News Archive 2017

Patients positive about mental health services

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 annual survey, 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 in a crisis situation and above the national average for patients feeling that decisions made about their care were made together with them.

We continue to perform well in how well care is organised and supporting people to take part in activities locally.

There are some areas for improvement including coordination of care, monitoring effects of medication and receiving additional support.

Mark Axcell, Chief Executive at the Trust, said: “The results from this year’s Community Mental Health Survey are encouraging and I want to thank staff for their continued support in helping us deliver high quality mental health services for the people of Dudley and Walsall.

“We continuously look at how we can improve the experience of patients and this type of feedback helps us identify where we need to do more.

“We have already developed an action plan and hope to build upon these results in next year’s survey.”

Pop in to Dudley drop-in session

We’re encouraging members of the public to come along and find out more about emotional health and wellbeing at our drop-in event on Thursday 14 December, between 12:30pm – 2:30pm, at Halesowen Library.

The emotional health and wellbeing drop-in is being run by the Trust’s Community Development Workers (CDWs) and will provide members of the public the opportunity to find out more information about improving their mental health and overall wellbeing within a friendly, safe and comfortable environment.

The drop-in will be a chance for the local community to gain information from the CDW team, who will be on hand to signpost individuals and support them in contacting appropriate services and organisations.

No booking or appointment is necessary.

Iram Maan, part of the Trust’s CDW team, said “People are often too scared or embarrassed to talk to someone about how they are feeling or any issues that they have. We want to change this by providing these people the opportunity to talk to someone in a safe and welcoming environment about the help and support that they feel they need. We want to support people across the Dudley borough in maintaining healthy wellbeing and to getting the help that they need.”

For more information, please contact Iram Maan, Community Development Worker, on 01384 366517 or email dwmh.cdw@nhs.net.

Nominate your Mental Health Star

The Thrive Mental Health Commission Awards have been launched to celebrate the amazing work being done across the West Midlands to improve mental health and wellbeing across the region.

People across the West Midlands are being encouraged to nominate their ‘Mental Health Stars’ – the people that are making a difference in mental health, whether that’s a difference to one person or across a whole community. The awards are particularly calling for nominations recognising professionals who are going above and beyond in their practice to improve mental health and wellbeing, and delivering innovative services that are making a real impact on people’s lives. A Mental Health Star Award will be given in each locality of the West Midlands Combined Authority.

You can nominate anyone for a Mental Health Star Award. We want to celebrate the amazing people across the West Midlands who are making a real difference in mental health, whether it’s the friend/relative that helped you through a difficult period, carer or a mental health/social worker.

Nominations for the awards will close at 9am, Monday 18 December 2017.

To nominate someone for a Mental Health Star award, go to https://www.wmca.org.uk/what-we-do/mental-health-commission/thrive-mental-health-commission-awards/

If you have any questions about the Thrive Mental Health Commission Awards, or the WMCA’s Thrive Mental Health action plan, please email mary.crofton@wmca.org.uk.

Your views needed on Bloxwich Hospital

Mental health services in Walsall have changed significantly for the better over the last few years. We have seen great improvements in the way people are treated for more severe mental health problems, such as increased focus and investment in primary care and community services as an alternative to treatment in hospital settings.

As part of this journey, older adult mental health services in Walsall have been through a transformation programme to strengthen the care provided in the community, offering more choice and services closer to home. This has included developing nurse roles in primary care, working with GPs and the wider primary care teams, enhancing the community mental health team so that it is available for longer hours across seven days, re-providing the day service in the community, and now the last part of the journey, to provide inpatient beds in a brand new, purpose-built, modern environment.

Older adult inpatient beds are currently provided across two wards at Bloxwich Hospital. As the hospital was not purpose built for older adult inpatients, the current ward environment and layout can provide challenges in providing enough day space for patient groups and therapeutic activities. As a result, our commissioners and regulators are supportive of the Trust exploring alternative options as a way of continually trying to provide an improved level of service for older adult inpatients.

A team of clinicians, managers, Experts by Experience and estates staff looked at a number of options and scored each one against set criteria. The option to relocate the wards to Dorothy Pattison Hospital came out highest.

To help us develop our plans further we would like to hear your views. We have produced an engagement document that provides more information on the proposals.

