CCG News Bulletin - January 2016

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 Walsall CCG News - January 2016

Chair Amrik Chair's Welcome

Happy New Year to you and welcome to the January 2016 issue of CCG News. This bulletin provides you with the latest news from NHS Walsall Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) so I hope you find this useful. If you have any questions about any of the news items please get in touch with us at

In this issue:  

 New building for Urgent Care Centre opens

urgent care centre opens

The new building for our town centre based Urgent Care Centre is now open.

The new building, located on Bridgeman Street, opened today (20 January) at 10am, with services transferring from the previous location at Market Square. Patients will benefit from the same high standard of GP-led care, plus an improved waiting area, four consulting rooms, two treatment rooms and better disabled access.

The service will continue to be open from 8am to 8pm, offering fast, convenient and expert care for injuries and illnesses that are serious, but not life-threatening. This includes conditions such as minor cuts, burns and bites; sprains and fractures; fevers, infections and rashes. No appointment is necessary as patients can walk in to see a GP or Specialist Nurse. Our other Urgent Care Centre will remain at Walsall Manor Hospital, where it is open from 7am to midnight.

The new location was chosen following a public consultation in 2014 when we asked local people for their views on our long-term plans for urgent care.

I would like to thank everyone who has been involved in this project and worked so hard to make it happen. For more information on our Urgent Care Centres visit

 Residents give new Urgent Care Centre thumbs-up

tour 2 group V1The new Urgent Care Centre was visited by local community members prior to the building opening, to get a first look at the newly-renovated building located at the Saddler’s Centre.

There were two tours arranged which were attended by members from Healthwatch Walsall, Carer User Support Partnership Group (CUSP), Walsall Disability Forum and patient representatives. The members took part in a Q&A session with Jane Hayman, Urgent Care Manager at Walsall NHS CCG, and provided initial feedback on the centre. Members commented on the airy and open feel of the building as well as the private reception area.

Many members who attended were involved in the initial public consultation which took place before the centre was commissioned and were invited back to see how their input helped to shape the new Urgent Care Centre.

You can read comments from some members and the full story here.

 Urgent Care performance during winter 

urgent care performanceAs we all know, winter is traditionally a busy time for the NHS and social care services, with greater than usual demand on local services. So far, this winter has been no different, bringing significant challenges to urgent care services across the country. In Walsall the Manor Hospital has experienced high numbers of emergency admissions and attendances at its Accident and Emergency department. 

We are working hard with our partners to address these issues. Our winter plan remains in force and, together with Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust, West Midlands Ambulance Service, Primecare and social services, we have signed up to a new system-wide escalation plan. This will help to ensure that patients are quickly admitted into hospital, treated, transferred and discharged home.

In October, we awarded Primecare with the new contract to run our two Urgent Care Centres. I am pleased to say there has been a smooth transition and patients have been continuing to receive a high standard of care at our two centres.

In addition, we are investing heavily in our community services to help care for people at home wherever possible and this winter we trialled an extended GP service on the bank holidays over Christmas and new year (see next article for more information).

For more information talk to our Urgent Care Lead Jane Hayman at

 GP extended hours scheme

gp extended hoursFor the first time, Walsall CCG has worked with Palmaris Healthcare Limited to trial an additional GP service on the bank holidays over Christmas and New Year.

A GP service was available from 8am to 8pm on Christmas Day, Bank Holiday Monday (28 December) and New Year’s Day at The Keys Family Practice in Willenhall and Portland Medical Practice in Aldridge.

I’m pleased that lots of people across Walsall took advantage of the service, which was for anyone who had an urgent illness or injury and could not wait for an appointment with their registered GP surgery. All patients had to do to make a same-day appointment was phone ahead or walk into one of the surgeries on the day.

We are currently reviewing patient feedback from this pilot and will use this to help plan a similar service on the bank holidays over Easter and in May.

For more information contact Carol Marston, Walsall CCG Primary Care Commissioning Manager at                                    

 Planning guidance for 2016/17

planning guidance

NHS England have now published the Planning Guidance for 2016-17 and Five Year Planning Guidance for 2016/17 – 2020/21 which sets out to will deliver a sustainable, transformed health service and improve the quality of care, wellbeing and NHS finances.

The Planning Guidance for 2016/17 outlines nine ‘must dos’ for 2016-17:

  1. Produce a sustainability and transformation plan (STP) for the health economy
  2. Return to “aggregate financial balance” with secondary care providers delivering savings through the Lord Carter productivity programme and caps on agency spending
  3. Develop and implement a local plan to address the sustainability and quality of general practice, including workforce and workload issues
  4. Achieve waiting time targets for A&E patients and ambulance response times
  5. Improve and maintain performance against the 18 week RTT target
  6. Deliver the 62 day cancer waiting time target, including the two week referral and 31 day treatment targets
  7. Achieve and maintain new mental health waiting time and dementia diagnosis targets
  8. Improve care for people with learning disabilities including improved community services and reducing inpatient facilities
  9. Publishing avoidable mortality rates annually

The Five Year Plan will support the implementation of the NHS Five Year Forward View and will be subject to formal assessment in July. It will look at better integration with local authority services including, but not limited to, prevention and social care, reflecting the local Health and Wellbeing Strategy. It will address:

  • How the health and wellbeing gap will be closed
  • How transformation will drive the closure of the care and quality gap
  • How the finance and efficiency gap will be closed

For more information talk to Phil Griffin at

Moving towards fully delegated primary care commissioning

primary care commissioningWe have recently been approved by NHS England to take on fully delegated primary care commissioning. This means that, from 1 April 2016, we will assume full responsibility for the commissioning of primary care services.  This is fantastic news for the organisation, as it will enable us to be more patient-focussed and commission and design services across the whole patient pathway.

