Health & Wellbeing

Category Archives

Announcing BCNA’s First Meeting!

Black Country Neurological Alliance is often asked about its meetings. Well, the truth is, up to now the only meetings have been Roadshows and more recently a Question Time Forum. The committee meets monthly to organise its work and more Forums.

So, BCNA has decided to give it a try! The first meeting will be on Thursday, 27 April, at Queen’s Cross Network in Dudley, on the outskirts of the town centre. It has been designed with people with disabilities in mind, so is fully accessible. Attendees are asked to meet in the cafe at 1 pm.

There is no agenda just a chance to meet other people, including the committee, over lunch, chat with them and see what Queen’s Cross network has to offer. There is no charge for this, but BCNA cannot fund lunch this time.

The address is Queens Cross Network, Physical Disability Support Centre, Wellington Road, Dudley DY1 1RB (not far from the Leisure Centre). Telephone 01384 813 460.

Sandwell & West Birmingham CCG Prescriptions and Medicines Consultations

Sandwell and West Birmingham CCG would like to advise of  public consultations on the proposed changes to prescriptions and medicines. They are keen to hear the views of patients who are registered with a Sandwell and West Birmingham CCG GP, local groups and communities.

The public consultation runs from Thursday 23 March to Thursday 15 June 2017. All stakeholder views will then be presented to the CCG’s Governing Body before a decision is made on this proposal.

You can have your say at a series of public meetings; by completing an on-line survey; by contacting the CCG Engagement Team or visiting the website. Information is also available on Twitter at SWB CCG.

Find out about the proposed changes.

Sandwell Businesses Invited to Health Event

Sandwell businesses are invited to an event to discuss how they and the council can best work together to improve the health of their employees and customers.

The key message of the free event at Sandwell Council House, Oldbury, on Tuesday 28 March is that what’s good for health can be good for business too.

This includes reducing sickness costs, boosting productivity and helping to generate jobs and growth.

Hosted by the council’s public health team, the event from 8.45am to 11.30am will bring together representatives from local businesses and a range of council services.

Councillor Preet Gill, the council’s cabinet member for public health and protection, said: “We really want to hear the views of Sandwell businesses on improving health and wellbeing.

“This event is a great opportunity for us to hear what they have to say and how we can better support them and work with them to improve health.

“Businesses have great influence over the lives of their staff and customers, so they have a crucial role to play in encouraging people to make healthier choices.

“Improving health and wellbeing is good for business. Healthier employees are happier and more productive. And, as people become increasingly health conscious, businesses offering healthier products increase their market share.

“I would encourage as many Sandwell businesses as possible to join us at this event.”

To reserve a place for the event, or for more information, contact Nick Laws on 0121 569 5159 or email

For more information click here


Free NHS Health Checks

The check happens every five years, so if you have had one recently you don’t need to see us. If you are already seeing your GP for some conditions like diabetes and angina, again you don’t need to come for the check, as you are already getting the treatment you need. We can go through the eligibility criteria over the phone, or click here for further information.

The check is completely FREE, and will only take 30 minutes of your time. In the private appointment, the professional will take a few measurements (height and weight), test your cholesterol levels and check your blood pressure.

They will go through the results with you there and then, so you don’t need to wait. You will get some advice about how to reduce your risk of serious conditions like diabetes, or heart problems, and suggest free support and services that you can access in Sandwell.

To check your eligibility and for more information click here.

Community Alcohol Awareness Team Marketplace Event

Did you know Alcohol is a significant cause of ill health here in Sandwell? Are you aware of what services are available to help and what they can do for you?

The Community Alcohol Awareness Team are hosting a drop in marketplace event to launch their new Alcohol Awareness Team and raise awareness of the different services available to help in Sandwell.

The Community Alcohol Awareness Team’s ‘marketplace’ event is being held on Monday 10th April 2017 between 12 and 3pm at Sandwell Council House, Freeth Street, Oldbury, B69 3DE (Sat Nav users B69 3DB).

Stalls include:
• Sandwell – Alcohol Recovery Service
• IRIS – Drug Recovery Service
• DECCA – Drug and alcohol treatment and education for young people in Sandwell up to the age of 18.
• CAP – Community Alcohol Project
• Public Health Weight Management Team
• Public Health Community Activity Team
• Healthy Sandwell

You’ll also have the opportunity to sample some alcohol free beverages.

