The role of our Quality and Safety Team is to ensure that services are safe, effective and in line with the needs of the population.

Quality is made up of three key elements:

  • Clinical effectiveness
  • Patient safety
  • Patient experience.

We work collaboratively with all providers of health and social care in the Black Country to monitor and review information from a range of sources to ensure that safe, effective and high quality, caring health services are commissioned and delivered for local people.

Our Quality Assurance Framework uses a variety of methods, including agreed and aligned quality schedules and regular formal contract and quality review meetings with all our providers. This provides a robust picture of service quality and gives greater insight into local service delivery. Open and transparent relationships allow us to work collaboratively with partners to identify key areas of focus for quality improvement, share best practice across the system and ensure that learning from incidents, complaints, feedback and events, informs service improvements.

Our Quality Strategy works across the four Places and has been developed with those place-based teams and combined into one plan. 

The strategy sets out our key clinical quality priorities and the benefits of working as a single strategic commissioner in supporting an ageing and ethnically diverse population.

Quality is everyone’s business and the NHS Black Country ICB is committed to working with partners across the system to ensure the best possible outcomes and experience for all our patients, their families and carers. The ICB is committed to openness and transparency when developing and assuring services and seeks to hear the voice of the local population and the impact of its decisions on people. 

Our key clinical quality priorities and the benefits of working as a single strategic commissioner in supporting an ageing and ethnically diverse population are to ensure that services are delivered: 

  • in the right way (delivered by a workforce that is highly skilled, motivated and competent to deliver the care required)
  • at the right time (through accessible services) 
  • in the right place (providing treatment/services locally in a safe and non-threatening environment) 
  • with the right outcome (improving health, reducing variation in clinical outcomes, ensuring parity of esteem, reduction in potential years lost to conditions amendable to treatment).

NHS England and NHS Improvement published Host Commissioner guidance in January 2021. This describes a clear expectation that as the local ICB we ensure that we have assurances and maintain effective quality surveillance of all independent hospitals within our geographical boundaries.  There are six Independent Hospitals in the Black Country supporting people with a diagnosis of a mental health condition or a diagnosis of a learning disability and/or autism. The hospitals are caring for people who have been placed by different Integrated Care Boards (ICBs). Whilst the Host Commissioner guidance relates specifically to the quality of care for people with a diagnosis of a Learning Disability and/or Autism at Black Country ICB, we have decided to extend elements of the oversight described by NHS England to all people placed with Mental Health illness, Learning Disability and/or Autism.

You can contact us via our Host Commissioner inbox –

At Black Country ICB, our role as Host Commissioner is to:

  • Work closely with colleagues in Contracts and Quality to maintain quality surveillance of our local Independent Hospitals.
  • Be the point of contact for all placing ICBs and the CQC in relation to quality assurance queries.
  • Collate intelligence and triangulate information to address any quality or safety issues.
  • To share and request intelligence across commissioners placing people in our area. 
  • Work closely with providers to develop action that will deliver quality improvement.

The role of ICBs placing in the Black Country geographical footprint is to:

  • Talk to us prior to admitting a person into the area.
  • Retain commissioning oversight for the clinical care of people you place in our area, including discharge planning and ensure your contingency plans are robust.
  • Undertake regular commissioning reviews, including new commissioning visits.
  • Quality Surveillance - Talk to us about any quality or governance concerns you identify within the Independent Hospitals.
  • Participate in assurance meetings across ICBs - The purpose of these is to share information and work together to support Independent Hospitals to maintain quality, mitigate risk and resolve concerns.    

Black Country ICB has a well-established oversight for Independent Hospitals in our area and this includes:

  • Ongoing and supportive contact with providers to seek assurance about the quality of care delivered.
  • Scheduled yearly and responsive quality visits.
  • Triangulating intelligence from other sources such as stakeholders, 6/8-week checks, Care and Treatment Reviews, CQC inspections etc.
  • The application of a formal and collaborative assurance process.
  • Reporting safeguarding concerns.


We work very closely with our Local Authority Safeguarding Leads to share intelligence about any allegations of abuse or neglect. Should you have any safeguarding concerns or wish to make a safeguarding referral it will be your responsibility as the placing ICB to contact the Local Authority.  Black Country safeguarding teams will also contact you directly should a local safeguarding concern be raised that involves the person you have placed in our area.

