Coronavirus (COVID-19)
For health information and advice, read our pages on coronavirus. Learn about the government response to coronavirus on GOV.UK.
Covid-19
Contrast
Sign Up

Healthier Futures - Academy

Academy to focus on population health across the Black Country and West Birmingham

Across the Black Country and West Birmingham, NHS and Local Authorities are working together to improve the health and wellbeing of 1.5 million people.

Whilst overall we are seeing an increase in life expectancy for people in the Black Country and West Birmingham, we are seeing a decrease in the healthy life expectancy which means for many people they are living longer in ill health. This not only creates a burden on individuals and their quality of life, but it also impacts the health and care system.

Therefore, to enable NHS and Local Authorities in the Black Country and West Birmingham to respond to the changing health needs of their population, an Academy is being introduced. The newly formed Academy will play a key role in understanding population health challenges and will use data insights to inform solutions to the challenges people face across the Black Country and West Birmingham. This approach is known as population health management.

Population health management is an approach that aims to improve physical and mental health outcomes, promote wellbeing and reduce health inequalities across an entire population. This includes focusing on the wider determinants of health, which have a significant impact as only 20% of a person’s health outcomes are attributed to the ability to access good quality health care and the crucial role of communities and local people.

Locally, the Academy will help organisations to:

  • build a shared knowledge and understanding of the Black Country and West Birmingham population and of the solutions for achieving better outcomes for local people
  • provide and promote standardised approaches to evaluation, learning and system improvement, supporting a reduction in unwarranted variation and sharing best practice
  • provide a mechanism for coordinating cross-system training and development initiatives and facilitate the development of a single workforce strategy
  • enable the health and care system to coordinate improvement activities (including those promoted by national/regional bodies), ensuring they are sustainable and secure the optimal benefits.

The NHS Long Term Plan places a heavy emphasis on prevention and early diagnosis, along with the integration of health and care services, where community services, public health, social care, voluntary sector, police, fire service, GPs and hospitals are all working better together.

What does this mean for local people?

For local people, this means that health and care services are being more proactive in helping people to manage their health and wellbeing, providing more personalised care when it’s needed and ensuring that local services are working together to offer a wider range of support closer to people’s homes.

Examples of how population insights will be used across the Black Country and West Birmingham……

  • Identifying people who are more likely to receive a late diagnosis for cancer and working with them to explore what we could do differently to encourage earlier diagnosis.
  • Exploring patient preferences for people with advance serious illness and ways that these can be met.
  • Exploring whether access to diabetes care and achievement of positive diabetes outcomes is equal across different groups in Black Country and West Birmingham and what we could do differently to support more proactive care in those where outcomes could be improved.
  • Identifying and developing people who work in the NHS and Local Authority with the skills needed to answer these questions.

To contact the academy please email Academy Director, Lucy Heath, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Case study

In 2019, we ran a successful PCN development programme with Dartmouth US and RightCare. 6 PCNs from the Black Country and West Birmingham joined this programme and each chose a target population and bought together a team to support idea development for that population. They attended workshops focusing on 8 core capabilities: Using Logic for learning; Learning from Variation; Delivery what is Valued; Measuring what Matters; Delivering with Teams; Organizing for Innovation; Leading for Accountability; and Governing for Sustainability. Their confidence in each of these areas was measured before and after the programme.

Not only were participants far more confident in the core capabilities at the end of the programme, they had developed new approaches for their population. Dr James Gwilt you’re your Health Partnership PCN, describes how the programme led to a new appointment and social prescribing approach for their PCN. We will be running the course again this year to support our PCN development.

