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News Report Page 9 of 15
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Mersey Care end dormitory wards in Liverpool

APPROVAL for a state of the art new mental health Hospital, in Liverpool, has been granted by the Treasury and Department of Health and Social Care, paving the way for the end of dormitory wards in the City. Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust's will deliver 4 20 bed wards with the new Hospital, which will consolidate services from across Liverpool on the site of the old Mossley Hill Hospital. Plans for the new building on Park Avenue have been subject to extensive public engagement going back to 2016.

Beatrice Fraenkel, Chairman of Mersey Care, said:- "This news allows us to give the people of Liverpool what they need; the very best care in a modern, therapeutic environment with single en suite facilities and easy access to gardens and open space. Our current inpatient estate has been identified as a limiting factor in service users' recovery. More than that, by delivering better buildings we're also setting newer and higher standards in mental health care for everyone."

The old Mossley Hill Hospital was a mixture of buildings dating from 1938. It was demolished last year whilst retaining the historic mansion building on Park Avenue. Material from the older buildings were crushed for re-use on site as future building materials, as part of a clear environmental strategy for the Hospital which also includes trees, gardens, cycle parking and car charging points.

Mersey Care's Executive Director of Estates, Elaine Darbyshire, said:- "Building an 80 bed facility is a major investment in care to the people of Liverpool. It's important for our staff and for those building the Hospital. As a Trust, we've seen major new sites built at Clock View in Walton in 2015, Rowan View in Maghull in 2020 and Southport's Hartley Hospital, as well as refurbishing other sites such as Leigh Moss near Alder Hey. We're also part way through building a low secure Hospital, and so this latest approval continues Mersey Care's radical reshaping of care for our patients. I'd like to use this opportunity to invite professionals to join us, in clinical roles, as well as in facilities, support and administrative jobs, across our wide range of services."

Last year a competitive tendering process took place overseen by the Liverpool Sefton Health Partnership. Construction giants GRAHAM were chosen as the preferred build partner because of their wide experience including numerous health sector projects and architects Gilling Dod have worked with service users, carers and stakeholders to create the modern, airy designs for the Hospital.

Mrs Darbyshire commented:- "This news enables people with mental health needs to know they will have a therapeutic environment to rest and recover from their crisis episode. We're really looking forward to seeing our new Hospital with all of its en suite single bedroom accommodation, fulfilling a national pledge in improving care standards."

The name for the new building, which must conform to a number of criteria for accessibility and appropriateness, is being discussed online on the Trust's website. People are invited to offer possible Hospital names for a final decision by Mersey Care in the autumn.

Final approval from HM Treasury came this week after the Department of Health agreed the plans last month, allowing construction work to start as planned in September. Across England, more than £400 million will be committed over the next 4 years to eradicate dormitory accommodation from mental health facilities to improve the safety, privacy and dignity of patients.

Locals are kept informed of plans with regular leaflet drops and there are open day events planned throughout the construction period. The new site is expected to open in 2024.

Long term funding of adult social care

CARE England, the largest and most diverse representative body for independent providers of adult social care, has welcomed the publication of the Levelling Up, Housing and Communities Committee's report:- 'Long Term Funding Of Adult Social Care.' Professor Martin Green OBE, Chief Executive of Care England, says:- "This report echoes the repeated calls of Care England that significantly more central funding is required immediately for adult social care to meet the widely reported immediate and longer term financial pressures facing the sector. While this Government pledged to 'fix' social care, it is clear that in reality, this is far from having been achieved. Against a backdrop of increasing workforce pressures, inflation, and a cost of living crisis, the sector finds itself in a more precarious position than ever before. The recommendations of this report represent the latest in a raft of publications which demonstrates that without intervention, adult social care providers will not be able to meet the needs of society's most vulnerable."

The Committee's report outlines that:-

   The Government should extend the Infection Control Fund for as long as the public health situation requires it to advise care workers to self-isolate with Covid19.

   The Government should allocate additional funding this year through the adult social care grant, to cover inflationary pressures and unmet care needs, and should announce this as soon as possible so that local Authorities can plan how to cope best with the pressures they are facing.

   There is a large funding gap in adult social care that needs filling.

   The Government urgently needs to allocate more funding to adult social care in the order of several billion each year, at least £7 billion.

   Private care providers should be compensated for employer National Insurance Contributions to the Health and Social Care Levy.

   The Government currently has nothing more than a vision, with no roadmap, no timetable, no milestones, and no measures of success.

   The Government should publish a 10 year strategy for the adult social care workforce.

   The Government's guidance for fair cost of care exercises should require Councils and providers to move towards pay rates for care workers that align with the NHS and that reward more senior staff with meaningfully higher pay than entry-level workers.

   The Government should monitor the impact of adding care workers to the Shortage Occupation List on vacancies and be prepared to extend the visa period beyond 12 months, to lower the salary threshold, or both.

Martin Green continues:- "Immediate action is required to ensure adult social care providers can withstand the unexpected pressures caused by rising inflation, not accounted for in previous uplifts and budgeting. With Winter on the horizon, the situation will only become more challenging over the coming months. The sector desperately needs Government support to navigate this precarious period, including the injection of funding recommended in today's report. We would implore the incoming Prime Minister to meet the recommendations of this report within the 1st 1 hundred days of their tenure."

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