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Thinking Differently

Engagement & Consultations

Here you will find details of any engagement activities, consultations or surveys.

As a commissioning organisation it is really important that we ask for your views on services and that we listen to those views. We want you to be able to shape the services that you use and tell us what works well, what doesn’t work well and what you would like to see changed.

Following the closure of the Formal Conversation on Monday 7 September 2020 where we asked your views about our proposal to change the future of commissioning for the Black Country and West Birmingham and merge our four CCGs, we have now concluded our period of engagement with GP members, staff, stakeholders and the public. The full engagement report can be found here.


We would like to thank all who submitted their views. Your contributions have been shared with GP Members and with our Governing Body members to help to inform their decision making. Following the GP member vote last week (12-15 Oct), our Governing Bodies in Common with meet on the 27 October to decide whether to submit an application into NHSE/I to merge.


You can view the Governing body Papers here.




We recently invited people across the Black Country and West Birmingham to share their views on accessing health services during the Covid-19 pandemic via an online COVID-19 Patient Experience Survey.

The survey is now closed.

We will share feedback with you in the near future.


In May 2020, Dudley Clinical Commissioning Group, Healthwatch Dudley and Dudley Integrated Health and Care NHS joined forces to host an online forum in response to not being able to meet face to face during the Covid-19 pandemic. 46 people from local communities, health and care settings and voluntary organisations came together as part of a 90-minute Zoom session, to share views and ideas on how they had been accessing services and what the future of health and care in the Dudley borough might look like.

The report can be found HERE.

Recommendations from this report will help to inform local NHS restoration, reset and recovery plans.

In December we asked for views on our Communications and Engagement Strategy as it was due to be reviewed in 2020. We know we are heading into a period of change so it did not feel like the right time to start afresh but to look at what we had already and see if we needed to make any changes. A number of you got in touch with us to share your feedback and we amended the strategy as appropriate. The updated version was agreed at our Policy and Commissioning Committee and has been uploaded to our website.  

Here are some of the comments that were shared with us: 

“Thank you for giving us the opportunity to comment.  

As a local Healthwatch, we feel reassured that the 2016/19 strategy document includes such a strong commitment to not only informing the public but also to involving local people in decision making, backed up with why it is so important from a constitutional perspective. 

Dudley CCG employs a very proactive comms and engagement team who we know are facing a time of change as the work of Black Country CCGs begin to harmonise.  Whilst there are clear advantages from pooling resources and sharing comms campaigns, we would hope that this would not be outweighed by any future dilution of direct engagement with Dudley borough residents.  We would also hope that any future strategy will build on the strong commitments already in place with at least the same level of engagement enabling people who access services in Dudley borough to be meaningfully informed and involved, including people from diverse backgrounds who might not normally participate. 

The current Healthwatch Dudley team of course look forward to supporting you with this work into 2020 and beyond.”

 “Whilst I appreciate that it may be the time for the strategy to be reviewed, it does seem likely that there will be significant changes in 2020 with the potential implementation of the MCP and the outcome of the consultation process related to the Black Country and West Birmingham CCGs.  In addition, we now have six Primary Care Networks and I am currently unaware of how they intend to communicate with the PPGs in their respective areas.” 

“The Dudley CCG communicates very effectively with patient groups/public, for example, the consultation process for the MCP (albeit some years ago) and there will be more to do re the consultation on the future direction of the CCGs.”  

“Since the inception of the CCG, the Communications & Engagement team has strived to obtain public views on changes to the health service, initially forming the PPG’s into a sounding body (POPs)  where not only have they listened but also providing information on forthcoming changes.  A two way forum that continues and thrives.” 

“Some quite radical changes have occurred and via the team our views have found their way to the CCG board and have influenced their decisions. (creation of  24hour children’s A& E).” 

“We have been kept fully informed on progress of the MCP, the creation of UCC at Russell Hall Hospital, formation of the Black Country CCG to name but three, al  facilitated by the Communications and Engagement Team. We know the vast amount of work done in schools, with all types of voluntary, ethnic, and religious groups and with the public via Feet on the Street.” 

“Having examined the Involvement strategy 2016-2019 document and booklet we have no hesitation in recommending the document be extended for at least the next 12 months to allow time for the Black Country CCG to get up and running.

