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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

  • United support for Breastfeeding Week

    Infant Feeding teams and midwives across the Black Country and West Birmingham will be supporting and encouraging mums this National Breastfeeding Week which runs from Monday 27 June until Friday 1 July. This year’s theme is “Everyone has a part to play in helping mums to breastfeed” with a focus on the difference that can be made if everyone supports breastfeeding. And the Black Country and West Birmingham Local Maternity and Neonatal System (LMNS) is highlighting the help that is available fo...
  • Mental health and learning disability chief confirmed to lead new NHS Board

    Respected local NHS leader Mark Axcell has been formally appointed as substantive Chief Executive Officer for the Black Country Integrated Care Board (ICB).  Following a successful recruitment process, Mr Axcell, who has held the position on an interim basis since November, will now officially become CEO on 1 July when the new NHS organisation launches.   Mr Axcell joins the ICB from his previous role as Chief Executive of Black Country Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, the local...
  • Healthcare professionals encouraged to return to practice

    A special online event will be taking place in June for nurses and allied health professionals (AHPs) looking to return to practice. The Return to Practice Programme is for qualified nurses or AHPs who are no longer registered and wish to return to work. Those eligible must have been off the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) or Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) register for more than two years, or must not have registered within five years from the date of their qualification. Hoste...
  • Chief People Officer appointed to future NHS Board

    A Chief People Officer has been appointed to the executive team for the new Black Country Integrated Care Board (ICB). Mrs Shajeda Ahmed will take up the role once the ICB formally begins operation, moving to the Black Country from her current role as Executive Director of People, Organisational Development and Inclusion for North Staffordshire Combined Healthcare NHS Trust. As Chief People Officer, she will be responsible for all aspects of staff recruitment, training and wellbeing for the IC...
  • Putting our fantastic midwives in the spotlight

    Today (5 May) is International Day of the Midwife and the Black Country and West Birmingham Local Maternity and Neonatal System (LMNS) wants to thank those who make a difference to families across our communities. Sally Roberts, Chief Nursing Officer for NHS Black Country and West Birmingham CCG, said: “How fantastic that we can make today all about our wonderful midwives. “Once again, we find ourselves talking about another difficult year for them as they have supported mums-to-be a...
  • New appointment to future NHS Board

    The leadership team for the new Black Country Integrated Care Board (ICB) continues to take shape with the appointment of a new executive. The ICB, which will begin operation on 1 July 2022, has successfully appointed to the role of Chief Operating Officer.   The news follows last week’s announcement that the NHS had gone out to advert for a substantive Chief Executive Officer to lead the ICB. The role of Chief Operating Officer will be held by Mr Matthew Hartland, who is currently ...
  • More than 2.6 million COVID-19 vaccines delivered

    Since the start of the vaccination roll-out, more than 2.6 million vaccines have been administered in the Black Country and West Birmingham. More than 980,000 people have now received at least one dose of the vaccine, with almost 690,000 taking up at least three doses.   The spring booster programme is also continuing at pace, with almost 47,000 eligible people vaccinated since March. Those eligible for a spring booster include care home residents, people who are 75 and over and those age...
  • Signs and symptoms of asthma

    This World Asthma Day (Tuesday 3 May), health chiefs in the Black Country and West Birmingham are raising awareness of the signs and symptoms of asthma. World Asthma Day is organised by the Global Initiative for asthma, which aims to improve asthma awareness and care. Asthma is a common lung condition that causes occasional breathing difficulties. It affects people of all ages and often starts in childhood, although it can also develop for the first time in adults. The main symptoms are a whi...
  • NHS seeks to appoint leader to top system role

    The NHS has today gone out to advert for a substantive Chief Executive Officer to lead the new Black Country Integrated Care Board and play a pivotal role within the local health and care system. 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, coordinate services and plan in a way that improves the health of local people and reduces inequalities between different gr...
  • Local NHS leaders reflect on COVID-19 pandemic

    Two years on from the first UK lockdown, health chiefs across the Black Country and West Birmingham have paid tribute to staff and members of the public. The declaration of the pandemic was made by the World Health Organisation (WHO) in January 2020 and the UK went into full lockdown on Monday 23 March 2020. Since then, health and care staff from across the NHS, local authorities and the voluntary sector have worked in partnership to provide services and support communities, as well as standin...