The Council’s next Health & Social Care Scrutiny Committee is on the 11th February 2016.

The agenda is yet to be formally set, but I can advise that I have set up a seminar event and invited all elected members as per this email:

Dear Members,

The Chair of the Social Care and Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee would like to invite all Members to a development session on mental health, which will be delivered by the Dudley and Walsall Mental Health Trust, and will take place on Thursday 11th February 2016 at 5.00.p.m. in a Conference Room of the Council House.
There will be a presentation followed by a question and answer session. Information provided will include ;-
·         services the Trust provides on behalf of the Council,
·         anticipated future plans of the Trust,
·         the relationship between learning disability and mental health and
·         details of the mental health pilot in schools.
Should you wish to attend please notify me so that I can keep a record. 
If you have any queries, please do give me a call.
Kind regards
The formal scrutiny meeting will follow at the delayed time of 6.30pm.
In the meantime I have been emailed a leaflet to promote services at the ILC targeted at men. While I’m sure that MH services are available to all who need it, it is a well-known fact that us guys are notoriously reticent at seeking this type of support – please help advertise the service by sharing etc…
Please share:

***The Urgent Care Centre, Community site, is moving***


From 10am on Wednesday 20th January 2016, the Urgent Care Centre will be located at Saddler’s Centre, Bridgeman Street, Walsall, WS1 1YT.

The Urgent Care Centre located in Market Square, town centre, Walsall, will close at 6pm on Tuesday 19th January 2016.

The other Urgent Care Centre at Walsall Manor Hospital will be unaffected by the changes, and will maintain normal operating hours of 7am to midnight.

Please circulate this message to help make people aware of the move and ensure minimal disruption.

 UCC moving poster FINAL 221215
How to access the service: 
No appointment is necessary. You can access health information, advice and treatment for minor injuries and minor illnesses – without having to book an appointment – at either Urgent Care Centre.
Both Urgent Care Centres will offer the same service to patients. When services are closed, patients can contact NHS 111 for further advice.
This year, there are more local NHS services than ever for people who fall ill or need health advice over Christmas and New Year:
For the first time, NHS Walsall CCG is trialling an additional GP service for patients across Walsall. From 8am to 8pm on Christmas Day, Bank Holiday Monday (28 December) and New Year’s Day, a GP service will be available at:
·         The Keys Family Practice, Field Street, Willenhall WV13 2NY. Tel: 01922 604847
·         Pelsall Village Health Centre, High Street, Pelsall, Walsall WS3 4LX. Tel: 01922 604460
This service is for patients who have an urgent illness or injury and cannot wait for an appointment with their registered GP surgery. It is not for routine GP or nurse appointments and patients don’t have to be registered with either GP surgery. To make a same-day appointment, patients can either telephone or walk into one of the surgeries on the day.
Our two Urgent Care Centres are open every day throughout the holiday period, providing fast, expert care for injuries and illnesses that are urgent but not life-threatening:
Urgent Care Centre
Opening hours
19-21 Digbeth, Market Square, Walsall, WS1 1QZ*
8am – 8pm every day
Walsall Manor Hospital, Willbraham Road (off Moat Road), Walsall, WS2 9PS
7am – midnight every day
*Please note that from 20th January, the Urgent Care Centre in Market Square will move to Saddlers Centre, Bridgeman Street, Walsall, WS1 1YT.
Several pharmacies across Walsall will be open over the holiday period for people to pick up prescriptions or regular medication. You can access a full list, including opening times here
If you need urgent medical help or advice but it’s not life-threatening then you can call 111. A trained adviser will ask you a series of questions to assess your symptoms and immediately direct you to the best medical care for you.
Remember that Accident and Emergency departments should only be used in a critical or life-threatening situation.
Please feel free to share this information with colleagues, staff and partner organisations. For more information visit our website www.walsallccg.nhs.uk or follow us on Twitter @WalsallCCG #StaywellWalsall. If you have any questions or comments please email ccgcomms@walsall.nhs.uk
Best wishes
Communications Team
NHS Walsall Clinical Commissioning Group


You will be aware of the new pilot GP service for Christmas day, Bank Holiday Monday and New Year’s Day. Due to unforeseen circumstances, there is a change of location and the service will no longer be provided from Pelsall Village Health Centre. It will instead be available from Portland Medical Practice, Anchor Meadow, Aldridge, Walsall, West Midlands, WS9 8AJ. The telephone number will remain the same : 01922 604460.


