Following our Long Term Plan special edition newsletter last month, I am pleased to share that our five-year plan for improving the health and wellbeing of people in the Black Country and West Birmingham is in the final stages of development.
On behalf of the Partnership Board, I want to take this opportunity to thank all those who have contributed to the development of our plan, especially our staff and Healthwatch colleagues who helped us to seek the views of local people.
Whilst the sensitive period in the run-up to the general election will impact our ability to share our plan at the moment, we remain committed to being open and transparent about the challenges that face our local health and care system and will share it with you as soon as we are able to do so.
Our collective commitment to integrating health and care services underpins a lot of the work we are doing across the local system. This is particularly true for our four CCGs, who will continue to develop their collaborative working arrangements under the leadership of Paul Maubach. For the interim, my role as Senior Responsible Officer for the Black Country and West Birmingham STP will continue, and I remain committed as ever to leading our health and care partnership.
A key focus for us now is planning the best way of responding to winter pressures whilst protecting the standards of service, which we will aim for and our patients expect. Over the last few months, we have been working closely with partners to ensure there is enough capacity to meet the predicted rise of people admitted to hospitals. This also includes supporting local people to access the most appropriate service for their condition - in which a joint communications approach has been agreed across our urgent and emergency care system so that we can deliver consistent and timely messages to people in the Black Country and West Birmingham. Visit our Twitter account @HealthierBCWB for more information.
Preparing for winter is something that all health and care staff can get involved in, and an important way to do this is by getting the flu jab. After having mine a few weeks ago, I encourage all staff to get vaccinated and protect yourself, your work colleagues, your patients and your families from the effects of flu.
Dr Helen Hibbs MBE
Senior Responsible Officer, Black Country and West Birmingham STP