Integrated Care Systems

There have been significant improvements in the NHS and social care over the past few years, but there are major challenges ahead. Life expectancy varies across England. People are living longer, but not always healthier, lives. There are more frail elderly people with complex needs and more children, young people and adults with mental health challenges.

The challenge is significant.

On 1 July 2022, the way health and care services are planned, paid for and delivered is changing to better meet our changing health and care needs.

Across England, local partnerships called Integrated Care Systems (ICS), made up of all the public services that provide health and care – the NHS, GPs, local councils and the community, voluntary and social enterprise sector – will work together to provide high quality services and benefit local people as much as possible.

ICSs build on many years of collaborative working between health and care organisations. They work to improve the health of their population, helping more people stay healthy and taking better care of those who are not. They will improve the quality of care, including enabling patients to better manage their own conditions at home, tell their story once, improve outcomes and patient experience.

ICSs will deliver care more efficiently, avoiding duplication and needless visits to hospital but ensure those who do need to go to hospital can benefit equally from the same high standards of specialist care.

Dudley Pays Tribute to Pandemic Health Care Response

As a mark of thanks for their work and sacrifice during the Covid-19 pandemic, Dudley borough workers who risked their lives on the frontline have been granted the Freedom of the Borough for their dedication during the crisis. 

In a ceremony presided over by Councillor Anne Millward, the Mayor of Dudley, the honour was awarded to staff who tirelessly served people in the region. The accolade is the highest award the council can bestow and goes to staff working in the NHS, public health, adult social care, children's services, bereavement services and voluntary sector workers in the Dudley borough. The team that operated from the ‘Red Centre’, based at a GP premesis in Pensnett, accepted the award on behalf of themselves and DIHC.

On 6th April 2020 Dudley Integrated Health and Care NHS Trust commissioned a facility to assess, review, and treat patients who tested positive for Covid-19 within a primary care setting. 

Under the clinical leadership of Dr Richard Bramble, the Trusts Joint Medical Director, and a GP in Netherton, as well as staff from Future Proof Health, the team successfully opened a fully operational facility in under five days.

The service, which continued until 30 June 2021, sought to ensure the people of Dudley were treated in the right place and at the right time within primary care, with other patients going on to be treated by The Dudley Group NHS Foundation Trust in hospital.

Furthermore, the service was also positively evaluated by the Academic Health Sciences Centre, for helping residents with the provision of an at home Oximetry service. This allowed at risk patients who did not require hospital care to be closely monitored in the community. This scheme was additionally recognised with an award for Driving Digital Transformation Innovation, at the Medtech and Merdian Innovation awards.

Penny Harris, Chief Executive Officer at Dudley Integrated Health and Care NHS Trust said:  

“Whilst the fight against Covid-19 is not yet over, it’s fantastic that our staff and the Trust have been recognised for this initiative and I would like to thank them for their continuing efforts.

“Determined and diligent staff worked so hard to get the Red Centre up and running, and it really helped a lot of people in the Borough, everyone involved should be very proud of their achievements.”

Organisations Come Together During Dying Matters Awareness Week 2022

Organisations from the Dudley Borough are coming together to support and raise awareness during Dying Matters Awareness Week (2 – 6 May 2022). The aim of the week is to encourage communities to talk, in any way that works for them, about their experiences of dying and grief.

The group, which includes Dudley Integrated Health and Care NHS Trust, Dudley Council, The Dudley Group NHS Foundation Trust and Mary Stevens Hospice, are holding a series of independent events in a variety of locations across the borough. The occasions will provide support and opportunities for people to discuss death and bereavement with others and share their stories in a safe space.

With the Covid-19 pandemic far from over, people are struggling with important questions about how and where we die more than ever, as well as understanding what happens when we near the end of our lives, and the support that is available.

Anyone can get involved in the Awareness Week, and the events organised by this group are open to all.

