News Archive 2016

Learn more about behaviour and mental health

Our next Mental Health Forum will be taking place on Thursday 8 December and will focus on understanding the links between mental health and behaviour. The forum will offer insight into the support that is available for those experiencing mental illness in the criminal justice system, as we dispel the myths around mental health and crime.

A session will also be held to learn more about mental health first aid. Attendees will have the opportunity to find out more about local services, ask questions and network with local organisations. The event will be held on 8 December 2016 from 11am – 1pm at Moxley People’s Centre, 3 Queen St, Wednesbury, WS10 8TA.

Please book your place before attending the event, to book a place at the forum, please contact the Communications and Engagement team at or call 01384 325015. If you would like to have a stall to promote your service, resources and support available, please contact Tracy Cross at or call 01384 324531.

Plans published for better health and care

Health and social care organisations in the Black Country and West Birmingham are today publishing their proposals to transform local services.

The proposals – known as the Black Country Sustainability and Transformation Plan – involve making some common sense changes to services so that local people get the treatment they need as quickly as possible.

Andy Williams, Black Country Sustainability and Transformation Plan Lead, says:

“In the Black Country and West Birmingham we have a diverse and changing population and demand for health and care services is growing and evolving. We need to work together to meet these challenges within a tight financial envelope. The Sustainability and Transformation Plan enables us to do this in a way we could not do as individual organisations.

“Today we are publishing our plans and highlighting the ways that they will benefit local people. This is the start of a conversation about these plans with partner organisations and our population. We will be engaging with local people in more detail as our proposals develop.

“By tackling waste, improving standards and working together, we can avoid a potential increase in health costs of over £413 million per year by 2021. This will give better value to the taxpayer, equivalent to £680 a year for every household in the Black Country and West Birmingham.”

Local people can expect to see a number of changes happening in their area:

Maternal and infant health

  • The NHS in the Black Country and West Birmingham will reduce current high levels of infant mortality to bring it in line with the national average, avoiding the death of 34 babies a year – the equivalent of one child every eleven days.

GP and community services

  • With an extra £25m invested in primary care services by 2021, an extra 25,000 appointments a year will be made available at your GP practice.
  • All children under 5 and adults over 75 will be guaranteed same day access to GP appointments, meaning 200,000 people will be able to see a family doctor when they need to. This will be rolled out across the Black Country and West Birmingham by 2021.

Hospital services

  • The new Midland Metropolitan hospital will bring hospital services together in one place to treat over 570,000 people in a state-of-the art building.
  • Over 1,000 people a month who turn up at A&E will be able to have their problem assessed and treated by a GP, reducing waits and improving care.
  • By 2021, over 100,000 people will be saved a trip to hospital for their outpatient care, with more treatment offered in local GP surgeries and health centres.
  • By bringing all cancer services up to the standard of the best, cancer one year survival rates will reach over 70 percent in the Black Country and West Birmingham.

NHS 111

  • From November 2016, by ringing one telephone number, the 1.4m people who live in the Black Country and West Birmingham will be able to book a doctor’s appointment, in the evening and at the weekend, get dental advice, order a repeat prescription, or get urgent health advice.

The full Black Country and West Birmingham Sustainability and Transformation Plan, along with a summary and FAQs, can be found here.

Local people will be invited to have their say on the proposals through a comprehensive programme of engagement, beginning with a public event on 6th December at Bethel Convention Centre, Kelvin Way, West Bromwich, B70 7JW. To book onto the event contact


Trust scores highly in patient survey

The experience of patients using Dudley and Walsall Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust’s services remains positive, according to the results of a national survey.

The National Community Mental Health Survey, which is carried out by the Care Quality Commission (CQC), is used to explore the experiences of those using community mental health services.

Dudley and Walsall Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust (DWMH) scored among the top 20% of Trusts for patients knowing who to contact out of hours in a crisis situation and above the national average for patients stating they got the help they need when they contacted the team.

DWMH performed strongly compared to other mental health NHS trusts in questions relating to support and wellbeing; in particular around finding and keeping work, physical health needs and being given information on how to get support from people that have experience of the same mental illness. Read More

Walsall Patient Voice Panel

Walsall CCG is asking for volunteers for their Patient Voice Panel which will give patients an opportunity to become involved in shaping local health services by working with the CCG to understand patient experience of local health services. Members of the panel will be able to share their experiences, participate in surveys, focus groups and workshops. Those who join will also have the opportunity to access up to date information about Walsall CCG as well as learning about any specific areas of health they may be interested in (for example, stroke, asthma, diabetes, etc.). Read More

Mental health recruitment event

Four West Midlands mental health Trusts are launching a new drive to sign up nurses and apprentices with a major recruitment drive in Birmingham city centre this weekend. The joint event will be taking place on Saturday, November 12, between 11am-4pm at the first-floor meeting rooms in Birmingham City Library in Centenary Square, on Broad Street. Read More

Blue Peter presenter opens new clinics

Wolverhampton born Blue Peter presenter, Radzi Chinyanganya, joined staff and patients on 31 October to celebrate the launch of new Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) clinics at Dudley and Walsall Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust’s Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) in Walsall.

