Chief Officer’s Blog 10 September 2021


Hi everyone, Sheena here.

I can’t believe it’s already been a week since my last blog.  How time flies when you’re enjoying what you’re doing. And I am!

This has been a particularly good week. On Tuesday, I hosted a development session with the executive team at the Partnership, and the Accountable Officers of our CCGs.  It was an extremely useful and successful event, and one that will be repeated regularly between now and April next year as we complete our transition to an ICS.

I was struck by the positive relationships and the joint determination to work together on our common purpose.  That common purpose is, of course, greater integration of services and leadership to benefit our communities and tackle health inequality. It was clear that we are one team, and together, we can be much more effective, productive and efficient.  The energy I felt from this group was palpable and their enthusiasm for rapid progress (which is a must do) is extremely encouraging. I’m excited to be a part of it.

Our interim Chair, David Flory, and I have also had very positive meetings and interactions with local authority colleagues and elected members. They are also part of our ‘one team’ and   are actively involved in our Health and Care Partnership and our development into an ICS. Their commitment to their citizens – the 2.6 million people of Cheshire and Merseyside – is crucial to realising our joint aim to tackle health inequality and improve the lives of the poorest, fastest. Our next Partnership Board, which includes representation from all local authorities, CCGs and Trusts, and the voluntary sector, takes place next week, so look out for the update from that meeting which will be shared widely soon after.

We have now received extensive guidance from NHS England on many aspects of the work we need to do before April next year.  This includes welcome guidance for our workforce and confirmation of the commitment to retain the talent we have and ensure as little disruption as possible to people’s work.  Our HR&OD Workstream kicked off yesterday with a commitment to regular, consistent communications with our staff and continuing to promote and protect their health and wellbeing.

As ever, our communications team will be supporting this work, as well as overseeing and implementing a detailed strategy to ensure openness, transparency, and timeliness in our communications with staff and all other stakeholders.

So, it’s the end of the first full week of September. I can’t help but be reminded of those days back in school – the beginning of a new term, a new year with goals to be met and tasks to be completed; a clean desk and exercise books with blank pages ready to be eagerly filled.  That’s exactly how I feel right now!


Until next time

Sheena Cumiskey

Interim Chief Officer, CMHCP

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