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Healthier Futures - Maternity and neonatal

Our vision for maternity and neonatal services in the Black Country and West Birmingham

Maternity and Neonatal In March 2017 clinicians from across the Black Country and West Birmingham came together to agree a shared vision for the future provision of maternity services for the people of Dudley, Sandwell & West Birmingham, Walsall and Wolverhampton. 

The ambitious vision set by our clinical leaders is that “through collaboration, we will deliver a high quality maternity service across the Black Country and West Birmingham that is shaped by the voice of our women.  Our maternity services will be safe, personalised and responsive to ensure every woman and baby receives the best possible care”.

Maternity services in the Black Country and West Birmingham face significant challenges. The Local Maternity System (LMS) serves a population that is diverse, in many areas facing high levels of deprivation and poor health and with a growing demand for maternity services. Some of our current services already face capacity pressures and are operating limits on choice of location to help manage these. There is lots of work to do to ensure that our services respond to the challenge set out nationally in Better Births to become more personalised and more responsive

Population level data

The Black Country and West Birmingham has a 1.5 million population with an estimated 46% living in the most deprived areas of England.

Our population has significant poor health with higher than most England averages for a range of health issues including infant and premature mortality, smoking in pregnancy, obesity and diabetes.  

There are a range of contributing factors including high levels of deprivation and teenage conceptions, compounded by variable engagement and uptake of health and public health initiatives to improve outcomes for our population:

  • The Depression rate is 7.4% which is higher than the England average of 7.3% and is recorded at 8.6% in Dudley (Black Country Sustainability and Transformation Plan 2016 to 2021 – see hyperlink above).
  • The Infant Mortality rate is much higher in the Black Country and West Birmingham compared to the England rate of 4.0 deaths per 1,000 (Walsall is 6.8, Sandwell & West Birmingham is 6.9, and Wolverhampton is 6.8).
  • The Smoking in Pregnancy rate across the Black Country and West Birmingham (linked to infant mortality) is similar to the England average (11.1%) but Wolverhampton has a rate of 16.2%. We know that teenage mothers are more likely to smoke and are less likely to breastfeed which means their babies are less likely to receive the nutrition this approach provides.
  • Diabetes prevalence is much higher in the Black Country and West Birmingham compared to the rest of England, with Sandwell and West Birmingham reaching over 9% (England 6.4%). The percentage of physically inactive adults is 32.6% (England 27.7%).
  • The Premature Mortality rate for Respiratory Disease in the Black Country and West Birmingham is higher than the England average rate of 28.1 per 100,000 (Sandwell & West Birmingham has a rate of 38.1 and Wolverhampton has a rate of 40.9). The estimated smoking prevalence level in the Black Country and West Birmingham (20.3%) is higher than the rest of England figure (18.4%). Walsall and Wolverhampton rates are 21.5% and 20.7%, respectively. 

In The News

  • 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...
  • Black Country & West Birmingham to become Integrated Care System

    The Black Country and West Birmingham STP has been given the green light to deliver increasingly joined-up health and care services for the people in our region, as we formally move to become an Integrated Care System (ICS) next month. ...
  • Liz delighted at inclusion in New Year Honours for COVID-19 work

    A primary care nurse advisor from NHS Black Country and West Birmingham has been included in the New Year Honours List for her contribution to patient care during the COVID-19 pandemic. Liz Corrigan is General Practice Nursing Professional Lead for the Black Country and West Birmingham Sustainability and Transformation Partnership and has worked in various nursing roles in the local area over the last 25 years. Liz, who lives in Wolverhampton, has been honoured with the British Empire Medal fo...