CCG News Bulletin - June 2017

New CCG Stakeholder Background

Walsall CCG News - June 2017

In this issue:


Hello everyone and Happy Summer. I am sure you will join me in welcoming this season of change. Summer has begun with many positive changes for Walsall CCG.Dr Rischie

We were pleased to have been informed in April that NHS England has taken Walsall CCG out of special measures. This is excellent news and it should give patients, the public and our partners reassurance that we are continually improving local health services. Thank you to the Governing Body, our staff, our partners and to NHS England for their continued support and guidance. We recognise that there is still much work to be done and we will continue to work closely with NHS England and local partners to make the necessary improvements.   

We have appointed a new Chief Officer, Professor Simon Brake. Simon joins the CCG at an exciting and challenging time for health and social care locally and regionally. He has a wealth of experience in health and local government and he knows the challenges facing the health service well. Simon’s range of knowledge, experience and skills will stand us in good stead as we continue with our ambitious plans to transform and commission high quality NHS services for the borough. 

More of our GP practices are being recognised for the excellent health services they provide with two more practices receiving outstanding ratings from the Care Quality Commission and several others receiving good ratings. One surgery has even moved from inadequate to good in just six months after much hard work and dedication. We look forward to more positive inspection results in the coming months.

The Big Conversation public engagement exercise has given us a range of helpful feedback from patients on stroke services, urgent care, primary care and community services. This information from diverse groups of local people has been invaluable in helping us to plan our next steps for these services. Watch this space for more detailed information on how you can continue to be involved in this process.

Thank for your continued support in helping us to achieve our goals to commission high quality health services for the people of Walsall while providing value for money.

Dr Anand Rischie
NHS Walsall Clinical Commissioning Group

NHS Walsall Clinical Commissioning Group taken out of special measures

We are pleased to report that NHS England has taken NHS Walsall Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) out of special measures following improvement in the group’s financial performance and governance.

As you may know, in June 2016, the CCG was rated ‘inadequate’ by NHS England due to a number of challenges related to financial performance and effective governance. As a result of the ‘inadequate’ rating, the CCG was placed in ‘special measures’ and was required to implement an improvement plan which has been closely overseen by NHS England.

These special measures have now been removed as a result of the 21 April announcement from NHS England.

We will continue to work closely with NHS England and local partners to make further improvements. Our focus will remain on improving our financial position and closely monitoring the performance of our provider organisations and we remain fully committed to commissioning the highest quality health services that provide good value for money for the people of Walsall.

Our performance

We are continuing to work with our providers (Walsall Healthcare Trust and Dudley and Walsall Mental Health Trust) and closely monitoring their performance and improvement plans. Agreed recovery plans remain in place for both the A&E 4 hour waits target and the 18 weeks referral to treatment time (RTT) target.Our Performance

New CCG Chief Officer appointed

Paul Maubach has agreed to continue here as our Chief Accountable Officer and we have now appointed a new Chief Officer, Professor Simon Brake.Prof Brake

Simon has taken on strategic and managerial responsibility for our operations and governance, ensuring the CCG meets our statutory obligations to commission the best quality services for the population of Walsall.

Previously working as Director of Primary Care for Coventry & Rugby NHS and Chief Executive of the GP Federation, Professor Brake trained as a general manager in the NHS following his graduation from the University of Warwick with a degree in Politics with International Study.

Simon has over twenty years’ experience in health and social care and has worked across the health and social care system at local, regional and national levels in community, primary care, mental health and acute hospital services, in commissioning and within local authorities. Simon also undertakes teaching and research at Warwick University Medical School as well as Coventry University, holding visiting academic chairs at both institutions.

Welcome Simon!

NHS Walsall Clinical Commissioning Group wins national self care award

NHS Walsall Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has won a national award for their promotion of self care.

The team was the overall winner of the Self Care Forum’s Self Care Week Award 2015 for their unique promotional campaign which reached out to a range of communities, particularly students and young people.

