Chief Medical Officer visit shines spotlight on Community Care Collaborative | Our News

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Chief Medical Officer visit shines spotlight on Community Care Collaborative

England’s Chief Medical Officer Professor Chris Whitty met with leaders across health and care in Birmingham to discover more about work underway to transform services and reduce inequalities in health in the city.

Hosted by Birmingham City Council’s Director of Public Health Dr Justin Varney and Deputy Director of Public Health Jo Tonkin, Professor Whitty visited a host of locations including Washwood Heath Health and Wellbeing Centre in East Birmingham - home to the East Birmingham Locality Hub.

Launched in November 2023, the Hub is part of the new Birmingham and Solihull Community Care Collaborative which aims to deliver integrated services in local neighbourhoods to help citizens access the healthcare they need, when and where they need it, so they stay well for longer in their own surroundings.

Led by Birmingham Community Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust (BCHC), the Collaborative is a partnership between primary care, community health and mental health services, social care and the community and voluntary sector.

Professor Whitty met frontline staff and saw live in action how the work of the Locality Hub, which includes a care coordination centre and the East Integrated Neighbourhood Team, is helping to prevent citizens from needing hospital care or reducing the time they stay in hospital by providing the treatment they need in the community.  

Meanwhile, Professor Whitty also had a roundtable discussion with key health and care leaders including NHS Birmingham and Solihull Integrated Care Board’s (BSol ICB) Chief Medical Officer Dr Clara Day and Chair Professor Patrick Vernon OBE and BCHC’s CEO Richard Kirby, Chief Transformation Officer Chris Holt and Associate Director of Transformation Matthew Forrest.  At the roundtable, Birmingham Heartlands Hospital’s Executive Director Dr Rifat Rashid and Director of Operations Ed Landon also provided insight into how the Hub was working to improve the coordination of intermediate care services which is allowing Heartlands Hospital to better manage urgent and emergency care pressures and improve patient experience.

Later in the visit, Dr Imran Zaman, BSol ICB’s GP Partnership Board Member (West Locality) and West Locality Hub Lead, also provided an overview of the wider work being done to improve access to primary care services.

Dr Clara Day, Chief Medical Officer at BSol ICB, said: “We were delighted to welcome Professor Chris Whitty to Birmingham, enabling him to see first-hand both the challenges of improving access to health and care and reducing health inequalities in our diverse and complex neighbourhoods, and also the innovation underway to overcome those challenges.”

Richard Kirby, CEO of BCHC, said: “We are at the start of an ambitious and exciting journey to create a model, delivered via our Community Care Collaborative, that will see teams from all areas of health and social care coming together in a truly integrated way to help citizens across Birmingham and Solihull to live longer and healthier lives in their own homes and communities.

“Locality Hubs, Integrated Neighbourhood Teams and improved intermediate care services are at the forefront of this work. It was a pleasure to be able to outline our progress to date and our future ambitions to Professor Whitty as we continue on our journey of transformation.”

Pictured: BCHC Chief Transformation Officer Chris Holt with Professor Chris Whitty and Integrated Care Board Chair Patrick Vernon.

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