieces of steelwork on the site of the 40 bed unit and toured the development. Highlights from the day can be seen in this short film on the trust Twitter here:

In recent months, the trust comms messages and staff Facebook have included requests for ward names. Colleagues in Whalley, and elsewhere, responded with many suggestions. The project group have thanked contributors - they discussed the suggested names and a “long list” is with Steph Phillips to share with service users.  A decision will be made later in the year through the trust protocols. Steph has also been asked to seek ideas for the café area on site. Members of the project team, including Jo Worswick and Elaine Wilkinson, will be on site in the next few weeks with design boards and other information. You can go online and search for “Mersey Care LSU” for the latest news and images of the site:

Lots of work is going on behind the scenes around plans to ask staff to support the service users to transfer to the new site, either permanently or just a short time to help them settle in. There will be incentives and help available, as well as the continued trust recruitment processes.

I recognise the challenges of this time and as ever, my door is open if people want to discuss things. We are holding a number of events in the weeks ahead, including the Jubilee events on site today and on Calderstones estate this Saturday afternoon, as well as a service in St Luke’s. These events are part of showing our strengths and the great work done on site, as well as marking a period of change which I know has been in the back of our minds for a long time and is now more immediate. Please talk to me or your manager about any issues arising.


Thank you,