On this page you can see all of the information that’s available on this live project that includes hybrid working and the review of Trust corporate buildings.  

Presentations from 2020/21

  • Session one presentation

For Mersey Care corporate staff who were unable to attend the Skype call, click here.

  • Session two presentation 

For Mersey Care corporate staff who were unable to attend the Zoom call, click here.

  • Session three presentation 

For Mersey Care corporate staff who were unable to attend the Zoom call, click here.

 

Questions and Answers

  • Q&A from the presentation on 26 February 2021

Question: Do you anticipate anything will be different from 22 June?

Answer: V7 building will look different and we’re currently talking to heads of department and making plans around: bookable desks, more meeting spaces, and allowing us to work in a more agile way across the Trust footprint. It all needs to be done with safety in mind.

Question: Has any consideration been given for new starters and how they are guided into their roles?Answer: Virtual induction is being planned but in the meanwhile teams should reach out to new starters. They need to be clear about what’s expected of them.

Question: When changes are being made in the organisation the Employee Life Cycle team seems to be the last to be involved. This should happen at the beginning for the structures and employees to be in the right place at the right time. It would ensure pay and expenses are applied at the beginning and not after the event. Can this be highlighted for future moves/acquisitions?

Answer: It seems we need a checklist for future changes to make sure that everything that needs to be done is done, and in the right order.

Question: What sites are going to be reviewed/reconfigured?

Answer: We’re always reviewing and reconfiguring sites, for example, we’re looking to reprovide the low secure unit from Whalley to Maghull Health Park. We’re looking at building at Mossley Hill Hospital which connects to Broadoak and Windsor House sites, and of course we’re reconfiguring V7 building.

Question: Are there any plans for Saturn House? 

Answer: We’re not aware of any but will look into this and respond.

Question: Are there any plans for LIP? 

Answer: We’re working with the chief operating officer and the needs of the service. The lease is expensive but doesn’t end until 2023 so there is time to plan.

Question: Will the second vaccine be the same type as the first? 

Answer: Yes.

Question: Is it still 90 days COVID-19 clear before you can have the vaccine? 

Answer: National guidance suggests 28 days clear from COVID-19 before having a vaccine.

Question: If a family member had their first vaccine on the day when over 60's were vaccinated, will they be invited for a second vaccine? 

Answer: Yes. National guidance is that people are encouraged to have second doses in the same place that they had their first dose. Second dose appointments should have been made at the time the first dose was given.

Question: Will corporate teams be co-located from day one of the acquisition of North West Boroughs

Answer: No. We’ve said to NWB staff that no-one will move for at least six months from the acquisition date. Senior managers may be expected to move from site to site for meetings. Each team will be expected to look at their own structures and decide on best fit.

Question: Are there any plans to rename Mersey Care as it moves into Lancashire and Cheshire

Answer: No, that’s a big decision and would involve changing all signage, literature, livery etc. So, no plans in the short term.

  • Q&A from the presentation on 8 February 2021

Question: Can agency workers access the vaccine?

Answer: Yes, as long as they provide suitable ID and their company name.

Question: Are we engaging with staff who are off work to get vaccinated? 

Answer: Every staff member who should have been invited for a vaccine has been invited and we’ve targeted staff who are not in work due to sickness or shielding.

Question: When will non-clinical staff be able to get the AstraZeneca vaccine?

Answer: When all patient facing, clinically vulnerable, those in cohorts 1 to 4 and staff who are unable to have Pfizer have been offered the vaccine, it will be offered further afield. If non-clinical staff have social contact in clinical areas as part of their role, they should request the vaccine if they’ve not been offered it.

Question: Will it be offered to families of staff at some point in the future?

Answer: Yes, for those in cohorts 1 to 4 and those who are clinically vulnerable. They must book using a Mersey Care email address and have proof that they fall into those cohorts or are clinically vulnerable.

Question: Are we planning to offer mutually agreed redundancy scheme (MARS)?

Answer: There are no plans to offer MARS. 

Question: Will there be redundancies?

Answer: There are no redundancies planned.

Question: Any corporate staff coming with the Southport and Formby TUPE?

Answer: A safeguarding team only.

