Public Health England (PHE) has advised of a potential scam involving a text message being sent to some women claiming to be from the NHS Cervical Screening Programme “Call and Recall” service.

The text message advises that the recipient is overdue for their cervical screening test (smear test) and to call a mobile number to book an appointment and provide personal details. 

These text messages are NOT from the NHS cervical screening programme, please DO NOT disclose any personal information should you receive this message.

This has been reported to the Action Fraud Line.

For more information on cervical screening, please visit the NHS website.

In view of the COVID19 outbreak, members of the public are invited to attend the Trust's Virtual Public Meeting. If you would like to accept this invitation, please contact Natalie Grainger at natalie.grainger@nhs.net providing your email address and contract number.

Members of the public and press are also encouraged to submit questions on the public agenda by 26 May to the Trust’s Company Secretary Gilbert George at gilbert.george5@nhs.net.

Questions linked to the agenda will be read out at the public board unless a request has been received not to do so.

Black Country Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust is stepping up to support colleagues across the health and social care system in dealing with coronavirus.

A bespoke package has been developed by the trust offering hospital and community NHS staff, council workers and care home staff across the Black Country psychological support.

Trained mental health professionals are on hand to speak with workers should they need help in managing their wellbeing during these challenging times. The package also includes access to online Cognitive Behavioural Therapy helping with a range of concerns including stress, anxiety and resilience.

Alongside the offer for health and social care workers, the trust has recently launched a new phone line to support people experiencing mental health crisis.

Available to residents of all ages across the Black Country, the phone line is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by calling 0345 6460827.

Ashi Williams, Director of People, Black Country Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust said: “We know in the current climate that people across the health and social care system are coming under increasing amounts of pressure, which can affect their mental health. As a system partner we wanted to do our bit which is why we developed this package of support.

“Now more than ever it is really important for people to look after their wellbeing and we want to make sure that help is available should people need it.”

Thembi.jpgMark Axcell, Chief Executive of Black Country Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust said: “We are deeply saddened to announce the passing of one of our colleagues, Thembinkosi Ngwenya (48) who passed away in hospital from Covid-19.

“Known to his colleagues at Thembi, he was a highly respected and hugely popular mental health nurse. After qualifying in May 2018, Thembi joined the organisation in October 2018 and worked as a nurse on both Friar Ward and Abbey Ward at Hallam Street Hospital in West Bromwich.

“He was an incredibly dedicated nurse; full of kindness, compassion and understanding towards the patients he worked with and will be truly missed by all his colleagues.

“We would like to extend our heartfelt condolences to Thembi’s family and our thoughts are with them and all who knew and loved him at this difficult time.”

Thembi was a devoted husband and father to his two sons. His wife said: “Thembi was an incredible person and we are devastated by his passing. He was a loving husband and wonderful father to our two boys, and was passionate about his faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

“He was so proud when he completed his training in 2018 and secured a job as a mental health nurse. He loved his work and was incredibly dedicated to the patients that he looked after.

“We would like to pay tribute to the staff at Russells Hall Hospital who cared for Thembi during his illness.”

We would ask that you respect the family’s wish for privacy at this difficult time, as they start to come to terms with the terrible loss.

At Black Country Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, our staff are working tirelessly to provide mental health, learning disability and children’s services to communities across the whole Black Country.

It would be amazing if we could show them just how appreciated and important they are in this fight against Covid-19, and we are hoping you could help us!

We’d be so grateful for any artwork such as drawings, paintings, letters, poems, or any messages of thanks/support that we could display at our sites.

These can be sent to bchft.communications@nhs.net or:

Membership

FREEPOST RRRG - BTCC - UKSE

Black Country Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust

Delta House

Greets Green Road

West Bromwich

B70 9PL

They would really lift the spirits of our staff who are working so hard in these challenging times - thank you!

People across the Black Country now have access to urgent mental health, learning disability and/or autism support following the launch of a new helpline from Black Country Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust.

