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Healthier Futures - Case studies

Care Home COVID-19 Support

With over 5000 care home beds and over 200 homes, our ICS recognised early that the homes, and the vulnerable people that they care for would need extra support during the COVID-19 pandemic.

With the ambition to minimise harm and excess deaths in Care Homes resulting from COVID-19 the partnership provided proactive interventions for care homes (regardless of registration type) during the pandemic, ensuring homes were able to facilitate safe and effective care and remain resilient.

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ICS Digital Innovation and Inclusion

Partners in the Black Country and West Birmingham ICS  system launched a suite of digital innovation for patients during the Covid-19 pandemic hugely accelerating their work to increase digital inclusion.

As well as virtual clinics and GP appointments we started direct access booking into 111, remote monitoring of patients in care homes and in their own homes, pulse oximetry at home, virtual wards and reducing direct contact in care homes. Over 2000 patients have already benefited from these indicatives. 

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Capital Investments

The Black Country and West Birmingham partners have worked together to bid for £92m of funding to see our health estate is fit for the future. The investment, coupled with new urgent care infrastructure funding from the government will create state of the art ED departments, a new facility for people with Learning Disabilities to compliment the new community model, updated Mental Health estate, updated WMAS vehicles and ensure completion of MMH. Responding to the bids our system partners are already underway with the builds, such as this new modular ward construction at The Royal Wolverhampton Trust, creating essential capacity to prepare for any future surges in activity

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Black Country Pathology

The BCPS was launched in October 2018 when medical and laboratory staff transferred to RWT as the host Trust. The service serves a population of approximately 1.8m people and carries out over 60m tests per year.

Hear from Dr Harrison on why he thinks it’s a success.

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Black Country Academy - Supporting PCN Development

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.

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Black Country & West Birmingham GPRISS

We have benefited from the GP Retention Intensive Site Support funding in summer 2018 and across the Black Country and West Birmingham we are seeing the success of this investment. Recent developments include not only continuation of our first 5 programme and portfolio careers being extended to other health care professionals but also introduction of the Phoenix Programme for mid career GPs and fellowships for newly qualified nurses and doctors. Since GPRISS the GP Headcount Numbers have shown a steady increase rather than decrease over time – reversing the trend of the previous 3 years.  Without GPRISS, the data suggests that the STP would have to be operating with at least 7% less GP capacity than is forecast. However the real results can be felt in our primary care colleagues. The image above illustrates the experiences of one of our local GPs who is now feeling refreshed, confident and fulfilled in their career. We know this reinvigorated, happy GP will feel more able to deliver better care and will stay with us for longer.

GP career support

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Digital Innovations

The Black Country and West Birmingham Digital strategy has collaboration and empowerment at its heart. The last few months has seen us launch many new innovations hear from our Digital Lead Mike Hastings talk about a few of these.

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Supporting People with Learning Disabilities

Across the Black Country and West Birmingham, our Transforming Care Programme (TCP) is the main vehicle for improving services for people with learning disabilities and/or autism. The programme has successfully reduced the number of people with learning disabilities and/or autism residing in hospital so that more people can live in the community, with the right support, close to their home. Developments also include the introduction of a new intensive support service and a review of assessment and treatment beds with an emphasis on supporting people to live well in the community. Ultimately, we aim to support people like Pauline so they can lead fulfilled, healthy lives, supported to access reasonably adjusted care and support when they need it, which focuses on their strengths and achieving their expressed outcomes.

After spending most of her adult life in hospital, Pauline is now supported to live in a home of her own. This is her story

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Personalised Care in the Black Country

Watch this short film produced by NHS England highlighting the great work underway in the Black Country and West Birmingham.

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Classic car enthusiast restores his good health

Mark Harvey cropFor ex-stock car racer and classic car hobbyist Mark Harvey, his self-proclaimed “shocking diet” left him feeling a wreck. Tipping the scales at 119kg at his heaviest in 2019, Mark felt physically and mentally unwell, requiring time off from his job as a nurse at a special care baby unit. Thankfully, just four months into attending his local NHS diabetes prevention programme in Aldridge, Mark is motoring towards a much healthier future and has already lost a staggering 13kg.  

“I’d put my health problems down to getting older,” said 54 year old Mark, “but when my blood tests revealed a high blood sugar reading, it gave me the scare I needed to sort myself out. With my nursing background, I am aware that Type 2 diabetes is a very serious health condition that can cause serious long-term health problems. My nan lost limbs from it and I knew I had to lose weight but could never manage it – I basically ate what I liked when I liked.”

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Diabetes Prevention Programme – A Recipe for Success

Herman Wheeler cropA local man from Handsworth Wood has found adapting his favourite Jamaican recipes to be a key ingredient in his fight against developing Type 2 diabetes.

After being referred by his GP to the Healthier You Diabetes Prevention Programme, Herman has been attending a local Healthier You group for just three months and has already lost more than 6kg in weight, with a noticeable reduction around his waist. He credits the programme provided by Ingeus UK, commissioned by CCG’s across the Black Country and West Birmingham for making him much more conscious of diet and exercise.

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Delivering personalised care – Walsall Wheelchair Service Case Study

A local mum in Walsall shared her positive experience of Walsall Wheelchair Services. Over the last year, Walsall Wheelchair Services have transformed their service offer, providing personalised care and support to local service users. This transformation supported by Walsall CCG Commissioning Team has allowed wheelchair users and their families to have more choice and control over the care they receive, helping to improve the experience of those accessing this service.

Overall, this story highlights the importance of shared-decision making and recognising the individual needs of the people we serve. As set out the NHS Long Term Plan, personalised care is one of the five major, practical changes to the NHS that will take place over the next five years.

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Healthy Lives Service in Sandwell and West Birmingham

Healthy Lives is a service which has been set up for patients in Sandwell and West Birmingham. It treats health and wellbeing in a different way, for example helping patients to join local activities or social groups.

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Wolverhampton Integrated Respiratory Lifestyle (TWIRL)

The video introduces The Wolverhampton Integrated Respiratory Lifestyle (TWIRL) peer support group.

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The impact of social prescribing and link worker interventions


A young man in his 20s was referred by his GP. He had stayed at a local mental health hospital and had received treatment from the Wellbeing Service. However, he had been told that he could not receive treatment from this service again for another 12 months.

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In The News

  • One record to improve health and care in the Black Country and West Birmingham

    People living in the Black Country and West Birmingham will soon get even better and safer care and treatment, thanks to the introduction of joined-up health and care records. One Health and Care is a new NHS shared care record launching later in the Spring, which will bring together all the separate records held by different local providers of health and social care – such as hospitals and GPs – in one secure, easy to read format. This will give authorised professionals who are directly respo...
  • Wash, wash, wash your hands

    As COVID-19 continues to spread in the area, people across the Black Country and West Birmingham are being reminded of the importance of washing their hands. Regular hand washing with soap and water remains an essential part of good hygiene and helps prevent the spread of COVID-19, as well as other winter illnesses such as colds, flu and stomach bugs. Hands should be washed with warm water and liquid soap for at least 20 seconds before rinsing and drying them thoroughly. If soap and water are ...
  • Executive Recruitment for the Black Country Integrated Care Board

    The Black Country Integrated Care System is looking for future Executives to lead the Integrated Care Board when it is established in July 2022. We are now live with the recruitment to 3 of our 6 future executive roles. Adverts are now live for the roles below: Chief Finance Officer  Chief Medical Officer  Chief Nursing Officer Recruitment to the other executive posts of, Chief Operating Officer, Chief Equality and Innovations Officer and Chief People Officer will start in th...
  • 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...