Question: Are we looking to do roadshows for NWB staff, similar to those that took place with LCH staff

Answer: Yes, they were well attended so will take place again. The communications team will also produce a handbook for staff new to the Trust.

  • Q&A from the presentation on 3 February 2021

Question: Have we conducted a survey of all North West Boroughs (NWB) building assets? Do we know the state of repair of their buildings before we take over, for example, are we inheriting asbestos and other serious situations?Answer: We’re not aware of any serious situations. Question: In terms of the estate, do we know how many buildings we are acquiring?Answer: NWB do not own many of the buildings that they occupy. There are: 11 freeholds, 2 long leaseholds, 21 documented leases, 17 undocumented leases (of which there are several close to completion), 2 SLAs, 8 sessional areas. Question: Are there any plans to introduce MARS at any point in the future?  Answer: There are no plans to introduce MARS.

 

Question: Do we know who will provide IT and IT support for NWB teams that come across? Informatics Merseyside currently provide IT services for Mersey Care but it is another provider for NWB.Answer: Informatics Merseyside will provide the IT function.

 

Question: Does wearing non-surgical masks also have a low risk of transmission and what sort of percentage risk is it?

Answer: Face coverings are acceptable outside of the work environment, especially when worn outdoors. Due to the risks associated within healthcare environments, surgical masks are needed. The World Health Organisation has information about masks/face coverings for the general public (not in work situation). 

Question: What happens if you are not suitable for the AstraZeneca jab due to an allergy?

Answer: The Trust is unable to offer an alternative as we currently only have Pfizer and a very small amount of AstraZeneca. As long as guidance around PPE is followed, staff will remain safe.  

Question: I have a FFP3 mask, would I be required to swap this for a standard surgical mask if coming to a Mersey Care premise?

Answer: FFP3 masks are not necessary unless you’re involved in an aerosol generating procedure. Surgical masks provide sufficient protection. 

Question: What about vaccinations of people who are vegan etc. How can we convince those

Answer: The Trust has produced questions and answers that are available on the COVID-19 guidance page on the intranet. If staff remain hesitant, they are able to discuss it with our pharmacy team.  

Question: Are our staff who are pregnant safe to get the vaccine?

Answer: Those staff who are pregnant should seek advice from their GP or midwife before they receive the vaccine. 

Question: Can family members book the covid vaccine if they fulfil the criteria?

Answer: Yes but they must be able to prove that they fulfil the criteria. 

Question: Are there likely to be less desks in future for a certain amount of time to support social distancing at Mersey Care buildings?

Answer: Headquarters buildings will remain at V7 and Hollins Park. Post pandemic, working arrangements will change but this will follow discussion with staff. 

Question: Will we have enough to give staff their second dose of the vaccine?

Answer: The Trust has been advised that there are no delays with delivery of the vaccine. This is the Channel 4 interview from last week with the Deputy Chief Medical Officer who helps to clarify myths. 

  • Q&A from the presentation on 27 November 2020

Question: How many staff/IT users may potentially transfer from Southport and Formby community services to Mersey Care?

Answer: If Mersey Care bids for and wins the services, it would include over 200 members of staff.

  • Q&A from the session on 11 November 2020

Question: Are residents of Knowsley able to be tested within the Liverpool mass COVID-19 testing scheme?

Answer: Visit Gov.UK and enter your postcode or phone 119 to check.

Question: Why is there a delay with kit needed for people working form home?

Answer: Orders had to be co-ordinated for items that weren’t already available at V7 but all outstanding kit is on its way.

Question: How should I order my Trust gift?

Answer: Please co-ordinate orders by team and, before 16 November 2020, send to: Angela.brown@merseycare.nhs.uk

Question: Will we have extra resources in corporate services when we acquire North West Boroughs Healthcare and possibly services from Southport and Ormskirk Hospital?

Answer: The Trust is working through due diligence checks and on having the right clinical model in place. Support services will be carefully planned around the model when it’s completed.

Question: What are the timescales for being able to use V7 building?

Answer: We know that teams want the ability to be able to come together occasionally and we’re working on configuring the spaces now. We want people to have physical connectivity when we’re out of this period of lockdown.

Question: When will staff who need to visit students/other staff, for example, practice education facilitators, be able to visit them in their places of work? 

