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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

  • 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 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...
  • Roadmap Supervision (RMSV) Training

    Roadmap Supervision (RMSV) TrainingNews Clinicians are invited to undertake Roadmap Supervision (RMSV) Training to support colleagues to be recognised as a First Contact Practitioner with the Centre of Advancing Practice. There are two routes on the roadmap to be recognised as an FCP with the Centre of Advancing Practice: Portfolio route: requires submission of a portfolio of evidence signed off by an approved roadmap supervisor (RMSV); clinician criteria to be eligible for this training is...
  • Now hiring! Social care roles across the Black Country and West Birmingham

    A unique online recruitment event is being held next week for people interested in a career in social care within the Black Country and West Birmingham (BCWB). Social care is about supporting people to maintain their independence, dignity and control. Social care workers could work in a care home, in the local community, or provide personal support in someone’s home. Around 34,000 people are employed in social care across BCWB, and the event on Wednesday 28 April will explore the opportunities...
  • Half of Black Country & West Birmingham adults receive COVID-19 vaccine

    The NHS is celebrating an important milestone this week as more than half of all adults in the Black Country & West Birmingham have received their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine. More than 540,000 first doses have now been administered, thanks to the unprecedented scale vaccination programme which has seen people receive their vaccine in hospitals, care homes, GP surgeries, pharmacies and even local sports centres and places of worship. Sally Roberts, Chief Nursing Officer for the NHS Blac...
  • Black Country Health Chiefs say there’s a COVID-19 vaccine with your name on for everyone aged 50 and over

    Anyone aged 50 and over can get their first dose of the Covid-19 jab by registering on the door at certain local Vaccination Centres now.  Those who are eligible can arrive at on the following Vaccination Centres without an appointment from today until (and including) April 2nd :  Saddlers Centre, Walsall.  Tipton Sports Academy, Sandwell  WV Active Aldersley , Wolverhampton  Or, for the Sadlers Centre and Tipton Sports Academy, they can book by calling 119 or o...