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Hip Arthritis project, Black Country and West Birmingham CCG

Healthier Futures Academy, part of the Black Country and West Birmingham CCG, is focused on improving healthcare services through gathering intelligence and listening to patients’ experiences. Healthier Futures are currently undertaking a patient feedback project exploring people’s experiences of NHS treatments and care for Hip Arthritis in Sandwell and Walsall, to see if and how these might be improved.

Last year the NHS undertook an analysis of the Hip Arthritis treatments received by patients from different backgrounds. This found differences in the number of patients being referred from primary to secondary care for Hip Arthritis based on affluence/deprivation, with more patients from affluent backgrounds being referred than those from more deprived backgrounds.  It also found that patients from more affluent backgrounds are more likely to have Hip Replacement surgery.

Healthier Futures want to understand the reasons behind these trends and why people from different socio-economic backgrounds are not accessing the same levels of treatment.

They are interested in speaking with patients from a range of ‘socio-economic/class’ backgrounds to explore and compare experiences. This intelligence will help NHS senior managers decide if there is anything that can be done to improve Hip treatment and enable people from a greater range of backgrounds to receive secondary care.

Healthier Futures are planning to recruit patients and conduct interviews from February to April.

If you would like to discuss the project and take part in an interview please contact:

Rosalind Smithson at or call 07977 947438 or

Bruno Barbosa at or call 07977947401.

Further information

Black Country Healthcare Learning Disabilities Webinar: 17th February 2022

The Black Country Healthcare Foundation Trust will be hosting a Learning Disabilities Webinar on Thursday, 17th of February, 10.00 am to 11.30 am.

This event will be an opportunity to find out what the Black Country Healthcare has to offer to support people with learning disabilities and an opportunity to ask questions from clinical experts during the Q&A session.

Your Zoom joining details will be sent out to you closer to the event.

Black Country Healthcare Foundation look forward to welcoming you to the event.

Find out more about the webinar and register here.

Black Country and West Birmingham CCG engagement on Harmonisation of Clinical Policies

The Black Country and West Birmingham CCG would like to raise awareness of engagement activities to harmonise 16 clinical policies across the Black Country areas.

There is a public meeting and also a survey with the clinical policies for each of the areas of Dudley, Sandwell, Walsall and Wolverhampton.  The surveys are specific to place.  Complete the survey.  The CCG are asking local members of the public, or anyone with an interest in these clinical policies, for their views, by Friday 4 March.

The meeting is 4 pm to 5 pm on Tuesday, 8th February 2022. To register your interest for this meeting and receive the details, or if you have any accessibility requirements such as needing assistance completing the survey, please contact the engagement team on 0121 612 1447 or email

More details

NHS Question and Answer Session about new Shared Care Record – 25th January 2022

NHS Black Country & West Birmingham CCG will be holding a live question and answer session about the new NHS Share Care Record.

Patients and members of local communities are welcome to join the CCG on Tuesday 25 January 2022 from 10.30 am to 12 mid-day.

You will have the opportunity to ask questions to the doctors and the technicians working on ‘One Health and Care’, the new NHS shared care record for the Black Country and West Birmingham.

Book your place by clicking here


Black Country Suicide Prevention Workshop – Thursday, 3 February

Every year, people in the Black Country die by suicide. Every person who lives here will be affected by suicide at some point in their life. Every effort we make to prevent suicide can make a difference; the difference, to someone, somewhere. Every life matters. 

Across the Black Country many of us are working hard to make a difference. There is positive work taking place, but while people in the Black Country still die by suicide, more needs to be done.

The Black Country is a diverse and proud community, living across four local authority boroughs. This can create complexity, but we know our efforts are much stronger when we work together.

On Thursday, 3 February, from 9.30 to 12 noon, Black Country Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust will be holding a suicide prevention workshop, which is open to organisations, people with lived experience, and advocates from across Dudley, Sandwell, Walsall and Wolverhampton. They want to bring together people who work in health, care, emergency services, local authorities, charities, schools, colleges, universities, sports clubs, businesses, community groups, voluntary organisations and more.  The impact of suicide is felt by all of us. The solution to stopping suicide lies with all of us.

The workshop will be held on MS Teams. Please register at

Following registration, you will sent a calendar invite.

If you have any questions about the event, please email


Co-producing a strategy for working with people and communities

You are invited to a co-production workshop to design what Black Country and West Birmingham CCG Integrated Care System (ICS) engagement approach should look and feel like, across the Black Country as part of the strategy for working with people and communities.

There will be keynotes from:

• Alex Boys, National Association Voluntary and Community Action (NAVCA)
• Olivia Butterworth, Head of Participation, NHS England

Taking place: Thursday 9 December 2021 from 09:00 am to 12.30pm at The Hawthorns Stadium or Zoom depending on your preference.

Aim of session
Being an ICS means working more closely with Hospital Trusts, Local Councils and our Voluntary and Community Sector.

Working together, Healthier Futures want to co-produce an engagement strategy that is reflective of the community, shaping the way engagement looks and feels and more importantly, how your views and your lived experience influence the work of partners across the Black Country.

We are excited to provide both an in-person option and online option for this event to suit your needs.