Answer: This question needs to be directed to chief operating officers or their deputies as each division will have local situations and plans in place.

 

  • Q&A from the presentation on 9 September 2020

Question: If we reduce estates and buildings, would it be cost effective to hire conference suites etc. for necessary meetings/team get togethers? Answer: We must understand the needs of all corporate services and how they want to use the buildings and we’re collecting that information. Estates colleagues are also doing a piece of work on the use of our corporate buildings for teams, and individuals, to ensure that we use the estate effectively. We could try to negotiate deals with external suppliers so that we can use their facilities when required.

 

Question: How will we address the increased cost to employees of working from home?

Answer: Some of this will be balanced against the reduced costs in travel to work, lunch, work clothes etc. but we need to look at this fairly and are in discussions with staff side colleagues for a solution.

Question: What is the plan to address the experience of working from home for the 26% of staff who did not respond positively or did not respond at all?

Answer: The figure of 26% came from the results of an adapted Culture of Care Barometer survey which was distributed earlier in the year. We need to continue to check how people are feeling about working from home and try to encourage as many staff as possible to respond. Another Culture of Care Barometer survey has just been circulated. As well as this, display screen equipment assessments should have taken place for all staff who’ve been home working and the results discussed with managers. Any issues around home working should be picked up by managers with an appropriate solution agreed. Another question was circulated yesterday from CovidRP@merseycare.nhs.uk regarding working from home and all staff are encouraged to respond.

Question: Are we going to get better access to zoom rather than the 40 minutes that most of us can only get at the moment? 

Answer: Skype was set up as a quick short term solution but the longer term plan was for Microsoft 365 Teams to be implemented across the Trust, as it is elsewhere in the NHS. IM colleagues are negotiating packages with Microsoft. We have a limited number of Zoom licences and it will not be the platform of choice.

  • Q&A from the presentation on 2 September 2020

Question: I completely agree that WFH was a novelty to begin with. However my personal view is that a balance between WFH and working closely with fellow colleagues within an office environment is the ideal. I honestly don’t think the value of team working face to face can be underestimated.

Answer: The corporate reset project is looking at all variances on working patterns - working from home and blended working. All managers should be discussing this with their teams to establish what works for their service, their team and individual members.

Question: Are we to presume principally home working to March next year? 

Answer: Yes, for those who are able to? For those who have identified issues with their manager, alternatives arrangements should be in place.

Question: When is the next session? 

Answer: Final repeat of this first session is next Wednesday. Future sessions are planned for November 2020 and February 2021. Please book onto these sessions via the Learning and Development prospectus under Events.

Question: Is there a plan to set out what people can expect in terms of IT and office kit and timeline for this. I think this detail would help people plan for sustainable working from home.

Answer: These discussions should have taken place with managers following DSE assessments. Where possible/available, kit should be taken from the office and logged via the manager. Where it isn’t available, it should be provided, where practicable. Because each team works differently and individual requirements vary, there isn’t a ‘one kit list’ fits all approach.

Question: I think a blend of office and home working would be ideal. I find it easier to concentrate when face to face with people as I feel naturally more engaged. Being at home can cause me to struggle to stay motivated and concentrate for long periods of time, I also think it has had a negative effect on my mental health.

Answer: Please discuss individual working practices with your manager who should be able to suggest viable options.

Question: Will there be a formal way/process of agreeing what proportion of work should be home to office work at destination? 

Answer: These discussions will take place with managers, bearing in mind limitations on space within the office due to the implementation of social distancing measures.

Question: Will blended working be considered before March or after? 

Answer: These discussions and plans should be taking place now with managers, whilst HR and staff side review flexible and agile guidelines for staff. The corporate reset programme will oversee and coordinate this approach to ensure a safe environment for all staff.

Question: Is there an update on the use of Microsoft teams rather than Skype? 

Answer: IM is reviewing the use of teams and how best to manage the roll out. They will provide an update as soon as they have a viable solution to roll out across the entire network and are utilising lessons learnt from the speed to which we responded to virtual and digital platforms.

Question: Can the documents be shared for use with other teams? 

Answer: A copy of presentations will be uploaded to the corporate reset area on yourSpace. Please email Corporatereset@merseycare.nhs.uk for any other documents you would like to see on the site.

