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Healthier Futures - Transforming care for children and young people

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It is our ambition that the Black Country and West Birmingham is a place where children and young people with Learning Disabilities and/or Autism thrive, get a good start in life and are healthy; that all families are supported to be independent, responsible and successful, exceeding expectations; and where the most vulnerable children are protected. 

Our vision is to reduce the number of hospital admissions for this group or children and young people or if a hospital admission is required to ensure the length of stay is as short as needed to support change in the young person's mental health.

We want every local child and young person with Learning Disabilities and/or Autismto have the best start in life. This means that every child grows up in an environment that nurtures their development, derives safety and security from their care givers, provides ready access to high quality services and has a belief in their goals and their ability to achieve them.

The Transforming Care programme aims to improve health and care services to enable children and young people with learning disabilities, autism, or both, to access the support they need at home or in the community. We are committed to making sure that they have the right to the same opportunities as anyone else. These include:

  • Getting the support they need to live long and healthy lives
  • Being treated with the same dignity and respect
  • Having a home within their community
  • Being able to develop and maintain relationships and
  • Getting the support they need to live a healthy, safe and fulfilling life.

In the Black Country and West Birmingham we know that children and young people with suspected autism wait too long before being provided with a diagnostic assessment. Over the next three years, autism diagnosis will be included alongside work with children and young people’s mental health services to test and implement the most effective ways to reduce waiting times for specialist services.

We will work with children and young people and their parents, families and carers and other important stakeholders in education, health and social care to identify the things which work well and also to highlight the gaps where improvements can be made. Making services in the community better will mean that children and young people living with a learning disability and or autism will be able to get their health care at home or near to where they live and reduce the need for hospital care.

During 2019 we have been engaging to help shape a new model of care for children and young people. A draft framework has been developed and this has been tested with children and young people, their parents, families and carers, health and social care and education professionals. Their views have helped define the core components of a new model of care in terms of what matters most and how current services could be better. 

Key actions:

  • By 2023/24, a ‘digital flag’ in the patients record will ensure staff know a patient has a learning disability or autism.
  • by 2021/22 75% of all >14year olds  who are eligible will have a health check each year
  • By 2022/23 we will implement hearing, eyesight and dental checks pathway
  • By 2022/23 children and young people with a learning disability, autism or both with the most complex needs will have a designated key worker.
  • By March 2023/24 no more than 5 children with a learning disability, autism  cared for in an inpatient facility

In The News

  • One record to improve health and care in the Black Country and West Birmingham

    People living in the Black Country and West Birmingham will soon get even better and safer care and treatment, thanks to the introduction of joined-up health and care records. One Health and Care is a new NHS shared care record launching later in the Spring, which will bring together all the separate records held by different local providers of health and social care – such as hospitals and GPs – in one secure, easy to read format. This will give authorised professionals who are directly respo...
  • Wash, wash, wash your hands

    As COVID-19 continues to spread in the area, people across the Black Country and West Birmingham are being reminded of the importance of washing their hands. Regular hand washing with soap and water remains an essential part of good hygiene and helps prevent the spread of COVID-19, as well as other winter illnesses such as colds, flu and stomach bugs. Hands should be washed with warm water and liquid soap for at least 20 seconds before rinsing and drying them thoroughly. If soap and water are ...
  • Executive Recruitment for the Black Country Integrated Care Board

    The Black Country Integrated Care System is looking for future Executives to lead the Integrated Care Board when it is established in July 2022. We are now live with the recruitment to 3 of our 6 future executive roles. Adverts are now live for the roles below: Chief Finance Officer  Chief Medical Officer  Chief Nursing Officer Recruitment to the other executive posts of, Chief Operating Officer, Chief Equality and Innovations Officer and Chief People Officer will start in th...
  • Future NHS Health Board seeks independent non-executives

    The recruitment is now underway to appoint four independent non-executive members to the Black Country Integrated Care Board (ICB). The Integrated Care Board will be formed in April 2022, subject to the passing of the new Health and Care Bill. These new roles represent an opportunity to be on the Governing Body for the future NHS ICB, where non-executive members will help to shape a long-term, viable plan for the delivery of the functions, duties, and objectives of the NHS locally. Their role...
  • Mental health chief named as interim lead for NHS Black Country Integrated Care Board

    Health leaders are delighted to announce the appointment of Mark Axcell as Interim Chief Executive Designate for the Black Country Integrated Care Board (ICB). Mr Axcell is currently Chief Executive of the local mental health and learning disabilities trust, Black Country Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, and has more than 25 years’ experience within the NHS. He will take up the interim post from Monday (22 November) and will lead preparations for the launch of the new ICB next year, subject to...
  • Black Country and West Birmingham NHS pledges support to Armed Forces community

    On Monday 8 November, seven NHS organisations from the Black Country and West Birmingham Integrated Care System (ICS) signed the Armed Forces Covenant (AFC) at a virtual signing. The Black Country and West Birmingham ICS, the first ICS to sign up to the Covenant within the West Midland Reserve Forces & Cadets Association’s (RFCA) region, comprises 15 local health and care organisations who are jointly responsible for managing resources, delivering NHS standards, and improving the healt...
  • Online event for people living with diabetes

    Ahead of World Diabetes Day (Sunday 14 November), people living with diabetes across the Black Country and West Birmingham are invited to attend a special webinar taking place on Friday 12 November. Created by International Diabetes Federation (IDF) and the World Health Organisation (WHO), World Diabetes Day is celebrated worldwide and aims spread awareness of diabetes. This year marks 100 years since the discovery of insulin, a treatment that has saved millions of lives around the world. To c...
  • Accelerating recovery of diagnostic services with £8million investment

    Following a successful bid, we are pleased to confirm that local NHS trusts are taking part in a national programme to help the NHS further accelerate diagnostic activity and recover services from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic as quickly as possible. Our colleagues across NHS services are working hard to recover services affected by the pandemic, now the vaccine programme has helped to significantly reduce the number of Covid patients needing care. Throughout the pandemic the NHS has con...
  • Walsall people encouraged to take part in ground-breaking blood test cancer trial

    Thousands of letters are being sent to adults in Walsall this week, inviting them to take part in the world’s largest trial of a revolutionary new cancer-detecting blood test. The potentially lifesaving Galleri™ test can detect more than 50 types of cancer before symptoms appear. The NHS-Galleri trial, the first of its kind, aims to recruit 140,000 volunteers nationally, including thousands in the West Midlands, to see how well the test works in the NHS. Walsall is the first location in the We...
  • Recruitment begins for the Black Country Integrated Care Board Chief Executive Officer

    NHS England is advertising for a Chief Executive Officer (CEO) to lead the future Black Country Integrated Care Board (ICB). Integrated Care Systems (ICSs) are partnerships of health and care organisations, local government and the voluntary sector. These partnerships aim to meet health and care needs, to coordinate services and to plan in a way that improves population health and reduces inequalities between different groups. From April 2022 (subject to legislation) ICSs will become statutory...