Read More

Carer support group

Our Carer Support Service will be offering a new group starting from 4pm today (1 November). The session will be two hours long and offers carers the opportunity to meet up with one another and share their experiences. The session provides a safe and informal environment where carers can meet for a cup of tea/coffee and a chat. The group will be held at Broadway North Centre and is open to all carers.

For more information, please contact Jill Hill.

Dawn Jones Art Prize winners announced 2016

In 2016, we were delighted to host the Dawn Jones Art Prize again, which invited people with experience of mental health to create artwork.

Now in its eleventh year, the competition was set up by Maureen Jones in memory of her daughter, Dawn Jones, who tragically committed suicide in 2005 at the age of 25 following a long battle with depression.

This year, people were invited to enter artwork into one of two categories: ‘What mental health means to me’ and ‘My journey with mental health’. We received many excellent entries, and our judges had to make some very difficult decisions in choosing the shortlist and winners.

This year’s winners, Susanna Frances and Anne Babbs, were presented with trophies by Gill Cooper, Non-Executive Director at the Trust, at a prize giving event on 28th September.

They both won £100 in vouchers of their choice and the long-term display of their artwork in our Trust buildings. Eight other shortlisted entries were exhibited at Cosy Cafe, Churchill Centre in Dudley throughout September.

One attendee at the event, said: “Art is a release for those suffering mental health problems, it has been vital in my path to recovering and the competition gives us, as artists, a chance to meet each other and discuss what we have been through and why art has been so helpful.”

Maureen Jones, who was on the judging panel for the prize, said: “I’m really glad we’ve been able to keep the prize running this year. It’s rewarding to see how the prize inspires people with experience of mental health to get involved in art, which can often be very therapeutic.”

The Dawn Jones Art Prize runs every year. For more information, email Communications at or follow this link.

Susanna Frances with Gill Cooper and Maureen Jones









Anne Babbs with Gill Cooper and Maureen Jones


Our Year in Pictures

2015/16 has been another challenging yet successful year for our Trust. We have many achievements to celebrate, our year in pictures highlights just some of them.

Walsall Talking Therapies self-referral launch

Sometimes we all need a helping hand when lives daily pressures get on top of us. If you are experiencing common mental health conditions, such as stress, anxiety or low mood, are aged 17 or over and registered with a Walsall GP then the Walsall Talking Therapies Service may be right for you.

Our team of highly experienced therapists provide a range of psychological therapies to help people get back to enjoying the most from their life. Psychological Therapies offered include wellbeing workshops, computerised Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (cCBT), group or individual therapy, guided self-help and signposting to other support services.

Our new self-referral option makes it easier for you to access the service and once a referral is received, we will contact you within 72 hours to offer you an assessment; this will generally be a telephone appointment with one of our qualified practitioners.

Read More

Have your say!

Transforming Care Together (TCT) is the name for a new partnership agreement between three NHS Trusts in the Birmingham and Black Country area: Birmingham Community Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, Black Country Partnership NHS Foundation Trust and Dudley and Walsall Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust.

Our Trusts are committed to working together to improve the care provided to our communities through our shared vision for:

• Better services
• Improved choice and access
• Making the most efficient use of our resources to reinvest in patient care

It is important to us that we involve people in the work we are doing. We want to understand your experience of healthcare in Birmingham and the Black Country, and what you think about the services we deliver to you and your family. We also want to hear from people who do not currently use our services, but may in the future.

We are holding five drop-in sessions, one in each of the areas that our Trusts work in. We have arranged these so there are morning, afternoon and early evening drop-ins because we recognise that people will have different daily arrangements. We have also chosen community venues where there are good transport links and accessibility.

Please come along to one of our sessions and share your experiences and opinions. You don’t need to book a place, just pop along for a cuppa and a chat. You don’t need to have any special knowledge or know anything about our partnership to attend these events. We are interested to hear about your experiences of healthcare and your opinions. The events will also be an opportunity for you to hear more about our plans and share your feedback on them.

All our events are relaxed and informal, and our friendly team will help and support you on the day. Our two events in Dudley and Walsall are taking place on:

Wednesday 28 September 2016, 5.30-7.30pm at Dudley Leisure Centre, Wellington Road, Dudley DY1 1UH
Thursday 29 September 2016, 2.00-4.00pm at Walsall Leather Museum, Littleton Street West WS2 8EQ

We are also holding events in Birmingham, Sandwell and Wolverhampton. Details for these events are on our Transforming Care Together events page.

Support for carers in Walsall

Throughout the year, we hold many regular group sessions and events for carers. In Walsall, our Carers Support team have set up the following sessions:

Carers Men’s Group
Julie Higgins (Carers Team Support Service Worker) regularly holds a support group for any male carer. This is a friendly and supportive group who meet at the Watermill Goscote Walsall. This is an informal session, with regular guest’s speakers.

Asian Womens Group
Sue Powell (Carers Team Support Service Worker) regularly holds an Asian Women’s carers support group, again this is an informal but informative and support group with regular guest speakers, activities and events.

