One new acute hospital

The areas of Sandwell and West Birmingham suffer from some of the highest levels of deprivation in the country.  This has a direct effect on the health of these communities which in turn impacts on the services dedicated to supporting them.

Here are some facts outlining the health needs of our local population:

  • Men and women live three to four years less than the national average
  • Infant mortality rates are high, and in some places twice the national average
  • One in five people has a long-term illness which affects their daily life
  • There are health variations across the area; generally black and minority ethnic groups have poorer health than others.

To tackle these issues we want to commit more money to prevention of ill health.  And we want to provide more care in local settings, especially for long term illnesses.

It is essential that acute services at Sandwell and City Hospitals be centralised at one, fit-for-purpose, technologically advanced premises to enable all services to be better located in the community and to improve care.

Our existing hospitals need substantial maintenance.  City Hospital was originally built in 1887 as a workhouse infirmary, with all of the current inpatient wards dating from this period.  Sandwell General Hospital was also originally a workhouse infirmary, though the main clinical areas date from the 1970s.  Barely 1 in 20 of the beds at City Hospital is in a single room, making the control of infections difficult.

In response to this, our Trust set out to deliver improved physical, mental and social wellbeing, describing the need to redesign the whole health and social care system in Sandwell and West Birmingham.  This requires a major change in service provision – namely, a substantial transfer of care into more local community and primary care settings and a significant improvement in performance in acute/emergency hospital services.

Above all else, this new approach to healthcare, which is made possible by Midland Met, is totally driven by patient need – patients like Maisy.  Her story was developed by a local GP and is based on a real patient and represents a recognisable patient profile for the local area – both medically and socially.