In The News

  • Future NHS Health Board seeks independent non-executives

    The recruitment is now underway to appoint four independent non-executive members to the Black Country Integrated Care Board (ICB). The Integrated Care Board will be formed in April 2022, subject to the passing of the new Health and Care Bill. These new roles represent an opportunity to be on the Governing Body for the future NHS ICB, where non-executive members will help to shape a long-term, viable plan for the delivery of the functions, duties, and objectives of the NHS locally. Their role...
  • Mental health chief named as interim lead for NHS Black Country Integrated Care Board

    Health leaders are delighted to announce the appointment of Mark Axcell as Interim Chief Executive Designate for the Black Country Integrated Care Board (ICB). Mr Axcell is currently Chief Executive of the local mental health and learning disabilities trust, Black Country Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, and has more than 25 years’ experience within the NHS. He will take up the interim post from Monday (22 November) and will lead preparations for the launch of the new ICB next year, subject to...
  • Black Country and West Birmingham NHS pledges support to Armed Forces community

    On Monday 8 November, seven NHS organisations from the Black Country and West Birmingham Integrated Care System (ICS) signed the Armed Forces Covenant (AFC) at a virtual signing. The Black Country and West Birmingham ICS, the first ICS to sign up to the Covenant within the West Midland Reserve Forces & Cadets Association’s (RFCA) region, comprises 15 local health and care organisations who are jointly responsible for managing resources, delivering NHS standards, and improving the healt...
  • Online event for people living with diabetes

    Ahead of World Diabetes Day (Sunday 14 November), people living with diabetes across the Black Country and West Birmingham are invited to attend a special webinar taking place on Friday 12 November. Created by International Diabetes Federation (IDF) and the World Health Organisation (WHO), World Diabetes Day is celebrated worldwide and aims spread awareness of diabetes. This year marks 100 years since the discovery of insulin, a treatment that has saved millions of lives around the world. To c...
  • Accelerating recovery of diagnostic services with £8million investment

    Following a successful bid, we are pleased to confirm that local NHS trusts are taking part in a national programme to help the NHS further accelerate diagnostic activity and recover services from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic as quickly as possible. Our colleagues across NHS services are working hard to recover services affected by the pandemic, now the vaccine programme has helped to significantly reduce the number of Covid patients needing care. Throughout the pandemic the NHS has con...
  • Walsall people encouraged to take part in ground-breaking blood test cancer trial

    Thousands of letters are being sent to adults in Walsall this week, inviting them to take part in the world’s largest trial of a revolutionary new cancer-detecting blood test. The potentially lifesaving Galleri™ test can detect more than 50 types of cancer before symptoms appear. The NHS-Galleri trial, the first of its kind, aims to recruit 140,000 volunteers nationally, including thousands in the West Midlands, to see how well the test works in the NHS. Walsall is the first location in the We...
  • Recruitment begins for the Black Country Integrated Care Board Chief Executive Officer

    NHS England is advertising for a Chief Executive Officer (CEO) to lead the future Black Country Integrated Care Board (ICB). Integrated Care Systems (ICSs) are partnerships of health and care organisations, local government and the voluntary sector. These partnerships aim to meet health and care needs, to coordinate services and to plan in a way that improves population health and reduces inequalities between different groups. From April 2022 (subject to legislation) ICSs will become statutory...
  • Local NHS team shortlisted for award

    A team from the NHS Black Country and West Birmingham Integrated Care System (BCWB ICS) have been named as finalists at this year’s HSJ Awards. The community inclusion team at Healthier Futures, the Black Country and West Birmingham’s Integrated Care System, has been shortlisted for the NHS Race Equality Award, recognising their outstanding contribution in identifying and tackling ethnic health inequalities for local people. The area was hit hard by the onset of COVID-19 in January 2020, with...
  • Calling all A-level students

    As students receive their A-level results today, local NHS leaders across the area are calling on young people to consider a career in the NHS. With over 350 different roles available, the NHS is one of the top 10 employers in the world, employing more than 1.3million people. Degrees in nursing, midwifery and allied health subjects are all varied, exciting and challenging in equal measure. Once qualified, you could work directly with patients, in hospitals, an ambulance trust, or in the commu...
  • Health and Care Partnership Launches New Resource to Encourage Apprenticeships

    A new online platform has launched to highlight the wide range of apprenticeships available across health and care in the Black Country and West Birmingham https://www.healthierfutures.co.uk/apprenticeships. Apprenticeships are an opportunity to earn, learn and make a difference to the NHS with qualifications ranging from GSCE and equivalents up to master’s degrees, through a mix of on-the-job training and classroom learning. Recognising that it hasn't been easy to find different apprenticesh...