Informal Carers Course
Caroline Russell (Carers Team Support Service Worker) facilities a regular course for those caring for someone with Dementia. The course is designed to enable and support carers with their caring role, with regular guest speakers, activities and quarterly reviews. Booking is essential. Care and support can be made available for the cared for person if transport or replacement care is a concern.

In addition to this, we have also arranged for day trips to local points of interest:

Birmingham Botanical Gardens
Join our Carers Support Team on Thursday 22 September for a trip to Birmingham Botanical Gardens. Attendees should meet at Broadway North Centre at 10am.

Booking is essential by calling 01922 608500 and priority will be for carers.

Emma Bridgewater Pottery
Join our Carers Support Team on Thursday 20 October for a trip to Emma Bridgewater Pottery in Stoke on Trent. Attendees should meet at Broadway North Centre at 10am.

Booking is essential by calling 01922 608500 and priority will be for carers.

We would love to hear how we can support you. Please send suggestions or ideas to You can also leave a message on 01922 608500 or by post to Carers Support, Kings Hill Centre, School Street, Wednesbury, WS10 9JB.


Learn more about Schizophrenia

Come along to our Annual General Meeting (AGM) and Mental Health Forum on Friday 16 September at 10am – 2:30pm at Brierley Hill Civic Hall.

Our AGM invites members of the public to learn more about the Trust’s achievements during 2016/17 and plans for the future, as well as offering the opportunity to find out more about the services provided and ask any questions.

Our Mental Health Forum will focus on the topic of schizophrenia and will include talks from guest speakers, stalls providing information and advice on services and a chance to talk with mental health professionals. As well as gaining information on services, attendees will be given the chance to network with local organisations and others who have experience with mental health. Lunch will be provided.

Click here to see an agenda for the day.

If you would like to attend either or both of the events, please contact the Communications and Engagement team on 01384 325015 or email

Dudley Talking Therapy self-referral launch

Sometimes we all need a helping hand when lives daily pressures get on top of us. If you are experiencing common mental health conditions, such as stress, anxiety, depression, panic or phobias, are aged 16 or over (a school leaver) and registered with a Dudley GP then the Dudley Talking Therapy Service may be right for you.

Our team of highly experienced therapists provide a range of psychological therapies to help people get back to enjoying the most from their life. Psychological Therapies offered include wellbeing workshops, computerised Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (cCBT), group or individual therapy, guided self-help and signposting to other support services.

Our new self-referral option makes it easier for you to access the service and once a referral is received, we will contact you within 72 hours to offer you an assessment; this will generally be a telephone appointment with one of our qualified practitioners.

Read More

Chief Executive appointment

Mark Axcell has been appointed as Chief Executive of Dudley and Walsall Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust. Mark, who held the role of Acting Chief Executive, has had a long career in the NHS, having worked in both mental health, acute and commissioning Trusts.

Making the announcement, Chair, Ben Reid commented “I am pleased to announce Mark’s appointment, which came after a rigorous selection process involving staff, service users and stakeholders. During Mark’s time as Acting Chief Executive, he has shown strong leadership qualities and has led the Trust through a number of changes. I know Mark has the support of both staff and partners alike and we are confident that he has the values, skills and leadership to guide the Trust into the future, as we continue to provide high quality, sustainable mental health services to the people of Dudley and Walsall.”

Mark Axcell commented “I am delighted to have the opportunity to lead Dudley and Walsall Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust and I look forward to working closely with staff, patients and stakeholders to ensure that we continue to deliver compassionate, high quality patient care”

Employment service funding

Dudley and Walsall Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust has received funding to work in collaboration with Steps to Work to help adults with experience of mental health problems prepare themselves to access training, voluntary work or employment.

The funding comes as part of a new multi-million pound programme, Building Better Opportunities (BBO), a collaboration between the Big Lottery Fund and the European Social Fund (ESF) to help tackle the poverty and social exclusion faced by some people in England.

Many members of society that experience mental health problems may need additional support to gain employment or keep their job once they become unwell.  Building upon the success of Dudley and Walsall Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust’s Employment and Vocational Services, this funding will allow the service to reach a wider population across the Black County, supporting individuals back into training or meaningful employment. Read More

Stay safe this summer

As you may be aware, it is predicted that the next couple of days are going to be exceptionally warm across the West Midlands with temperatures reaching a high of 32C, and therefore the general public are advised to take extra care when protecting themselves from the sun. We have put some tips together to make sure you stay safe in the sun. Read More

Dudley MCP consultation

Dudley CCG has launched a public consultation to get views on proposed changes to the way healthcare is delivered across the Dudley Borough.

The vision for Dudley is to put patients at the heart of integrated, GP-led health and social care services so that all those involved in a person’s care, including mental health workers, can work together in community teams.

In the consultation proposals they would like to bring all the relevant community services fully together as a single organisation – the creation of a Multi-speciality Community Provider (MCP). Read More

Opportunities on our Trust Board

We have three positions for two associate non-executive directors and one non-executive director to join our Trust Board.

This is an exceptional opportunity to share your talents and expertise to make a positive difference to the lives of people in the Dudley and Walsall communities. Candidates need to have a genuine commitment to the provision and promotion of excellent health care services.

