Healthcare in Merseyside

Healthcare in Liverpool reflects the unique historical legacy of the port. The city had five of the most deprived areas in the country in 2012 according to a Church Urban Fund report.[citation needed] According to Mayor Joe Anderson, "The people in Calderstones, Woolton, and Childwall outlive the people in other areas of Liverpool, like parts of north Liverpool, by 10 to 12 years or so."[1]


Liverpool's Health of the Town Committee appointed Thomas Fresh as 'Inspector of Nuisances' on 4 September 1844 The city appointed its first medical officer of health, William Henry Duncan, in 1847.[2][3] In 1851, a boy born in inner Liverpool had a life expectancy of only 26 years[4]

Management structuresEdit

Liverpool has had unstable administrative arrangements with the North West region, and in particular with Manchester since the establishment of the NHS. In 1946 drawing the boundary between the Liverpool and Manchester regional hospital boards proved to be particularly difficult because of "the jealousy felt by Liverpool for Manchester and the reluctance of Preston to consider any scheme centred on Liverpool or Manchester."[5]

NHS North West was established as a strategic health authority in 2006. It had oversight of 24 primary care trusts, 23 acute trusts, 8 mental health trusts, 7 specialist trusts, as well as the North West Ambulance Service. In October 2011 NHS North West, alongside NHS Yorkshire and Humberside and NHS North East became a part of the NHS North of England SHA cluster – a temporary administrative merger to manage the North of England health economy until the planned dissolution of SHAs in March 2013. The authority closed on 31 March 2013 as part of the Health and Social Care Act 2012.

Sustainability and transformation planEdit

The Liverpool City Region submitted proposals for greater local control of the NHS and social care in 2015 following developments in Manchester.[6]

Cheshire and Mersyside formed a sustainability and transformation plan area in March 2016 with Louise Shepherd, the chief executive of Alder Hey Children's NHS Foundation Trust as its leader[7]

Plans to merge the four clinical commissioning groups in north Merseyside were rejected by NHS England in September 2020. They insist on a single commissioning body for the entire Cheshire and Merseyside system.[8]

In October 2021 John Ashton was shortlisted for the position of chair of the Cheshire and Merseyside Integrated Care System. Although he was highest scoring candidate the board decided not to appoint anyone. David Flory is to continue as interim chair.[9]


The three clinical commissioning groups covering Liverpool, South Sefton, and Southport and Formby, announced plans to merge in March 2017.[10]

Acute servicesEdit

Liverpool is unusual in having a large number of small specialist NHS trusts. In October 2014 plans were unveiled in the Healthy Liverpool programme, approved by Liverpool Clinical Commissioning Group and supported by the city council which would concentrate services, especially for cancer patients and major trauma at the Royal Liverpool University Hospital.[11] The proposals, which will be subject to public consultation, include:

  • improvements in primary care;
  • greater access to GPs;
  • more support for people to manage their own care;
  • better illness prevention;
  • some services moving from hospitals into the community;
  • changes to some hospital services to improve outcomes and quality.

Dr Fazlani, chair of the CCG said “If we reduced emergency admissions to hospitals by just 11% we would be able to afford an extra one and a half GPs in every practice in the city. This is the virtuous circle we are aiming to create".[12]

There will be fewer hospitals in Liverpool under the Healthy Liverpool plans to shake-up the city's NHS by providing more care in the community. Cardiology services are offered at four or five sites in Liverpool in 2015 but it is proposed that they will be delivered by a single team at one or two sites.[13]

Between 2010 and 2015 hospitals in Merseyside lost a large number of beds, mostly in general hospitals, though there was some increase in specialist hospitals.[14]

Beds available 2015 2010
Arrowe Park & Clatterbridge 760 813
St Helens & Whiston 693 716
Liverpool Heart and Chest 153 148
Alder Hey Children's 206 218
Aintree 672 788
Clatterbridge Cancer Centre 69 84
Liverpool Women's 140 182
Walton Centre 160 134
Royal Liverpool & Broadgreen 802 892
Five Boroughs Partnership 314 339
Southport & Ormskirk 491 502
Mersey Care 632 411
Warrington & Halton 599 643

Community servicesEdit

Liverpool Community Health NHS Trust was the main NHS provider, but its contract, valued at £81.7 million was taken over by Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust in November 2017.[15]

