CCG News Bulletin - September 2016

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Walsall CCG News - September 2016

Welcome to the September 2016 issue of CCG News. This bulletin provides you with the latest news from NHS Walsall Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG). If you have any questions about any of the news items please get in touch with us at

In this issue:  

Improvement Plan

In our last communication we announced that due to a number of challenging issues during 2015/2016, NHS Walsall CCG has been rated as ‘inadequate’ by NHS England and required to put in place an improvement plan.

We are pleased to report good progress has been made in delivering our improvement plan however, we also know that there is still a lot to do. The key areas of focus for us are:

Finances: We are currently facing a significant financial challenge with our projected financial gap of approximately £22m this year. With an ever increasing demand for services we need to consider local needs yet balance this with the money available to us. We do not have enough money to continue to buy all the services that we currently do, in the same way as we have done before and some difficult choices will need to be made. We are committed to commissioning high quality healthcare services that are sustainable for the future therefore need to find ways of reducing costs in some areas to be able to protect other essential services that we currently buy.

Paul Maubach  

Involvement from local people, patients and our partners are a key part of the redesign and reconfiguration of healthcare services and we will be asking for your views and feedback in the coming weeks. One of the ways you can get involved will be through the new NHS Walsall CCG Patient Voice Panel which will launch later this month.

Governance: Governance arrangements at NHS Walsall CCG have been streamlined so we that can work more efficiently.

Sustainability and Transformation plan: We are continuing to engage with our partners across the Black Country and developing opportunities to work on a more sustainable planning footprint in order to address health and wellbeing, care and quality as well as finance and efficiency gaps.

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.  An agreed recovery plan for the A&E 4 hour target is in place and being closely monitored and work is also currently underway to develop a recovery plan for the referral to treatment time (RTT). The table below outlines our current performance as set out in the NHS Constitution: 

NHS Constitution 

Patient Voice Panel

We are committed to involving patient and public in our decision making process. This is more important than ever as we change the way we spend money and use our resources to ensure local NHS services are sustainable for the future and responsive to the needs of the Walsall population.

The Patient Voice Panel is an exciting new way for local people to work with us to better understand and help to shape local health services. There is also an opportunity for patients to share experiences of using local healthcare services and get involved in the following ways:

  • Actively participating in surveys and other health-related activities
  • Give your ideas on how health services can be improved
  • Being part of focus group discussions and workshops
  • Influence and make a difference - help make our NHS the best it can be locally
PVP pic
  The scheme will launch later this month and there will be a number of ways to join the scheme. To register your interest, please email

National showcase for pioneering CCG prescription service

A pioneering prescription service developed by Walsall CCG is set to be showcased as a best practice model for all CCGs at a national healthcare later this month.

Members of the CCG’s Medicines Management Team have been invited to present alongside the National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE) at the Commissioning in Healthcare conference in London on September 28. The team will showcase its Pharmacist Led Repeat Prescribing Service, which is aimed at improving the safety and appropriateness of repeat prescribing within local GP practices by ensuring patients’ notes and blood tests are reviewed before prescriptions are issued.

Medicines Team

Since its implementation in 2011, the service has attracted widespread interest from other CCGs across the UK and has been published as a quality and productivity best practice case study on NICE’s website.

The Commissioning in Healthcare conference, which is part of the UK Health Show, will take place at the Grand Hall in Olympia.

More information about the event can be found at


Care model on the agenda at key industry conference 

A successful joint partnership that has reduced hospital admissions among residents in Walsall’s care homes by more than 60 per cent is set to be showcased at a national conference later this year.

Sally Roberts, Director of Governance, Quality and Safety at NHS Walsall Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), and Katie Welborn, Advanced Nurse Practitioner at Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust, are among the guest speakers at The King’s Fund’s forthcoming Enhanced Health in Care-Homes conference.

