Helen's Blog - November 2019

Helen HibbsFollowing 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

Helen's Blog - August 2019

Helen HibbsAs a partnership, we are committed to improving the health and wellbeing of people in the Black Country and West Birmingham and a key ingredient for delivering this is through collaboration.

Across our neighbourhoods, Primary Care Networks (PCNs) have been established to bring together groups of GPs and a range of community services who are making exciting plans to improve the access and coordination of primary care services. A key feature of practices working together is introducing new roles into general practice which will help GPs focus their skills on where they are most needed. This year, our practices will be working with pharmacists and social prescribers to offer personalised care and treatment to patients. In future years, local people will see an increase in the number of paramedics, physiotherapists and physicians’ associates working in our GP practices. 

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.

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.