Indeed  with the excellent rapport between public and CCG maintained by our Communications and Engagement Team a further indefinite extension would not be unacceptable.”





We want to make the Black Country and West Birmingham a great place to work – not only for our staff, but for the organisations and patient and public representatives that work with us across the Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise sectors. In support of this, an exciting leadership development programme has been launched by the Black Country and West Birmingham Sustainability and Transformation Partnership (STP), of which Dudley CCG is a partner.

The purpose of the leadership programme is to develop learning communities where we build not only skills and knowledge but trust and understanding, which is perhaps the most important element of genuine collaborative or system leadership. The sessions will look at developing:• A shared vision and narrative
• Common vocabulary and language
• Flexibility of skills with cross boundary working
• An enhanced system perspective focusing on citizen engagement and outcomes
• Cross organisational communication.

The Leadership sessions are for
• Clinicians and staff who do not normally access senior leadership development
• Primary Care Network staff including Practice Managers
• Staff from partner agencies, Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise sectors
• Public sector staff involved in or interested in integrated care delivery

In particular, as this programme covers a number of topics which support the effective delivery of communications and engagement, we want to encourage our patient and public representatives who work for Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise organisations in Walsall to join a session and learn more about system leadership.

Where and when
The leadership sessions will be running five times across the Black Country and West Birmingham and are free to attend. There are 30 places at each of these sessions with places allocated on a first-to-book basis. More details are provided on the booking links below.

• Monday 2 March, Walsall https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/bcwb-stp-leadership-development-session-walsall-tickets-91762477039
• Tuesday 3 March, Wolverhampton https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/bcwb-stp-leadership-development-session-wolverhampton-tickets-91797216947
• Tuesday 10 March, Sandwell https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/bcwb-stp-leadership-development-session-sandwell-tickets-91798743513
• Wednesday 11 March, West Birmingham https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/bcwb-stp-leadership-development-session-west-birmingham-tickets-91803569949
• Monday 23 March, Dudley https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/bcwb-stp-leadership-development-session-dudley-tickets-91804751483

In October last year, we held a listening exercise with our staff and a small group of stakeholders where people shared their views on the future forms of the Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) across the Black Country and West Birmingham. We are now proposing to build on that conversation with our staff and wider stakeholders.
Following the successful Extraordinary CCGs Governing Bodies in Common, which took place on Tuesday 21 January 2020, we would like the opportunity to feedback on how we have listened and used the views shared with us back in October, update you on the current position, share with you the next steps, and listen to what your views are of our progress and proposals for next steps.

From the previous listening exercise, it was clear that maintaining control of local place commissioning and budgets were important, as well as maintaining the existing local relationships both internal and external. There was a fear of losing influence and control and local services for local people. It is really important to continue the conversation around these points. However, in the immediate future, we need to move towards a single commissioning voice delivered and supported through shared governance arrangements.

In this next conversation, we want to share with you what that looks like, seek your view on our new governance arrangements and work through some of the questions you have raised so far.

Therefore, we would like to invite you to join us on Tuesday 25th February, 3.00pm until 4.00pm at Brierley Hill Civic Hall
Please could you confirm your attendance at this meeting by emailing molly.halford@nhs.net and as always please let us know if you have any questions.

In May 2019 we held a series of engagement workshops with our neighbouring CCGs across Dudley, Walsall, Wolverhampton and Sandwell & West Birmingham. We wanted to know what mattered most about primary care to the people who used those services. We used the feedback to help shape the Primary Care Strategy across the Black Country and West Birmingham and the engagement report from the events can be found here.




We really value our local relationships which is why we choose to work with our voluntary sector to ensure that the materials we produce are easy read. Dudley Voices for Choice are a user led charitable organisation that supports people with learning disabilities and autism to speak up for themselves and we worked with them to produce an easy read version of a patient information leaflet. The leaflet can be found here

This year saw the biggest ever MeFestival hosted by the CCG and supported by partners. The MeFestival is aimed at building knowledge, confidence and skills around the 5 ways to wellbeing and is aimed at local primary schools. A short report can be found here.

At the MeFestival, students helped to design and build a totem pole which represented the 5 ways to well-being. The totem pole is able to be used by schools as part of their well-being weeks and assemblies and has been used by several schools so far.

