Engaging with local people

Over the past ten years health and social care partners have been working to deliver quality care for patients in Sandwell and West Birmingham. At every step of our journey we have looked to keep local people informed and involved in our work.

In 2006 Right Care Right Here partners launched a large public consultation called ‘Towards 2010’, with patients and a wide range of organisations, to understand how to develop a long term, high quality health and social care system for Sandwell and West Birmingham.

Following this consultation, partners have undertaken a number of service transformations where we have involved local people, including:

  • Transforming maternity services in 2011 by locating high risk maternity and neonatal services at City Hospital along with the Serenity Midwife-led Birthing Centre and the purpose-built Halycon Midwife-led Birthing Unit. This has led to improvements with more women having a more natural birth experience.
  • Improving stroke services in 2013, by locating services onto the Sandwell Hospital site. Already we have seen improvements for patients, with faster access to treatment and thrombolysis and rapid access for patients with mini-strokes
  • Modernising Community Nursing in 2014, by speaking to over 800 local people to hear there views on how we can improve community nursing services. Since then we have worked with local partners to improve the care patients receive.  

Some of our most recent engagement activities include:

  • Cardiology, surgery and trauma services

Between January and March 2015 we held a listening exercise about urgent cardiology, emergency surgery and trauma assessment services at Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust. We know that creating specialist units on single sites for these services can deliver better care for patients.

We attended around 74 community meetings, speaking to over 1,400 people to discuss proposals to locate urgent cardiology services at City Hospital and emergency surgery and trauma assessment at Sandwell Hospital later in 2015. We also sent out details of the listening exercise, including a survey to a potential reach of 17,800 people.

64 per cent of people agreed that change was needed. Single site working was supported by three quarters of survey respondents with their reasoning based on getting faster access to treatment and a belief that the changes will lead to better outcomes for patients and more concentrated expertise.

Following this feedback and approval from the Overview and Scrutiny Committee, the Trust implemented the changes to urgent cardiology in August 2015 and emergency surgery and trauma assessment in November 2015. You can find out more in our latest news section. 

  • Urgent and emergency care

During February and March 2015 we held a listening exercise about urgent and emergency care. We know from listening to patients and clinicians that urgent and emergency care services are under increasing pressure and are often confusing for patients. We are reviewing our current services to identify how we can improve the care provided.

At least 9,415 people were reached through electronic/ postal mailings and distribution of materials within local communities. We also attended 49 engagement events with over 1,100 attendees.

This feedback is helping to shape our urgent and emergency care workstream. Work is still ongoing and you can find out more by visiting our urgent and emergency care page. 

  • Visiting local communities

During 2015 our programme team has been attending a range of community events, across Sandwell and West Birmingham, to update local people on our Right Care Right Here work, answer any questions and listen to local views. We will let you know of any future meetings on our events page.

You can find out more about our engagement work by visiting our get involved page.