Blog Archives

Public urged to tune into virtual AGM

Thursday, June 25th, 2020

Members of the public are invited to find out more about Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust by attending a virtual Annual General Meeting (AGM).

Richard Samuda, chairman of the organisation, will welcome patients, visitors and staff to the meeting on Thursday 2 July.

He will be joined by his fellow Trust Board members as they host a ‘Question Time’ session that can be viewed by members of the public via the video conferencing app WeBex, with questions submitted in advance.

The event will include a presentation by Dr Simon Mitchell and Dr James Gwilt, who are GPs in the leadership team of Your Health Partnership (YHP) Primary Care Network which has recently integrated with the trust to form a new directorate.  They will be talking about how primary care is changing and the opportunities presented by their integration into a single organisation.

Mr Samuda said: “This will be a very different AGM because of the current situation around COVID-19, however we want to make sure that our local communities have an opportunity to hear about the work of the Trust and put their questions to our board members. Questions can be sent in prior to our AGM, that will be answered during the meeting, which can be viewed from the comfort of people’s own homes.”

Electronic copies of the Annual Report, Quality Account and Charity Annual Report will be available on the trust’s website.

The meeting will take place between 5-6.30pm on Thursday 2 July. 

There may be an opportunity for a limited number of people to join the meeting in person at the venue whilst still maintaining strict social distancing guidelines.

The meeting will be held virtually via WebEx. You can join by following the link below at the appointed time and date using the password.

Questions can also be submitted in advance to with “AGM Questions” in the subject header. Trust Board members will respond during the Q&A session.

If people are interested in attending the meeting in person, they must register in advance by emailing

Click the following links to read the Annual Report 2019-20 and the Quality Accounts 2019-20.

Nominate your very own NHS hero for award

Thursday, June 18th, 2020

Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust is urging the public to nominate their very own NHS hero for its annual awards ceremony.

The Trust has launched The Star Awards which recognises some of the best staff working at the organisation.

Communications Director Ruth Wilkin explained: “In this time of pandemic it has never been more important to recognise those NHS workers who are working hard to keep us all safe. We’d love to invite patients in our communities to take a few minutes to think about who they think has been outstanding for them, and put in a nomination to show them they have made a difference.”

Patients are able to nominate employees they think have gone that extra mile for the Quality of Care award, which is one of 21 categories. Ajay Hira, a phlebotomist with the Trust, won the award in last year’s celebration (pictured above second left, with l-r David Carruthers, Medical Director, Richard Samuda, Chairman, and ITV weatherman Des Coleman who hosted the event). 

The organisation runs City, Sandwell and Rowley Regis Hospitals, Leasowes Intermediate Care Centre, as well as GP surgeries Great Bridge Health Centre, Lyndon Health Centre, Heath Street Health Centre, and six practices under Your Health Partnership.

Other categories include a new Nurse/Midwife of the Year award in recognition of International Year of the Nurse and Midwife 2020, which honours the 200th birth anniversary of Florence Nightingale, Employee of the Year, Digital Leader of the Year and the Prize for Innovation.

Nominations close on 3 July. The winner will be presented with their award in a ceremony which is scheduled to take place later this year. To nominate someone for the Quality of Care Award go to

FGM clinic is “much-needed” says survivor

Tuesday, November 26th, 2019

A female genital mutilation (FGM) survivor has welcomed a clinic run by Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust that will offer expert care for victims of the procedure.

The “one-stop” support clinic is based at the Summerfield Primary Care Centre, in Heath Street, Winson Green.

Figures show that Birmingham has the highest rate of reported new cases of FGM, and in Sandwell and West Birmingham there were 310 cases in 2018/19.

Mum-of-four Sarata Jabbi, who was aged just seven when she underwent the horrific act in the Gambia, said the facility, Summerfield Women’s Clinic, is “much-needed”.

Her parents took her and her sisters to have the procedure after buying them new clothes and telling them that they were going to a party. She began campaigning in 2002 after working as a journalist and being made aware that the practice was child abuse and not a religious requirement.

She continued raising awareness after coming to the UK in 2010.

Sarata said: “I think this is a much-needed clinic and will give so many victims a safe and confidential way to seek help. There are many women from the Gambia, Somali, Eritrea and other African countries that have suffered and desperately need treatment as a result of FGM.

“It is a very good initiative and it shows that the NHS has recognised the importance of helping survivors and that the voices of the victims are being heard. 

“Summerfield Primary Care Centre is a well-known venue and is easily accessible for many women from the communities where FGM is practised so I believe it will be a well-used clinic.”

The clinic is one of eight to open across the UK, as announced by NHS England as part of its Long Term Plan. It has been commissioned by Sandwell and West Birmingham Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).

Alison Byrne, Specialist Midwife for FGM who will be running the facility, said: “It is in the heart of the community and will help many women who sometimes are unsure about how to access care or treatment after undergoing this procedure.