Question: Is there work going on looking at putting cameras and working screens into meeting/training rooms so that when people are in a room together they can still easily hold meetings with people dialling in from home?

Answer: This work is being carried out now. A working group for meeting spaces has been set up that is looking at the best solutions for meeting rooms to be equipped for a virtual environment.

Question: If people have had to purchase desk/office ware would this cost be covered by the Trust? 

Answer: A piece of work is being carried out to look at this by colleagues from the finance department.

Question: If we are asked to work from the office a few days a week should we have the same level of kit in the office as we now have at home? Some roles it's difficult to do from a single screen.Answer: DSE assessments apply in the office as well as at home. You need to work with your manager to ensure that you have the right kit to do the job required. Most managers have submitted confirmation of kit requirements from the DSE assessments; your requirements should have been captured during this exercise.

  • Q&A from the presentation on 18 August 2020

Question: Will there be mechanisms for making suggestions etc?

Answer: An email address has been set up: Corporatereset@merseycare.nhs.uk This is specifically for corporate staff to make suggestions and ask questions. Alternatively, please forward suggestions via managers who attend the Corporate Tactical Group - every corporate function are represented at the group.

Question: Is there scope for reviewing core working hours?

Answer: Whilst we are going through this transition stage of the pandemic, our guidance and protocols for flexible and agile working are being reviewed. In the meantime please raise and discuss options with your line manager to agree the best possible solution for you and your wider team.

Question: How will the acquisition of North West Boroughs Healthcare impact on any corporate service plans? 

Answer: We will get our own house in order and capitalise on the learning, the new ways of working and the potential changes to estates that covid has created. The need to get our services right remains a priority. At the formal approval stage of acquiring North West Boroughs Healthcare we will review the position.

Question: Some staff are struggling to work from laptops. I know that corporate work is taking place but I am concerned that staff are damaging their health in the short term - any way to resolve this quickly

Answer: All staff should have had DSE (display screen equipment) assessments and follow up discussions with their managers to identify their needs in terms of kit. This should be provided, where practicable. If you are currently adversely impacted by your working environment please raise this immediately with your line manager.

Question: Can people take things from the office as long as they're logged?

Answer: Yes, everything removed from the office should be agreed by the manager and logged by the department. A form has been shared for collation of all kit which is taken. 

Question: Can your chair be delivered to your home address as have no transport to get it from V7

Answer: In the first instance discuss this with your manager, some teams have made arrangements with colleagues or your manager can make a request via the Trust Transport team noting there will be a cost associated with this for your team.

Question: Is the plan to keep V7 as the base for corporate services?

Answer: Yes, however it will not be configured in its current layout due to implementation of social distancing measures.

Question: Looking at the longer term, do we know if we can unlock long leases for some of the big corporate buildings so we know the possible cost-savings for the future?

Answer: Part of the corporate reset requirements are to review the existing corporate buildings and ensure they are fit for purpose. A review of all buildings occupied with corporate staff will take place concurrently with the working practices review to ensure our estate can deliver what is needed for now and the future.

Question: Can IT restrictions be softened to allow laptops to be connected to home printers? Usually we can’t download software to allow this.

Answer: This has been carried out on request; please contact the IM service desk.

Claiming tax relief

You may be able to claim tax relief for additional household costs if you have to work at home for all or part of the week, click here to apply:   https://www.gov.uk/tax-relief-for-employees/working-at-home

Working safely

Your manager will discuss with you how you can work safely and must make sure your workplace is safe. Where there are any concerns or questions, please liaise with your manager. Remember to follow our Working from home guidance for your safety and wellbeing. Managers will continue to work with colleagues who are unable to home work on the best solution to enable them to fulfil their roles.

Support

If you need any support, please speak to your manager first or:

 

Display Screen Equipment Assessments (DSE)

All managers who have team members home working must encourage completion of self-assessment forms and conversation checklists. Staff are to complete the forms and managers must complete the checklists for conversations with every member of the team who is home working. Information is required at individual level. There are short term measures we can take, for example, for staff requiring additional pieces of kit, and this will capture that detail. There will be staff, due to their home environment, their wellbeing or reflective of child/carer responsibilities and a host of other reasons, that may not be able to effectively work from home and this feedback will enable us to develop appropriate plans to support these colleagues in the most effective and appropriate way.  