We would like as many people as possible to have the opportunity to tell us what they think about our plans. If you have any concerns, comments, or need any further clarification, then we’re waiting to hear from you.

You can let us know what you think about our plans by:

Clinical Service Development Team

Dudley and Walsall Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust

2nd Floor, Trafalgar House

47-49 King Street

Dudley

DY2 8PS

  • Speaking to us on 01384 325022

Deadline for feedback is Friday 22 December 2017.

Have your say – TCT event invitation

Later this year our three organisations: Birmingham Community Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust (BCHC); Black Country Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (BCP); Dudley and Walsall Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust (DWMH) plan to integrate into one organisation. Our partnership is called Transforming Care Together (TCT), although we will have a new name when we combine as one organisation.

We want to hear from you at our next public mental health engagement event which will be held on Wednesday 1 November at 1:30pm – 4:30pm at West Bromwich Albion Football Club, The Hawthorns, West Bromwich B71 4LF.

At the event, you will get an opportunity to hear about the feedback we have received so far and how this will help us to develop our plans. We will also share more information about our plans to develop mental health services and how you can be involved.

Anyone interested in our partnership and the work we are doing to develop mental health services is welcome. To book your place, please contact katepritchard1@nhs.net or call 0121 612 8143 / 07469 872190. You can find more here.

BCHC appoints Richard Kirby as new CEO

Birmingham Community Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust (BCHC) is to appoint Richard Kirby as its new chief executive*.

Richard Kirby is currently chief executive of Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust and is expected to take up the new role early in the New Year. The BCHC appointment follows the departure of Tracy Taylor to become chief executive of Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust.

BCHC, one of the country’s largest providers of community and specialist health services, is currently in the advanced stages of integration planning with two other trusts, Black Country Partnership NHS Foundation Trust and Dudley and Walsall Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust. The three trusts are working towards combining as one organisation from 1 December, 2017 and Richard Kirby will become chief executive of the newly integrated and larger trust.

Tom Storrow, BCHC chair, said: “We are delighted to appoint Richard Kirby as our next chief executive, following a most competitive recruitment process. We believe that, in Richard, we have secured an excellent appointment, able to pick up the momentum of the organisation and take us forward into the future.

“Our imminent integration with our two partner trusts presents an opportunity to help shape an exciting future for a trust combining high quality community and mental health services.

“I am sure that staff, Board and Governors will join me in welcoming him to the Trust and working with him into the next stage of our development.”

Richard Kirby said: “I have been privileged to work with some of the most committed and caring staff during my time in Walsall and I am proud of the considerable progress we have made in recent years.

“I am committed to the development of community services to ensure our patients receive the support they need to continue living healthily at home, where they want to be and I look forward to continuing to do so in my role at Birmingham Community Healthcare.”

Richard has worked in the role of chief executive at Walsall Healthcare for six years leading the Trust’s improvement journey and the development of its community services to help keep people well at home, working closely with partners in primary care, mental health and social care. Before that, Richard worked at Sandwell & West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust as director of strategy and chief operating officer.

Tracy Taylor, outgoing BCHC chief executive, said: “I would like to congratulate Richard on his appointment and wish him all the best for the future. I know that Richard will be well supported by a thoroughly professional and patient-focused team.”

Peter Axon, currently deputy chief executive and chief finance officer, will lead the trust as interim chief executive until Richard Kirby commences in post.

*In accordance with NHS Foundation Trust status, this appointment remains subject to Board of Governors approval.

Wellbeing workshop for World Mental Health Day

The Trust are encouraging members of the public to attend a workshop around the five ways to wellbeing in celebration of World Mental Health Day. The event will be taking place on Wednesday 11 October at Dudley Library, St James’s Road, DY1 1HR at 1pm.

The theme for this year’s World Mental Health Day is mental health in the workplace and how employers and employees can better look after their mental wellbeing or that of their staff.

The free workshop will offer practical and helpful advice to attendees as well as exploring evidence-based techniques that can help to improve their mental wellbeing. Attendees will have the opportunity to find out how the key principles of the five ways to wellbeing – connect, be active, take notice, keep learning, give – can affect their day-to-day lives.

To book a place at this event, or for more information, please contact Iram Maan at iram.maan@nhs.net, Cara Evans at cara.evans@dudley.gov.uk or call 01384 815555.