“Figures recording the number of women who have had FGM are high. But there are many more out there who haven’t come forward or do not realise that they are a victim of FGM, as it is the norm within their culture. 

“We want to really push out the message that this clinic is there for them to access and can be done so discreetly and in the strictest of confidence.”

Michelle Carolan, Chief Officer for Quality at Sandwell and West Birmingham CCG added: “As the majority of women who have had FGM come into contact with NHS services after they have fallen pregnant – usually between the ages of 25 and 35 – the Birmingham clinic will prioritise swift support and treatment for women between 18 and 25, before they fall pregnant.

“The service will also be available to women outside of childbearing years.”

Hilary Garratt, Deputy Chief Nursing Officer for England, said: “These new NHS clinics will benefit hundreds of women who have suffered this most severe form of abuse and violence. These are clinics for women, run by women.”

“We’ve listened closely to survivors and their advocates and designed these brand new services with them, meaning that these clinics, and the highly-trained staff who will work in it, represents a real step-change in the quality and timeliness of support the NHS provides.”

“Survivors of FGM deserve to be heard and supported – and that is exactly what the NHS is working with them and others to achieve. Not only are we supporting individual women, but the impact this has on their families, communities and of equal importance, the next generation.”


NHS Hero: Alison passionate about making a difference for FGM victims.

Friday, November 22nd, 2019

Alison Byrne, FGM Specialist Midwife

She’s the caring midwife who victims of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) receive help from when they are in need of treatment.

Alison Byrne has been dedicated to the specialist FGM service since it was conceived in 2002 to treat and care for pregnant women within the West Midlands.

The mum-of-two joined Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust two years ago to develop the service further within the area, and is leading the opening of a new FGM clinic for non-pregnant women which is being run by the organisation.

“I have worked within the FGM field for 17 years and still feel incredibly passionate about making a difference for the women who have undergone the procedure,” said Alison, who hails from Sutton Coldfield.

“For the pregnant women, it is mainly to create a positive birth experience and for non-pregnant women it is addressing any physical and psychological issues they may be enduring. I strive to ensure that women that come and see us have the highest standards of care and I use a holistic approach to do this.

“I think it’s really important that when we are treating victims of FGM, we are compassionate and empathetic towards these women who have undergone such an horrific and unnecessary experience.”

Alison runs regular clinics at City Hospital where women’s needs are assessed and identified. She will then create a care plan for them.

Summerfield Women’s Clinic, the new FGM clinic, is based at Summerfield Primary Care Centre, in Heath Street, Winson Green, and will work on a similar basis. It opened on 25 November.

“My next big challenge will be the launch of the FGM clinic,” she said. “It is part of a pilot within NHS England and it will be so much easier for women to access this service in a community setting through any referral pathway across the Midlands.

“I am looking forward to it opening and hope it will ease women’s access to obtaining help and support with their FGM.”

Alison has been recognised for her work, winning a Royal College of Midwives award for the service when it first opened. “My work has taken me to many meetings and led to various collaborations with national organisations, which I enjoy immensely.”

It’s no surprise to learn that it’s the continuation of this work with women and their families that drives Alison.

“Within these communities that I care for, I have seen the most inspirational people with an incredible attitude to life,” she added. “I admire them greatly and am truly inspired by each and every one of them. They are my heroes.”

New era for GP surgeries as they join West Midlands healthcare trust

Wednesday, May 1st, 2019

Two Sandwell GP surgeries will be run by a West Midlands healthcare Trust from today (1st May) delivering “closer to home” care to thousands of patients.

The GP surgeries will be operated by Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust after it successfully bid to secure a contract to run services in the area, in collaboration with local GP partnerships.

The organisation will be working with Your Health Partnership (YHP) across Sandwell, to deliver primary care services to patients from both Great Bridge Health Centre and West Bromwich-based Lyndon Health Centre – formerly known as Parsonage Street.

Working with partners, SWB will embrace the opportunity to work differently which may see some patients having their care delivered by consultants in a primary care setting, and seeing increased consultant-led clinics opening closer to home.

For many patients, they will see the benefit of having almost all their NHS services (with the exception of mental health) delivered by one organisation that includes, primary care, acute and community services. 

Toby Lewis, Chief Executive at SWB, said: “The new arrangements are a chance to do, to learn and to build trust.  We want to move fast to provide the very best long term conditions care for children and for adults that redefine traditional home and hospital boundaries.”

Dr Simon Mitchell, Executive Partner at Your Health Partnership added: “Your Health Partnership is delighted to have the opportunity to work with the hospital Trust to deliver primary care services in West Bromwich. We have a well-established relationship with the Trust and believe the opportunity to work together in this way will create lots of exciting new ways to improve the health of the patients whilst continuing to deliver great quality general practice.”

SWB runs Sandwell, City and Rowley Regis Hospitals as well as Leasowes Intermediate Care Centre and a number of community clinics in the area.