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Healthier Futures - Primary Care

Primary care (general practice) is central to our health and care system. It exists to contribute to preventing ill health, providing early diagnosis and treatment, managing on-going mental and physical health conditions and helping people recover from episodes of ill health and injury. 

Our ambitions for primary care in the Black Country and West Birmingham are for high quality healthcare for the 1,450,000 people who live here. Our vision is for both healthier lives and better healthcare for our patients by working with our population to sustain and improve primary care services while reducing health inequalities. 

The challenges:

In the Black Country and West Birmingham there are high levels of deprivation, some of the highest levels of infant mortality rates in the country and the prevalence of obesity is increasing. These challenges place increasing pressure on the health and care system.

What will we do?

In order to meet the growing demands, change is needed within primary care to support the wider health and care system. We will support primary care to respond to the demands by: 

  • Growing the workforce through the introduction of new roles 
  • Developing Primary Care Networks (PCNs) - groups of practices working together to share resources and offer more services to patients 
  • Utilising digital and estate solutions to improve access to primary care 

Our long-term vision:

The long-term vision for primary care in the Black Country and West Birmingham is to develop a resilient and sustainable model of primary care based on the following principles:

  • A primary care system that will be general practice led, rather than general practice delivered
  • Be focussed on prevention and commissioned for outcomes based on the population need within each PCN
  • Be multidisciplinary, organised and delivering services at scale within each PCN and place
  • Make the best use of technology to improve experience and outcomes for people
  • Will deliver improved experience and better outcomes – determined and measured by those accessing our services
  • Support and enable people to stay well and manage their own health through better use of technology and community assets
  • Enable the primary care workforce to increase their skills, knowledge and competences
  • Develop and enable community-based academic activity to improve effectiveness, research and quality

You can find out more about our plans and priorities for primary care in the Black Country and West Birmingham by reading our strategy

In The News

  • Liz delighted at inclusion in New Year Honours for COVID-19 work

    A primary care nurse advisor from NHS Black Country and West Birmingham has been included in the New Year Honours List for her contribution to patient care during the COVID-19 pandemic. Liz Corrigan is General Practice Nursing Professional Lead for the Black Country and West Birmingham Sustainability and Transformation Partnership and has worked in various nursing roles in the local area over the last 25 years. Liz, who lives in Wolverhampton, has been honoured with the British Empire Medal fo...

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  • 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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