The phone line, which is open to residents of all ages across the Black Country, is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Particularly suited to those who feel like they need urgent help, the helpline is manned by specialist mental health staff, who will provide advice, support and signposting over the phone.

Alongside the phone line, the trust is encouraging people to get support through the Healthy Minds / Talking Therapy services which offer psychological therapy services for people experiencing common problems such as low mood, depression, anxiety and stress.

Chris Masikane, Chief Operating Officer said: “We are delighted to launch the new 24/7 phone line, which we hope will provide advice and support to those who need it urgently.

“We know that many people are experiencing increased distress or anxiety during these uncertain times. I would urge you to pick up the phone and speak to one of our specialist mental health professionals who will be able to support you.”

All of the trusts other services are still in operation and are encouraging any current service users to maintain their usual route of contact.

People can access the 24/7 phone line by calling 0345 6460827.

For Healthy Minds / IAPT services:

Free online Cognitive Behavioural Therapy programmes are available via:

Following the recent COVID19 situation and subsequent government directives, our Trust Board will be invoking s28.1 of its constitution and excluding members of the public from attending the Trust Board public meeting scheduled for 29th April 2020 and other public meetings until further notice.

s28.1 Meetings of the Board of Directors shall be open to members of the public. Members of the public may be excluded from a meeting for special reasons.

Members of the public will be able to download Trust Board papers here and submit any questions or queries on them to Gilbert George, Company Secretary at gilbert.george5@nhs.net .

Questions for the Trust Board public meeting on the 29th April, must be received by the 27th April. Questions and responses will be read out in the public meeting unless otherwise requested not to. 

Former DWMH medical director and CAMHS consultant psychiatrist Dr Kate Gingell has returned to support patients on the frontline in response to Covid-19.

Dr Gingell, who retired from Dudley and Walsall Mental Health (DWMH) Partnership NHS Trust in July 2019, has re-joined the newly merged Black Country Health NHS Foundation Trust’s Child Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS).

The Dudley CAMHS team has welcomed Dr Gingell back with open arms especially during this difficult time.

Chief Executive Mark Axcell said, “It is wonderful to see the dedication and commitment from Dr Gingell who has returned from retirement to help us battle Covid-19.

“We are so appreciative of former colleauges who are taking this opportunity to help and support our staff, patients and the community across the Black Country at this time.”

 

Dawn.jpgWe are deeply saddened to announce the passing of one of our colleagues, Dawn Marshall who passed away recently from complications caused by Covid-19.

Dawn has been a valued member of our organisation for almost 10 years, working at Hallam Street Hospital, McCarthur Unit and more recently as a Support Time Recovery Worker based at Quayside House in Oldbury.

She was always very helpful and supportive to her colleagues and was able to build a real rapport with the service users she worked with. She had an incredible bubbly character and was always breaking out in song.

Whenever Dawn took time to reflect on her career within the NHS, she always said that making sure her patients knew there was a life to live beyond their mental health was her priority.

 She will be sorely missed but fondly remembered by all who knew her.

We would like to extend our heartfelt condolences to Dawn’s family and our thoughts are with her family and friends at this difficult time.

 

During the Covid-19 pandemic, we are ensuring that the safety of our staff, patients and carers is our number one priority, meaning that those who require our services have continued access.

There may, however, be some disruption to our supporting services. Our staff will continue to provide help and suport in line with national guidance, and we advise that you protect yourselves and those around you by also following NHS advice which can be found here.

If you have any queries regarding appointments, please use the contact details that have been provided to you previously, as they are specific to the service you use.

Although the NHS is experiencing additional pressures during this time, we want to assure you that your care is highly important to us, as well as the need for those who use our services to remain informed and connected at all times. If you have any concerns or questions, please make sure to get in touch.

You can read a letter from Chief Executive Mark Axcell addressed to patients and carers here, as well as an easy read version.

We are currently looking for people to join our staff bank, to support our estates and facilities team.