About the Community Alcohol Awareness Team:

The Community Alcohol Awareness Team has been established to deliver targeted support which enables individuals to identify their level of alcohol and their related risk with a view of the individual taking ownership of managing that risk to improve their health.

They also work with community organisations to raise awareness of the risks of significant alcohol dependence.

For more information on the event please contact Sandwell Council’s Community Alcohol Awareness Team on 0121 612 8752.

Council Invites Views on New Vision for Sandwell

Sandwell Council in its leadership role in the Borough has recognised that the time is right to refocus Sandwell’s vision for the future. The Council has kicked off the process of refocusing the vision by suggesting 10 ambitions for Sandwell. It is now inviting local voluntary and community organisations to share their views, ambitions and vision for our borough.

This process aims to:-
• Set shared aspirations for what we want for the borough in 2030
• To drive and focus what the Council does to achieve this
• To focus partnership working and influence others to help achieve the vision

Since January the Council have been engaging with various groups of people in Sandwell to see what they think, including residents in the six towns, businesses, the voluntary and community sector and other public bodies.

The 10 ambitions listed below reflect the rapidly changing world around us that bring huge opportunities but also potential threats. The key message of Vision 2030 is to create a place where everyone has the opportunity to thrive and aspirations are raised. A place where people choose to raise their families and a resilient Sandwell that can cope with and benefit from the changing world around us.

Five of the ambitions focus on creating resilient Sandwell PEOPLE

Five of the ambitions focus on creating a resilient Sandwell the PLACE

The Council is seeking your views:-
• Are these the right ambitions for 2030?
• Which do you think are the most important for Sandwell?
• What are the most important aspects to address in your local area?
• How do we ensure that Sandwell is a place where families choose to bring up their families?

Please take time to complete the online survey and have your say:

Ambitions for People

Ambition 1

By 2030, Sandwell will be a borough where families’ aspirations are raised and that prides itself on equality of opportunity and resilience to change.

Ambition 2

By 2030, Sandwell will be a place where people and families are healthier for longer and are safer.

Ambition 3

By 2030, Sandwell’s young people will have better skills and working people will have developed new skills – giving Sandwell a workforce geared up to respond to changes in business needs and the economy.

Ambition 4

By 2030, secondary school quality will have been raised, and superb primary schools will be giving children the best start.

Ambition 5

By 2030, crime will have fallen and anti-social behaviour incidents will be few and far between.

Ambitions for Place

Ambition 6

By 2030, Sandwell will have excellent public transport links to jobs in Birmingham, Wolverhampton, the airport and the wider West Midlands.

Ambition 7

By 2030, Sandwell will have significant numbers of new homes built along key transport routes and there will be major new employment sites.

Ambition 8

By 2030, Sandwell’s six towns will have continued to develop a strong sense of local identity and pride and will be a better environment in which people choose to bring up their families.

Ambition 9

By 2030, Sandwell will host the industries of the future and will have boosted the best performing companies to grow.

Ambition 10

By 2030, Sandwell will have a national reputation for getting things done, focussing on what really matters in people’s lives and their wider community.

Rapid Testing Clinic Drop-ins

Terrence Higgins Trust is having Rapid HIV testing clinics across Sandwell, from 28 February.  No appointment required.  Attendees will have the opportunity to discuss sexual health and undertake HIV and Chlamydia testing.  Testing kits will provide results within a few minutes.

Date and time of the sessions are:

28 February: 5 pm – 7 pm
Portway Leisure Centre Oldbury

6 March: 10 am -1 pm
Brandhall Library, Tame Road, Oldbury

7 March: 5pm – 7 pm
Portway Leisure Centre Oldbury

14 March: 9 am – 5 pm
Oldbury Pharmacy, Causeway Green Road, Oldbury

18 March: 10 am – 1 pm
Great Bridge Library, Sheepwash Lane, Great Bridge

Further clinic dates will be shared on the Terrence Higgins Trust Sandwell Facebook page.

The contact numbers for the Terrence Higgins Trust Sandwell Office are 07468 726029 / 0121 314 2510.

Health Issues in Sandwell – your views are needed!

NHS Midlands and Lancashire Commissioning Support Unit (MLCSU) have been commissioned by the public health team in Sandwell to understand perceptions of the local population towards specific health issues, namely Tuberculosis (TB) and HIV

In order to gain a full picture of the health of those in Sandwell, MLCSU are engaging with the public and local community organisations through three very short 5 minute surveys.