A government-funded initiative, More Independent, is being piloted across four UK regions, of which Liverpool is one. It offers gadgets – life enhancing technologies – designed to help people who use NHS or social services live more independently, monitor their health, make everyday life simpler, and help them stay in touch with their family or careers.[16]

Liverpool is the site of Europe’s first dedicated 5G health and social care pilot, Liverpool 5G Health and Social Care, which is based in Kensington, Liverpool and is testing eleven new technologies. These include Safehouse Sensors, which are installed in homes of vulnerable people to detect falls, changes in temperature and unusual behaviour patterns and PAMAN, a video link to a local pharmacy which helps people to take medicines at home safely. The technical infrastructure is provided by Blu Wireless Technology. It uses existing fibre and equipment erected on street furniture like lampposts.[17] It was given an additional £4.3 million in August 2020 to develop a private independent 5G network for health and social care services in selected areas of Liverpool. This is to include a medical grade device to manage and monitor health conditions remotely, an app tp teach anxiety reduction techniques, a remote GP triaging service, wound care and management and sensor technology.[18]

Primary careEdit

Out-of-hours services are provided by Urgent Care 24 Limited.

Dharmana's family and general practice, in Walton was put in special measures by the Care Quality Commission in January 2015 after being rated "inadequate". In October 2015 it was closed.[19] SSP Health had a contract for the provision of 11 primary care services in Liverpool and 9 in Sefton from 2013 to 2016.[20]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Your Q&A with Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson on the future of the city's green spaces: Part II". Liverpool Echo. 14 November 2014. Retrieved 16 November 2014.
  2. ^ Halliday, S. (2003). "Duncan of Liverpool: Britain's first Medical Officer". Journal of Medical Biography. 11 (3): 142–149. doi:10.1177/096777200301100307. PMID 12870037.
  3. ^ Ashton, John R. (2004). "Aphorism of the Month: "The following is my entire establishment… your servant, William Henry Duncan"". Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health. 58 (8): 717. PMC 1732861.
  4. ^ Daunton, Martin (11 April 2004). "London's 'Great Stink' and Victorian Urban Planning". BBC History. Retrieved 16 November 2014.
  5. ^ Webster, Charles (1988). The Health Services Since the War. London: HMSO. p. 268. ISBN 0116309423.
  6. ^ Hudson, Bob (7 October 2015). "What do the government's devolution plans mean for a national health service?". Retrieved 18 October 2015.
  7. ^ "The leaders chosen for 41 of England's STPs". Health Service Journal. 30 March 2016. Retrieved 18 April 2016.
  8. ^ "NHS England rejects four-way merger and insists on one CCG for 2.7m people". Health Service Journal. 18 September 2020. Retrieved 26 October 2020.
  9. ^ "North by North West: Bitter taste for 'Marmite' candidate". Health Service Journal. 1 November 2021. Retrieved 8 December 2021.
  10. ^ "Three-way merger to create largest CCG in England". Health Service Journal. 13 March 2017. Retrieved 18 May 2017.
  11. ^ "Liverpool reconfiguration plans unveiled". Health Service Journal. 17 October 2014. Retrieved 16 November 2014.
  12. ^ "New Healthcare Vision for Liverpool is unveiled". BayTV Liverpool. 4 November 2014. Retrieved 16 November 2014.
  13. ^ "Massive shake-up of Liverpool's NHS to see less hospitals and more care in the community". Liverpool Echo. 13 July 2015. Retrieved 13 July 2015.
  14. ^ "How many beds has your hospital lost since David Cameron came to power?". Liverpool Echo. 19 October 2015. Retrieved 19 October 2015.
  15. ^ "Winner of troubled community services contract named". Health Service Journal. 3 October 2017. Retrieved 23 December 2017.
  16. ^ "I do it Mi Way". More Independent. Retrieved 11 July 2015.
  17. ^ "Extra £1.48 million for Liverpool 5G Health and Social Care pilot". Homecare insight. 29 March 2019. Retrieved 7 May 2019.
  18. ^ "Liverpool 5G awarded £4.3m to develop private network for social care services". Homecare Insight. 6 August 2020. Retrieved 19 September 2020.
  19. ^ "First special measures GP practice to close". Health Service Journal. 7 October 2015. Retrieved 7 November 2015.
  20. ^ "'Unworkable' primary care contracts put out for re-tender". Health Service Journal. 25 May 2016. Retrieved 31 July 2016.