About Us

Becoming renowned as the best integrated care organisation in the NHS

Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust is an integrated care organisation.  We are dedicated to improving the lives of local people, to maintaining an outstanding reputation for teaching and education, and to embedding innovation and research.  We employ around 7,500 people and spend around £430m of public money, largely drawn from our local Clinical Commissioning Group.  That Group and this Trust is responsible for the care of 530,000 local people from across North-West Birmingham and all the towns within Sandwell.

Our teams are committed to providing compassionate, high quality care from City Hospital on Birmingham’s Dudley Road, from Sandwell General Hospital in West Bromwich, and from our intermediate care hubs at Rowley Regis and at Leasowes in Smethwick (which is also our stand-alone Birth Centre’s base).  The Trust includes the Birmingham and Midland Eye Centre (a supra-regional eye hospital), as well as the Pan-Birmingham Gynae-Cancer Centre, our Sickle Cell and Thalassaemia Centre, and the regional base for the National Poisons Information Service – all based at City.  Inpatient paediatrics, most general surgery, and our stroke specialist centre are located at Sandwell.  We have significant academic departments in cardiology, rheumatology, ophthalmology, and neurology.  Our community teams deliver care across Sandwell providing integrated services for children in schools, GP practices and at home, and offering both general and specialist home care for adults, in nursing homes and hospice locations.

In 2013-14, 5,586 women gave birth with our help.  564,395 people attended outpatient clinics and we delivered over 736,852 community contacts. 176,496 attended our two A&Es and our eye casualty, of whom 38,479 were admitted to inpatient beds.  We undertook 82,295 emergency and elective operations, of which 47,431 were on a day-case basis.  From this work in 2012-13, 778  made formal complaints and we received a large number of compliments for the work of our employees.  In the 2012 national NHS staff survey, 59% of our staff would recommend or strongly recommend our services if a friend or relative needed treatment.

Each year we publish a quality account to outline to local people how our services compare to our aims and to others.  The latest data shows that:

Outcome:  Our standardised mortality rate for the 12-month period concluding January 2014 was 91.4. This suggests that we had a slightly lower than expected mortality.  Infection: 1 patient contracted MRSA with us in the last 13 months and our C difficile rate was 39 for 2013/2014.

Harm-free care:  We achieved 98.7% coverage for VTE assessment in March 2014 and during 2013-2014 had no avoidable grade 4 pressure sores.

Safe stays: Our overall readmission rate within 30-days of discharge during 2013 was 8.9%., and length of stay in our beds was 3.7 days, lower than the national average.

Waiting times: We were compliant with national standards for the care of stroke and cancer patients.  Our A&E at Sandwell met the 4 hour standard and most specialties (and the Trust as a whole) met the 18-week standard for waits set out in the NHS Constitution.  A number of specialties need still to achieve compliance, and we have to consistently exceed the emergency care standard at both hospitals.

Committed to public health and local regeneration

We are a key partner in efforts to change the shape of care in our area.  The ‘Right Care, Right Here’ partnership has now run for ten years.  Our intention is to provide substantially more care at home and rely less on acute hospitals.  We aim to move 350,000 appointments out of traditional settings and close a further 20% of our hospital beds, as we have safely closed 25% over the last ten years.  Whilst most of the programme involves investment in GP surgeries and health centres, we still plan to relocate our acute care into a single purpose built hospital.  A site on Grove Lane in Smethwick has been purchased for this purpose, following public consultation in 2006.  If our plans are approved in 2014-15 we will open our new facility in 2018-19.  The new hospital will act as a major employment opportunity for local people and is part of a wider scheme to develop the area adjacent to the site.

Our training and education team are outward facing in sourcing the workforce we need for the long-term.  We have a very active programme of apprentices and school experience joint working.  We are partners in the Sandwell University Technical College development.  More widely we work closely with Birmingham City University, Wolverhampton University, Birmingham and Aston Universities.  The Learning Works is out community-based recruitment and training resource.

The Trust Board is committed to developing ever more consistent links into our local communities, working with voluntary sector, faith, and grassroots organisations.  The development of our governing body and the expansion plans we have for our charitable foundation will also reinforce this work.

During 2014-15 we will publish our Public Health and Community Development strategy, which will seek to outline the contribution we currently make and plan to make to tackling the underlying causes of ill-health in the communities that we serve.

Investing in the future

Each year we spend around £25m on new equipment and expanding services.  This is generated by the savings we make in how we provide care. This includes consistently meeting NHS-wide efficiency requirements.  We report financial results annually and typically target a surplus of around 1.5% of turnover, which we re-invest in patient care.  Over the next decade we will make major investments in three areas:  In the skills and training or our workforce; in the technology we use to both care for and communicate with patients and partners; and in our estate – in part through our plan to build the Midland Metropolitan Hospital to rationalise acute care.

The Trust is supported by Capsticks, a market leader in the provision of legal services within the healthcare sector