There are a number of opportunities available across our Trust sites in Dudley, Walsall, Sandwell and Wolverhampton - if you or someone you know is interested in this opportunity, please email bcpft.bankhelpdesk@nhs.net with an expression of interest, also indicating the area in which you would prefer to be based, and whether you are able to travel.

The only requirement is some experience in either housekeeping/cleaning or catering, and roles are available to start as soon as possible.

NHS Regulators gave the green light for the planned merger of two NHS trusts in the Black Country.

On 1 April, staff and services from Dudley and Walsall Mental Health Partnership transferred over to Black Country Partnership NHS Foundation Trust to form one NHS trust – known as Black Country Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust.

This development means that there is one main NHS provider for mental health, learning disability and children’s healthcare services across the Black Country.

Mark Axcell, Chief Executive of both trusts commented “We are delighted that our plans were approved and have joined together.”

“Whilst 1 April signified an important milestone for us, our focus at the moment is ensuring we are doing all we can to provide safe care and supporting our health colleagues across the system in dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic.

Both trusts were recently rated ‘Good’ in their most recent CQC inspections and have seen improving staff survey results. This development has only strengthened that work and has helped us to forge future plans around strengthening local mental health and learning disability provision.

 

Following the recent COVID19 situation and subsequent government directives, our Trust Board will be invoking s28.1 of its constitution and excluding members of the public from attending the Trust Board public meetings until further notice.

s28.1 Meetings of the Board of Directors shall be open to members of the public. Members of the public may be excluded from a meeting for special reasons.

Members of the public will be able to download and view Trust Board papers by clicking here and submit any questions or queries on them to Gilbert George, Company Secretary at gilbert.george5@nhs.net.

A strong desire to help others has led Stevie Chand, (27) from Dudley, into a career working in the healthcare profession.

He currently works as a vocational specialist for Dudley and Walsall Mental Health NHS Partnership Trust (DWMH), which sees him supporting people with mental health conditions, physical health concerns or long term conditions gain sustainable employment. 

“Ever since a young age, I have enjoyed working with others,” explained Stevie.

“Prior to joining DWMH two years ago, I worked in a drug and alcohol recovery service, before moving on to support people who had HIV/Aids. What really struck me in this role was the affect that these issues could have on a person’s mental health – which ignited a passion within me to work more closely with a mental health service."

Stevie thoroughly enjoys his role, which sees him spend a lot of his time working in the community to support his clients on their employment journey.

“My days are mostly spent meeting with my clients and supporting them with things such as CV building or preparing for interviews. I meet them wherever they feel safe and comfortable to meet me – this could be GP surgeries, libraries or their own home.

“A part of my role also involves supporting my clients once they have found work, so I often meet them before or after their shifts.

“The job is incredibly rewarding – to know that I am reaching out to someone who might be feeling really down on their self and then to see them flourish and start to develop some self-belief brings a smile to my face each and every day.”

During February, we celebrate LGBT+ History Month, something which is particularly close to Stevie’s heart.

“I was first attracted to work for the Trust as I knew they were a Stonewall employer – and I have been incredibly impressed with the work they do to promote equality. I am a member of the LGBTQ+ staff network and feel incredibly supported to be able to bring my whole-self to work.”

Outside of work, Stevie has a passion for fashion!

“I can often be found around a sewing machine or deep in a fashion magazine,” laughed Stevie!

“I also enjoy going to the gym and travelling.”

Stevie says that his next big challenge is to go to university to do a clinical degree: “I’d love to get more involved in the clinical side of mental health.”

So who is Stevie’s own hero?

“My mom and my grandma – they are both the strongest and kindest women I know. They have always allowed me to be my most authentic self and to be unapologetically me. Throughout my life they have taught me the importance of being a shoulder to cry on for somebody who needs it.”

Stevie’s mental health message: “Talk – I know everyone can get lost in work, raising little ones and general life, but having a moment to talk to someone about how you feel is the most important thing you can do for your mental health.”