For any safeguarding concerns about an independent hospital in Wolverhampton please contact:

For any safeguarding concerns about an independent hospital in Walsall please contact:

For any safeguarding concerns about an independent hospital in Dudley please contact:

For any safeguarding concerns about an independent hospital in Sandwell please contact:

Talk to us

If you intend to admit a person, please contact us in advance and we will be able to advise you of any current safety or quality concerns. When contacting us please do not include person identifiable information in your emails. As Host ICB we will never ask for identifiable information about people you place in our area.

Please contact us via our Host Commissioner inbox –

How to tell us about a concern:

Black Country Independent Hospital locations

Hospital Address Website
Cygnet Sedgley House 10 Woodcross Street, Bilston, Wolverhampton, WV14 9RT
Cygnet Heathers Grout Street, West Bromwich, Sandwell, B70 0HD
Cygnet Raglan House Raglan Road, Smethwick, Sandwell, B66 3ND
Priory 255 Lichfield Road 255 Lichfield Road, Bloxwich, Walsall, WS3 3DT
Priory Lakeside View 1 Ivydene Way, Willenhall, Walsall, WV13 3AG
Coveberry Oldbury Underhill Street, Oldbury, B69 4SJ

We buy services from all the main NHS Trusts in the area:

  • Black Country Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust
  • The Dudley Group NHS Foundation Trust
  • The Dudley Integrated Health and Care Trust
  • The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust 
  • Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust 
  • Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust
  • West Midlands Ambulance Service NHS Trust

Alongside local services and over 300 care homes. All CQC ratings for the above can be found on the Care Quality Commission website.

Quality is at the heart of everything we do. The Care Home Quality Nurse Advisor (QNA) Team lead the quality and safety agenda in care homes across the Black Country. The QNA Team delivers the Integrated Care Home Improvement Plan working closely with the Quality and Transformation Teams to establish systems and processes for effective quality assurance monitoring. The team drives innovation, transformation and improvement across the Ageing Well portfolio targeted on the older person, with key work streams focusing on improving quality and safety in care homes to protect vulnerable residents, implementation of remote monitoring at home and improving the accessibility to the right place of care at the right time linked with individual’s preference to chosen place of care.

The Team also works to imbed the FREED pathway (Frailty, Recognising End of Life and Escalating Deterioration) into all care homes, and support other programmes and portfolios, including:

  • Living well 
  • Staying safe 
  • The Urgent Integrated Care agenda
  • Prevention.

The QNA team undertakes annual training needs analysis and develops effective care home education programmes supporting the introduction of clinical guidelines and quality indicators, ensuring homes participate in the NHS Institution’s Harm Free Care Programme.

The ICB has a Care Homes App to support staff and families. The app includes lots helpful resources, recent guidance, latest news and training. To download this app please first download Healthzone UK and Search for “Black Country Care Homes App”.

Concerns about a child or adult

If you’re concerned about the welfare of an adult or child in the Black Country, please make a referral via the links below.

Report a concern about a child Report a concern about an adult
Report a concern about a child in Dudley Report a concern about an adult in Dudley
Report a concern about a child in Sandwell Report a concern about an adult in Sandwell
Report a concern about a child in Walsall Report a concern about an adult in Walsall
Report a concern about a child in Wolverhampton Report a concern about an adult in Wolverhampton

If you believe someone is in immediate danger of harm, dial 999.

For further information on key safeguarding topics, local policies procedures, and training please refer to the Local Safeguarding Partnerships:

The ICB’s role in safeguarding children and adults

  • Ensuring that the organisations that we commission to provide health and care services maintain procedures to ensure the safety of people at risk of abuse and neglect.
  • Ensuring that processes are in place that enable us to learn lessons from cases where adults and children die or are seriously harmed, and abuse and neglect was already known or suspected.
  • Ensuring that there are effective arrangements in place for information sharing on safeguarding.
  • Procuring the expertise of designated clinical experts with the authority to influence local thinking and practice in the health and care system, in relation to safeguarding.
  • To provide designated professionals for safeguarding adults, safeguarding children and safeguarding looked-after children (children in care).

Contact us

To contact the safeguarding team at the ICB please email or call 0300 0120 281.

Children and young people come into care (CYPiC) following often traumatic experiences including abuse or neglect, as unaccompanied asylum seekers, or due to the loss of main carers through illness, death or imprisonment, which make them more vulnerable to:

  • emotional and mental health issues, including attachment difficulties
  • early pregnancy
  • physical health and developmental delay
  • exploitation
  • disengaging from education.