We worked collaboratively with partners to open up conversations about death and dying. We captured views using a campervan courtesy of ‘The Diary Rooms’ and travelled around the borough to speak with people who wouldn’t normally join us for a conversation. The short report available here, details our week and activities.

This engagement took place between Thursday 5th September and Friday 11th October. The 5 Birmingham and Black Country CCGs engaged with clinical colleagues and the public regarding the following 3 DRAFT policies:

  1. Subacromial Pain

To view the DRAFT policy, click here

To view the DRAFT patient leaflet, click here

To view the Evidence summary report, click here

To view the policy changes explained, click here

To view the Equality Analysis form, click here



  1. Image guided therapeutic intra-articular joint injections with corticosteroids with/without local anaesthetic

To view the DRAFT policy, click here

To view the DRAFT patient leaflet, click here

To view the Evidence summary report, click here

To view the policy changes explained, click here

To view the Equality Analysis form, click here



  1. Image-guided HIGH VOLUME intra-articular injections (40mls+) of saline with or without corticosteroid and/or local anaesthetic

To view the DRAFT policy, click here

To view the DRAFT patient leaflet, click here

To view the Evidence summary report, click here

To view the policy changes explained, click here

To view the Equality Analysis form, click here

This harmonised approach across the footprint of the west midlands is to facilitate consistent, evidence based policy development for planned patient care.

The remit of the Harmonised Treatment Policy Project is outlined by the Lead Planned Care GP Dr Geoff Naylor:

‘Treatment policies are designed to provide fair, consistent, and transparent access to treatment for patients.  CCGs have finite resources and are required to ensure treatment policies are evidence-based, achieve best clinical outcomes for patients and provide the most cost-effective use of NHS resources.  Our treatment policies have been developed to be informed by the most up to date clinical evidence, best practice and clinical opinion nationally. During this engagement period in Phase 3 treatment policies we would really value and appreciate feedback from the public to ensure our next phase of treatment policies are as clinically robust as possible for our local patients.’

Feedback from the engagement will be considered before any final decisions are made and a report with all of the feedback can be found here







When people seek treatment for infertility, their local Clinical Commissioning Group is responsible for funding fertility services (such as In-Vitro Fertilisation, or IVF) to help women become pregnant.


So that Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) in the Black Country, Birmingham and Solihull, offer the most effective IVF services, they are seeking peoples experiences of assisted conception services.


Local people who have accessed assisted conception services in the last five years, including their relatives, are invited to share their views by completing an online survey.


The CCGs also welcome feedback from GPs, clinicians who work within assisted conception services and members of the public.


Your feedback and experiences will be used to inform the future provision of IVF services.


The closing date for feedback is 30 August 2019

Dudley’s Adult Continence Home Delivery Service is responsible for providing continence products to patients who need them. Over the last year the demand for adult continence products within Dudley has increased significantly. We need to review the way our current service works so that we can maintain the Adult Continence Home Delivery Service and ensure that our service is fair and equitable to all patients who need help.

We are proposing to reduce the number of pads and pull up products that are currently provided from 4 per person to 3 and from 3 pads to 2 pads for pull ups within a 24 hour period. By doing this we could reinvest money to reduce waiting times for new patients into the service. Pad absorbency can be increased to help with managing continence and patients can ask for an assessment to ensure they have the right treatment plan.

At this stage this is just a proposal. We are really interested to hear how you think the proposal could affect you or the person you look after and to hear your ideas on how the service might work better. There are a number of ways you can get involved:

Contact: Pavinder Bhangu, Programme Manager at Dudley CCG on pavinder.bhangu1@nhs.net.

Fill in the survey monkey: www.surveymonkey.com/r/JCBM5L3

Come to our public workshop: Friday July 5th, 2pm – 4pm, Brierley Hill Methodist Church, Bank Street, Brierley Hill, DY5 3DA

At the end of the engagement period a report was presented at our Commissioning Development Committee (CDC), our Board Sub-Committee for a decision to be made. The decision to support the proposals was made.  As part of the feedback from the engagement was raised around concerns for individuals who may require more than the usual amount of products due to specific needs, the reassurance was given that the Continence Team could be contacted at any time and patients would receive an  individual assessment as they recognise people have different needs.