Our Trust Board provides leadership, sets the Trust’s strategic aims, and identifies and maintains its values. The Trust Board is made up of the Chair, the Chief Executive Officer, Executive Directors and Non-Executive Directors who are responsible for the day-to-day running of the organisation and are accountable for its performance.

For further details on how to apply, including an information pack and monitoring form, please see the cabinet office website. The deadline for returning applications to is 11am on 28 July.

Recognising Success awards 2016

We are committed to demonstrating that we value and appreciate the contribution of staff. Our Recognising Success staff awards are the ideal way for us to celebrate staff achievements and give recognition for all of the hard work and dedication shown throughout the year. So if you know of a team or individual who deserves special recognition for their outstanding work, this is your chance to let us know about it.

This year, we have introduced new categories to reflect our newly refreshed values. You can only select one category on an individual nomination form. If we feel that your submission would benefit from enhancement to improve its chance within the category, we will contact you to confirm you are happy with this so please include your contact details on the form.

If you need any help or support when filling in the form, please contact or 01384 325015.

Closing date for nominations is 30 September, so don’t delay in submitting your nomination today!

This year’s award categories are:

Unsung Hero

An individual or volunteer who goes the extra mile, above and beyond the call of duty to provide a service.

They will demonstrate our Trust values and put in extraordinary effort to deliver safe, high quality, effective care for service users and staff.

Judges will be looking for evidence of:

• How they have demonstrated consistent or outstanding service to the Trust, going above and beyond to treat colleagues or patients in line with Trust values

• Making a significant difference to the experience of staff, patients, carers or visitors

• Exceeded what would normally be expected of them in their role, demonstrating commitment to achieving high quality outcomes in their line of work

• Demonstrated commitment to equality and diversity by delivering better outcomes for staff, patients which are fair, personal and diverse

Last year’s winner: Sadie Bond

Patient Champion Award

An individual who provides high quality care and has shown dedication and commitment to improving services for patients putting patients first, allowing patients to have their say etc.

This individual will have taken action to promote inclusion and engagement with patients and/or carers and shows exceptional care for patients.

Judges will be looking for evidence of:

• Made a change that had a positive, measured and sustainable impact on patient experience

• Went ‘above and beyond’ the expectations of patients or their families

Last year’s winner: Bloxwich Activity Coordinators

Working in Collaboration

Recognises an individual or team that demonstrates that they have taken action to ensure that services are personal, fair and diverse, and that everyone has equal opportunities and treatment regardless of their differences. This may be someone who has taken action to tackle discrimination head on or who has made changes to the way services are accessed or provided to ensure that all our service users’ individual needs are thought about and recognised.

Judges will be looking for evidence of:

• Working successfully in collaboration across internal or external services of the Trust

• Seeking out ways to truly build relationships and removing obstacles

• Sharing learning and feedback with others

Last year’s winner: Acute Service Leads and Ward Managers


You are encouraged to submit as many nominations forms as you wish. You can also submit the same team or individual for more than one award as long as it matches the individual criteria.

The video footage that is taken for each nomination is highly appreciated by attendees of the awards ceremony and we would like to continue with this. It is especially appreciated by those who have been nominated. However, we do recognise that members of staff may not be comfortable with the filming process, in these cases we can arrange for alternative method of filming. Should you nominate or be nominated, we will work with you to find the most appropriate approach to achieve a great nomination video.

For further information or support in submitting your nomination form, please contact, who will be happy to help. Follow updates on staff awards using the hashtag #RSA2016.

OCD Mental Health Forum

Our most recent Mental Health Forum took place on 16 June and saw presentations from Consultant Clinical Psychologist, Adam Pickles and Associate Specialist, Dr Suhail Undre, on the effects, signs and symptoms of OCD. ‘This Old Ghost‘, a poem about OCD, was shared at the event followed by a service user’s account of his experiences with OCD and how it has affected his life. Attendees also heard from Angela Hill, a carer for someone with OCD, who spoke of her life caring for a child with OCD through to their adult life.

There are many myths surrounding OCD as a mental health issue and the seriousness of the illness is not always acknowledged, the forum aimed to raise awareness of OCD and how it can be a barrier in many people’s lives. Read More

Dawn Jones Art Prize 2016

Calling all budding artists! Enter the Dawn Jones Art Prize 2016. The competition is open to all residents across both Dudley and Walsall who have experience of mental health either as a service user, carer, relative or friend of a service user, or work within mental health.

Maureen Jones originally set up the competition in memory of her daughter who tragically ended her life in 2005 at the age of 25 following a battle with mental ill health. The competition, which has been celebrating Dawn’s life for eleven years, offers people the opportunity to express themselves and create meaningful artwork for others to enjoy. The event also raises awareness of mental health issues and aims to reduce the stigma associated with mental illnesses.

Last year’s winners, Alan Daffern and Susanna Frances had their work exhibited in Trust sites where they could be viewed by staff, service users and the public. This year’s winners, as well the opportunity to display their artwork publically, will win £100 in vouchers of their choice*.  Winners will be chosen by our judging panel which will be headed by Maureen Jones.