Recognising the above, designated CYPiC professionals across the Black Country aim to ensure the care delivered to our children is high quality, responsive, high performing and provides value for money. Channels of communication between commissioners and provider organisations must be effective to ensure the health needs of CYPiC are met in a timely way.

  • High Quality: A child-centred service delivered in a safe environment in a timely fashion and in a manner that takes account of the views of the child/young person and is delivered by staff who are in receipt of appropriate training, supervision and support.
  • Responsive: The service must provide flexibility to respond to the changing needs of local CYPiC and to take account of corporate plans and actions to reduce the numbers of children entering the care system.
  • High performing: Having systems and processes that focus on meeting each child’s physical, emotional and mental health needs without making them feel different, ensuring access to universal services as well as targeted and specialist services where necessary. Information must be provided as specified in relation to activity, finance and quality of service provision.
  • Provides value for money, quality assurance: This means children and young people receive the right care in the right place at the right time, and that specialist support is high quality and monitored to ensure progress is being made.

The CCG continues to progress a programme of safeguarding training for staff to ensure that all eligible staff have received the right level of CYPiC training relevant to their roles and responsibilities as per the revised national intercollegiate guidance (2020).

The death of a child is a devastating loss that profoundly affects bereaved parents as well as siblings, grandparents, extended family, friends and professionals who were involved in caring for the child in any capacity. Families experiencing such a tragedy should be met with empathy, compassion and clear, sensitive communication. Families need to understand what happened to their child and know that people will learn from what happened. The process of expertly reviewing all children’s deaths is grounded in deep respect for the rights of children and their families, with the intention of preventing future child deaths.

To notify us of a child's death within the Black Country, please click here:

The Child Death Review (CDR) process is an analysis of deaths of children who die in England from birth to 18 years of age (excluding both those babies who are stillborn and planned terminations of pregnancy carried out within the law).

Child Death Overview Panel (CDOP) is a statutory requirement under National Guidance Working Together 2018 and accountable to their respective Local Authorities and Integrated Care Board.  The purpose of CDOP is to review the interventions leading up to and surrounding all child deaths and ensure that any potential learning from those deaths is implemented effectively by partners.

In the Black Country, in response to Working Together (2018), the Black Country have combined into one Child Death Overview Panel to share learning around child deaths. The Black Country Integrated Care Board hosts the Child Death Overview Panel but it is a partnership arrangement between;

  • City of Wolverhampton Council
  • Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council
  • Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council
  • Walsall Metropolitan Borough Council
  • Black Country Integrated Care Board

The Black Country Child Death Overview Panel is a multi-agency panel set up to conduct the independent scrutiny on behalf of the local Child Death Review partners on the reviews of deaths of children from birth to 18 years of age, normally resident in the Black Country, to learn lessons and share findings for the prevention of child deaths. Each professional provides information and advice to enable a thorough review and analysis, with the aim of identifying relevant factor, modifiable factors, and emerging themes.

The Child Death Overview Panel review is intended to be the final scrutiny over a child’s death. The purpose of a child death review is: -

(a) to identify any matters of concern affecting the safety and welfare of children relating to the death or deaths,

(b) to consider any actions or recommendations that can be taken based on a death, or a pattern of deaths to identify trends that require a multidisciplinary response.

Child Death Review Statutory and Operational Guidance

Chapter 5 of the Child Death Overview Panels Statutory and Operational Guidance (2018), sets out the key features of a good Child Death Review (CDR) process to be followed by all organisations involved with the process of child death reviews as of 1st April 2019. The Department of Health & Social Care have taken over statistical analysis of Child Death Review data from the Department for Education as of April 2019. Greater regionalisation of child death reviews was encouraged, and further work undertaken to develop a national database. The Department of Health will disseminate relevant learning to Local Safeguarding Children’s Partners.

The National Child Mortality Database

The National Child Mortality Database (NCMD) is a repository of data relating to all child deaths in England. The NCMD was commissioned by the Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnership (HQIP) on behalf of NHS England and is delivered by the University of Bristol, in collaboration with the University of Oxford, University College London (UCL) Partners and the software company QES. The NCMD enables more detailed analysis and interpretation of all data arising from the child death review process, to ensure that lessons are learned, that learning is widely shared and that actions are taken locally and nationally, to reduce child mortality. The introduction of the NCMD aims to learn lessons that could lead to changes to improve outcomes for children.

As of the 1 April 2019, it became a statutory requirement that Child Death Overview Panels across England submit data via the NCMD. The Black Country continues to use a web-based system that submits the required data and reports are received on a quarterly basis summarising submitted data.

