This involvement exercise has now closed.

Welcoming views as we refresh our 5-year NHS Joint Forward Plan

In June 2023, the NHS in the Black Country published our Joint Forward Plan, a 5-year plan produced to include:

  • national NHS priorities
  • Black Country Integrated Care Strategy priorities
  • insight and information gained from public involvement exercises.

You can read the 2023 published NHS Joint Forward Plan here.

Detailed public involvement took place in December 2022 and January 2023 and included a survey with over 1100 responses, a community microgrants scheme through which trusted voices and voluntary, community & social enterprise partners hosted ‘community conversations’, public meetings and visits to a range of community settings and spaces including warm hubs. Read the full involvement report for the NHS Joint Forward Plan 2023.

Local people and communities gave us feedback to shape the plan and told us they wanted:

  • Improved access - to appointments and emergency/urgent care, to resources and reasonable adjustments, to digital devices/data/skills.
  • Better preventative services.
  • A community focus – both clinical and non-clinical.
  • Improved personalised care options and choices.

Taking into account the national actions, the views of local people and the advice on areas that will make the most difference to local people’s health, we set out five strategic priority areas in our 5-year plan as follows:

  • Priority 1 - Improving access and quality of services.
  • Priority 2 - Care Closer to Home.
  • Priority 3 - Preventing ill health and tackling health inequalities.
  • Priority 4 - Giving people the best start in life.
  • Priority 5 - Best place to work.

As we move into year 2 of our plan, we want to refresh it to ensure it is still fit for purpose and meeting the needs of our people and communities.

The NHS as a whole in 2023/24 has experienced financial challenges. The Black Country is no different, and to reflect this, we believe the update to our Joint Forward Plan should include a new priority to reflect the challenge we face and the work we will need to undertake to improve our finances on a long-term basis.

  • Priority 6 - Fit for the future.

This new priority recognises that the Black Country health system needs to change the way that it works to embrace the opportunities and meet the challenges it faces. This includes the need to be more productive and cost-effective to meet our financial challenges. We also need to ensure that we support our Places and providers to work better together. We need to reduce the carbon footprint of the NHS and be more sustainable. All of this will require strong, sustainable leadership and enabling functions.

How can I get involved and give my views?

Over the next few weeks (until 20 March 2024) we will be holding conversations with our partners and giving people an opportunity to let us know if there is anything we are missing as we refresh the document.

We will collate and consider all of the feedback we receive and will include it in our refreshed plan which we hope to publish at the end of March.

Over the next 12 months (2024/2025) we will be doing a more thorough mid point review of the plan, so watch this space for more opportunities to get involved

We will continue to have community conversations to understand what matters to local people so stay in touch and get involved.

See our involvement report detailing the findings from this exercise.

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