Mental Health Forum and AGM

We are inviting the public to find out more about the relationship between physical and mental health at their our quarterly mental health forum, as well as reviewing our performance over the past year at our Annual General Meeting (AGM).

The event, which is open to all, will be held on Friday 22 September, 10am – 2.30pm at The New Art Gallery, Walsall WS2 8LG.

The mental health forum entitled ‘Healthy Mind, Healthy You’ will look at how physical and mental health goes hand in hand through talks and presentations from members of staff, service users and Experts by Experience. There will also be workshops and information on therapeutic activities available to the public.

Following a free lunch, the AGM will give attendees the opportunity to hear about the Trust’s latest achievements and plans for the future, including information on the Transforming Care Together partnership work with Birmingham Community Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust and Black Country Partnership NHS Foundation Trust.

Mark Axcell, Chief Executive, commented: “It’s an exciting time for our Trust and the local health economy, particularly as we work towards integrating physical and mental health and working collaboratively. Our AGM is a chance for us to share our achievements over the last twelve months and look forward to our plans for the future. Everyone is invited to come along to find out more about our Trust and put their questions to the Board and health professionals.”

If you would like to register for the mental health forum, AGM or both, please email dwmh.communication@nhs.net or call 01384 325015.

Transforming Care Together (TCT) public events

TCT
On 1 October 2017, our three organisations: Birmingham Community Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust (BCHC); Black Country Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (BCP); Dudley and Walsall Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust (DWMH) will integrate into one organisation, subject to approval by our regulator, NHS Improvement.

Our partnership is called Transforming Care Together (TCT), although in October we will have a new name for our integrated organisation.

We understand that people may have questions about the TCT partnership and our plans to integrate into one organisation. You may also want to get involved with the work that we are doing.

TCT public drop-in events
Would you like to know more about TCT? Do you have a question about what TCT may mean for you?

Whether you are: a current service user, a carer or family member of a service user; a member of staff; a public member of one of our trusts; or a member of the public, we understand that you may have questions about the change that is happening to our organisations.

We have organised a number of awareness stands where you can drop-in and chat to one of our friendly governors or members of staff. They will be on hand to share an update on what we are doing and answer any questions you have. They are also an opportunity for you to let us know if you would like to become more involved in the work that we are doing.

Sessions across Dudley and Walsall are as follows:

The stands are located across Birmingham and the Black Country. You are welcome to pop into the most convenient location to you. Click here for a full list of locations.

If you are unable to make any of these times you can get in touch with us by emailing tct.partnership@nhs.net.

Transforming Care Together (TCT) stakeholder events
We are holding three events during August which will give you an opportunity to learn more about TCT, in particular how we will develop our mental health, learning disability and children’s services. We hope that you will come along to learn more and to contribute to the discussions. You are welcome to attend any or all of the events. Further details can be found here.

If you would like to attend any of the events, you can book your place by contacting communication@dwmh.nhs.uk or 01384 325 015.

There is more information about TCT in this leaflet and online at www.transformingcaretogether.org

Nominate a member of staff today!


Do you know an unsung hero? An individual, team or volunteer who goes the extra mile to make a difference to patients’ lives?

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, we want you to make a nomination.

Closing date for nominations is 5pm on Tuesday 1 August, so don’t delay in submitting your nomination today! Click here for more information.

This event has been sponsored by Kier and Watson-Batty Architects.

Dawn Jones Art Prize 2017

We are proud to be hosting the Dawn Jones Art Prize for our twelfth year. The competition invites people with experience of mental health conditions – whether that’s personal experience or as a carer, close friend/relative or employee of a mental health organisation – to create inspiring artwork.

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.

The competition aims to offer people with experience of mental health conditions the opportunity to express themselves and create meaningful artwork for people to enjoy. It also aims to raise awareness of mental health issues and help reduce the stigma associated with mental illness.

Mark Axcell, Chief Executive, said “It’s very important that we keep this campaign going. It means a lot to those who enter and, since we started hosting the competition, we have seen such a high calibre of work with real meaningful and powerful messages behind them. It’s great to see how this competition inspires people with experience of ill mental health. It is very rewarding for everyone involved.”

People can enter one piece of artwork for either of the following categories:

a) What makes me happy
b) What I am hopeful for

Submit your entry by Monday 31 July for a chance to win a prize of £100 in vouchers of your choice and the opportunity to have your work displayed.

