Jul 14th 2015

Three NHS Trusts launch significant alliance on Black Country Day

Three NHS organisations launch long-term partnership in the Black Country on Black Country Day.

Three NHS trusts are today beginning a new alliance in the Black Country. The Black Country Alliance launched today (Tuesday 14th July) to join in with the celebrations for Black Country Day, is a partnership agreement between Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust, The Dudley Group NHS Foundation Trust and Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust.

The three Trusts believe that working together can improve health outcomes for the population of over 1million people who use their services in the Black Country. There is greater potential in some services for excellence and sustainability when provided on a larger scale than a local hospital can provide on its own. One of the aims of the Alliance is to keep and further develop specialist services for the Black Country.

The Alliance will look at new ways of providing care to patients across the Black Country, keeping care closer to home and ensuring specialist skills are kept in the Black Country.

Toby Lewis, Chief Executive, Sandwell & West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust said “This is a landmark announcement. We share a common purpose, common values and together recognise the huge potential to improve outcomes for local people. Specialist care, education and research lie at the heart of our long-term collaboration.”

The Black Country Alliance is governed though a joint public board to oversee a small number of priority areas where all three trusts think there is value in collaborating together. For example we have some specialist areas that are hard to recruit too especially if you are a smaller general hospital, so working across the three trusts provides the scale the specialists need to keep skills up to date and develops services further.

Sandwell Council Leader, Councillor Darren Cooper, welcome the bold move saying “This is a welcome step towards NHS collaboration.  I congratulate these three organisations on coming together to secure and improve services for people across Sandwell, Dudley, Birmingham and Walsall.  Changing health outcomes demands that organisations work differently and this looks like the first of many such collaborations across the NHS.  It is fantastic that the Black Country is leading the way.”

Paul Faulkner, Chief Executive of Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce, said:

“It is fantastic to see these three healthcare institutions working together in the pursuit of improved care for the Black Country residents who rely upon their services.

“The Greater Birmingham Chamber of Commerce has worked closely with the Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust for a number of years and their commitment not only to their patients, but to their local area, is second to none. They will be entering into this partnership because they are confident it is a vehicle to achieving tangible change within the healthcare system.

“The Chamber therefore welcomes and applauds the noble intentions of the Black Country Alliance and hopes that their commitment to effective collaboration can act as an example to people across the West Midlands region.”

If you are interested in the work of the Black Country Alliance we would love to hear from you via www.blackcountryalliance.org/ Blackcountry.alliance@nhs.net

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