By having these individual conversations we can determine the factors that matter for our staff and we are then able to organise any necessary resources that are needed to support colleagues to be able to work as effectively as possible.

Question

Answer

Will I be able to return to my existing office In Hollins Park House when it reopens?

Due to the planned relocation of staff from V7 and Babbage House to Hollins Park House, rooms at Hollins Park House will be reallocated prior to the reopening of the building.  It is not necessarily the case that individuals will return to work from the same office they left.

Will the Trust provide screens and docking stations for all desks? Currently some desks do not have this equipment as It has been utilised for home working.

IT equipment for desks at all sites will be reviewed as part of the planned moves.  

We will be talking to line managers in the near future regarding their IT requirements.

Will hybrid working be rolled out to all staff across the Trust where their role allows including those staff that are not included within the scope of these moves?

Hybrid working will be available as an option for all staff across the Trust where it is suitable for their job role. It is acknowledged that some roles do not suit hybrid working, for example receptionists and nurses working on a ward.

 

 

 

Are there currently any plans for Baird House to close along with Babbage house as they are both at Liverpool Innovation Park?

There are currently no plans for Baird House to close.

How will the consultation work?

The consultation will commence on 22 June 2022 and will last for 45 days. A consultation document will be available at the beginning of the process outlining the proposal. There will be an opportunity for 1-1s with your line manager. Where any issues will be considered. There will also be consultation meetings will all the various teams.

Who is in and out of scope for these moves?

All staff located at V7, Babbage house, Hollins park and Puma Court.

 

Will it be possible to utilise meeting rooms on other Trust sites and what is the process for this?

There are meeting rooms available on many Trust sites and staff will continue to be able to make use of these where appropriate. There is a booking system specific to each main facility which should be utilised to book a room.

Will staff receive excess mileage payments for travel to their new base?

Yes, in line with Trust policy colleagues will receive mileage for a four-year period if the new journey exceeds their substantive journey.

What meeting and training facilities will be available at Hollins Park House and V7?

The project team are looking at options to maximise the available meeting and training facilities at Hollins Park House and V7.  However, we will not be able to replicate the current amount of available meeting rooms given the closure of Babbage House.

The training rooms within the Education Centre at Hollins Park House will remain available. As many other meeting rooms and spaces as possible will be facilitated within the building.

At V7 all current meeting rooms will remain open and we have identified another room which will be converted into a meeting room.

Following the emptying of Babbage House, there will be several pods available.  The Estates team will look at the viability of relocating some of these pods to both V7 and Hollins Park House. 

What storage facilities will be available?

There will be storage facilities available at all sites.  Storage requirements will be discussed with team managers prior to moves taking place.

Will there be any reimbursement for working from home as some people cannot afford it?

No additional payments have been agreed for staff who decide to work from home. The executive team will keep this under review.

What support will there be for people’s mental health whilst working from home?

No member of staff will be working at home full time. There is an expectation that all colleagues will come to their base on a regular basis to meet with colleagues and carry out specific pieces of work. This will be an opportunity for line managers to discuss any individual concerns that a staff member might have. Support is always available from occupational health service and if necessary, a colleague can request to work from their work base on a more regular basis.

Why is the executive base going to be Warrington and not somewhere central?

The executive team will have offices in Hollins Park House and will also utilise offices in V7.

How will desks be allocated to each service team?

Desk numbers have been discussed with team managers to consider the requirements of each team and the roll out of hybrid working. 

Desks will not normally be allocated to individuals, except in circumstances where they are either expected to be utilising these desks full-time five days per week, or where they require specialist equipment or reasonable adjustments.

Do all staff have to adopt hybrid working? Is there an opportunity for some teams to be based from home full time?

No member of staff will be allowed to work from home full time. The executive team take the view that all colleagues should come in to the office base on a regular basis to engage with other colleagues and the supportive network this provides. Hybrid working i.e. working from home and the office is an individual choice and will be supported if the work role allows. It is not compulsory for a colleague to work from home and if a colleague wants a permanent office base this will be facilitated.

Have infection prevention and control measures been considered when allocating desks?