Tuberculosis (TB)

The West Midlands region has one of the highest rates of TB outside of London. TB is a local public health priority, with emphasis on awareness raising, early detection, treatment and control.

The surveys explore ways to reduce rates of TB and ultimately improve health outcomes of the population. The first survey is to obtain the thoughts of your organisation, whilst the second is to gather the views of those who are engaged and interact with your organisation.

Please click the link below to enter the organisational survey, anyone in the organisation can complete it, also forward the link to others too.

Please circulate the below link to those who use your service/engage with your organisation so we can get their views too.

The surveys will remain open until 3 March 2017


It was recently reported that 56% of people who are newly diagnosed with HIV in Sandwell, are diagnosed late. People who are diagnosed late have a ten-fold increased risk of death in the first year of diagnosis compared with those who are diagnosed earlier.

The survey can be accessed through the link below. MLCSU would like to understand local perceptions on HIV and explore methods to reduce late diagnosis. Anyone in your organisation can complete it, so please forward to others too.

The survey will remain open until 6 March 2017

Midlands and Lancashire CSU would really appreciate your participation and assistance in capturing the views of those interacting with your organisation.

Your responses will remain confidential as the information you provide will not be shared with anyone outside the organisation, except in an aggregate format (e.g. tables/ charts). Also, no personally identifiable information (e.g. name, address) will be collected; therefore no one will know you have taken part.

Healthy Sandwell Micro-Grants: Open for Applications

The Healthy Sandwell Micro-Grant Fund is still open for applications – and the maximum grant amount available has just been increased…to £500.

The purpose of the Healthy Sandwell Micro-Grant Fund is to enable local voluntary, community and not-for-profit/charitable organisations to deliver an Engagement Activity that includes a short, health-related promotion of the service(s) available from Healthy Sandwell, including NHS Health Checks.

These services include:

• Alcohol services: to support those people who are struggling with how much they are drinking;

• Drug services: support and advice on drugs, helping you decide what you need to do to change your drug use or if you are concerned about someone else’s drug use;

• Get Active: tailored support for all ages, families and individuals to get more active, eating better and maintain a healthy weight for good;

• Healthy Eating: support to help you, your family and friends eat well and feel great;

• Healthy Weight: FREE support for all ages, families and individuals to get more active, eating better and maintain a healthy weight for good;

• Stop Smoking: FREE help and support to help more smokers quit;

• Wellbeing: support to help people feel better within themselves including…improving confidence, dealing with stress, relaxation techniques and more;

• NHS Health Checks: a national screening programme for 40-74 year olds to check aspects of your health that could lead to conditions like heart disease, diabetes and stroke.

We are looking for each Engagement Activity to attract a minimum of 25 people (living and/or working in Sandwell and between the ages of 25 and 74).

Each Engagement Activity must contain a health-related promotion of the services available from Healthy Sandwell, together with the NHS Health Check programme.

Some of the activities funded in earlier rounds include:

• A ‘Pamper Party’;

• A ‘Picnic in the Park’; and

• Support for a Group’s AGM (with a direct health promotion included).

The Healthy Sandwell Micro-Grant programme is delivered on a rolling basis and will accept applications until 31st March 2017, or until all funding is allocated, whichever is the sooner.

Project delivery and associated reporting needs to be completed within 6 months of grant approval.

For more information please view the following documents:

Guidance Notes
Application Form (Word format)

For any queries you may have, please call 0121 525 1127 and ask for SCVO Development Team

Local SCOPA story features in new national publication

A new hard-hitting publication by the Older People’s Advocacy Alliance (OPAAL) and Macmillan Cancer Support features the inspiring real life local story of Diane.

“Facing Cancer Together” demonstrates the power of independent advocacy. Diane’s story tells how she was supported, both practically and emotionally by Sandwell Cancer, Older Peoples Advocacy Project, SCOPA.  There are 12 stories. All can be read on the OPAAL website.

You can find out more about the Sandwell’s Cancer, Older People and Advocacy project by visiting their website, by telephoning 0121 520 7070 or by emailing

If you have been affected by cancer and are interested in finding out more about becoming a volunteer advocate you can contact Juanita Williams at or any of the staff on 0121 520 7070.

Visit the SCOPA website.

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