Publish date: 8 July 2022

We are aware that the changes ahead for the Whalley site brings with it anxieties for those colleagues affected. I wanted to let you know that we recognise the challenges all our colleagues are experiencing at Whalley, whether that be in relation to the current staffing challenges and the impact that this also has on service delivery, but also anxieties around the retraction of Service at Whalley generally.

The changes ahead for our Whalley services were as a result of a national change in policy decisions for learning disability services. This has not been a Mersey Care decision. It has always been our intention to share any information we have or receive as soon as reasonably possibly, sometimes this may be delayed due to on-going discussions with neighbouring Trusts.  We have been open and honest and always shared what we know as fact. we accept that recently we have been unable to share details of timescales, process etc and that with this brings uncertainty and rumours can start. We recognise that we need to answer these to resolve the anxieties that they may provoke amongst our colleagues. We will do this by meeting with colleagues on wards and through planned engagements sessions and also in partnership with our staff side colleagues. Getting the communication right will be key over the next 18 months but to do this we need the right information to answer your questions and avoid making promises that can’t be kept or add to our colleagues anxieties. Again this will be done in partnership with all of our staff side colleagues.

We hope you agree that we have always been open that we want the site to remain in the NHS. We have all recently seen Lancashire and South Cumbria NHS on site starting the process of transition. Their services will be very different from ours; they have to be, as NHS England have directed. What this means for colleagues who might want to stay in Whalley is something we are currently discussing with LSC. There are offers in place for you to remain in Mersey Care, and there will be great opportunities for those who can come with us to Maghull and be part of that service, shaping it and leading it.

We will be setting out the detail of further opportunities in the next weeks, which is currently being worked up. This is being done in partnership with staff side and will be seen and approved by Executives. R&R options to remain in our Services when they transfer to the Maghull site are being planned . The wellbeing hub is always online and includes support from people who know the site and the situation and there’s an Active Workforce health check session this Tuesday in the boardroom from 10-2 .

Julia has extended this offer of support and many of you will know her well enough to know that her door is always open. In addition you will see us on your wards and we are approachable on site going forward. There is a new page on YourSpace where you can access at work, home or your mobile will include links, contacts and answer your questions. Details of this will follow in due course.

We fully appreciate that change is challenging, by putting our services first and maintaining the outstanding practice we’re known for, we will continue to deliver great care and support each other.

We would like to thank you all for your continued commitment to our services.

Thank you and best wishes

Steve, Mark, Julia