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Helping people find work

Dudley and Walsall Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust’s Thrive into Work service is inviting the public to an event which will give them another opportunity to hear how the team could help them or someone they know find work.

The service, which was launched last year, supports people with health conditions to find, and more importantly, stay in work and due to popular demand, the Thrive into Work team is holding another jobs fair following a number of successful events held last year.

The event will be an opportunity for people to meet employers with live vacancies available with the support of the Thrive into Work team and pick up some freebies. The event will also include an ‘autism hour’ where the team will be dimming the lights from 10am until 11am for anyone who wants to attend the event and find out information at a quieter time.

The event takes place at the Station Hotel, Dudley, DY1 4RA from 11am until 2.30pm on Tuesday 25 February.

Name of our merged trust

With the year coming to a close and as we look towards new beginnings, we’d like to share the outcome of our vote for the name of our merged trust.

During autumn, we asked staff to choose and now that we have counted in the votes, we thought we would share with you the overwhelming winning choice…

Black Country Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust

This will be the name we will adopt when our merger completes.

We would like to say a big thank you to everyone who helped with this process, and we look forward to starting the New Year progressing the next steps of our merger journey.

Find out more visit

CEO appointed for merging trusts

Mark Axcell has been appointed as the Chief Executive of Black Country Partnership NHS Foundation Trust and Dudley and Walsall Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust following a recruitment process.

Mark, who is the current Chief Executive at Dudley and Walsall, will take up the joint post at the beginning of January 2020, supporting both trusts through the next phase of their merger plans and beyond.

Jeremy Vanes, Chair of both trusts said: “In Mark we have a leader who will drive us forward as we come together and work towards becoming an outstanding organisation. I look forward to continuing our work with him to help shape the future of the Trust.”

Jeremy continues: “Lesley Writtle current Chief Executive of Black Country Partnership has announced her intention to retire after over 40 years in the NHS. I’d like to express my gratitude and thanks to Lesley for her strong leadership and she will most definitely be missed, and I would like to wish her every success for her retirement.”

On his appointment to the role, Mark Axcell said: “It is with immense pride that I have accepted the position of Chief Executive for the merged Trust.  It’s such an exciting time to be leading the two organisations towards our merger and I look forward to working with all staff and partners to deliver the best possible health care for the communities we serve.”

In December, both trusts submitted the Full Business Case to regulators for the planned merger which will see the creation of one single provider for mental health and learning disability services across the Black Country and community healthcare services for families and children in Dudley.

Ensuring quality care – Julie is our NHS Hero

A childhood obsession with Florence Nightingale led to Julie Bradbury (54) following in the footsteps of her auntie and grandma and pursuing a career in the NHS, which has so far spanned almost 37 years.

Julie began her mental health nurse training at St. Matthews Hospital in Burntwood, the day after she turned 18 and her career has led her to her current role as manager of Walsall North Community Recovery Service for Dudley and Walsall Mental Health Partnership (DWMH).

“St. Matthews was one of the old mental health asylums,” explains Julie.

“It was a huge place and was originally built to hold over 500 patients. I stayed there until 1993, as they had started the process of closing the hospital down.”

Julie, who lives in Cheslyn Hay, then moved to take up a community psychiatric nurse role in Walsall, before progressing into her current role.

“I now manage a very busy community mental health team, based in Mossley. We provide extensive mental health support to patients in our area, both in their own homes and at our community base.”

Julie says that no two days are the same and that they face difference challenges on a daily basis, but that is one of the reasons she loves her role.

“I find my role incredibly rewarding and I enjoy every aspect of it,” smiles Julie.

“It can be extremely challenging, but when you see some of the outcomes we do it makes it all worthwhile.”

On a day to day basis, Julie supports the team to provide the very best care to service users in the area.

“The team are fantastic – I can’t speak highly enough of them,” said Julie.

“I have managed the team for 23 years, and a lot of the staff have been on that journey with me – we have seen many changes, but always embraced them and we pride ourselves on the care we offer to our service users.”

Recently, Julie and her Clinical Lead, Annie, were named as the winners of the ‘Leading with Integrity’ category at the DWMH Recognising Success Awards.

“We were delighted to be nominated, never mind shortlisted and to win was incredible,” Julie beamed.

“Some of the nominations came from the team themselves, so it was really nice to hear that we make a difference to them.”

Julie says that her next big challenge is managing any changes that occur from the Trust’s forthcoming merger.

Outside of work, Julie enjoys spending time with her husband Andrew (so she says is her hero!) and her daughter Gracie.

“I enjoy travelling, family time and the puppy (sometimes!).”

Julie’s mental health message: “At the end of the day, remind yourself that you did the best you could today and that is good enough.”

Memorial bench dedicated to compassionate nurse

Dudley and Walsall Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust has unveiled a bench at Bushey Fields Hospital, Dudley, in memory of Henry Christian Knight-Willis, who passed away suddenly in October 2017.

The bench was unveiled as part of a memorial service, given by Chaplain, Rev. Stephen Bentley, which was hosted in the chapel at Russells Hall Hospital.

During the service, family and friends of Henry heard a number of tributes, including from the Trust’s Director of Finance, Rob Pickup.

Rob said: “Thank you all for being here today for the bench blessing ceremony for our dear colleague Henry. The amount of people who have come today is a testimony to the people’s lives he touched.”

Henry came to work for the Trust as a qualified staff nurse on Clent Ward, Bushey Fields Hospital in 2006. He was a much loved and respected colleague, who was described as ‘the moon that shone through the clouds.’

Anne-Marie Shaw, a colleague of Henry’s also spoke during the service. She said: “Henry was a gentle giant with a smile to match his stature. He was an intelligent and caring man, respected by his colleagues and patients alike.

“He had a love of art which he shared with all on the ward and he always supported his colleagues when times got tough.

Henry’s daughter, Shari Lawrence-Willis also delivered a beautiful tribute to her dad. She thanked the Trust and the staff and said it was wonderful to see how just how truly cherished Henry was by the people he spent so much time with.

She then read a poem she had written – which moved many of the congregation to tears.

Henry’s bench sits on the grass between Clent Ward and Wrekin Ward and looks out over the town that Henry was so fond of and made such great memories working in.

Shari’s poem: A tribute to dad – one of a kind

Your life was a blessing to many, what a positive impact you’ve had,
As a bother, a son, an uncle. A friend, a colleague…our dad.

Two years on, yet it hasn’t quite hit me…few words can describe how I feel.
Though there’s joy when I think of our memories, your a

bsence just seems so unreal.

Still I smile at the thought of your voice, your passion, your kind caring heart.
Your humour, your style, your intellect, not to mention your marvellous art.

As a mental health nurse, you served others – a noble, admirable choice.
You cared about building relationships and giving the voiceless a voice.

To acknowledge your great contribution, it’s an honour to gather today.
So admired by numerous people, with such wonderful words to say.

We will never forget your legacy, this will remain in our hearts and our minds.
May your memory live on forever, Henry Knight-Willis, you were truly one of a kind.