Artwork can be completed using any medium, or combination of media, as long as it can be hung onto a wall. It can be oil or water paint, charcoal, textile, collage, photography or digital art (sculptures must be no larger than 30cm in height or width). This year, we will also be accepting poetry. All work should be accompanied by a short paragraph about how mental health has touched your life and how art helps you.

For further enquires, contact the communications team at communication@dwmh.nhs.uk. You can also find full competition guidelines at www.dwmh.nhs.uk/artprize.

Birch Day Hospital Consultation

Redesign of mental health services – proposal to close Birch Day Hospital Consultation 19 June 2017 until 13 July 2017

Dudley Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and Dudley and Walsall Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust (DWMH) are proposing to close the Birch Day Hospital later this year as part of a redesign of services. One of the functions of Birch Day Hospital is around enhancing assessment and treatment to try and reduce risk of mental health hospital admission. The redesign will now see this take place closer to home with the introduction of older adult mental health home treatment service with potential for assessment, support and treatment seven days a week and up to 3 times a day visits when required.

Patients that have accessed the Birch Day Hospital previously will continue to retain access to psychological interventions which will take place within the community rather than a hospital setting, again promoting care closer to home. Every patient will also be seen individually/with their carer by the team at Birch Day Hospital for a conversation around what kind of support or help they may require if we close the day hospital. There will also be investment in new services that will bring care closer to home for mental health treatment including therapeutic services and patients affected by dementia will access services via the Dudley Dementia Gateways in a dementia friendly environment.

We will be holding a public meeting and drop in session on Tuesday 11 July at 3.30pm at the Dell Stadium, Bryce Road, Pensnett, DY5 4NB. This will be your opportunity to meet with Andrew Hindle, Commissioning Engagement Manager for Integration at Dudley CCG, and Nick Stephens, Head of Service for Community at DWMH, to find out more and ask any questions that you may have.

If you would like to book a place, please contact Maria Prosser on 01384 323602 or email maria.prosser@dudleyccg.nhs.uk. If you are unable to attend the event, you can still share your views regarding the redesign of Birch Day Hospital services by completing a short survey which can be found on Dudley CCG’s website here: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/XJNDZFV.

More information about the consultation process can be found here: http://www.dudleyccg.nhs.uk/engagement-and-consultations/.

Our consultation will run from 19 June 2017 and finish on 13 July 2017. All views and feedback will be considered and taken to the CCG Clinical Development Committee for a final decision.

‘New Horizons’ for migrant mental health

In collaboration with Black Country Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, Dudley and Walsall Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust have set up a new project which is aimed at improving the mental health and wellbeing of new migrant families in the Dudley area.

The group called ‘New Horizons’ will meet every Wednesday, starting on Wednesday 5 July, from 10:30am – 12:30pm at Netherton Healthy Hub, Netherton Park, DY2 9QF, and will provide signposting, support and a variety of activities for attendees. Free refreshments will also be provided.

To find out more information about the group, please call Justine Morris on 01384 366213 or Iram Maan on 01384 366517 or email iram.maan@dwmh.nhs.uk.

Mental Health Forum: Positive peer support

Dudley and Walsall Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust will be hosting an event on Thursday 22 June which will focus on peer support for those with mental health issues, the development of personal/life skills and the positive impact of healthy employment.

The mental health forum, which takes place quarterly, will be held at Forest Arts Centre, Hawbush Road, Walsall, WS3 1AG at 11am – 1pm.

Following a short film to open the event, attendees will hear from a service user and gain their perspective on peer support and how it was beneficial to their recovery process. The Trust’s employment service will discuss the benefits of employment/training, ending with an overview on how the Trust assists with the development of peer support for its patients.

Some service users who attend the Trust’s peer support groups will give a short presentation on the variety of support that they have received and how this has aided their recovery.

A free lunch will be provided.

Due to the increasing popularity of the forums, bookings are required. Please email communication@dwmh.nhs.uk or call 01384 325015 to secure a place at this free event or for more information. If you would like to have a stall to promote your service, resources or support, please contact Tracy Cross at tracy.cross@dwmh.nhs.uk or call 01384 324531.

