News and Events Banner

Latest News Items

New era for Black Country healthcare services

NHS Regulators have given the green light for the planned merger of two NHS trusts in the Black Country.

On 1 April, staff and services from Dudley and Walsall Mental Health Partnership will transfer over to Black Country Partnership NHS Foundation Trust to form one NHS trust – which will be known as Black Country Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust.

This development will see one main NHS provider for mental health, learning disability and children’s healthcare services across the Black Country.

Mark Axcell, Chief Executive of both trusts commented “We are delighted that our plans have been given the final approval and we can now take the required steps to join together.”

“Whilst 1 April signifies an important milestone for us, our focus at the moment is ensuring we are doing all we can to provide safe care and supporting our health colleagues across the system in dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic.

Both trusts have recently been rated ‘Good’ in their most recent CQC inspections and have seen improving staff survey results. This development only strengthens that work and helps forge future plans around strengthening local mental health and learning disability provision.

Activities aiding recovery – Chloe is our NHS Hero

Having always been a very creative person with a desire to help others through her career, Chloe Tonks, (24) from Kingswinford, has definitely made a positive impact during her first year working in healthcare at Dudley and Walsall Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust (DWMH).

Chloe works as an occupational therapist, where her aim is to encourage individuals to carry out meaningful, everyday activities by offering therapeutic interventions, such as assessments, skill building, recovery, and routine.

“I love the therapeutic value that occupational therapy provides our patients with; it allows me to explore my passion for creativity, whilst supporting patients within their day-to-day lives,” Chloe explained.

Her role allows her to strike a balance between facilitating therapeutic group sessions at the Trust’s therapy hub, and delivering tailored assessments for each individual patient that requires support on the ward. A weekly screening process also means that Chloe can effectively identity patients’ needs, and an individual plan can then be put in place to offer suitable support to help their recovery.

Chloe said: “I love seeing the impact of my involvement in patient care. Every day brings something new and that is something I always look forward to.

I also feel that I’ve been able to explore my independence within my role, and this has allowed me to become an autonomous leader.”

A typical day for Chloe can range from engaging with patients one-on-one – even if it’s just a chat and a catch-up, or facilitating a range of group sessions which are scheduled and advertised on a weekly basis.

“My favourite groups to lead are definitely singing and women’s health – they really give patients something positive to focus on, as well as allowing them to work towards a personal goal. The social aspect and interaction with others is also really important,” smiled Chloe.

Compliments from staff and patients really brighten Chloe’s day, especially as she works with such a wide range of patients and sees different faces day in, day out.

“In one of our group sessions, we asked participants to write a ‘note of kindness’ and it was so uplifting for everyone. It’s the things you don’t notice or think about that make a difference to others – this definitely made me smile!”

Chloe’s next big challenge is to supervise a student independently. Alongside this, she has also been asked to deliver a lecture as part of the student placement programme.

“It’s exciting to be asked to speak to students at the university I attended!” added Chloe.

In her spare time, Chloe enjoys spending time with friends and family, watching Netflix, and avoiding housework by singing and dancing around to music!

So who is Chloe’s hero?

“My parents. My mother worked as a nurse so it’s helpful to have someone in the family with a similar profession. They are so hardworking, whilst maintaining a sense of selflessness. They inspire me to go after my goals and to believe in myself, and always provide me with support and guidance.”

Chloe’s mental health message: “Always practice and encourage self-love. Try not to undermine your abilities or the impact you have on others – you are special, so believe it.”

CORONAVIRUS – ward closures

Dudley and Walsall Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust is closing its wards to visitors to help stop the spread of coronavirus.

Wards at Bushey Fields Hospital in Dudley and Dorothy Pattison and Bloxwich Hospital in Walsall will be stopping visitor access from midnight on Wednesday 18 March 2020 until further notice.

Alongside inpatient wards, the Trust is reviewing its outpatient and community activity offering more flexible and alternative methods such as telephone consultations or home visits based on a case by case basis.

Maintaining services and ensuring patient safety is the Trust’s top priority and the Trust will be working closely with local health and social care organisations to minimise disruption for local communities.

Restricted visiting at Holyrood Ward, Bushey Fields Hospital

As of 10.15am, 15 March 2020, we are stopping all non-essential visits to Holyrood ward at Bushey Fields Hospital, as a precautionary measure. If you have any concerns about patients or loved ones please contact the ward directly. We will keep you updated with any further developments.

Providing employment support – Stevie is our NHS Hero

A strong desire to help others has led Stevie Chand, (27) from Dudley, into a career working in the healthcare profession. He currently works as a vocational specialist for Dudley and Walsall Mental Health NHS Partnership Trust (DWMH), which sees him supporting people with mental health conditions, physical health concerns or long term conditions gain sustainable employment.

“Ever since a young age, I have enjoyed working with others,” explained Stevie.

“Prior to joining DWMH two years ago, I worked in a drug and alcohol recovery service, before moving on to support people who had HIV/Aids. What really struck me in this role was the affect that these issues could have on a person’s mental health – which ignited a passion within me to work more closely with a mental health service.”

Stevie thoroughly enjoys his role, which sees him spend a lot of his time working in the community to support his clients on their employment journey.

“My days are mostly spent meeting with my clients and supporting them with things such as CV building or preparing for interviews. I meet them wherever they feel safe and comfortable to meet me – this could be GP surgeries, libraries or their own home.

“A part of my role also involves supporting my clients once they have found work, so I often meet them before or after their shifts.

“The job is incredibly rewarding – to know that I am reaching out to someone who might be feeling really down on their self and then to see them flourish and start to develop some self-belief brings a smile to my face each and every day.”

During February, we celebrate LGBT+ History Month, something which is particularly close to Stevie’s heart.

“I was first attracted to work for the Trust as I knew they were a Stonewall employer – and I have been incredibly impressed with the work they do to promote equality. I am a member of the LGBTQ+ staff network and feel incredibly supported to be able to bring my whole-self to work.”

Outside of work, Stevie has a passion for fashion!

“I can often be found around a sewing machine or deep in a fashion magazine,” laughed Stevie!

“I also enjoy going to the gym and travelling.”

Stevie says that his next big challenge is to go to university to do a clinical degree: “I’d love to get more involved in the clinical side of mental health.”

So who is Stevie’s own hero?

“My mom and my grandma – they are both the strongest and kindest women I know. They have always allowed me to be my most authentic self and to be unapologetically me. Throughout my life they have taught me the importance of being a shoulder to cry on for somebody who needs it.”

Stevie’s mental health message: “Talk – I know everyone can get lost in work, raising little ones and general life, but having a moment to talk to someone about how you feel is the most important thing you can do for your mental health.”