Useful links

Annual Report

The Child Death Overview Panel publishes an annual report which provides an overview of local patterns and trends. Learning lessons from Child Death cases is a priority, and will have a positive impact on the safety, health and wellbeing of children and young people, and to ensure the learning is shared widely across the area, as well as regionally and nationally. The annual report is supported by NCMD data which is released in the November of the following year reported.

Child Death Overview Panel Annual Report 2021-2022

This report explores the statistical and qualitative conclusions from the Child Death Overview Panel Reviews in the Black Country during the reporting year April 2021 to March 2022.

Contact details

To notify a child death please use:

Children and young people aged 0-25 have a SEND if they have a learning difficulty or disability that calls for special education provision to be made. The ICB supports the health element of the SEND agenda for children and young people. 

We work in partnership with local authorities to contribute to the implementation of the SEND reforms (Children and Families Act 2014). This means we work together to identify the needs of the local population and any gaps in local provision and then jointly address them.

The Local Offer 

Each of our Places has a SEND Local Offer which provides information in one place. They can be found here:

Our responsibilities

The ICB has responsibilities with regard to provision for children and young people with SEND. These are:

  • To commission services jointly for children and young people (up to age 25) with SEND, including those with Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCPs).
  • To work in partnership with local authorities to develop the Local Offer.
  • To have mechanisms in place to ensure practitioners and clinicians will support the integrated Education, Health and Care (EHC) needs assessment process.
  • To agree Personal Health Budgets where they are provided for children and young people with EHC plans.

SEND Inspection Reports

Each place’s SEND Inspection Reports can be found below: 

What services are commissioned for children and young people with SEND?

In addition to the general services commissioned for the whole of the population, health services specifically provided for children and young people with additional needs include:

  • Therapy services: Speech and language therapy, physiotherapy, occupational therapy.
  • Nursing and paediatrics.
  • Child and adolescent mental health services.
  • Equipment.
  • Continuing care and complex care assessments and packages.

A range of support can be provided including Personal health Budgets which can be used for a variety of items.

Designated Medical/Clinical Officer (DMO/DCO)

The Designated Medical/Clinical Officer roles support the ICB to meet our statutory responsibilities for children and young people with SEND. The DMO/DCO provides a point of contact for the ICB, local authority, schools and colleges when specialist health advice is required.

Contact information for DMO/DCOs:

Name Job Title Email Area
Katrina McCormick Senior Programme Manager: SEND Black Country


Designated Clinical Officer Dudley
Juliet Ridgway Designated Clinical Officer Sandwell
Dr Pandey Designated Medical Officer Sandwell
Emma D'Arcy Designated Clinical Officer Walsall
Dr Santi Rambhatla Designated Medical Officer Walsall
Dr Manju Kannath Designated Medical Officer Walsall
Dr Monica Kaul Designated Medical Officer - contact Dr Santi Rambhatla or Dr Manju Kannath in the first instance Walsall
Dr Cathy Higgins Designated Medical Officer Wolverhampton
Emma Boyce Designated Clinical Officer Wolverhampton

The Patient Safety, Incident & Learning Team are responsible for liaising with all health care providers commissioned by the ICB to ensure patient safety incidents, never events and quality matters are reported, collated and triangulated with other key information. Through analysis of data, the team will work to identify themes and trends that can be actioned to ensure the safe delivery of high-quality care across the system.

The team will support and promote the organisational patient safety culture focussing on high-quality care and standards, preventing avoidable harm by analysing and interpreting trends, themes, lessons learnt and sharing best practice.

Patient Safety and Incident Learning is a key part of the NHS Patient Safety Strategy, to deliver safety and quality improvements across the NHS in England. The team will support programmes of work in relation to Patient Safety, Incidents and Learning and work collaboratively across the system to support continuous and sustainable improvement through:

  • Culture: Promote positive safety culture, encouraging staff to gain insight and share learning from good and poor practice
  • Evidence-based improvement: Support evidence-based, quality improvement (QI) methodology, ensuring change is consistently measured and evaluated
  • Quality improvement (QI) capability: Grow QI capability in trusts and local healthcare systems so they can continue to improve
  • System-level change: Enable regional and local health systems to identify improvement priorities and share learning. The Team can be reached by emailing

If you have a comment, complaint or question about Quality and Safety, or about an experience you’ve had, please contact our Time2Talk customer service team.

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