Self Care AwardSelf Care Week 2016 took place 14 – 20 November 2016. Walsall CCG used the week as an opportunity to raise awareness of self care among students and young people. The medicines management team held talks at local primary schools and asked children to share the information with their parents. 

Promotional events were also held at Walsall College to promote self care as well as a health app for students. ESC Student is an app developed to help improve student health and increase health literacy among young people. The app allows young people to answer common questions about their health in seconds without the need for an internet connection and is certified by the NHS England Information Standard as a source of reliable health information.

The team even organised students at Walsall College to take part in a ‘mannequin challenge’ to help raise awareness of self care. The challenge can be viewed on Walsall CCG’s YouTube channel.

The judges praised Walsall CCG’s campaign for having a clear vision, a clear focus on children and young people and for planning future programmes to build on the success of the current campaign.

The team will be presented with a certificate at the Annual Self Care Conference in London on 26 September 2017.

For more local information about self care and how to keep well this winter visit the Self Care pages on our website

Well done to all of the team!

Feedback from The Big Conversation

In January 2017 NHS Walsall CCG launched The Big Conversation public engagement exercise Big Convoto listen to local people’s views on the future of health services in the borough. Thank you to everyone who supported The Big Conversation public engagement. We have valued the input at our engagement events and with the camper van outreach. This included supermarkets, libraries, leisure centres, places of worship, markets, Walsall College and Walsall Town Centre. Thank you to patients and the public who filled in surveys and came out to speak to us about their views on local health services including stroke services, primary care, urgent care and community services.

More information can be found on The Big Conversation web page of the Walsall CCG website You can read our report here and also view a video summarising the feedback we have received from many of you on our YouTube channel.

Medicines Management work presented at NICE Conference

In May two of our colleagues from the Medicines Management Team were invited to be keynote speakers at the NICE Annual Conference in Liverpool.

NICEJyoti Saini and Joanne Loague formed part of the Reality Showcase: Proven Case studies sessions taking place at the conference. They featured the Pharmacist Led Repeat Prescription Management project as part of a ‘case study’ stream to show how Walsall CCG is improving patient safety outcomes, as well as supporting efficient and effective care by using the skills of a pharmacist in general practice.

In 2016-17 Practice based Pharmacists were able to deliver £3.15 in savings per £1 invested, and the audience in Liverpool were impressed at the potential savings which can be delivered, as well as making key safety interventions, and supporting the practice team in reducing GP workload. January’s broadcast from BBC Midlands Today was also shown during the presentation with one local resident commenting how, from seeing the piece, he felt very proud to be part of Walsall.

Healthwatch Walsall report on communication needs

NHS Walsall CCG commissioned Healthwatch Walsall to find out more about the DSCF0408diverse population of Walsall and the best ways in which to communicate health messages to its different communities.

Over the past decade, there has been a significant increase in the level of ethnic diversity in Walsall, with minority ethnic groups reportedly making up one in four of the population. This number is on the rise, with more BME communities choosing to settle in the borough.

The research was carried out during September and October last year. Focus groups were conducted with a cross section of the local community, such as over 65s, parents of young children and representatives from each BME community. Residents were also invited to complete a short survey on areas ranging from the most common media channel they use, to how they rate their local GP. Thank you to those who took part in the research, we value your opinions and we aim to use this feedback to shape our future communications with our patients and the public. You can view the full report here

Outstanding and good CQC ratings for Walsall surgeries

It’s been good news this year for many Walsall GP practices that have been inspected by the Care Quality Commission (CQC). Dr Abraham Thomas’s practice, also known as Croft Surgery, in Willenhall received an overall rating of outstanding for delivering services that are effective, caring and well-led. The practice was commended for its clear vision, with quality and safety as its top priority. Strong leadership was highlighted as well along with good facilities for patients. Staff were also commended for using their local knowledge of the community to deliver person centred care including holding health awareness days and implementing a new appointment system.

St MaryDr Candice Stedall’s practice, also known as Mossley Fields Surgery, on Fisher Road in Walsall received an overall rating of outstanding for delivering services that are well-led and responsive to people’s needs. Inspectors praised Dr Stedall’s practice for their close work with other organisations and the local community in planning how services were  provided to meet patients’ needs, an innovative approach to providing integrated patient-centred care and hosting additional services within the surgery.