All participants must be aged 18 or over and artwork must fall into one of two categories; ‘what mental health means to me’ or ‘my journey with mental health’. Entries must be delivered to any of the following sites by 5pm on Friday 2nd September:

  • Governance Dept, Clee Ward, Bushey Fields Hospital, Bushey Fields Road, Dudley, DY1 2LZ
  • Stella Greenlees, Dorothy Pattison Hospital, Alumwell Close, Walsall, WS2 9XH
  • Communications Dept, Trafalgar House, 47-49 King Street, Dudley, DY2 8PS
  • Dawn Roe, Bloxwich Hospital, Reeves Street, Walsall, WS3 2JJ

For more information on the competition please follow this link or contact the Communications Team on 01384 325015 or email:

*Available gift cards: Amazon, Hobbycraft, Love2Shop, Paperchase, Waterstones, Westfield, WH Smith

Carers’ Week 2016

In support of National Carers’ Week running between 6 – 12 June, there will be a host of activities taking place across both Dudley and Walsall.

On Wednesday 8 June, we’ll be holding a stall in the canteen in Dorothy Pattison Hospital, offering advice and support to carers. Our staff at the stall will be on hand to advise carers of the benefits available to them, where they can find help and more information on local support groups. The stall will be there between 2pm – 5pm. For more information, please contact or

There will also be several events taking place across the Dudley borough as below:

Wednesday 8 June, Stourbridge Town Centre (near Tesco)

  • 11am – 1pm
  • 1pm – 3pm

Thursday 9 June, Churchill Shopping Centre, Dudley  

  • 11am – 2pm

Friday 10 June, Lower Gornal (outside library)

  • 11am – 1pm

Saturday 11 June, Sainsbury’s Brierley Hill

  • 11am – 12pm
  • 12pm – 2pm

If you would like to learn more about the Trust and our services, please see our range of downloadable service information leaflets.

Free forum on OCD

Join us for our next Mental Health Forum on 16 June from 11am – 2pm at Brierley Hill Civic Hall in Dudley!

We will be focusing on the topic of obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) at our upcoming quarterly Mental Health Forum on Thursday 16 June 2016 from 11am to 2pm at Brierley Hill Civic Hall, Bank Street, Brierley Hill, West Midlands, DY5 3DH in Dudley.

The event will feature guest speakers from the Trust discussing the signs and symptoms of the condition and the psychological aspects behind OCD. Stallholders from the local health community will be onsite providing free resources, support and advice, as well as signposting to local services. A free lunch will be provided.

Due to the increasing popularity of the forums, bookings are required. Please contact the Communications and Engagement team by emailing or phoning 01384 325015 to secure a place at this free event or for more information. A poster can be found here.

Pop-up shop

We’re celebrating Mental Health Awareness Week by holding a pop-up shop to provide help and free resources to the public.

The event will be held on Tuesday 17 May in Churchill Precinct in Dudley Town Centre from 11am – 1pm. This year, Mental Health Awareness Week will be running from 16 – 22 May and will focus on the theme of healthy relationships. The week is organised by the Mental Health Foundation, a national charity that aims to help people understand, protect and sustain their mental health.

The event will see different health organisations offering advice and support as well as information on services that are available. Stalls include Dudley Mind, Rethink Mental Illness, Creative Support and Kaleidoscope Group. Free health checks will also be available. Read More

Equality & Diversity Partners Programme

The Trust has recently been awarded for achieving the NHS Employers Equality & Diversity Partners Programme 2015/16. It comes after the Trust demonstrated its commitment to six tough criteria, including improving patient access and experience, engaging and supporting staff, better health outcomes for all and inclusive leadership at all levels.

Paul Singh, Equality & Diversity Lead for the Trust said: “We are really pleased and proud to have been awarded achievement for this national programme. Being a partner has given our Trust the tools and opportunities to strengthen our work on equality, diversity and inclusion, as well access vital training, coaching and networking opportunities. It has also given us valuable chances to contribute to national best practice to help drive improvement across the NHS”. Read More

Open Space Listening Event

The West Midlands Combined Authority is committed to seeking the views and opinions of all involved in the mental health system. It is doing this firstly through a Citizens Jury for service users and carers (which has now started its work), secondly via online submissions and thirdly through a series of three Open Space Listening events.

You are invited to join one of the listening events, to be held on:

Tuesday 26 April – Coventry Central Hall: 13:30-17:00

Friday 29 April – Dudley Town hall, Main Hall: 13:30-17:00

Tuesday 3 May – Birmingham BVSC, Rooms 4/5/6: 13:30-17:00

Each event will host up to eighty people and will be an attempt to bring together the main stakeholders to try and answer the questions:

1. What do the members of the West Midlands Mental Health Commission need to hear?

2. How can public services be transformed within current spending limits to build wellbeing, keep people mentally well and reduce the impact that poor mental health and wellbeing have on public services, the economy and communities in the West Midlands?

