'Highly reliable healthcare must happen in the context of empowering clinician and patient to learn without punitive consequences'

Dr Joseph Rafferty, Chief Executive of Mersey Care NHS Trust on the challenges facing the healthcare system in Ireland.

24th January, 2019

What's your name?

Dr Joseph Rafferty.

Joe Rafferty, Chief Executive of Mersey Care NHS Trust

What position do you hold?

Chief Executive of Mersey Care NHS Trust.

What are your day to day responsibilities?

I am the accountable officer for Mersey Care Foundation Trust. We run community and inpatient mental health, learning disability, physical health and addiction services for a population of over 1 million people centred in Liverpool and Sefton in Northwest England. Mersey Care employs over 8000 staff, has a turnover of circa £400m and operates from over 150 sites.

What is your professional background?

Prior to becoming Chief Executive of Mersey Care NHS Trust in 2012, I was Director of Commissioning

Support at the NHS Commissioning Board, having national responsibility for the design and delivery of a significant component of the Liberating the NHS commissioning reforms. Before this, I was seconded from my Chief Executive role at NHS Central Lancashire to become Director of Commissioning Development for NHS North West, leading the development of commissioning reforms across the region. Other Board level roles included Chief Executive of NHS Central Lancashire, Regional Director of Commissioning & Strategy for NHS North West, Executive Director of Strategy for NHS North West, Executive Director of Performance in Cumbria & Lancashire SHA and Director of System Reform at Bolton Hospital NHS Trust.

Tell us something very few people know about you?

I am a life long Liverpool FC fan but a season ticket holder at Manchester United!! Don’t ask!!!! I have been named in Health Service Top 100 most influential people in healthcare for last 4 years Championing Expert by Experience as a major driver for transformation and instrumental in the development of the Life Rooms, home of our Recovery College, in Walton, Southport and now Bootle providing an employment and enterprise hub to help services users get back into work, providing key skills for service users in a safe environment.

You are speaking at the 2019 Health Summit. What are you speaking about?

Patient care and safety.

What challenges do you see for the healthcare sector in Ireland?

Speaking about patient and staff safety. This is a central issue to all developed healthcare systems and is therefore relevant to Ireland. However, highly reliable healthcare must happen in the context of empowering clinician and patient to learn without punitive consequences.

Where would you like to see the health service in 10 years time?

I would like the Irish health care system to have adopted open and transparent approaches to learning with patients and staff based on a culture of restorative justice, rather than a retributive approach. This will make for a safer, more responsive and affordable healthcare system.

Share this post

Related Stories

Efficiency & Reliability

Change and telecoms go hand in hand

Cash losing out to digital payments

Vision Contracting’s commitment to health and safety acknowledged