St Mary’s Surgery on Field Road in Bloxwich has been rated good by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) six months after being rated inadequate. The practice was commended for its hard work helping people with long term conditions, making services safe, its caring and effective approach and in responding to people’s needs.

Three Walsall GP practices also received good ratings from CQC earlier this year.  Stroud Practice in Bentley Medical Centre was recognised for its well trained staff who treat patients with compassion.  Inspectors praised Northgate Medical Centre in Aldridge for assessing patients’ needs and delivering care following best practice guidance.  The surgery was also recognised for some outstanding practice including patient events on diet and diabetes event and a bowel screening awareness event.  The inspection report for Wharf Family Practice in Walsall highlighted the surgery’s good facilities and their open and transparent approach to safety.

Bowel Cancer Awareness Month

April was Bowel Cancer Awareness Month and Cancer Research UK (CRUK) and Bowel Cancer UK worked together with Public Health England to promote awareness and early detection. Walsall CCG spread awareness by tweeting patients’ stories, messages to urge people to take the screening tests and offering ideas on how to get fundraising for Bowel Cancer UK. Keith BWe also shared stories of bowel cancer survivors in the Walsall Advertiser. One of those patients is Keith Beardsmore who was diagnosed with bowel cancer 24 years ago. After seeing blood in the toilet, he was persuaded to see his doctor who sent him to Walsall Manor Hospital. A biopsy confirmed he had bowel cancer and eighteen months of chemotherapy began. Keith was also involved in setting up a local support group, Walsall B-Friend Bowel Cancer, for patients and their families.

If you are aged 60-74 you are eligible to take the bowel cancer screening test and will receive a test kit in the post every two years. People aged aver 75 can still request the screening kit by calling the freephone helpline on 0800 707 60 60. The kit is not automatically sent to this age group. Bowel cancer is very treatable but the earlier it is diagnosed, the easier it is to treat. People whose cancer is diagnosed at an early stage have a much higher chance of successful treatment than those whose cancer has become more widespread.

More information about symptoms and screening can be found on the NHS Choices website and on the Cancer Research UK website    

Surgery staff praised for saving long time patient Arthur’s life

Arthur PerryStaff at two Walsall GP practices are being credited with saving a man’s life after he collapsed in their surgery in late February.

High Street Surgery in Pelsall is led by Dr Sameja and adjacent practice Rushall Medical Centre is led by Dr Sandilands, both operate from the same Pelsall site, and are part of NHS Walsall Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).

A patient at the surgery for over 20 years, Arthur Perry and his family were well known to staff. 

Mr Perry, aged 79, felt ill with chest and back pain so made his way to the surgery but collapsed as he came out of the lift. Quick thinking reception staff phoned 999 and alerted High Street Surgery staff Dr Sameja, Practice Nurse Clare Edwards, Rushall Medical Centre Staff Practice Nurse Julie Hoggins and Healthcare Assistant Tracey Lewis quickly assessed Mr Perry; he had no pulse, no heart rate and was not breathing. All staff worked together along with midwife Vicky Cope to administer CPR as well as shocking Mr Perry with the defibrillator in an attempt to re-start his heart. They carried on with CPR and used the defibrillator three times until the ambulance arrived to take Mr Perry to New Cross Hospital.

Arthur was in intensive care initially after having surgery but was moved onto the ward and is now back at home recovering. Both the ambulance crew and hospital staff have credited the quick actions of staff from both GP practices, Dr Sameja’s surgery and Rushall Medical Centre, with saving Arthur’s life.

Tributes to retired ‘superhero’ nurse Lynda

Staff paid tribute to a respected CCG staff member and local health pioneer who has recently retired.Lynda

Lynda Abedin, aged 61, began her nursing career in Walsall in 1978 as a Junior Sister at Goscote Hospital.

