The primary care team from the NHS Black Country Integrated Care Board (ICB) have been named as winners as this year’s HSJ Partnership Awards.

The HSJ Partnership Awards, which took place on Thursday 21 March in London, aims to recognise the most effective collaborations with the NHS and provides a platform to shape the future of the new integrated health and care system.

The ICBs primary care team, in partnership with Xylem Resourcing and Signal Analytics Ltd, have won the Primary Care Project of the Year Award for the development of a primary care workforce dashboard and planning tool to support the NHS drive to improve access to primary care.

The dashboard and planning tool has been co-designed, created and implemented to advance workforce planning in general practice across the Black Country. The platform has served as a critical business intelligence tool, empowering primary care networks and practices to analyse current and future staffing needs, helping to inform planning and policy and ensuring a robust, resilient workforce. This has significantly enhanced the quality of service, planning capabilities and overall efficiency within the NHS primary care system.

Praising the work, judges said “the commitment to quality improvement within the NHS is commendable.”

Sarb Basi, Director of Primary Care for the NHS Black Country ICB, said: “We’re extremely proud that the primary care team, alongside Xylem’s team, have been chosen as winners at this year’s HSJ Partnership Awards.

“This leading-edge intelligence tool is equipping our system to understand our current workforce, develop our strategy and drive action to ensure we have a pipeline of staff to deliver services and ensure the future health and wellbeing of local people in the Black Country.”

The ICBs digital team were also shortlisted in four categories, working in partnership with Wolverhampton-based Sian Computers, for the Black Country Connected Programme.

They were named as runners-up in three categories, including Most Impactful Project Addressing Health Inequalities, Social Value Initiative of the Year and Best Community Service with the NHS.

The Black Country Connected Programme is a scheme to loan residents, who have no access to a computer, digital equipment and wi-fi to allow them to access information such as health and care via the internet. The programme helps them learn IT skills and build confidence to access health and wellbeing services and information online, such as virtual GP appointments and the NHS App.

Mark Axcell, Chief Executive Officer for the NHS Black Country ICB, said: “We’re extremely proud that the primary care team, in partnership with Xylem Resourcing, have been recognised at this year’s HSJ Partnership Awards.

“To receive such a prestigious accolade is a stamp of approval for all the hard work that the team carries out daily and the impact that this project has made, and continues to make, within primary care.

“It was also great to see our digital team named as runners-up in not one but three categories for the work they are doing to directly address digital inequalities in the Black Country.

“This is a fantastic achievement so a huge congratulations to all those involved.”

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