Black Country Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust
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News and Events

On this page you'll be able to find out what's going on around the Trust and catch up on all the latest Trust news.

We are delighted to have been praised by the Health Service Journal (HSJ) for having the highest share of Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) board members, according to the 2018 workforce race equality standard data published by NHS England.

Alongside Board representation, 29.12 per cent of staff is from a BME background, which is highly representative of the local Black Country population.

Wider than having positive BME representation across the workforce, our Trust has done a lot of work to ensure equality and inclusion is high on the agenda. From offering specialist training, active staff networks and development opportunities; our services are encouraged to regularly review how we can better support the needs of the diverse communities they serve.

“We’ve worked hard to develop a positive culture of equality and inclusion across the Trust” commented Lesley Writtle, Chief Executive of BCPFT. “Our communities are changing and we need to ensure we have the right services in place to meet their needs; part of this means having the right people with the right skills that can really make a difference.

“Whilst we know there is more to do this is a positive step in the right direction and we will continue to promote an inclusive culture that supports, develops and gives opportunities for our entire workforce”.
Trust receives mostly ‘good’ scores from CQC inspections but overall rating is ‘requires improvement’

After carrying out a planned inspection of our services during summer 2018, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) has published its report and rating of the Black Country Partnership NHS Foundation Trust.

The CQC has rated the Trust overall as ‘requires improvement’.

This rating is disappointing.

However, CQC rated the Trust as ‘good’ in the caring’, ‘responsive and ‘well led’ domains, and four out of the six core services inspected were also rated as ‘good’ overall. These were: specialist in-patient and community learning disability services, wards for older people’s mental health; and mental health crisis services including health based places of safety.

In those areas where we have been rated as requiring improvement, we are taking action to bring services up to standard as quickly as possible.

Lesley Writtle, Chief Executive of the Trust, said:

“We are disappointed with this rating. However, we are pleased that the CQC rated the majority of our services as ‘good’, and that the Trust overall is well led. We remain strongly committed to acting on the CQC findings and improving our services.”
The Trust is delighted to have been awarded a £7.5M funding boost from the Department of Health and Social Care capital fund.  The funding is to develop a new state of the art purpose built unit for people across the Black Country with learning disabilities.

Learning disability services are already being transformed as part of the sustainable transformation partnership (STP) across the Black Country both with the development of new, and strengthening of existing, community services to care for, and support people at home.

The aim is to enhance community services to help people with learning disabilities remain in their own communities. This new money will allow the development of a new unit so that when people really need care and support they will receive it in the best possible environment, offering the highest quality services at a unit that is close to their home.

Lesley Writtle, Chief Executive said, “I am thrilled that the Trust has received this money which will allow the development of a new facility to support people with learning disabilities across the Black Country when they are at their most vulnerable.  Receiving this money will truly enable us to continue to improve the access, and quality of our services, whilst ensuring our local communities receive the best possible access to high quality services.”
With effect from Tuesday 1st January 2019, the Black Country Partnership Foundation Trust (BCPFT) will be a smokefree environment, and advancing towards a healthier and cleaner Trust. This means that smoking will no longer be permitted by staff, patients or visitors on any of our Trust sites, car parks, buildings or wards, ensuring that our community will not be exposed to its harmful effects.

BCPFT has a duty of care to support others in achieving a healthy lifestyle, and provide a close relationship of care, confidence and communication to those facing the challenges of quitting smoking and exposure to second-hand smoke. It is shocking that people with mental health conditions die on average 10 – 20 years earlier than the rest of our population and smoking is the largest single cause of this gap.

In the run-up to becoming a smokefree Trust we have been working with staff and patients to promote achievement of their healthier lifestyle and improved wellbeing, and introduced new guidelines and policies to support this. Significant changes include:
  • introduction of smoking cessation training for staff
  • removal of smoke specific breaks
  • the addition of signage, to help communicate the Trust’s smokefree policy
  • job adverts to contain a statement that adherence to the Trust’s smokefree policy is a contractual obligation
Deputy Director of Nursing Judy McDonald says, “Our smokefree journey has evolved over the past year, and we are proud that the various strategies we have implemented are now coming to fruition.

We believe becoming a smokefree environment is an important part of our continuous quality improvement journey, and aim to take a supportive approach to achieve our overall aim of supporting our patients and staff to make healthier life style choices.

We continue to offer training to staff to ensure they are equipped to support each other, and patients, to stop smoking and indeed anyone who wishes to stop smoking can receive support from Health Exchange.”

For more information about smoking cessation support visit the Health Exchange website.
The acute in-patient services based at Penn Hospital are holding a recruitment open day on Tuesday 20th November from 10.00am – 2pm at The Beeches, Penn Hospital, Penn Road, Wolverhampton, WV4 5HN.

If your family or friends are looking for employment please recommend they visit our recruitment open day.The day will be an interactive and interesting day with lots going on, including: attendance from ward staff, service managers, and our preceptorship team.

Support will be available if individuals wish to complete an application form on the day, and staff from the temporary staffing and rostering team will also be recruiting to the bank. A facilitated walk around can also be organised for interested parties.

For further information email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call him on 01902 445928.

Proposal strengthens the future of local health services

Mental health, learning disability and children’s services across the Black Country will be given a boost following a decision by the Boards of Black Country Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, and Dudley and Walsall Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust for the two trusts to come together as one organisation.

More choice and improved access to specialist services for people across the Black Country are just two of the benefits of the proposals, which is planned to take place by early 2020, subject to appropriate regulatory approval.

A great deal of work has been going on behind the scenes to bring the trusts to this point, and we have already seen the benefits integration can bring when the two organisations work closely together in partnership.

The chief executives of both trusts said: “We are excited to be coming together as one Trust. We have been working collaboratively for some time, and the announcement today builds on the joint work our clinicians are undertaking to deliver exciting developments which improve services for people across the Black Country. A recent example of this is the launch of our community perinatal mental health service which has been developed jointly across both trusts.

“Our ambition is to be a national leader in mental health, learning disability and children’s services, and we believe that coming together as one organisation is the best way to strengthen services, and improve care for people across the Black Country.”

For any questions, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The Trust is currently developing a text messaging service to provide patients with an efficient appointment reminder service, which we hope will reduce Trust DNA rates across the organisation.

Engagement sessions have taken place with service users across multiple sites to obtain views about the wording of the text reminders, and the Trust has now signed up to use GOV.UK Notify text messaging service. 

The first pilot is planned to be rolled out to mental health adult outpatient services during the coming weeks.  Following evaluation of this pilot, the second phase will be to extend the text messaging service into other divisions and community teams.

We have an obligation to ask our patients/service users for their consent before we can send a text reminder, and a process has been developed to support staff in updating records to record mobile telephone numbers and gain consent from our service users.