Celebrating equality and diversity

On Tuesday 16 May 2017, the equality and diversity lead for the Trust and the community development worker team delivered a presentation on mental health and equality to members of the Dudley Borough Interfaith Network (DBIN). The event took place at Wellington Road Community Centre in Dudley and attracted over 45 members to the event. Paul Singh, Equality and Diversity Lead, delivered his presentation on religion and belief, one of the nine protected characteristics of the equality act, and spoke about the chaplaincy service within the Trust.

Reverend Bev Thomas delivered a talk entitled ‘What Race?’, which looked at equality and diversity and focused on our stories as immigrants to the UK. Iram Maan, Community Development Worker, finished off the evening with a presentation on mental health services available locally in Dudley. It was an excellent opportunity to raise the profile of both mental health and equality and diversity.

Dudley Public Healthcare Forum

Dudley CCG want to look at Mental Health services for adults currently being delivered in Dudley, to ensure services are effective as well as identifying gaps in delivery. To do this, they would like to hear from anyone who has an interest in mental health services in Dudley.

If you would like to contribute to the discussions, whether you, your family or your friends have been involved with mental health services, or you have a general interest in mental health and want to help shape the future of mental health services for Dudley, then why not join them at their friendly and relaxed healthcare forum?

You’ll meet your local GPs and other partners involved in planning and delivering services. Click here to see a promotional poster for the event.

Adult mental health needs assessment for Dudley

Dudley CCG and Dudley Council would like your opinion on mental health services in Dudley. The two organisations are currently working in partnership to complete an adult mental health needs assessment for Dudley, which will look at the needs of the adult population of Dudley as a whole. If you would like to give your opinion, please complete the survey here.

Alternatively, if you would like a physical copy of the survey to complete, a large print or postal version, please contact communication@dwmh.nhs.uk or call 01384 325 015. Read More

Join us for Mental Health Awareness Week!

We will be running a series of free events across Dudley to celebrate Mental Health Awareness Week, running from 8–12 May.

This years’ Mental Health Awareness Week will focus on ‘surviving or thriving’ and to celebrate, the Trust will run events exploring the areas of the five ways to wellbeing, helping the public take care of their mental health and maintain their wellbeing:

Be active Tuesday 9 May

  • Mary Stevens Park for greenfit exercise session: 9:30am
  • Huntingtree Park for buggy walk: 9:15am
  • Netherton Park for body conditioning: 9:30am
  • Halesowen Leisure Centre for health check and circuit class (women only):12 – 2pm

Giving and keep learning Wednesday 10 May, DY1 Stafford Street

  • 10am – Workshop on volunteering with Dudley Council for Voluntary Services
  • 11am – iPads and craft activities
  • 12pm – Floristry and beauty workshop
  • 1pm – Free lunch

Take notice Thursday 11 May, Dudley Library

  • 1pm – 2:30pm: A free mindfulness session will be held to help attendees take notice of their surrounding

Booking is required for events held on Wednesday 10 and Thursday 11 May via cdw@dwmh.nhs.uk or call 01384 366517.

Trust receives ‘good’ rating from CQC

A local specialist mental health Trust has moved from a ‘requires improvement’ rating to ‘good’ for the quality of care it delivers to its local community.

Dudley and Walsall Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust, which provides care to approximately 560,000 children, adults and older people across Dudley and Walsall, was inspected by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) in November last year. Inspectors found that overall considerable improvements had been made since the last inspection in February 2016 and the Trust has now been rated ‘good’ for providing safe, caring, responsive and well-led services.

The hospital inspection team praised staff for showing a ‘dedicated and caring attitude towards the people who used the service’ and found the Trust’s core services to be ‘responsive to the needs of the people who used them and demonstrated listening and learning from complaints’. The inspection team also found that:

  • Leadership across the trust at a senior management level had continued to develop a new positive culture of leadership.
  • Since its inspection in February 2016, the trust had reduced waiting lists for the specialist community services for children and young people.
  • In most services, staff morale was good and staff reported managers supporting them to carry out their roles effectively.

Mark Axcell, Chief Executive at Dudley and Walsall Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust, said: “We are delighted with the Care Quality Commission’s (CQC) recommendation; it is a testament to the hard work and commitment of our staff to delivering the highest standard of care for our patients. I’m extremely proud of the Trust’s achievements over the past 12 months and of staff for working tirelessly to continue improving and developing in a climate that is particularly challenging for mental health providers. I’m pleased this hard work has been reflected in the Trust’s move from a ‘requires improvement’ rating to ‘good’.

