Helen's Blog - June 2019

HHibbsThis month I want to highlight the progress we have made towards improving the care for people needing mental health and learning disability support.

Together with our health and care partners, we have a crucial role in helping people with a mental health condition, learning disability and/or autism lead longer, happier and healthier lives.

Driving our learning disability agenda across the local system is the Black Country Transforming Care Partnership (TCP). The partnership aims to transform health and care services for people with learning disabilities and autism by reducing the number of people residing in hospital and ensuring more people can live in the community, with the right support, close to their home.

Over the last year, we have listened to the views and experiences of people who use and work in learning disability services and I am delighted to say that their feedback has been instrumental in shaping and developing a new community service model for adults with a learning disability across the Black Country. The new service model provides enhanced care and support to adults in their local community, reducing the need for unnecessary hospital admissions.

Further development of this type of service is now being undertaken for children and young people with learning disabilities. Engagement sessions organised earlier this month will support us in understanding what care and support is required at different points of a child’s or young person’s life. These insights will then be used to enhance services that support children/young people and their families.

With the prevalence of mental illness increasing, our partnership has been focussing on how we can all work together to improve the mental health of our population. One of the ways we are doing this is by improving access and reducing the variation of services across the Black Country and West Birmingham.

We now have a number of specialist mental health services that are delivering consistent care and support to patients across our four localities, such as our new specialist perinatal community mental health service.

Whilst we have made great progress towards transforming some of our mental health and learning disability services, there is still a long way to go. The NHS Long Term Plan makes a renewed commitment to improve and widen access to care and support. One of the areas we are reviewing locally, is early support for our children and young people.

Finally, I would just like to extend my thanks to all the wonderful teams working across the Black Country and West Birmingham. I was truly honoured to receive an MBE in the 2019 Queen's Birthday Honours List for my services to NHS Leadership. I have always been extremely proud to work for the NHS and would like to thank my colleagues, friends and family who have supported me.

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

Helen's Blog - April/May 2019

During the last few months, we have been working with our health partners to develop an operational plan for the 2019/20 financial year. The plan describes the ambition of how we will work together to deliver healthcare improvements for people living in the Black Country and West Birmingham over the next year.

It covers priorities such as delivering care closer to home, joining-up primary and community services and providing people with more control over their own health and more personalised care when they need it.

Helen's Blog - February/March 2019

Back in February, I was delighted to hear the news that a new five-year general practice contract was being introduced to expand GP services in England and kick-start the NHS Long Term Plan implementation. The five-year contract is the biggest reform that general practice has seen in the last 15 years, with billions of extra investment for improved access to family doctors and longer appointments for patients who need them.

NHS England will fund 20,000 more staff to help GP practices work together as part of a local ‘primary care network’. The new recruits – pharmacists, physios, paramedics, physician associates, and social prescribing link workers – will free up GPs to spend more time with patients who need them, whilst ensuring patients have access to a wide range of services at their local practice.

Helen's Blog - January 2019

The much anticipated ten-year plan for the NHS was launched this month. The plan, developed by NHS England and NHS Improvement, guides the investment of an extra £20.5bn and sets out how services will change and improve, focusing on a drive towards an integrated health and social care system.
Some of the ways the Long Term Plan aims to improve patient care is by making sure everyone gets the best start in life, that world-class care is delivered to people with major health problems and that we support people to age well.

Helen's Blog - December 2018

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.