The Metropolitan Borough of Sandwell was formed in 1974 and takes in six towns in the West Midlands conurbation: Oldbury, Rowley Regis, Smethwick, Tipton, Wednesbury and West Bromwich. The borough straddles the two historic counties of Staffordshire and Worcestershire, but the communities transferred to become part of the new West Midlands county.
Like much of the rest of the Black Country, the local area’s economy was based on its rich coal and ironstone reserves, experiencing major industrial growth following the arrival of the canals during the 18th century.
Local landmarks include Sandwell Valley Country Park, Oak House Museum in West Bromwich and the Guru Nanak Gurdwara in Smethwick, which is reputed to be the first and largest Sikh temple in Europe since opening in 1961. The Hawthorns, home of West Bromwich Albion, sits 168m above sea level at the top of the Black Country Ridge, yet many people are surprised to learn that it is the highest ground of the 92 clubs in the English Leagues.
According to the latest population estimates from the Office of National Statistics, the borough has a population of around 327,000, of which approximately 25% (82,000) are children and 15% (49,000) are 65 and over.
Since the 2011 census the population has risen by around 5.8%. The population is expected to continue increasing, to around 348,000 by 2030 and to more than 364,000 by 2040. The biggest increases are expected in the youngest and oldest age groups, with over 65s expected to make up over 18% of the population by 2040.
According to the 2011 Census, White British people make up 65.8% of Sandwell’s population. With 34.2% of the population from minority ethnic groups, Sandwell is more ethnically diverse than the national average, with those of Indian and Pakistani heritage forming the largest minority ethnic groups. Within the borough, there are variations: minority ethnic groups make up 62.1% of the population of Smethwick, but 85.9% of the population of Rowley Regis is made up of White British people.
The latest figure for life expectancy at birth is 77.1 years for men and 81.3 for women, lower than the England figures by 2.5 years and 1.8 years respectively. Overall health in Sandwell is poorer than the average for England, with 72.8% of residents saying their health is good or very good, compared to 81.1% nationally. Current “healthy life expectancy” – the number of years lived in good health – is 57.1 for men and 59 for women, below the England average of 63.4 and 63.8 years respectively, and lower than Wolverhampton, Dudley and (for men) Walsall. As many as one in five Sandwell residents has at least one limiting health condition, many of whom have more than one such condition.
Figures from 2018 show that 25.5% of working-age Sandwell residents were economically inactive due to long-term illness, compared with 22.9% in Great Britain as a whole. Employment levels are lower in Sandwell than in Great Britain or the West Midlands.
The 2019 Index of Multiple Deprivation ranks Sandwell as the 12th most deprived English local authority, placing it among the most deprived 5% of districts in the country. Within the borough there are significant levels of deprivation: More than half of Sandwell’s 186 neighbourhoods are in the most deprived 20% in England.
- Sandwell Integrated Care Partnership brings together NHS providers including the hospital and mental health trusts, local GPs, the Council, the voluntary sector and residents, with the goal of transforming the health and social care people receive in Sandwell.
- Sandwell Council. We work very closely with the Council through the Health and Wellbeing Board, a statutory committee made up of councillors, local GPs and Council officers that has the remit of addressing local health and wellbeing challenges and opportunities.
The Council also has an important role in holding the local NHS to account through its Health and Adult Social Care Scrutiny Board.
We work side by side with the Council’s public health team, with a shared goal of reducing inequality and improving people’s health across the borough.
- Our local hospital trust is Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust. As well as commissioning a wide range of services from the Trust, we work closely with them under the Sandwell Integrated Care Partnership.
- Mental health services in Sandwell are provided by Black Country Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust.
- Sandwell Council of Voluntary Organisations is the voice of the voluntary sector in Sandwell, supporting local not-for-profit organisations including many that focus on health and care.
- Healthwatch Sandwell is an important partner to all parts of the NHS in Sandwell, championing the views of patients and social care users in the borough, with the goal of making services the best they can be and improving people’s health and wellbeing.
The Sandwell Place team will be based at Sandwell Council House, Freeth Street, Oldbury B69 3DB - from August/September 2021.
Please note building opening times may vary according to local COVID-19 restrictions. Until further notice, anyone visiting the centre must wear a face covering unless medically exempt, use the hand gel provided on entry and maintain social distancing at all times.
The Council House is located just off the A4034 Black Country Route, with ample (paid) parking available across the road at the Sandwell Council long stay car park. The site is also close to bus routes 3 and 4 (Century Road) and 12/12A (Oldbury Interchange). The postcode for sat nav users is B69 3DB.
Each of our Places is unique and has its own health challenges, which is why we have a dedicated Local Commissioning Board for Sandwell that meets every second month.
Sandwell LCB membership
Chair: Dr Ian Sykes.
Vice Chair: Dr Priyanand Hallan.
- Dr Sommiya Aslam
- Dr Samuel Muthuveloe
- Dr Gurpreet Rathkra
- Dr Sankaranarayanan Thirumalaikumar.
Lay member: Mike Abel, Lay Member for Sandwell.
Dudley Managing Director: Michelle Carolan.
Local Pharmaceutical representatives:
- Murtaza Abdulkarim
- Nissar Ahmed.
The meeting is also attended by local authority and local Healthwatch representatives.