“We do recognise however, that there is always work to be done and following the inspection we will develop an action plan to build on the areas which were highlighted in the report as needing improving to ensure that we are on track to achieve our goal of becoming an ‘outstanding’ organisation.”

The CQC’s recommendation follows the Trust’s annual staff survey results which were published this month. The Trust was ranked the highest or joint highest scoring specialist mental health trust in a number of areas and rated the top NHS provider in the country for the percentage of staff satisfied with; the opportunities for flexible working patterns, the recognition they receive for good work, the support their managers provide in a personal crisis and their level of pay.

Trust ranked amongst best performing nationally

Dudley and Walsall Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust (DWMH) have again performed exceptionally well in the annual NHS Staff Survey, achieving some of the top scores in the mental health sector.

The survey, which is carried out by an independent organisation Quality Health, ranked DWMH the highest or joint highest scoring specialist mental health trust in 15 areas. These included staff feeling like concerns raised by service users are acted upon, staff receiving recognition for their good work and the organisation taking positive action on workers’ health and wellbeing.

DWMH were also rated the top NHS provider in the country for the percentage of staff satisfied with; the opportunities for flexible working patterns, the recognition they receive for good work, the support their managers provide in a personal crisis and their level of pay.

Some of the key headlines include:

  • 92% of staff feel that their role makes a difference to service users
  • 83% of staff agreed that DWMH acts on concerns raised by service users, compared to 78% for the sector
  • DWMH were ranked within the top four mental health trusts for staff agreeing that they would recommend the trust as a place to work (62% compared to 56% for the sector)

Mark Axcell, Chief Executive, commented “This year’s findings are extremely positive and demonstrate our commitment to improving the way we work and how we deliver patient care. Whilst we are really pleased with the overall findings from the survey, we do recognise there are areas for improvement and we will ensure that this important feedback is acted upon in order to continually improve both patient and staff experience.”

These encouraging results build upon previous staff survey results and endorse the work that the Trust does to ensure high quality services are delivered, enabling many local people to achieve recovery. The full NHS Staff Survey results can be found here.

Healthwatch Walsall advisory board vacancies

John Taylor, former regional head of the Big Lottery Fund, was appointed chairman of Healthwatch Walsall last month. John, along with Simon Fogell, Chief Officer, is looking for up to ten volunteers to steer the work of the organisation which aims to improve health and social care in the Walsall borough. They will aim to work constructively with local health and social care providers and commissioners, other local Healthwatch organisations and the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

Members of the advisory board are responsible for driving the development of the service and will act as the eyes and ears of the organisation, monitoring the quality of services and creating strong public engagement. Advisory board members will also help decide the priorities for Healthwatch activity and formulate future plans for the organisation. Duties are expected to take only two days per month, with out-of-pocket expenses reimbursed. Volunteers need no formal qualifications.

Anyone interested is urged to call 01922 665010, email info@healthwatchwalsall.co.uk or visit the Healthwatch website. The closing date for applications is Wednesday 15 February.

Volunteering opportunity

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.

 

Please note, we are not currently  taking any volunteering applications.

Keeping the Body in Mind

Professional film production company, Endboard Productions, have produced a short film through funding received from the Royal College of Psychiatrists which aims to raise patients and families awareness of the physical health issues that can be present for people with more complex mental health illnesses.

Keeping the Body in Mind’ is primarily aimed at service users and carers but is equally useful for GPs, frontline mental health professionals and third sector organisations that focus on severe mental illness.

Professor Safi Afghan, Consultant Psychiatrist, worked closely on this project, gaining acknowledgement for the Trust’s input and support for the film.

Maintain your mental health and wellbeing

Our next Mental Health Forum will be taking place on Thursday 16 March and will focus on the topic of wellbeing and will include talks from guest speakers, stalls providing information and advice on services available to you and a chance to talk with mental health professionals. As well as gaining information on the services we provide, attendees will be given the chance to network with local organisations and others who have experience of mental health services. Read More

Have your say on local health services – Join the big conversation

NHS Walsall Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is launching a series of events to find out what people think about local health services.

