Top NHS England Nurses have ‘Inspiring’ Visit to Sefton

Health commissioners hosted a visit to Sefton from two of the most senior nurses in England at the end of July to showcase the good work going on in the borough to improve the quality of healthcare for local patients and residents.

Hilary Garratt, CBE, director of nursing for NHS England and deputy chief nursing officer for England and Margaret Kitching, regional chief nurse north for NHS England and NHS Improvement spent a day in the borough finding out about Sefton’s transformation programme to better join up or ‘integrate’ services for the benefit of patients.

Hilary and Margaret were invited to the borough by NHS South Sefton Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and NHS Southport and Formby CCG’s joint quality team. Their visit began with a tour of south Sefton’s intermediate care service, which is run by Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust and located at  Ward 35 on the Aintree Hospital site.

The visitors spoke with frontline staff who care for patients referred to the ward for further rehabilitation after being discharged from hospital. During their time on Ward 35 Margaret and Hilary also heard about more areas of quality improvement work being carried out by Mersey Care’s other community based teams.

In the afternoon our visitors spent some time with our chief officer, Fiona Taylor, chief nurse, Debbie Fagan and our joint Sefton CCG quality team to hear about the work they do to provide assurance around the safety, effectiveness and patient experience of the services we commission.

To round off Hilary and Margaret’s visit, we invited chief nurses and representatives from a range of other Merseyside CCGs and provider organisations to join a discussion session, where our visitors were able to hear more about how we work together towards improving the care of our residents in Sefton.

Chief nurse for the CCGs in Sefton, Debbie Fagan, said: “We were delighted that Hilary and Margaret were able to take the time to visit us and to hear about how we are working together across health and care organisations for the benefit of our patients. Our intermediate care service is a good example of this and it’s great Hilary and Margaret were able to speak directly with the professionals who provide the service and hear about the difference it’s making to patients in supporting them back home after being discharged from hospital.”

Margaret Kitching, regional chief nurse north, NHS England / NHS Improvement, said: “I was delighted to be part of this important event, seeing first hand, nurses and allied health professionals who are leading change at pace and scale to improve outcomes and experiences for patients and those we care for.

“Leadership at local and regional level is crucial and it was great to see such passion and determination across Sefton and beyond to work across boundaries and organisations to shape and lead integrated services of the future.”

Hilary Garratt, director of nursing, NHS England and deputy chief nursing officer for England, said: “It was fantastic to network with multidisciplinary clinical leaders and hearing from clinicians who are driving integrated transformation programmes that support early discharge.

“With commissioning and provider senior nursing leaders and allied health professionals working together in this way across Sefton and beyond, it was inspiring to see transformation happening in partnership, across the whole health and care economy.”