To register your interest in attending one of the listening events or if you are interested in making an online submission visit

Trust service shortlisted for national award

The Trust’s Children and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) Tier 3.5 has been shortlisted in the mental health category of the 2016 Health Service Journal’s (HSJ) Value in Healthcare Awards.

CAMHS Tier 3.5 offers a home treatment style service to children and young people who need extra support that traditional community services cannot provide.

The service, which is currently a pilot funded by Walsall Clinical Commissioning Group, was set up in January 2015 to help alleviate the growing number of hospital admissions of Walsall CAMHS patients and to also provide support to children that are in crisis. Through extended hours and agile working, staff are able to attend to the service users’ needs quickly and in settings that are most conducive to their recovery.

“It’s important that we deliver services in the most efficient way while simultaneously maximising patient benefits and satisfaction,” stated Anne Marie Carey, Head of Early Intervention Services for the Trust.

She elaborated, “Since the inception of this important new service, we have seen a 71 per cent reduction in mental health hospital admissions. This not only provides major cost-savings, but also directly benefits the patients and their carers by allowing them to stay closer to home and their support networks during their most vulnerable times.”
The HSJ Value in Healthcare Awards seek to recognise and reward outstanding efficiency and improvement by NHS organisations. The awards not only identify excellent use of resources, but they also seek out examples of demonstrable improvement in outcomes, both within back office functions and clinical initiatives.

The awards ceremony will be held on 24 May 2016 in Manchester.

Read More

Success in National Accreditation Programme

Following a rigorous assessment process, Dudley and Walsall Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust’s Memory Assessment Service in Walsall has again received national accreditation from the Memory Services National Accreditation Programme.

The Memory Assessment Service offers assessment, diagnosis and treatment to patients who have suspected or diagnosed memory problems.

The Memory Services National Accreditation Programme is an initiative of the Royal College of Psychiatrists. They work with services to assure and improve the quality of memory services for people with memory problems or dementia and their carers.

As part of the assessment feedback is gathered from both staff and patients on the quality of the service. Assessors were particularly impressed with how well the service works with patients and carers, and how responsive they are to their needs. They also noted high staff motivation and observed that staff are keen to share their knowledge and experience to enhance the service.

Other areas such as environmental audits, service planning, policies and partnership working were also reviewed as part of the assessment.

Nick Stephens, Head of Older Adult Services at Dudley and Walsall Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust commented: “We are delighted to have again received formal accreditation for our Memory Assessment Service in Walsall. It’s vital that individuals and their families have access to early assessment, diagnosis regarding their memory and receive timely support in living well with Dementia.”

Read More

National Apprenticeship Week 2016

This week is National Apprenticeship Week and this year the theme is ‘Rising to the Top’. To celebrate this, we’d like to highlight just a few achievements that our apprentices have had since the launch of the scheme in 2014:

• 3 of our apprentices from the first cohort have gone on to secure a permanent position with the Trust
• 3 of our apprentices from the first cohort have completed their business administration apprenticeship framework level 2 and are staying with us to complete level 3
• Health Education West Midlands recognised apprentice Kirsty Hadley as highly commended in the Intermediate Apprentice of the Year (Non-Clinical) at the West Midlands NHS Apprenticeship Recognition Awards 2016
• One of our apprentices have gone to university to become a student mental health nurse
• We’ve now taken on our second cohort of 7 apprentices and are looking to recruit an eighth Read More

Top marks from staff

Listening into Action (LiA) – the market leading change approach for CEOs looking to re-engage and re-empower frontline staff in the NHS, owned by Optimise Limited – has named Dudley and Walsall Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust (DWMH) as the top ranked mental health & learning disability trust in the country according to results from the 2015 NHS National Staff Survey.

The ‘LiA Scatter Map’ for NHS Mental Health & Learning Disability Trusts captures an analysis of NHS staff responses to 20 of the 22 comparable Picker Institute’s Key Findings from the staff survey conducted at the end of last year. This is how staff feel about the leadership and culture at their trust in 2015.

Mark Axcell, Acting Chief Executive Officer, said, “We were extremely pleased when we received the national results indicating that our Trust is above the national average in 29 of 32 categories, but being recognised as the top ranked mental health and learning disability trust  in the country has been a true credit to our organisation.”

The scale of the achievement is reinforced by Optimise’s detailed analysis of the 20 Key Findings, where the Trust’s staff has rated its leadership and culture in the top 20 per cent of peer Trusts for 17 out of the 20 findings. Gordon Forbes, Optimise Director who carried out the analysis, added, “Against a more general backdrop where staff are reporting high stress levels and increasing challenges, the feedback from staff at Dudley and Walsall Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust is all the more laudable.”

Axcell continued, “This is not to say that this recognition is without merit. We have worked, and continue to work, incredibly hard to ensure that we provide appropriate support, feedback and services for staff so that they can work in a healthy, transparent environment which ultimately benefits our service users.”

Indeed, DWMH has made many changes to better support staff and create open communication channels for them to voice opinions and share ideas.

The Trust makes use of an Engagement Champions network, a team of staff who act as ambassadors for key communications and engagement activities that the Trust is undertaking. They communicate between senior level managers and staff to ensure that messages are shared and feedback is received.