Please register online via this Eventbrite link and select how you would like to participate.

If you have any questions or need any help, please do not hesitate to contact the engagement team on 0121 612 1447 or

*NB For in person attendance, you will be required to present a negative lateral flow test to enter. We will be following social distancing measures and ask that you wear a mask when walking around the building.

Agenda – More details to follow
09:00 am – Welcome and Introductions
09:30 am Registration and Networking
12:30 pm Wrap up and Lunch

NHS Guidance – Food for Thought
Please view the principles from recent NHS guidance as some food for thought before the event.

Ongoing engagement
We hope to work with as many of you as possible to truly co-produce a strategy which is inclusive for all our communities. This will be the first in several workshops before our strategy is ready to launch on 1st April 2022.

Better Together Conversation Café

Conversation Cafe aims to bring emerging communities together to have a cuppa and a chat with the view of practicing their English and developing their skills or just simply gathering informally in a social setting to make new friends within their community. 

Conversation Cafe takes place each week on Monday’s between 12 noon and 1:30pm at Smethwick Baptist Church, Regent Street, Smethwick, West Midlands, B66 3BQ

The Trustees of Better Together are also grateful to staff members of SCVO for their support and guidance through the process of obtaining grant funding – assistance given in a friendly style.

For more information or to volunteer with a fun group phone or text 07526452696.

Dorothy Parkes Community Centre is easyfundraising’s Competition Winners!

The Dorothy Parkes Centre is a Community Centre in Smethwick, West Midlands, which provides a safe place of welcome and opportunity, enabling the local community to thrive and improve the quality of life for people in the area. They recently won £100 from our fundraising partner, easyfundraising.

CEO Rob says, “We are delighted! It is a lovely surprise for us in the build up to Christmas! We had a break in at our allotment recently and our polytunnel was vandalised so we will use the prize money to get this repaired.”

easyfundraising generates income for community organisations by turning online shopping into donations. Over 6,000 leading retailers will all donate to your organisation for free

Rob said, “We are relatively new to easyfundraising but have already had donations coming in. From a charity perspective it is great as it is a really easy way to gain additional, and much needed funds. From a shopper perspective, it is simple and effective, and you can shop, knowing that a contribution is being made to your good cause, at no additional cost. It’s especially great at this time of year when people are Christmas shopping online.

“We would 100% recommend easyfundraising to other community organisations who need to raise funds. It is a simple and effective way to raise additional funds and also helps to get your project out there and raise awareness of what you are doing.”

Find out how you get free donations for your own community organisation by clicking here.

New Podcast Called Black Country Stories – Voices of the Fairground

Black Country Touring, have released a new podcast called Black Country Stories! Their first work, Voices of the Fairground is now available wherever you listen to podcasts or on Black Country Stories website.

Summer. It’s late in the evening and it’s warm. You’re walking through the park,
under the trees, you take a seat on your favourite bench and you look out… but tonight, things are different… the park has changed.

A whole new world has been transported into it, as though dropped from outer space. A blur of flashes and noise. Mechanical limbs reaching upwards, flinging and Rotating. It’s the fair – appearing as if by magic. But it’s not magic is it? It doesn’t come from nowhere. It doesn’t materialise from thin air. There’s real graft involved and real
people behind it. People with stories, lots and lots of stories. Welcome to Voices of the Fairground.

Listen to Episode 1 ‘Building up’ here –

Smethwick Community Centres launch Christmas Give a Gift Appeal

Two Smethwick Community Centres are launching a Christmas Give a Gift Appeal in partnership with SCIPS and Sandwell Council and are working to help make Christmas a special time of year for those who may be struggling after a difficult year.

Christmas should be a magical time of year, a time shared with loved ones, family, and friends, exchanging gifts and making memories. However, for some people in Sandwell it will be spent alone, or in care, or without any presents under the tree, and there will be no Christmas dinner. St Albans Community Association and Dorothy Parkes Centre, two Smethwick based charities who between them provide quality, holistic, advice, guidance, support, and a place of welcome and opportunity, at grass roots level, on a day-to-day basis, are working together to help make a difference this Christmas.

Tonia Flannagan, Chief Executive Officer at St Albans Community Association said:

“We had a tremendous response to this campaign two years ago and we want to make it even better this year. In our previous appeal we had over 300 gifts donated which were distributed to those children who spent Christmas in hospital and to older people who do not have any family or receive gifts. We were amazed at the generosity of local people, and we hope the community works together to make this year another success”.

Robert Bruce, Chief Executive Officer at Dorothy Parkes Centre said:

“Christmas is the season of goodwill and given all of the challenges in the country now with COVID, the increase in cost of living, and reduction of benefits, this ‘magical’ time of year could be extremely difficult for many people. We hope that our appeal can ensure that we put smiles on many people’s faces this Christmas.”

The Centres are seeking support from local residents, schools, emergency services and businesses and asking for donations of new, unwrapped toys and gifts which will be distributed to a wide range of people in the week before Christmas. Donations can be dropped in at both Centres and other donation points across Sandwell. Donations are to be made by Monday 6th December 2021 and then wrapped up by volunteers before being distributed out into the community. For more details, please call 0121 558 0018 or visit

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