Helen's Blog

We received brilliant news from the Department of Health and Social Care earlier this month when the Government announced it would provide £79.4 million of capital funding to NHS services in the Black Country and West Birmingham. Securing this funding will mean that a number of healthcare facilities will get much-needed upgrades ensuring local patients get the high quality care they deserve, in state-of-the-art, modern facilities.

Modernising health and care services is an important priority for the STP and as we await the publication of the NHS Long Term Plan, we will continue to identify new ways of working which enables services to be better coordinated around the needs of local people.

The long-term plan will set out how services will change and improve over the next 10 years, focusing on a drive towards an integrated health and social care system. This includes a greater focus on prevention to ensure people stay healthy for as long as possible.

Whilst the details of the long-term plan are still being worked on, we know that at the core of the plan will be a number of priority areas, which are not dissimilar to some of the priorities that we have already been working on – such as cancer, mental health and primary care.

Improvements in each of our neighbourhoods will depend on your involvement, clinical expertise and guidance from our valued staff. After the publication of the long-term plan, the STP will work with patients, the public, staff and other stakeholders to help local organisations determine what the long-term plan means for their area, and how services need to adapt and improve in the short and medium term.

With the integration of services being a key feature of the plan, it is important that we continue to develop our partnership working, taking collective responsibility for improving the health and care of the population we serve and managing our resources.

I look forward to working with you throughout 2019 to ensure our partnership becomes the strongest it can be - making the most of our organisational strengths and continued collaboration.

December is likely to be a busy month for our partners as they continue to work on their winter plans. As the festive season approaches, I would like to thank all staff and partners for their continued hard work and dedication. On behalf of the Black Country and West Birmingham health and care system, season’s greetings to you and your families.

Dr Helen Hibbs
Senior Responsible Officer, Black Country and West Birmingham STP

Helen's Blog

As we approach the winter season, we have been working with our health and care partners to ensure there is enough capacity to meet the predicted rise of people admitted to hospitals. Our local A&E delivery boards and the STP urgent and emergency care workstream are planning the best way of responding to winter pressures whilst protecting the standards of service which patients expect.

It is important that our local communities are supported to stay well during winter, and most importantly that they know where to go to if they become unwell. As part of this work, we have developed a winter communications plan which outlines how we will work together to encourage people to take ownership of their health and access the right service for their particular health needs.

Helen's Blog

We received wonderful news from the Midland Metropolitan Hospital earlier this month when the Government announced it will fund the completion of the new site following the collapse of Carillion at the beginning of this year. As a partnership, we have been fully behind the development of the Midland Met which will have a major impact on health services across the region. Securing this funding is great news for residents in the Black Country and West Birmingham.

Further good news has come with our successful completion of a 12-week development programme commissioned by NHS England. We were invited to take part in the programme to help us take our partnership to the next level. It has proved extremely useful, enabling us to bring our thinking together and develop a detailed roadmap that will lead us to become an integrated care system over the next two to three years. The roadmap recognises the work we have already done and identifies what still needs doing to achieve our triple aim of improved health and wellbeing, high quality care and secure finances.

Helen's Blog

Across the Black Country and West Birmingham this week we are celebrating the 70th birthday of our NHS. Tea parties, bake offs, competitions and musical entertainment are just some of the ways in which our NHS colleagues are marking the day on 5 July.

We are not just celebrating access to free healthcare, which the NHS enabled, but also advances in understanding and treating disease. There has been some incredible progress that has led to a steady increase in life expectancy. But we still have much to do as a health service as we witness the increasing number of people living with multiple long-term, debilitating conditions such as diabetes, COPD and poor mental health.

Our Partnership is crucial in helping us solve these health and social care issues. By collaborating and working together we can do so much more to improve the health and wellbeing of people and families in the Black Country. I believe our success will lie in bringing our patients, families and clinicians with us by listening to them, understanding what they are telling us and using this information to help shape our activities.

Next Senior Responsible Officer announced

Andy williams smallEarlier this month, I was delighted to announce that Dr Helen Hibbs, Accountable Officer at Wolverhampton CCG has been nominated to become the partnership's next Senior Responsible Officer.

Helen brings extensive knowledge of our health and care system combined with strong leadership experience; and her work as a GP will significantly enhance our clinical leadership.

Meanwhile, last week we held interviews for our first independent STP Chair. The role attracted some very strong applications and several of our partners were involved in the interview day. I look forward to the formal announcement of our new Chair soon.