In addition, staff can utilise Bright Ideas, an online submission form, to share innovative solutions and feedback for the betterment of patient experience, service quality, safety and effectiveness.

“Though we are proud of the recognition we have received from the survey, our work on staff engagement and wellbeing is far from finished. There are always areas to improve upon and we will continue to work with staff to identify and develop solutions for them,” said Simon Johnson, Staff Engagement Lead. He continued, “Our staff are our most valuable asset and it is only through their willingness to feedback and engage in conversation that allow us to be the top ranked mental health trust in England.”

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Free forum on self-harm

Join us for our next Mental Health Forum on 7 April from 11am – 2pm at The Crossing at St. Paul’s Church in Walsall!

April’s mental health forum will focus on the topic of self-harm. Self-harm is not often talked about, but unfortunately, it is a prevalent issue within society — in fact, one in ten people self-harm and, alarmingly, one in four young people self-harm.

The forum will feature a range of speakers discussing topics such as the signs and symptoms of self-harm, available support resources and the psychological aspects involved with self-harm. In addition, there will be stallholders from the local health community offering free resources and advice.

This event is open to the public and a free lunch is provided. Booking is required so please call the Communications and Engagement team on 01384 325015 or email to secure a place.

Address for The Crossing at St. Paul’s Church: Darwall Street, Walsall, WS1 1DA

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DWMH welcomes new Chair

Dudley and Walsall Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust (DWMH) and Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust are pleased to confirm that the NHS Trust Development Authority (TDA) has appointed Ben Reid to the role of Chair at DWMH and Danielle Oum to the role of Chair at Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust.

Ben, who after a 12 year tenure as Chair, is required to step down from Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust, will take up the post of Chair of Dudley and Walsall Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust with effect from 8 April 2016.

Ben Reid said: “I have thoroughly enjoyed both the challenges and opportunities of this role. With my tenure coming to an end being able to move to another NHS organisation in the Black Country and continue to work collaboratively with key stakeholders across the local health economy is an excellent opportunity. I can utilise the depth of experience which I have gained at the Trust to continue chairing partnerships across agencies and partners for the benefit of families in Walsall and Dudley.”

Danielle Oum, who is currently Chair of Dudley and Walsall Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust was until September 2014, a Non-Executive Director at Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust.
Danielle said: “Having a longstanding commitment to the people of Walsall, I am delighted to be returning to Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust to support them through their improvement plan and beyond. In particular, I am looking forward to working with colleagues and partners to ensure we continue to provide high quality care to the communities we serve.”

Non-executive appointments to NHS Trusts made by the NHS TDA fall within the remit of the Commissioner for Public Appointments.

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Minds Matter: Celebrating Wellbeing Together

We’re holding a free event in Dudley on 15th March to celebrate the work that communities are doing to promote wellbeing. The Minds Matter: Celebrating Wellbeing Together event aims to raise awareness and celebrate the important contribution communities are making in promoting wellbeing. The event is open for anyone to attend and will run from 9:30am – 3pm at The Venue, Dudley.

On the day, there will be an awards ceremony to recognise the positive steps that local communities are making to promote wellbeing as well as workshops including laughter yoga and a roundtable discussion. Attendees will have the chance to learn more about the 5 Ways to Wellbeing and discuss ideas on how we can maintain wellbeing. Local groups and organisations will also be on hand to offer advice and support and a free lunch will be provided.

Booking is essential for the event. To book your place or for further information please contact Dudley and Walsall Mental Health NHS Partnership’s Community Development Workers on 01384 366517 or email Read More

NHS Staff Survey results

We are pleased to be able to share the results from the 2015 NHS Staff Survey. Every year our staff are asked to take part in a national survey so we can get their views on what is it like to work in the Trust.

Our results this year are on the whole very positive, with improvements in many areas and we are now above the national average in 29 of the 32 national indicators.

Some areas where we scored particularly well include staff feeling able to their job to a standard they are personally pleased with, staff feeling that their role makes a difference to patients and staff feeling that managers support them to access to training, learning or development. Read More

Our Trust commits to improving the workplace

Dudley and Walsall Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust (DWMH) has demonstrated its commitment to supporting staff who experience stress, anxiety depression or other mental health conditions in the workplace by signing the Mindful Employers ® Charter for Employers Who Are Positive about Mental Health.

The Charter is one element of the Mindful Employer initiative which is aimed at increasing awareness of mental health in the workplace and supporting businesses in recruiting and retaining staff.

Dudley and Walsall Mental Health Partnership joins a growing number of Mindful Employer Charter signatories, both locally and nationally. Since Mindful Employers launched in 2004, over 1,400 employers have signed the Charter.

As a mental health organisation, we understand the importance of being supported at work and we continuously strive to create a judgment free, positive work environment that our employees enjoy working in.

Despite only recently signing the charter, we have an established history of supporting our staff through staff benefits, employee engagement strategies, support services and mindfulness and wellbeing training.

