Black Country and West Birmingham CCGs Stakeholder Newsletter & Welcome Message

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STAKEHOLDER NEWSWe are delighted to share with you the first edition of our Stakeholder Newsletter (see below), sent to you in partnership with the Black Country and West Birmingham CCGs.

As it has been throughout the NHS nationally, it has been a busy and challenging time over the past few months for Sandwell and West Birmingham – but much fantastic work has been carried out.
Our Primary Care Networks (PCNs) have very much risen to the Covid-19 challenge. Practices have been working together closely to set up green (Covid-free) and amber sites, working together rather than as individual practices to ensure that our primary care services remain resilient. It’s a great sign that – unless planned as part of PCN Covid restructuring – no practices have been forced to close.

We’d particularly like to acknowledge the work that was done at very short notice to set up our two primary care assessment centres, also known as Covid ‘red sites’. These sites see patients who need support with their suspected Covid-19 symptoms, but who do not need hospital care. This prevents patients with Covid-19 from having to attend GP surgeries, and this new service has been responding well.

We have also now restarted our Integrated Care Partnership (ICP) work for our two places: Sandwell and Ladywood & Perry Barr. We held virtual meetings in May for each place and, despite the pressures of Covid, we hope that we can start to move our place-based agenda forward and work to improve the health of our communities, concentrating on areas such as obesity and improving school readiness in children. We look forward to sharing more information on this area of work soon.

In other news, the CCG’s dementia team has launched an initiative to encourage members of the public to donate iPads and other mobile tablets so that they can be distributed to people living with dementia.  The Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown has been tough on many, triggering increased levels of isolation, loneliness and vulnerability, but this is especially the case for people who are living with dementia. Once tablets are donated, they will be distributed so that this extremely vulnerable group are able to stay connected to people who are important to them. Tablets will also allow those with dementia to access activities virtually, reducing some of the weight of the lockdown. You can find out more on our website

Finally, we’d like to say thank you to our CCG Primary Care Teams for all the work they’ve done to help keep the service going despite the many challenges that Covid-19 presents. This applies not just to clinicians, but also to admin and support staff and other related colleagues – especially our community pharmacy teams – who are also rising to the challenge. It has been a fantastic effort.

We hope you find this newsletter helpful and we encourage you to share this information within your own networks.

With best wishes,

Dr Ian Sykes, clinical chair, NHS Sandwell and West Birmingham CCG
Michelle Carolan, managing director for Sandwell, NHS Sandwell and West Birmingham CCG

Note: Pip Mayo, who has been appointed as the West Birmingham Managing Director, will start in post on 1 July 2020