Christmas is fast approaching and the changeable weather is a great environment for winter bugs to flourish and multiply. I have opted for the flu jab this year because we all know that man-flu is the worst possible flu of all…

Hopefully we will be all fit and well this Christmas, but it is very comforting to know that we can still rely on a GP service even on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day.

I’m delighted that the CCG are funding this service and that Pelsall Village Centre has been chosen as a location to host this. See leaflet below.



Healthwatch Walsall are collating feedback from people who may have an opinion on Mental Health Services in Walsall.

These services are provided by Dudley & Walsall Mental Health NHS Partnership Trust.

If we want these services to improve in any way it is important that we feedback our thoughts and this is an opportunity for doing so.

Please click on the image below for two engagement events involving coffee and mince pies (I can be bribed any day with these…).

Please also click here for a more detailed questionnaire that D&WMHP Trust and Healthwatch would be delighted if you were to complete.

Poster CL - HWW are currently collecting local peoples stories about the services they have received from the Dudley and Walsall Mental Health P

Community alarms

UPDATE: Letter from Executive Director to all service users

Community Alarm Charges Letter

Last Wednesday (24th June) I attended a Cabinet meeting because of the significant number of Health & Social Care reports. All the reports can be found here.

I thought I should draw attention to the item relating to community alarms as this has the potential to cause some confusion because of the timing of the decision itself and the Council’s computerised invoicing system.

All Cllrs have received an email from the Finance department and I thought this should be made public. Here it is verbatim:

Dear Councillor,
Cabinet on 24 June 2015 made the decision to cease to charge for the Community Alarm service, with backdated effect from 1 April 2015.
Service users whose only community based service is a community alarm have already received an annual bill for their charges for the period 1 April 2015 – 31 March 2016, in May 2015.  A number of service users (circa 350) have already paid or part paid their invoice, others have submitted Direct Debit mandates to pay their invoice by instalments.
 I thought it would be helpful to provide you with information to assist you, should you receive queries from service users or their family.
 I can advise that refunds for payments already received will be processed in full by 17th July, although we will endeavour to process them sooner. 
 Where a Direct Debit mandate has been received this will be removed from our systems and no payments will be taken.
 If service users have any concerns or questions they should contact the Financial Administration – Income Team on 01922 658424 who will assist them.
I’d be grateful if any readers would share this information.

We have a a full agenda again for the Health & Social Care Scrutiny meeting on the 28th April 2015.

The items of business are listed here:

  1. pdf Agenda 28-4-15 (43Kb)
  2. pdf 6 – Broadway North Resource Centre – Part A (185Kb)
  3. pdf 6 – Broadway North Resource Centre – Part B (104Kb)
  4. pdf 7 – Petition – Cuts to services for disabled children and adults (42Kb)
  5. pdf 8 – Securing strategic transformation of health and social care services (54Kb)
  6. pdf 9 – Clinical Commissioning Group refreshed operational plan (2555Kb)
  7. pdf 10 – Update on the Care Act (133Kb)
  8. pdf 11 – Work programme (72Kb)
  9. pdf 11 – Forward plan (29Kb)

This is a public meeting and I always encourage as many people as possible to attend.

While all items are important, I am especially keen to have a vigorous centred around  this item: 8 – Securing strategic transformation of health and social care services. I asked for this report after requesting a meeting with the Chief Executive of the Clinical Commissioning Group in light of the unrelenting high demands placed on Walsall Healthcare Trust (the Manor) and it’s ongoing failure to meet A&E, referral to treatment and other performance measures over persistently long periods of time.

It is clear to me that ‘more of the same’, initiatives that tinker around the edges and seemingly endless reviews have not succeeded. Something more radical needs to happen and I for one am signalling to leaders in our health and social care economy that this needs to happen – and happen soon.

For example, we have known for a great many years that care in the community is a significant part of the solution to our overstretched hospitals. It’s what people want. It’s what we were promised. Has it happened? No it hasn’t. And when I question “why not?” – well, I receive answers that are simply not good enough.

So, if I have anything to do with this in the future I am going to start pushing harder and harder for action and for real answers. I want to hear more about why we ‘can’ do things, not why we ‘can’t’; and I want to see much more of the third sector involved.

This is not a finger pointing exercise, or a political statement. It’s about people lives and their wellbeing.

So it’s about senior leaders standing up to the mark from across the public sector and making things happen – the very things they have been talking about for years and years.


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