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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

  • United support for Breastfeeding Week

    Infant Feeding teams and midwives across the Black Country and West Birmingham will be supporting and encouraging mums this National Breastfeeding Week which runs from Monday 27 June until Friday 1 July. This year’s theme is “Everyone has a part to play in helping mums to breastfeed” with a focus on the difference that can be made if everyone supports breastfeeding. And the Black Country and West Birmingham Local Maternity and Neonatal System (LMNS) is highlighting the help that is available fo...
  • Mental health and learning disability chief confirmed to lead new NHS Board

    Respected local NHS leader Mark Axcell has been formally appointed as substantive Chief Executive Officer for the Black Country Integrated Care Board (ICB).  Following a successful recruitment process, Mr Axcell, who has held the position on an interim basis since November, will now officially become CEO on 1 July when the new NHS organisation launches.   Mr Axcell joins the ICB from his previous role as Chief Executive of Black Country Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, the local...
  • Healthcare professionals encouraged to return to practice

    A special online event will be taking place in June for nurses and allied health professionals (AHPs) looking to return to practice. The Return to Practice Programme is for qualified nurses or AHPs who are no longer registered and wish to return to work. Those eligible must have been off the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) or Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) register for more than two years, or must not have registered within five years from the date of their qualification. Hoste...
  • Chief People Officer appointed to future NHS Board

    A Chief People Officer has been appointed to the executive team for the new Black Country Integrated Care Board (ICB). Mrs Shajeda Ahmed will take up the role once the ICB formally begins operation, moving to the Black Country from her current role as Executive Director of People, Organisational Development and Inclusion for North Staffordshire Combined Healthcare NHS Trust. As Chief People Officer, she will be responsible for all aspects of staff recruitment, training and wellbeing for the IC...
  • Putting our fantastic midwives in the spotlight

    Today (5 May) is International Day of the Midwife and the Black Country and West Birmingham Local Maternity and Neonatal System (LMNS) wants to thank those who make a difference to families across our communities. Sally Roberts, Chief Nursing Officer for NHS Black Country and West Birmingham CCG, said: “How fantastic that we can make today all about our wonderful midwives. “Once again, we find ourselves talking about another difficult year for them as they have supported mums-to-be a...
  • New appointment to future NHS Board

    The leadership team for the new Black Country Integrated Care Board (ICB) continues to take shape with the appointment of a new executive. The ICB, which will begin operation on 1 July 2022, has successfully appointed to the role of Chief Operating Officer.   The news follows last week’s announcement that the NHS had gone out to advert for a substantive Chief Executive Officer to lead the ICB. The role of Chief Operating Officer will be held by Mr Matthew Hartland, who is currently ...
  • More than 2.6 million COVID-19 vaccines delivered

    Since the start of the vaccination roll-out, more than 2.6 million vaccines have been administered in the Black Country and West Birmingham. More than 980,000 people have now received at least one dose of the vaccine, with almost 690,000 taking up at least three doses.   The spring booster programme is also continuing at pace, with almost 47,000 eligible people vaccinated since March. Those eligible for a spring booster include care home residents, people who are 75 and over and those age...
  • Signs and symptoms of asthma

    This World Asthma Day (Tuesday 3 May), health chiefs in the Black Country and West Birmingham are raising awareness of the signs and symptoms of asthma. World Asthma Day is organised by the Global Initiative for asthma, which aims to improve asthma awareness and care. Asthma is a common lung condition that causes occasional breathing difficulties. It affects people of all ages and often starts in childhood, although it can also develop for the first time in adults. The main symptoms are a whi...
  • NHS seeks to appoint leader to top system role

    The NHS has today gone out to advert for a substantive Chief Executive Officer to lead the new Black Country Integrated Care Board and play a pivotal role within the local health and care system. 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, coordinate services and plan in a way that improves the health of local people and reduces inequalities between different gr...
  • Local NHS leaders reflect on COVID-19 pandemic

    Two years on from the first UK lockdown, health chiefs across the Black Country and West Birmingham have paid tribute to staff and members of the public. The declaration of the pandemic was made by the World Health Organisation (WHO) in January 2020 and the UK went into full lockdown on Monday 23 March 2020. Since then, health and care staff from across the NHS, local authorities and the voluntary sector have worked in partnership to provide services and support communities, as well as standin...