The Black Country Transforming Care Partnership is undertaking workshops to shape services for children and young people with learning disabilities (aimed at those with learning disabilities and/or autism). To shape these services, we need to hear from people who have lived experience, as you will know best what is needed!

We would like your help to develop the component parts of a service (what are the ‘things’ that should be done) that could be wrapped around a child/young person and their family, and support them to live in their homes and communities and lead a good life.

During the event, participants will work in small groups with a facilitator who will take you through a series of questions that aim to help you tell us what things should make up care services at different points of a child’s or young person’s life. Outputs from the workshop will be used to shape a framework for what services should look like and will guide development of services for the future.

The Black Country Transforming Care Partnership (TCP) was established in April 2016 to transform health and care services for people with learning disabilities and/or autism who may display behaviour that challenges. As part of NHS England’s Building the Right Support plan, the programme aims to reduce the number of people with learning disabilities and/or autism residing in hospital so that more people can live in the community, with the right support, close to their home.

The Black Country TCP includes:

  • Dudley Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG)
  • Sandwell and West Birmingham CCG
  • Walsall CCG
  • Wolverhampton CCG
  • Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council
  • Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council
  • Walsall Council
  • City of Wolverhampton Council
  • Black Country Partnership NHS Foundation Trust
  • NHS England

The National Transforming Care Programme mandates that each TCP meets the nationally prescribed trajectory for bed reduction by March 2019. For the Black Country this means a reduction in inpatient provision. The funding released for inpatient beds can be reinvested to strengthen community support to prevent inappropriate hospital admissions and reduce reliance on unnecessary inpatient stays, allowing the right support to be given at the right time, in the right place to maintain people’s rights, respect and dignity.

Attached here is a report which details service user engagement activities undertaken by the Black Country Transforming Care Partnership between April 2016 and July 2018 during the development of the new clinical model for adult learning disabilities services in the Black Country. It summarises key findings and themes from this engagement and will inform the next phase of formal involvement.

As part of the TCP, we ran an engagement exercise on Improving Services for Adults with Learning Disabilities from 21st March 2019 through to 23rd May 2019. The document  for the exercise can be found here.

In November we participated in an event hosted by Dudley Voices for Choices around health care and views. Click here to see what we found out.

Our fifth Me Festival was attended by 21 primary schools, 170 students and 34 teachers. Those who attended were able to take part in a number of planned activities including accredited first aid training from Fastaid, theatre production on bullying from Loudmouth and facilitated workshops from Vamos Theatre.

In addition there was a VIP tent where children could give feedback and thoughts on different health and wellbeing issues and the ‘Let’s Get Active’ tent where children took part in different activities with the NN Cheer Group and the Activate Team to test their fitness levels.

Feedback from students, teachers and staff who supported the event was really positive. To view an update from the event, please click here

The CCG recognises the value of working collaboratively with partners to ensure that we reach as far and wide as possible to hear the voices of local people. Over the year we have worked with Healthwatch Dudley on many initiatives including

  • I am Deaf cards
  • Young Health Champions
  • Views on Pharmacy Services
  • Community Information Champions
  • Self care

You can find out more by clicking the link for the Healthwatch Website here

Healthwatch Dudley Annual Report can be accessed by clicking here

We recognise that younger people have a huge part to play in helping to shape and design health and well-being services. The CCG, along with Public Health Dudley, have jointly funded a Young Health Champion Programme. This is hosted by Healthwatch Dudley and there is a project co-ordinator who looks after the champions. Healthwatch Dudley hosting the champions has allowed for creativity and innovation and the Young Health Champions have been supported to undertake some really amazing and inspiring activities. More information can be found by looking at the Healthwatch Dudley site

We have worked collaboratively with Healthwatch Dudley, Dudley Council and Dudley Group NHS Foundation Trust to understand the needs of our local deaf community. We have joined the group a number of times to share updates on what is happening with health care locally and were very pleased to be part of an initiative which saw the introduction of I am Deaf cards. This was a very simple yet practical solution in alerting people to different communication needs.

The latest group initiative is the production of ‘I am deaf’ cards, a simple, practical solution to alerting people of communication needs. Cards have been distributed across the borough to make communication easier. More information can be found by checking out the Healthwatch Dudley site.

