Sheena’s blog – our 2017 highlights

by Sheena Cumiskey - 20 December 2017

For many of us, approaching the Christmas period is about looking forward to catching up with family and friends, and escaping the winter chill in the company of loved ones. For others, however, this is a particularly difficult time of year.

While it is of course important that we allow ourselves to enjoy the festivities, we also need to look out for one another. Just a small gesture of kindness to someone can make all the difference and I’d encourage us all to keep that in mind.

I’d like to make a special mention to those working hard over the Christmas period to deliver (and support the delivery of) outstanding care for people accessing our services. You are a credit to your families and I’m sure they are as proud of you as we all are at CWP.

As this is my last blog of the year, I’d like to take a brief look back at some of our highlights from the last 12 months. Nationally, the NHS has again had a challenging year in a difficult financial climate, and at a local level we have been no different. However, in the face of these challenges we’ve managed to achieve many remarkable things:

Person Centred framework

In March we have been introduced our new Person Centred Framework to colleagues across CWP. Person-centredness is about connecting with people as unique individuals with their own strengths, abilities, needs and goals, and our framework have a shared understanding about how we can put these values into practice.

The framework, which you can access on our website, is made up of tools and approaches to help apply person centred principles in everything we do. Co-produced by people who access services, their carers, families and staff colleagues, the eight overarching principles celebrate and support us all as unique individuals.

Nursing Associates

We are the lead employer in the Cheshire and Wirral Partnership pilot for the training of 44 Nursing Associates, and it’s now a year since we welcomed out first cohort.

Nursing Associates aim to improve outcomes for people accessing services by bridging the gap between clinical support workers and registered nurses. They are an addition to the nursing family and will work alongside other established roles in the team.

As part of the pilot we also developed  a role for volunteers with lived experience as ‘ Lived Experience Connectors’ –   each trainee is linked with a connector and their role is to support the trainees to develop their person centredness as they work across different organisations and care settings.


Recognition Awards

In October we held our inaugural Recognition Awards ceremony, celebrating the successes of our wonderful staff and volunteers.

We said thank you to those who’ve achieved long-service milestones this year - including Community Mental Health Nurse Hilary Douglas and Maintenance Manager Paul Banks, who were celebrating an astonishing 40 years in the NHS!

Perinatal mental health service

We have launched a pioneering specialist perinatal service - in partnership with North West Boroughs and Merseycare – to provide important mental health support for women in Cheshire and Merseyside who experience mental health issues during pregnancy and in the year after birth.

Women are more likely to encounter mental health difficulties during the perinatal period than at any other point in their lives, and this new service will greatly improve access to treatments as well as offering new training for frontline staff.

No.1 for staff satisfaction

This year we were ranked at the top of a league table for all mental health, learning disability and community Trusts based on feedback from staff who took part in the NHS Staff Survey.

I had the pleasure of meeting over one hundred staff from across CWP at our “Breakfast with Sheena” sessions where we discussed things such as work experiences, recent achievements, what works well and where people think improvements could be made.

I’m thrilled that our staff know that their contribution is valued and understood, and we’ll continue to ensure that this is always a priority.

The future

Throughout the year we have also been faced with a number of challenges. Whether this is experienced through the direct delivery of care or through the pressure of national targets or service transformation, I’m so proud of the way that everyone at CWP has focused on delivering person centred care to the highest standard.

Next year will of course bring with it its own obstacles, and I don’t doubt that we will rise to the challenge. But we also have plenty to look forward to. In the New Year we’ll be welcoming new colleagues to the CWP Family for our Cheshire West and Cheshire Starting Well Service.

I wish you all a very merry Christmas and a peaceful New Year.

Best wishes,


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