Health and Wellbeing Board Chair’s blog – 19 July 2018

Hello there,

You may be aware that we discussed progress with the Midland Met Hospital at last month’s meeting. One of my actions was to write to Stephen Barclay MP outlining the Boards concerns at the delays. I am pleased to report that a response has been received back (read my letter and the response here) – The board is keen to continue to push central government to support Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospital Trust and we will be contacting them again soon for an update.


The first agenda item at this month’s board was a presentation from Cllr Steve Trow cabinet member for Culture and Core Council Services and Darren Carter, Executive Director of Resources giving an update on the Vision for 2030.  The council is developing a journey tracker to make sure we realise our ambitions locally. We are looking at inclusive growth as a way of measuring progress and the Health and Wellbeing Board is doing what it can to support this work.

Alison Knight, Executive Director for Neighbourhoods then spoke to us about local housing regeneration and some of our successes.

We are also working in partnership with housing developers and have facilitated some award winning spaces including the Lyng redevelopment and energy projects focusing on renewable technologies and heat networks. The board is keen to support this work further and will be pulling together a health and regeneration steering group to focus on some key outcomes that will really support local regeneration.

We then had an update from Chris Guest, a Service Manager in Adult Social Care on local health and social care integration.  The council and local clinical commissioning group are doing really well with targets to make sure people who are ready to leave hospital do so in a timely manner. We are number 1 in the West Midlands which is great news.

We also want to make sure people in care homes that need to visit hospital are looked after by rolling out the Red Bag Scheme

The bags will be given to care home residents when they leave for hospital. Patients will be able to keep personal items, key medication and paperwork inside them so that important items aren’t lost and patients feel secure and will also improve communications between care home staff and hospital staff.

We then heard from the Interim Director of Public Health Ansaf Azhar, who spoke to us about public health’s new priorities that will support the joint health and wellbeing strategy – they are:

  • Our children will get the best possible start in life
  • People will have better physical and mental health
  • Vulnerable people will be given the right support

The board wants to ensure that these priorities are supported across the partnership so we will be thinking more about how we can do this together at a future meeting.

We then received a presentation from Valerie Unsworth, Nurse Consultant for Health Protection. Valerie deals with infectious diseases, environmental threats and responding to health protection related emergencies. We learnt that Sandwell has high rates of TB and late diagnosis of HIV which we are working on as a partnership through the health protection board.

I will ensure that the Health and Wellbeing Board is kept up to date with progress, to be assured that local systems are in place to protect local residents.

John Clothier, Chair of Healthwatch Sandwell then briefed the Board on some recent engagement work with patient participation groups or PPGs. PPGs were created to act as a ‘critical friend’ to practices, be the patient advising forum and encourage and develop patient engagement and communications with the practice population.  We know that some surgeries in Sandwell have really effective groups that are making a positive difference for their patients and we want to share this good practice with other surgeries, who may be earlier on in their PPG journeys.

Finally, Rich Baker updated us on the on-going work of our other statutory boards; the Sandwell Safeguarding Adults Board (SSAB), the Sandwell Safeguarding Children’s Board (SSCB) and the Safer Sandwell Partnership, Police and Crime Board (SSP).

Amongst other key work, the SSAB has developed a new performance framework to reflect quantitative and qualitative data and are planning their annual conference planned for September 2018.

The SSCB published ‘Working Together to Safeguard Children 2018’ on 4 July 2018 and there has been 1 serious case review and 1 local learning review.

The SSP has restructured following identification of their new priorities, and the Prevention of Violence and Exploitation sub group will have their first meeting on 26th July. The Youth Justice plan has been finalised and the Combined Offer to schools was launched on 4th July.

Cllr Hackett then confirmed that the Children’s Trust had received a monitoring visit from Ofsted and had made a positive start to their journey. The Health and Wellbeing Board is keen to support this work and I am delighted to announce that a motion was passed at full council on the 17th July, approving that the CEO of the Children’s Trust, Frances Craven be invited to become a member of the board.

Thank you to everyone for their valued contributions to the agenda; the discussion was valuable and has created some tangible outcomes to be taken forward. The next meeting will be held 13 September, 4.30-6.30pm.Venue to be confirmed.

Want to find out more? Email, call Rachel Allchurch on 0121 569 5163 or tweet us @SandwellHWBB


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