She went on to work in Darlaston firstly as a Practice Nurse in 1992 then as Nurse Practitioner for Rough Hay surgery until 2003. She has worked in Blakenall since September 2003 where she was Lead Advanced Nurse Practitioner.

Lynda and her husband are moving to Cheshire, to be nearer to their son, daughter-in-law and granddaughters, but Lynda will continue working in healthcare part-time.

A focus for Lynda has been palliative or, end of life, care for patients. One young cancer patient wished to marry before she passed away and Lynda helped that to happen. Lynda attended the wedding carrying oxygen cylinders generally being on standby to support the bride, and then helped transport her to a hospice where the young woman sadly passed away.

Lynda’s colleagues describe her as a ‘superhero’ as she was a key member of the team who worked hard to establish a health centre in Blakenall which is now a thriving source of support for the community. She also pioneered nurse-led practice since 2003, establishing a pro-active nurse led service to support elderly residents registered with the practice living in residential accommodation that is still going strong today.

As they celebrated her many achievements, Lynda had equal praise for her colleagues and patients, “It has been a privilege to work in Walsall and in Blakenall. I have enjoyed every minute of it. Thank you to the community who have been instrumental in helping us to develop health services available to people today.”

Kitchen table chats help nursing home staff and residents

NKTWA national campaign used the kitchen table as a focal point to encourage discussions between nursing home staff and residents to develop a positive approach to safety.

National Kitchen Table week took place from 27 March to 2 April 2017.  It is an idea developed by the NHS Sign up to Safety initiative to encourage people within the caring profession to talk to each other about what they know about keeping people safe.

Locally these discussions were led by the Walsall Quality Improvement Project. This is a partnership with Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust and NHS Walsall Clinical Commissioning Group to work with local care homes to reduce hospital admissions for care home residents and ensure residents are safe.

The project team held 11 events at local nursing homes where staff gathered together with residents and relatives to have positive conversations about how they keep people safe. Staff had informal conversations with residents and their relatives around a table in the nursing home, with tea and cake, to share what works well in their home and to learn from one another.

This is a simple activity where both staff and family members can take time out to speak to one another openly and honestly in a safe and caring environment about what is working well. Quality project team members can then use this information to generate further improvements in nursing homes across Walsall.

More information can be found at the NHS Sign up to Safety website

Patients go online for health services

Walsall residents can now access local GP services with greater ease and efficiency, thanks to a national NHS programme.

Patient Online is part of an overall drive by NHS England to use digital technology to further bring the NHS into the 21st century,GP Online with GP surgeries leading the way. The online services are being offered in addition to the traditional telephone and face-to-face methods of interacting with a GP practice.

You can now book an appointment, order repeat prescriptions, view information on medication, allergies, illnesses, immunisations and test results and access a summary of their health records, as part of Patient Online.

All 59 GP practices in Walsall are part of the national initiative, which has been designed to provide patients, families and carers with a more modern, convenient and responsive service.

For more information contact your GP practice or have a look at

Join our Patient Voice Panel

Our Patient Voice Panel launched late last year and membership is building fast. The Patient Voice Panel is another opportunity for Walsall patients to have their say on health care in the borough as well as the chance to shape services for the future. PVPPanel members play an important part in our engagement activity becoming involved in focus groups and consultations on key health services in Walsall.

It is free to become a member, anyone aged 14 years or over and registered with a Walsall GP is welcome to join. Members can become involved as much or as little as they like. People can join the Patient Voice Panel by visiting the website or by picking up a leaflet and application form from their GP surgery.

Please help us to spread the word among patients about this great opportunity by sharing this with your networks and by re-tweeting. If you have an opportunity for the panel to become involved in please contact the Communications Team at   

Annual General Meeting – Save the date!

The Annual General Meeting of Walsall CCG will also take place on Tuesday 4 July 2017 from 4.30pm to 5.30pm at Blakenall Village Centre, Thames Road, Blakenall, WS3 1LZ. Anyone is welcome to attend and there is no need to book a place. For more information have a look at the CCG website.

For more information about any of the stories in this bulletin please email