In January Walsall CCG will launch The Big Conversation, borough-wide public engagement on healthcare services in Walsall.

A launch event will take place on 24 January from 9.30am to 1.30pm at Walsall Town Hall, Leicester Street, Walsall WS1 1TP.

Anyone is welcome to attend this free event, but you must book a place on our website www.walsallccg.nhs.uk/

We are keen to discuss the following services with Walsall people:

  • Urgent care (A&E, Urgent Care, Out of hours services)
  • GP services
  • Community services (district nursing, physiotherapy, podiatry, etc.)

Further events focusing in more detail on these services will be held in different communities in the coming months:

  • 9 February at 3.00pm at Rushall Community Centre, Springfields, Rushall WS4 1JT
  • 9 March at 1.00pm at Moxley People’s Centre, 3 Queen St, Wednesbury WS10 8TA

The Big Conversation will also take to the road with a camper van visiting a range of venues in March to gather further local experiences and feedback on health services in Walsall. Read More

Find out more about emotional wellbeing

We will be holding a series of drop-in events across the remainder of the year at several libraries within the Dudley borough.

The emotional health and wellbeing drop-ins are run by our Community Development Workers (CDWs) and will provide members of the public the opportunity to find out more information about improving their mental and overall wellbeing within a friendly, safe and comfortable environment.

The drop-ins are a chance for the local community to gain information from the CDW team, who will be on hand to signpost individuals and support them in contacting appropriate services and organisations.

No booking or appointment is necessary. These sessions will run on the following dates:

  • Tuesday 10 January, 1pm – 2:30pm, Dudley Library
  • Wednesday 15 February, 1pm – 2:30pm, Stourbridge Library
  • Thursday 2 March, 10am – 12pm, Halesowen Library
  • Thursday 30 March, 10am – 12pm, Brierley Hill Library

Iram Maan, part of the CDW team, said “We know that people are often too embarrassed or scared to talk to someone about how they are feeling, these drop-ins provide those people the opportunity to talk to us to get the help and support they need. We want to support the people of Dudley to live their lives and maintain their wellbeing.”

For more information, please contact Iram Maan, Community Development Worker, on 01384 366517 or email cdw@dwmh.nhs.uk.

Time to Talk Day – Help start a conversation

On Thursday 2 February, our Community Development Workers (CDWs) will be celebrating ‘Time to Talk Day’ by hosting a ‘Time To Talk Day’ event at Wellington Road Community Centre, 27 Wellington Road, Dudley, DY1 1RB, from 11am – 2pm.

The ‘Time to Talk Day’ campaign, organised by Time to Change, was set up in 2014 in the hope to get people talking about their mental health and challenge those stigmas surrounding mental health issues.

The event will offer attendees a chance to talk about mental health and find ways of improving their  own health and wellbeing. Along with getting the local public talking about their mental health, these events will also provide the opportunity to find out more about the services that are available from stallholders including local libraries, police, Healthwatch, adult/community learning teams and many more. There will also be a free lunch on the day.

We want to take the opportunity to show members of the public that 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. This isn’t right and it’s why we want to help break the silence and end stigma.

For more information or to book a place, please contact cdw@dwmh.nhs.uk or call 01384 366517.

 

Appointment of external auditor

Following changes to the local external audit arrangements as a result of the Local Audit Accountability Act 2014, NHS trusts are required to procure and locally appoint their own auditors for the year 2017/18 and subsequent financial years.

Under the requirements of the Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014, the Trust is making it known that it has completed its procurement for its External Auditor starting in the financial year 2017/18.

Grant Thornton UK LLP were approved as the Trust’s External Auditor at the Trust’s Board on 8 December 2016 following the recommendation from the Auditor Panel to appoint Grant Thornton UK LLP.

The appointment is for a one year period.

Pathways 4 Life mental health support

The Minds Matter Café provides people with mental health conditions the opportunity to take part in social activities with other people in a similar situation and share experiences.

The session has an informal approach and offers a relaxed and empathetic environment. Refreshments will be provided. Information around other services and support will be also be available each sessions. Our Therapy and Liaison Community Service will be present at sessions to provide additional support and specialist advice.

Sessions run on the second and fourth Thursday of every month, 10am – 12pm, St Catherine’s with St Chad’s Church, Edison Road, Beechdale, Walsall, WS2 7HT.