Being invited to take part in the conference is major recognition of the ongoing work that’s being carried out by Walsall CCG and key partners to help raise quality standards and transform the delivery of healthcare services to Walsall residents. Care homes are a valued part of the overall spectrum of care and support services within our health and social care community and we’re committed to further building upon the successes we have achieved to date.

Care Home Pic

Sally and Katie will speak about Walsall’s Enhanced Healthcare Model for Care Homes, which is being hailed by The King’s Fund as a best practice approach to reducing avoidable hospital admissions. Despite only being launched at the start of last year, the model has already started to have a positive impact, with a 67 per cent reduction in admissions being reported in Walsall between January and June 2015.

For more information contact Director of Governance, Quality and Safety, Sally Robert

New 24/7 integrated Urgent Care Service launched for the West Midlands

An innovative new model for delivering integrated urgent care services has been launched across the region. In response to national policy developments, the West Midlands CCGs are introducing integrated NHS 111 access and Out of Hours (OOHs) GP services with plans to improve the experience for patients and alleviate pressures across the health system.

NHS 111

As part of this new model, new contracts have been awarded for the delivery of NHS 111 services and Out of Hours GP services in six key areas of the region, whilst ongoing contracts are being varied to align all services through a core regional specification. All providers across the region have signed up to an alliance agreement, which encourages them to work together effectively towards the common goal of truly integrated, quality care for patients 24 hours a day. 

The new contracts awarded as a result of a recent competitive procurement process cover NHS 111, Worcestershire and Warwickshire Out of Hours services to be delivered by Care UK, Out of Hours GP services for Birmingham South Central by Badger Group, Herefordshire and Sandwell & West Birmingham Out of Hours by Nestor Primecare, and Rugby Out of Hours by Vocare. These new contracts will be implemented alongside ongoing local contracts, all of which will be bound together under the umbrella of an overarching alliance agreement. 

The service has been launched by NHS Sandwell and West Birmingham Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) – acting on behalf of 16 CCGs including Walsall CCG across the West Midlands.

Following the launch of mobilisation, the new services are currently planned to go live in early November this year. 

For more information contact Andy Rust, Urgent Care Lead

Mental Health Service Transformation

The CCG have been working with Dudley and Walsall Mental Health Partnership Trust and other partners to review and implement a transformation of older adult services. This is in line with national strategy to move towards a more community focused service. The transformation involves having fewer hospital beds so that people can be cared for in their own home as much as possible, where the environment is familiar and support is available from people they know and who know them.

In order to achieve this, the day hospital service currently provided at Bloxwich Hospital, is moving into the community to work with the voluntary sector. Service users will be able to see what else is availble for them to take part in, once they have completed the NHS interventions.

Mental health service transformation pic

The community Team is being increased to 7 days instead of Monday to Friday and there will be a 2 hour face to face response when there is a crisis. The crisis nurses will work closely with the Rapid Response Team and be available between 9am and 9pm, 7 days a week.

In April 2017, new specialist Primary Care Liaison Nurses will be based inside the new locality teams with their district nurse and social worker colleagues as mental health integrates more into Primary Care. The Older People Mental health Liason Team at Walsall Manor Hospital, will work 7 days from October 1st.

Staff boost charity's funds with cake and coffee

Staff at Walsall CCG recently served up slices of cake and cups of coffee in aid of charity.

Contracting and Procurement Administrator, Kiran Patel, and her colleagues, held a charity coffee morning at our head office inn Jubilee House in a bid to raise awareness of the autoimmune disease, lupus. Kiran, who was diagnosed with lupus in 2008, also organised the fund-raising event to raise money for The Hibbs Lupus Trust, which provides support to people affected by or concerned about lupus. Held on August 1, the event, which saw CCG staff bake their own creations, as well as donate cakes and biscuits, raised more than £300.

