Chief Officers Blog 3 September 2021

View the full Chief Officers Blog: 3rd September 2021

Hello everyone, Sheena here!

It is my second full week working at the partnership (I was on long planned annual leave last week) and I want to thank everyone for the warm welcome I’ve received. Everyone so far , and especially the team here in the HCP , has been terrific so I feel like I have been here a lot longer

So much is happening, and so fast. Our ongoing development to statutory ICS status is a marathon though, not a sprint, so I expect the next 7 months to be hugely challenging and very rewarding; action packed, productive and fun.


Everybody reading this can safely expect to receive lots of Information on our progress now that our Development Plan workstreams are getting into full swing and NHSE has issued more guidance on the processes to be followed. For me, the most important message I can give you now in this blog is that we are determined to retain, utilise and develop the fantastic talent that we have across our Partnership in Cheshire and Merseyside. The health, wellbeing and resilience of our staff during this transition period is of upmost importance and our workforce leads are working with staff to meet their needs.

We will be facilitating self-care and professional development, team work and mutual support, and developing a culture of inclusivity and compassionate leadership. There will be many ways for all our stakeholders to keep informed and to stay in touch, and of course, our website will be fully updated with developments as they happen.


These are exciting times for our system and I’m really pleased to be able to welcome Steve Warburton, Chief Executive of Liverpool University Hospitals NHS Trust into the core ICS team on an interim basis. He will join our leadership team in a strategic role and I have no doubt that we will all benefit from his extensive skills, knowledge and experience.

It is great news that Sir David Dalton will be joining LUFT as interim Chief Executive while they complete the process of recruiting a new permanent CEO. Sir David brings significant influence and an unrivalled track record of delivering improvement in safety, quality and culture.

Southport and Formby Hospitals and St Helens and Knowsley Hospitals Trusts have also confirmed today that they have entered into a long term, collaborative partnership. This will benefit both organisations and their communities and by working together the can deliver improved outcomes for S&O patients and ensure high quality, sustainable services for their localities; increase flexibility and development opportunities for staff; make best use of available resources; and of course, share the benefits and experiences of St Helens and Knowsley’s outstanding CQC status.


Friday 10th September 2021 is World Suicide Prevention Day and a series of events are taking place across Cheshire and Merseyside to raise awareness of support available for people in crisis. Sadly, more than 200 people die every year by suicide in Cheshire and Merseyside, and we must do more as a health and social care system – and as a wider community – to get people the help they need in a timely way.  Our “No More Suicide” strategy will form a key part of discussions at the World Suicide Prevention Day event hosted by Champs Public Health Collaborative on the 10th September. Organisations including the NHS, local authorities and charities will come together for the online event with the theme ‘Creating Hope Through Action’. You can find out more here


Finally, I am afraid Covid has not gone away and I want to take this opportunity to ask for your help in continuing to spread some really important messages. It is essential that we all – even if you are double vaccinated – continue to follow the most basic advice of washing hands regularly, maintaining social distancing and covering faces where appropriate. Hands. Face. SpaceOur vaccination programme remains a key priority and is the best defence against covid. We are urging everyone over 16 to get their jab, enabling them to Get back to doing what they love – socialising, clubbing, eating out, taking part in sports, everything!. Although more than 3.5m vaccines have been given across Cheshire and Merseyside there are still many people – some of them extremely vulnerable – who are yet to come forward. Most deaths from covid are among the unvaccinated, and could have been avoided. Also, if you have had one dose, please make sure you get your second. So, Let’s Get Vaccinated!

Thank you for reading my blog and, until next time, take care,

Sheena Cumiskey

Interim Chief Officer, CMHCP

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