Helen Codd, Head of Communications, Engagement and Partnerships at Dudley Integrated Health and Care NHS Trust and Chair of Dying Matters Dudley said: “It can be difficult to think about what happens when a loved one passes away, or when we approach the end of our own lives. That’s what this week and these events are all about, giving people the chance to have a conversation and bringing communities together. When people share, they always feel a little better for having started a conversation.”

There are 8 events organised by this group during the Awareness week. For more details on the events please contact (and see attached flyer)

Halesowen: Let’s talk about dementia this May

On Wednesday 18th May and Friday 20th May 2022, staff from Dudley Integrated Health and Care NHS Trust will be attending Halesowen town centre to help spread awareness about Dementia. Healthcare professionals, which include Dementia and Frailty Link Workers, will be on hand to give expert feedback and signpost people to important services in the local area that could help those affected by the disease.

The stand will be available for two days in total during this year’s Dementia Action Week, which will highlight the importance of diagnosis for people who may have symptoms of the condition and people who may be waiting for a diagnosis. Dementia Action Week is the longest running awareness campaign that takes place each year in the UK.

With more than half of the UK public knowing someone who has been diagnosed with the condition, and globally the number of people living with dementia on the increase, events like these provide the local community with the opportunity to learn more about the services available, whilst also raising the profile of the condition.

Dr Gillian Love, Associate Non-Executive Director, Dudley Integrated Health and Care NHS Trust and Clinical Director of Halesowen Primary Care Network, had this to say:

“It is important for us to reach out and engage with the community as much as possible. This year’s Dementia Action Week focuses on the theme of diagnosis and that is what we want to discuss.

“Encouraging people to talk to us and learn about the services and treatments available is most important - we want the community of Halesowen to know that we are here to support them.

“With the number of people in the UK living with dementia forecast to rise to 2 million by 2050, it’s certainly something we should all be talking more about.”

Lisa Harland, Dementia and Frailty Link Worker at Dudley Integrated Health and Care NHS Trust said:

“There are a lot of people out there who have memory problems without realising it. We have an ageing population, and we want residents to access the support that is available and reduce the stigma surrounding dementia.

“If you, or you think someone you know might benefit from support or advice, please come and visit us on either the 18th or the 20th May. Friendly faces will be on hand for a chat which could really make a difference to someone’s life.”

When: Wednesday 18th May, or Friday 20th May 2022

Time: 10am-3pm

Where: Dementia Friendly Bench, Hagley Street (near Wilko’s)

Local Students Land Apprenticeships with Dudley Integrated Health and Care NHS Trust

Dudley Integrated Health and Care NHS Trust continue to work closely with Dudley College to help young people find routes into employment.

The Trust have secured 2 apprenticeships for students at the college who will work towards qualifications in Business and Administration Level 3 whilst completing placements over the next 15 months.

Apprenticeships are an important entry route and offer an attractive option for individuals who want to benefit from an income whilst gaining a qualification and obtaining on the job experience.

It is hoped that as the Trust grows, and more opportunities become available, that the partnership will continue, with the goal of helping more students as they prepare for the world of work.

Adam Race, Interim Associate Director of People said:

“It’s great that the Trust is supporting young people into employment as they have been one of the groups hit hardest by Covid-19 lockdowns.

“Identifying people who are eager to learn can bring with it new energy and it also prepares the Borough’s future generations for employment in the region.”

One of the new recruits, Sophie Greaves, recently joined the People Team and will gain an insight into a wide variety of business-critical tasks, including employee benefits, policies, and recruitment as well as assisting with events and other administerial tasks.

Sophie said:

“So far I have enjoyed my time here and I am learning lots. I am hoping that the experience I gain through my apprenticeship will help me secure full-time employment in the future.”

Ambrose Altaire also joined the Trust and will be working with the Dudley Talking Therapy Service who offer mental health support and treatment to individuals over the age of 16. Treatments include a range of evidence-based therapies, advice, and information, including Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT).

Ambrose said:

“It’s exciting to get this experience. What I am learning is hands on; I’m getting work experience and a qualification all at the same time, which for me, makes this a great choice.”