Coffee Morning Pic

Founder and chairman of The Hibbs Lupus Trust, John Hibbs, said: “We would like to say a huge thank you to Walsall NHS CCG for hosting a coffee morning in aid of The Hibbs Lupus Trust. All of the funds raised will go directly to helping patients of lupus and raising awareness. Monies help to support people live more independently with lupus and help in the earlier diagnosis of the disease.”

For more information about The Hibbs Lupus Trust, visit

Social media followers on the rise

Over the past five months the CCG’s Twitter account have seen a considerable amount of increased activity. In particular there has been a surge in the amount of engagement dialogue and interactions, as well as an increase in followers.

Social media has become incredibly influential and is increasingly an effective way for people to receive information and provide feedback or comment. The public and private sector regularly use social media as a tool to showcase and share information with their followers. Since March 2016 the CCG’s number of Twitter followers has grown from 4750 to over 5000 meaning that the account has attracted over 250 new people who are now interacting with the information posted from the account. With the CCG’s social media profiles becoming more recognised and established it means a single message can reach and capture a wider audience.

Twitter Logo
If you would like to share information in relation to services or local NHS good news through the account please put in a request to

Patient Online Programme

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

Patients 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.working together with the Local Medical Committee (LMC) to support practices to promote and increase these services.

In the new world the internet and online communications are becoming more important. In Walsall all GP surgeries are cooperating with promoting and offering on-line services to their patients. Patient Online is part of an overall drive by NHS England to use digital technology to further bring the NHS into the 21st century, with GP surgeries leading the way.

To find out how to register to use the Patient online service, speak to a member of staff at your GP Practice or visit

Trio of Walsall GP practices recieve outstanding recognition from the CQC

Services at three GP practices in Walsall have been recognised as being outstanding by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) in recognition of the excellent care they offers to their patients.

Holland Park Surgery in Brownhills has received an overall rating of outstanding for delivering services that are effective, caring, well led and responsive to people’s needs.

While Portland Medical Practice and Beechdale Health Centre have received overall ratings of good, with elements of their care being recognised by CQC inspectors as being outstanding.

Holland Park Surgery’s ability to use its knowledge of the local community and patient population to deliver high quality, person-centred care, its clear systematic processes and strong learning culture were among the areas to be highlighted by Professor Steve Field, Chief Inspector of General Practice for the CQC in his report.

Donna Macathur

Portland Medical Practice’s care for people with long-term conditions has been recognised as being outstanding. Patients are provided with a named GP and a structured annual review to check their health and medicine needs. For more complex patients, named GPs work with relevant health and care professionals to deliver a multidisciplinary care package. The practice also holds regular health events and targeted education evenings to help patients to manage their conditions.

Beechdale Health Centre received an outstanding rating for providing responsive services within the local community. This includes engaging with the local church that runs fortnightly dementia cafes and identifying and referring patients where appropriate. Staff also attend community meetings with the local fire service, police and local housing associations to discuss community-related issues.

The CQC is the independent regulator of health and social care in England. Its aim is to ensure health and social care services provide people with safe, effective, compassionate, high quality care and to encourage care services to improve.

For more information or to access its published reports visit

Join your Local Patient Participation Group

All GP Practices across Walsall have a Patient Participation Group (PPG) which is made up of patients and carers who take an interest in healthcare. 

If you are interested in joining please speak to the Practice Manager at your GP Surgery or visit The groups meet on a regular basis and provide a forum for patients and carers to be involved in decisions about the range, shape and quality of services provided by their Practice to look at ways in which they can help improve. You don’t have to attend meetings to share your views many practices run virtual patients email groups to gather views and experiences.

PPLG session image

Annual General Meeting

There has been change of date and venue for this year’s Annual General Meeting (AGM). The meeting will be held at The Hub, Walsall College, Littleton Street West, Walsall, WS2 8ES on Wednesday 21st September, 2016, 5.30pm until 6.30pm.  Anyone can attend the AGM. Please feel free to extend the invite to anyone who may be interested.