Pawiter Rana, Chair of the Health and Wellbeing Committee said: “Signing the charter is an important symbol of our commitment to the health and wellbeing of our staff. We hope that the actions we have taken and will continue to take will allow us to create a healthier, happier and more productive workplace.” He adds: “By caring for our staff, we enable them to provide high quality care services that benefit the local population.”

Self Injury Awareness Day – health and wellbeing drop-in

We are going to be holding our last Health & Wellbeing drop-in at Green Lane Baptist Church in March. This drop-in we will be providing an array of information to raise awareness of Self-Injury Awareness Day including self-help guides and fact sheets for individuals affected by self-harm. The day will also have representatives from Pathways 4 Life, Time for Reel, Healthy Lifestyles and Kaleidoscope Plus present. All help and support is provided for free and will give you the chance to talk with professionals. This drop-in will take place 10am – 12:30pm.

For more information, please contact Anita Chumber 07917 559351/ 01384 366517 or email

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Inspiring the next generation

Dudley and Walsall Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust is one of 20 health, education and public sector organisations that are working in partnership with the newly built Health Futures University Technological College to inspire health workers of the future.

The University Technological College in West Bromwich offers young people across the region the chance to combine academic education with an opportunity to learn the essential technical and practical skills needed in the health and health sciences industries.

Lord Baker officially opened the college on 4 February 2016 at an event attending by local partners, young people and stakeholders. Read More

Join in our chat about wellbeing – Youth Forum

Join us for a free lunch on Wednesday 17 February from 1pm – 3pm at Dudley College, The Broadway, Dudley, DY1 4AS.

We find great value in engaging with young people to increase their interest in citizenship and involvement with the local community.

Our event promises many exciting opportunities such as networking and engaging with the NHS, learning about volunteer opportunities and work placements within our Trust, and breakaway sessions to learn about emotional health and maintaining wellbeing. In addition, we will provide free lunch, an interactive graffiti board where you can express your thoughts and feelings, and plenty of fun games and giveaways from local organisations. Read More

Time to Talk Day – Help us start the conversation

To celebrate Time to Talk Day, we will be hosting a free event on 4th February 2016, from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m., to encourage women to open up about mental health.

Talking about mental health doesn’t need to be difficult. Mental health problems affect 1 in 4 people every year; yet, too often people are afraid to talk about their experiences because they fear it will affect their jobs or relationships. That’s not right and it’s why we want to help break the silence and end stigma.

This event is aimed at women and will feature pamper relaxation sessions, health and BMI checks, plenty of information on wellbeing, mehndi and food!

For more information about the event, please contact Iram Maan, Community Development Worker, on 01384 366517 or email

Non-executive director vacancy

We’re looking for someone with genuine commitment to patients and the promotion of excellent health care services to take up the role of non-executive director. Non-executive directors will work alongside other non-executives and executive directors as an equal member of the board. They share responsibility with the other directors for the decisions made by the board and for success of the organisation in leading the local improvement of healthcare services for patients.

Applicants will need to have recent relevant senior level clinical experience gained in either a medical, nursing or allied discipline with a strong service delivery background.

The vacancy is now live and can be found on the NTDA or Cabinet Office websites. Read More

Volunteer opportunities

We’re committed to providing volunteering and professional development placements wherever possible, therefore, we are now advertising a volunteer placement with our Community Development Workers (CDWs) which will involve setting up and running minority community support groups, delivering basic mental health and cultural awareness training and several other responsibilities as detailed here.

Applicants should have knowledge of minority communities and mental health conditions, experience with event planning and be warm, open, honest and empathetic.

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Partnership working leads to numerous benefits for Dudley service users

Joint partnership working between Dudley and Walsall Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust (DWMHT) and Dudley Clinical Commissioning Group (Dudley CCG) has led to increase in access to services and the resulting quality of care provided to service users.

National figures released in November 2015 indicated that Dudley had the shortest waiting period between referral and treatment time in the country and nearly 27 days shorter than the national average waiting time.

Dr Mona Mahfouz, GP and Clinical Lead at Dudley CCG, said: “It’s heartening to see all the collective hard work of Dudley CCG and DWMHT pay off in achieving these results which indicate that there is indeed an improved access to psychological therapies in Dudley.” Read More

Dudley Health and Social Care Community Forums

Several health providers across Dudley are holding Community Forums throughout January and February for any residents interested in health and social care. The forums will offer you the chance to work at improving local health and social care services and will consist of informal presentations and a Q&A session. You can have your say on the following dates:

  • 25th January – Age Concern, Sedgley, DY3 3SG
  • 25th January – Lower Gornal Royal British Legion, DY3 2EH
  • 26th January – Leasowes High School, B62 8PG
  • 26th January – Dudley Wood Neighbourhood Learning Centre, DY2 0DB
  • 27th January – St. John’s Church, DY2 7JT
  • 27th January – Ham Dingle Primary School, DY9 0UB
  • 2nd February – Kingswinford Royal British Legion Club, DY6 9JG
  • 3rd February – Providence Methodist Church, B63 2LA
  • 3rd February – Lutley Community Centre, B63 1BU
  • 3rd February – Nine Locks Community Centre, DY5 2UE

More information can be found here or on the Dudley Council website. Read More