From today (Friday 1 July), health and care services are changing across the Black Country to meet local needs.
Each part of the country now has what is known as an Integrated Care System (ICS) – partnerships of organisations that come together to plan and deliver joined up health and care services to improve the lives of people in their area.
Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust is part of the Black Country ICS, known as Healthier Futures.
Our ICS brings local providers and commissioners of NHS services together with local authorities and other partners, who work collaboratively to provide care to our communities.
The Black Country ICS will be made up of two key bodies – an NHS Integrated Care Board (ICB) and an Integrated Care Partnership (ICP).
ICBs will take on functions from the current NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs), which have now been dissolved, and have greater strategic responsibility for setting healthcare strategies for their local system.
The new Black Country ICB, which has been formally established, will take on the existing responsibilities of the NHS Black Country and West Birmingham CCG, and will be responsible for planning and coordinating services on behalf of 1.26 million local people, as well as managing the local NHS budget.
The ICB, which covers Dudley, Sandwell, Walsall and Wolverhampton, will also bring the local health and care system together, with its board of officials comprising those from within the organisation as well as representatives from local NHS trusts, primary care, local authorities, voluntary organisations and community providers.