With over 5000 care home beds and over 200 homes, our ICS recognised early that the homes, and the vulnerable people that they care for would need extra support during the COVID-19 pandemic.
With the ambition to minimise harm and excess deaths in Care Homes resulting from COVID-19 the partnership provided proactive interventions for care homes (regardless of registration type) during the pandemic, ensuring homes were able to facilitate safe and effective care and remain resilient.
Partners in the Black Country and West Birmingham ICS system launched a suite of digital innovation for patients during the Covid-19 pandemic hugely accelerating their work to increase digital inclusion.
As well as virtual clinics and GP appointments we started direct access booking into 111, remote monitoring of patients in care homes and in their own homes, pulse oximetry at home, virtual wards and reducing direct contact in care homes. Over 2000 patients have already benefited from these indicatives.
The Black Country and West Birmingham partners have worked together to bid for £92m of funding to see our health estate is fit for the future. The investment, coupled with new urgent care infrastructure funding from the government will create state of the art ED departments, a new facility for people with Learning Disabilities to compliment the new community model, updated Mental Health estate, updated WMAS vehicles and ensure completion of MMH. Responding to the bids our system partners are already underway with the builds, such as this new modular ward construction at The Royal Wolverhampton Trust, creating essential capacity to prepare for any future surges in activity
In 2019, we ran a successful PCN development programme with Dartmouth US and RightCare. 6 PCNs from the Black Country and West Birmingham joined this programme and each chose a target population and bought together a team to support idea development for that population. They attended workshops focusing on 8 core capabilities: Using Logic for learning; Learning from Variation; Delivery what is Valued; Measuring what Matters; Delivering with Teams; Organizing for Innovation; Leading for Accountability; and Governing for Sustainability. Their confidence in each of these areas was measured before and after the programme.
Not only were participants far more confident in the core capabilities at the end of the programme, they had developed new approaches for their population. Dr James Gwilt you’re your Health Partnership PCN, describes how the programme led to a new appointment and social prescribing approach for their PCN. We will be running the course again this year to support our PCN development.
We have benefited from the GP Retention Intensive Site Support funding in summer 2018 and across the Black Country and West Birmingham we are seeing the success of this investment. Recent developments include not only continuation of our first 5 programme and portfolio careers being extended to other health care professionals but also introduction of the Phoenix Programme for mid career GPs and fellowships for newly qualified nurses and doctors. Since GPRISS the GP Headcount Numbers have shown a steady increase rather than decrease over time – reversing the trend of the previous 3 years. Without GPRISS, the data suggests that the STP would have to be operating with at least 7% less GP capacity than is forecast. However the real results can be felt in our primary care colleagues. The image above illustrates the experiences of one of our local GPs who is now feeling refreshed, confident and fulfilled in their career. We know this reinvigorated, happy GP will feel more able to deliver better care and will stay with us for longer.
Across the Black Country and West Birmingham, our Transforming Care Programme (TCP) is the main vehicle for improving services for people with learning disabilities and/or autism. The programme has successfully reduced the number of people with learning disabilities and/or autism residing in hospital so that more people can live in the community, with the right support, close to their home. Developments also include the introduction of a new intensive support service and a review of assessment and treatment beds with an emphasis on supporting people to live well in the community. Ultimately, we aim to support people like Pauline so they can lead fulfilled, healthy lives, supported to access reasonably adjusted care and support when they need it, which focuses on their strengths and achieving their expressed outcomes.
After spending most of her adult life in hospital, Pauline is now supported to live in a home of her own. This is her story
For ex-stock car racer and classic car hobbyist Mark Harvey, his self-proclaimed “shocking diet” left him feeling a wreck. Tipping the scales at 119kg at his heaviest in 2019, Mark felt physically and mentally unwell, requiring time off from his job as a nurse at a special care baby unit. Thankfully, just four months into attending his local NHS diabetes prevention programme in Aldridge, Mark is motoring towards a much healthier future and has already lost a staggering 13kg.
“I’d put my health problems down to getting older,” said 54 year old Mark, “but when my blood tests revealed a high blood sugar reading, it gave me the scare I needed to sort myself out. With my nursing background, I am aware that Type 2 diabetes is a very serious health condition that can cause serious long-term health problems. My nan lost limbs from it and I knew I had to lose weight but could never manage it – I basically ate what I liked when I liked.”
A local man from Handsworth Wood has found adapting his favourite Jamaican recipes to be a key ingredient in his fight against developing Type 2 diabetes.
After being referred by his GP to the Healthier You Diabetes Prevention Programme, Herman has been attending a local Healthier You group for just three months and has already lost more than 6kg in weight, with a noticeable reduction around his waist. He credits the programme provided by Ingeus UK, commissioned by CCG’s across the Black Country and West Birmingham for making him much more conscious of diet and exercise.
A local mum in Walsall shared her positive experience of Walsall Wheelchair Services. Over the last year, Walsall Wheelchair Services have transformed their service offer, providing personalised care and support to local service users. This transformation supported by Walsall CCG Commissioning Team has allowed wheelchair users and their families to have more choice and control over the care they receive, helping to improve the experience of those accessing this service.
Overall, this story highlights the importance of shared-decision making and recognising the individual needs of the people we serve. As set out the NHS Long Term Plan, personalised care is one of the five major, practical changes to the NHS that will take place over the next five years.
Healthy Lives is a service which has been set up for patients in Sandwell and West Birmingham. It treats health and wellbeing in a different way, for example helping patients to join local activities or social groups.
The video introduces The Wolverhampton Integrated Respiratory Lifestyle (TWIRL) peer support group.
A young man in his 20s was referred by his GP. He had stayed at a local mental health hospital and had received treatment from the Wellbeing Service. However, he had been told that he could not receive treatment from this service again for another 12 months.