Updated IPC guidance issued on 7 June 2022 states. that in non-clinical areas “the requirement to maintain safe distancing will be removed”.  As a result of this, there will be no need to reduce desk numbers allocated to each team to allow for safe distancing. 

Masks will continue to be provided for any staff who wish to wear them. In the event that COVID-19 cases increase and IPC guidance changes, these desk allocations may need to be reviewed.

Any staff with concerns should speak to their line manager.

Will shuttle buses for staff be considered to take us from one site to another?

This is not something that has previously been requested, if sufficient staff requested it then it will be considered.

What is the overall estates strategy for Community Services?

The Trust Estates Strategy is to develop the highest quality estate in the smallest possible footprint. The Community Division is commencing a significant period of change during which we will better understand the true estates requirements of our new clinical models as they continue to embed and develop. We cannot guarantee at this stage that locations will not shift and change in order to support service delivery

Has car parking been taken into consideration at these sites?

Free car parking is available at Hollins Park House, V7 and Puma Court.

Through the pandemic, there have been few issues with car parking at these sites as they have not been busy.  We recognise that this may change as staff return to the office, however with the roll out of hybrid working it is difficult to know how many cars will be present at each site on a daily basis. 

 

Will business continuity plans be reviewed following the moves/hybrid working?

Good practice is for BCPs to be reviewed as a minimum annually or in line with any significant change or event impacting on the service. Service Leads will be tasked with ensuring that BCPs continue to relevant and effective following a change of base or amendments to working practices.

What will the reception arrangements be at each site?

V7 currently has a reception area which will remain open.

There are currently no plans to put new reception areas in to Puma Court or Hollins Park House.

Are there enough desks for staff to choose not to work from home?

It is acknowledged that hybrid working is not suitable for all staff.  Some staff will be unable to work from home due to the nature of their roles, while others will choose not to work from home due to personal circumstances or preferences.

Based on the results of the survey conducted in 2021 of staff based at V7, Hollins Park House and Babbage House, it is believed that a significant majority of staff will be happy to work from home for part of the week.  In addition, many staff who are not working from home will also not be in attendance at the office on any given day, for example those working in clinics, visiting patients in their home or hot desking at other Trust sites.  For these reasons we expect that there will be sufficient desks available for those staff who require them.

Will there be DSE assessments completed for staff working from new buildings?

A request for a DSE will be from the staff member, and any request will be sanctioned via the Divisional Safety Advisor, who will send out the self-assessment document and when returned the Advisor will review, and if required attend the site or home and carry out the formal assessment, if specialist equipment is needed, then the advisor will arrange for this to be carried out, following the agreement with their Line manager.

When will the moves take place and when will we be given details of our new office?

Staff moves will begin in August 2022 with the first teams relocating from Puma Court and Babbage House to V7.

Hollins Park House will reopen in early September and corporate staff will then move into the building.

Further team moves from Babbage House will continue until the end of October 2022.

Proposals for team areas will be shared with team managers in the first instance and once confirmed will then be shared with staff in advance of their team moves.

Will there be an IT training suite at V7?

Yes, both IT training suites will remain in place.

Is V7 up for sale and will Mersey Care be buying it or extending the lease?

V7 is not up for sale. MCFT are in the process of renewing the lease.

Will any savings made from these changes be used to improve care and service delivery for our patients?

Mersey Care will save approximately £1.2m per annum from the lease costs for Babbage house. This money will be reinvested to support the provision of clinical services.

Do Mersey Care Laptops have sim cards to allow you to work from mobile data? NWB Laptops used to have this.

Laptops will have SIM but will not be activated unless specifically requested for each of them.  There is a cost per SIM of £5 per month which the service would pay for.

Will Commissioners and Health Watch be informed that their Head Office is moving away from their patients?

All stakeholders including Commissioners and Health Watch will be informed of all service relocations.

What works are being completed at Hollins Park House?

 

The works to be carried out at Hollins Park House include:

Installation of new LED lighting throughout the building

Installation of a new kitchen area

Redecoration where required

New flooring where required

New ceiling tiles where required

New office furniture throughout the building

What do you mean in terms of hybrid working?

There is currently a hybrid working policy under review by the executive team.