Transforming care for children and young people

LD Children pic

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

  • Local health leaders show support for carers during Carers Week 2020

    Heath bosses in the Black Country and West Birmingham are celebrating the role of carers as part of national Carers Week, especially because of the important contributions they have made during the coronavirus pandemic. This week (8-14 June 2020) is Carers Week – a national awareness initiative highlighting the important work being done by carers in the community – and local health leaders in the Black Country and West Birmingham are supporting this important campaign. Jonathan Fellows, Indepe...

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  • Health chiefs encourage people to visit pharmacies first

    As part of the national Help Us, Help You campaign, health bosses in the Black Country and West Birmingham are encouraging people to visit their pharmacy for advice on minor injuries and ailments. Research shows that 27 percent of general practice appointments in England could potentially be treated elsewhere. Approximately 18 million of these could be treated through self-care and community pharmacies. Many pharmacies are open late, making it easier than ever to get advice. They can advise yo...

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  • NHS rapid response team helps frail older patients

    Against a background of an ageing population and increasing frailty, one NHS Trust has identified opportunities to provide a service targeted at this patient group. The initiative is designed to prevent unnecessary hospital admissions through the emergency front door and keep frail older people safe in their own homes.  Emma Hibbs, Advanced Physiotherapist at Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust, explains: “We know that nationally around 50% of the population aged 65+ live with...

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  • Healthier Futures partnership secures funding to develop system-wide digital app

    The Healthier Futures partnership (Black Country & West Birmingham STP) has been awarded NHS funding following a successful pitch, to develop a healthcare app which will increase access to services for the local population. The NHS has identified funding to accelerate worthwhile projects across the country, inviting bids from all systems. A very limited number of organisations were invited to pitch to their respective regional digital teams and the Healthier Futures partnership has been su...

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  • It’s all aboard for popular NHS event

    The next stops for a popular NHS event have been confirmed in the Black Country. More than 200 people flocked to the big NHS red bus in Walsall City Centre to bag advice and freebies to help them keep well this Winter. NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups across the Black Country are behind the events, which aim to raise awareness of the simple steps people can take to keep well during winter. The importance of getting the flu vaccine, how keeping warm can help keep illnesses at bay and reminding...

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  • Check in on vulnerable people this Christmas

    People in the Black Country and West Birmingham are being advised to wrap up warm over the winter season and to look out for vulnerable people during the Christmas and New Year period. Local people are being asked to remember older relatives, friends and neighbours as well as other vulnerable people at this time of year. The over 65s and those with long-term health conditions or disabilities are at increased risk of illness during the winter months. It is important to regularly check in on ol...

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  • Black Country mental health employment service to expand support to local people

    A local service that helps people with severe mental illness to find employment, has successfully obtained additional funding from NHS England to expand its service in the Black Country. The NHS Five Year Forward View (2014) recognises that the employment rate of people with severe and enduring mental health problems is the lowest of all disability groups at just 7%. Furthermore, mental health problems now account for more than twice the number of Employment and Support Allowance and Incapacity...

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  • Dr Doreen Tipton says get the flu jab!

    Doreen Tipton joins health professionals to urge patients across the Black and West Birmingham to get their free flu jabs before the winter sets in. In a video launched by Futureproof Health, the Black Country comic icon Doreen Tipton, played by actress Gill Jordan reminds residents that it’s time for those at greatest risk from flu to protect themselves and their families with a free flu jab. Flu is a highly contagious infection that anyone can catch, and it can be a really serious illness fo...

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  • Service to cut A&E visits from “frequent callers” in the Black Country a Success

    Vulnerable patients are benefitting from a new frequent user project across the Black Country and West Birmingham. A one-year evaluation of the project commissioned by Dudley CCG and Dudley CVS has shown that in those patients who frequently attend A&E, there was a 33% reduction in attendances and a 41% reduction in inpatient admissions, saving the NHS more than £500,000. Delivered by the Dudley CVS Integrated Plus social prescribing team and match-funded by Dudley CCG and the Department o...

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  • Frailty assessment area relocated

    A hospital in Dudley has transformed the way it assesses frail elderly patients who arrive at its Emergency Department ensuring they receive optimal care from a dedicated frailty team providing comprehensive geriatric assessment. Russells Hall Hospital has moved its ward-based frailty assessment unit to the Emergency Department, in line with recommendation in the NHS Long Term Plan, enabling patients to get home sooner and maintaining their independence. Frail patients with complex health cond...

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