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Mersey Care and reading groups mentioned in the Lords

Written by jen, 31st March 2010

Our Reader-in-Residence project with Mersey Care NHS Trust, where not only TRO staff but Mersey Care staff - including the Chief Executive and the Medical Director run GIR groups - has recently been mentioned in the House of Lords by the Lord Bishop of Liverpool:

One of the areas I want to highlight, which is one of the reasons I sought to secure this debate, is not just to report on the economic impact of culture but to show how there is an inextricable link between good cultural services and the health and well-being of a community. Let me quote from a letter that I received from the chief executive of the NHS mental health service provider in north Merseyside, Mersey Care NHS Trust. He writes:

It is my opinion that culture in all its forms is a more significant contributor to health and well-being than direct formal services alone.

He has given me the example of 25 reading groups that have been set up through Mersey Care linked with the year of culture. He can identify people within these groups who otherwise would have needed in-patient care had it not been for the support and benefit of the groups. Groups cost about £6 per person per session; by comparison, an in-patient stay costs £9,000 on average.

You can read the whole debate here (from column 712).

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