Delegated commissioning will provide us with an opportunity to further improve out-of-hospital service provision, deliver new models of care as set out in the NHS Five Year Forward View and develop a more holistic integrated approach to improving healthcare for our local population. For more information contact Carols Marston at

Walsall to take part in pilot to improve mental health services for children

mental health services for childrenWalsall has been chosen to be part of the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) and Schools Link Pilot Scheme - a national pilot to improve children and young people’s access to local mental health services.

This is great news for the borough as it will not only help improve links between schools and health services but also improve teachers’ understanding of mental health issues so they can spot the signs earlier and refer children to mental health services where necessary.

Ten schools across Walsall (including three primary schools, six secondary schools and a specialist school) will take part in the 12 month pilot. Each school will have a named mental health lead who will work closely with local CAMHS. Staff at each school will also take part in training around mental health and wellbeing issues among children, the local NHS services that are available and how to refer children to these services. 

I would like to thank our partners at Dudley and Walsall Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust for helping us to achieve this success. For more information contact Alicia Wood at   

 Stay Well Walsall campaign

stay well walsall campaignThis winter, NHS Walsall CCG has worked with partners across the health and social care economy to develop a new ‘Stay Well Walsall’ campaign.

Based on the national NHS ‘Stay Well this Winter’ campaign, ‘Stay Well Walsall’ launched in November with three objectives:

  1. To raise awareness and encourage the uptake of the flu vaccine and flu nasal spray, particularly to at-risk groups
  2. To raise awareness of the range of free local NHS services that are available (including the new Urgent Care Centre and extended GP service on bank holidays)
  3. To promote general winter health and wellbeing messages

A wide range of communications and engagement activity has taken place, including developing a suite of communications materials in a range of languages and formats, dedicated web pages, advertising, social media, articles in local media and face-to-face community events across Walsall.

We’ve had some great feedback about the campaign so please continue to support us over the next couple of months by retweeting our messages @WalsallCCG #StaywellWalsall and sharing our webpages For more information or for more copies of our materials please email

Dementia support service extended for Walsall

dementiaTogether with Walsall Council, we have re-commissioned a dementia support service for the next two years to help the estimated 3,000+ people living with dementia across Walsall.

Pathways 4 Life, a partnership between the Accord Group and Age UK Walsall, will continue to run seven free dementia cafés across Walsall. The cafés provide an informal setting for people with dementia and their families/ carers to socialise and receive advice and support.

In addition, four dementia support workers will continue to work on wards at the Manor Hospital wards, providing advice, guidance and signposting to patients during their stay.

For more information visit  

Improving Mental Health Services in Walsall

improving mental healthOn the 20th January 2016, Walsall CCG and Walsall Council, will be holding a consultation event on the current model of access and crisis delivery, for Adult Mental Health Services in Walsall. The event will seek to engage a wide and diverse group who interface with mental health services.

Primary Care Job Fayre

primary careWalsall CCG has joined up with the LMC to host a Primary Care Job Fayre on Thursday 31 March 2016.

The purpose of the event is to support general practices to attract new healthcare professionals to join the primary care workforce in Walsall. Healthcare professionals, including GPs, pharmacists and nurses, will be invited to attend the event to find out more about working in Walsall and meet staff from the CCG and local GP practices.

The event will take place at Bescot Stadium in Walsall and include presentations, workshops and information stalls. GP practices across Walsall are invited to have an information stall to promote their vacancies. If you are interested in either exhibiting or attending, please email More information will be shared shortly. 

Happy and Healthy Art Competition launches

happy and healthy art competitionTo celebrate the opening of our new Urgent Care Centre, Community Site, we are inviting schools to take part in a competition to design artwork to feature in our new centre. This is a fantastic opportunity for pupils at primary and secondary schools to get to know about local health services and what it means to be healthy.

The schools will be asked to submit one A4 sized entry from their school, which can include any material of their choice, for consideration by our panel of judges. The winning primary and secondary school will receive a voucher of their choice, as well as having their winning piece displayed at Walsall’s new Urgent Care Centre.

The deadline for entries is Thursday 24 March 2016.

If you would like to take part or for further information email

Next Governing Body meeting

next governing body meetingThe next Governing Body meeting will take place at 3pm-5pm on Thursday 28 January at the Jean Beeley Conference Room at Blakenall Village Centre.