Each year commissioners in the NHS are required to set out their priorities for the coming year and how they will improve the health of the communities they serve.

Following our consultation the final Dudley Clinical Commissioning Group Commissioning Intentions can be read in full here

This consultation is now closed.

The decision on the application from Three Villages Medical Practice to close their branch surgery was made in public, at our committee on the 19th October 2018.

The Primary Care Commissioning Committee at the CCG considered all the concerns expressed during the public  consultation which took place earlier this year and approved the application to close. The Committee was satisfied with the information and process followed by the Practice.

In May we asked Healthwatch Dudley to help with  getting people’s views on how Practice Based Pharmacy and Prescription Ordering Direct services were working for them.

Clinical pharmacists are part of the general practice team involved in resolving day-to-day medicine issues and meeting with and treating people directly. The Prescription Ordering Direct service allows people to order repeat prescriptions over the telephone instead of online or by visiting a doctors surgery.

Healthwatch worked with the CCG  Medicines Optimisation Team to facilitate sessions which explored people’s views on both services.

Results showed that people really valued the help and information that was offered by pharmacists and trusted them and they also appreciated alternative ways of obtaining repeat prescriptions. However, more work was needed in clearly articulating the role and visibility of pharmacists and further information was needed about how the public could access medical records held at the doctors surgery.

The full report can be found here

On 16th July we held a workshop with Healthwatch Dudley and Public Health Dudley to explore self-care. We know that self-care means different things to different people, whether taking time for yourself to read a book or having a lie in. The workshop focussed on some key areas that people across Dudley had already told us about:

  • The role of the professional
  • The role of carers
  • Mental wellbeing
  • Long term illnesses
  • Minor ailments

A world café approach was facilitated and participants moved around to look at each area. The feedback from the workshop will be used to develop a resource kit which will help us to dig further into  our local communities to really understand how it works for different people and will also help shape a strategy for self-care across Dudley

In May we held an End of Life workshop with local patients to look at how care works across Dudley and understand what perceptions of people were. The workshop was jointly facilitated with Dr Lucy Martin, GP and Cancer & EOL Lead for Dudley CCG and a report from the session can be found here

We also held a workshop with college students to explore their perceptions around death and dying, the report can be found here

Specialist fertility treatments, or IVF services, are known by several names within the NHS. You may also see the terms ‘assisted conception services’ or ‘infertility treatments’ used to describe these services. The policy will be reviewed against existing national guidelines, other local CCG policies and we will take into account any complaints or views expressed by the public during the life of our existing policy. A decision will then be taken as to whether the policy should be recommended for any changes. If changes are suggested then we will seek further views from patients and the public. In the meantime, this is an opportunity to contact us and let us have any views which you may have.

This consultation is now closed, this consultation is now closed. We will use any feedback received to to update the attached policy if required.

Dudley CCG hosted a Suicide Prevention Strategy workshop on Tuesday 3rd October.  The CCG were impressed with the level of engagement and enthusiasm in the room. The event was attended by 87 people to include a wide range of external partners to include the West Midlands Police, West Midlands Fire Service, Public Health England,  Local Authority colleagues, The Samaritans and a number of  Voluntary and Statutory organisations.

During the day a number of workshops were run interspersed with speakers who served to inspire and support the need to make a difference for the ‘at risk and vulnerable groups’ in Dudley. The active discussions around the table formed part of the process to establish a community wide strategy for Dudley to aim towards a zero suicide ambition. We now have a wealth of information to review which has been shared  to support the development of the strategy.

Initial scanning of the feedback forms suggests the content of the workshop has kick – started the opportunity for people to start to make a difference in their day jobs, It is important that the strategy builds on the work we have started.

Keynote speakers included Jane Boland who represented Merseyside, Suicide Prevention Clinical Lead Centre, Perfect Care, Paul Sanderson, Health & Wellbeing Programme Lead, Public Health England  and Superintendent Sean Russell, Director of Implementation for West Midlands Mental Health Commission.

Items which were presented or shared at the event include below;

  • Presentations
  • Feet on the Street which asked the people of Dudley their thoughts on suicide can be found here

We like to keep you up to date with how you have made a difference.

Click here to read our You Said, We Did update