Following the abolishment of CCGs, this website will not be updated from  1 July 2022 – for more information please visit the Black Country Integrated Care Board (ICB)


A series of key health messages from your local NHS for the voluntary sector, community champions and patient representatives to share among their networks and communities.

We will provide the top health messages for you to share among your networks, including text suitable for a newsletter or webpage, a social media message (Facebook, Twitter or WhatsApp) and a link to a resource about the health topic.

We’re also keen to hear your ideas on how we reach more people with these important health messages. If you can help make these messages more accessible through a different format or language, please let us know and we can look at financial support to help make this happen.

Key messages:

Pharmacist Graphic 1.pngInsect bites and stings can occur at any time of the year, but as the weather gets warmer and people spend more time outdoors, the chances of getting bitten or stung increases. 

Most insect bites and stings are not serious and will get better within a few hours or days. However, occasionally they can become infected, cause a severe allergic reaction or spread serious illnesses such as Lyme disease and malaria.   

To treat an insect bite or sting you should:  

  • Remove the sting, tick or hairs if still in the skin  

  • Wash the affected area with soap and water  

  • Apply a cold compress or an ice pack to any swelling for at least 10 minutes  

  • Raise or elevate the affected area if possible as this can help reduce swelling  

  • Avoid scratching the area or bursting any blisters to reduce the risk of infection  

  • Avoid traditional home remedies such as vinegar and bicarbonate of soda as they’re unlikely to help   

The pain, swelling and itchiness can sometimes last a few days. Ask your local pharmacist about over-the-counter treatments that can help, such as painkillers, creams for itching and antihistamines.   

Pharmacists are highly trained experts in medicines and they can offer you advice and treatments without seeing a doctor, so make your local pharmacy the first place you go for help with insect bites and stings.    

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Insect bites & stings are more likely to happen in the warmer weather ☀️   

Although often painful, most insect bites & stings will improve within a few hours or days. If symptoms persist, your local pharmacist should be your first point of call for help.  

Useful resource 

Read more about insect bites and stings from

Long term effects of coronavirus.pngA range of new resources have been created to make long COVID advice more accessible for everyone.  

A video with British Sign Language (BSL) translation has also been created in partnership with Zebra Access, a deaf-led charity based in Wolverhampton, showing how to identify and help manage long COVID symptoms at home. 

An advice sheet, available in English, Easy-read, Bengali, Polish, Punjabi, Somali and Urdu explains the long-term effects of coronavirus and how to manage some symptoms at home  

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It’s important everyone understands the effects that long COVID can have & if they are able to, try to manage symptoms at home. That’s why @NHSinBCWB created resources as accessible & inclusive as possible. Download resources 

Useful resource 

Download advice sheets about how to manage your long term effects of coronavirus in different languages here. 

You can watch the video about the long term effects of coronavirus with BSL on YouTube here. 

The NHSSocial_Media_NHS_App_Asset_v2_1x1_Asset_001.jpg app is a simple and secure way of accessing a range of NHS services on a smartphone or tablet.

The app can be used for ordering repeat prescriptions, accessing your records, checking symptoms and getting advice from NHS 111 – 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It also provides access to the NHS COVID Pass, allowing you to check and share your COVID-19 vaccine record, including how many doses you have had and which jab you’ve received.

The app is free to download and is available on the App Store or Google Play. You will be asked to create an NHS login if you do not have one already and must be registered with a GP to use it.

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See social media messages and download materials to promote the NHS app in this handy toolkit.

Useful resource

The NHS app is for everyone – even those who aren’t tech-savvy! An easy-to-use guide has been created so that everyone can make the most of all the great features the app has to offer:

GP reception staff are a vital part of the GP practice team.   

They are the first point of contact at your practice and are trained to ask you questions to direct you to the most appropriate healthcare professional for your need, this is known as triage.  

If it is most appropriate for you to see a doctor, you will be offered an appointment with a GP. However, the GP isn’t always the best person for you to see.   

Following your triage, you may be referred to one of the following healthcare professionals including:  

  • Practice Nurse   

  • Healthcare Assistant  

  • Practice Based Pharmacist  

  • GP Registrar  

  • Physiotherapist  

  • Social Prescribing Link Worker 

Learn more about other roles at your GP practice: 

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Sometimes, a GP isn’t always the best person for you to see at your practice. Trained reception staff may refer you to another healthcare professional at the practice. Learn about the different roles & what they can do: 

Useful resource 

Jane is one of our GP reception staff. In this video, she talks about her role within the GP practice and how they are often the first voice or face you will see. They are crucial in ensuring the GP practice runs smoothly and that you see the most appropriate healthcare professional for your need. Watch the video here: 


5-11s eligible 1x1.pngThe COVID-19 vaccine is now available to everyone over the age of 5, with children aged 5 to 11 now being offered two smaller 10mcg doses of the Pfizer vaccine 12 weeks apart.

Parents and carers are being urged to come forward and get the whole family vaccinated, whether they are due a first, second, or for those eligible, a booster dose.

Care home residents, people who are 75 and over and those aged 12 and over who have a weakened immune system are also eligible for a spring booster.

Vaccine appointments can be booked online via the National Booking System or by calling 119.

For more information on the vaccine, click here.

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The COVID-19 vaccine offer is evergreen, so whether it’s a first, second or booster dose, people who have not yet come forward for their vaccine can do so at a time to suit them. Find out more:

Useful resource

The Black Country and West Birmingham CCG have developed a one stop shop of information and resources about who is eligible for each vaccine. There are resources to share in different languages and formats as well as frequently asked questions for different cohorts who are eligible for the vaccine.

Explore the webpage here:

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Have you ever been referred to a health or care provider and found yourself answering lots of questions about your medical history – things like what medicines you take and whether you have any allergies?

You may wonder why they don’t already have this information from your GP or other services you’ve been in contact with. The reason is that different health and care providers use different computer systems to record your details. Because these systems don’t talk to each other, organisations can’t always see the same information your GP can.

But that is all changing with the introduction of One Health and Care, a confidential NHS shared care record for the Black Country and West Birmingham and neighbouring areas.

One Health and Care will enable professionals who are directly involved with your care to see relevant information about the care and treatment you’ve had across all local services.

This means you only need to tell your story once, and those caring for you have instant access to all the information they need to treat you in the fastest, safest and most effective way.

For more information about One Health and Care, including how the NHS and its partners keep your data safe, please visit

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Did you know? Your health and social care records will be available on the new NHS shared care record ‘One Health and Care’ from this year. It’s a safe and more efficient way for health & social care staff to access your records when needed. Find out more:

Click here to download an image or other social media posts about One Health and Care.

Useful resource

We’ve compiled an online toolkit with various materials to download including videos in different languages. Visit the online toolkit here.

Black Country Voices - Graphic 2.pngAre you interested in sharing your views to improve local health and care services?  

You can join ‘Black Country Voices’, the online citizens’ panel for the Black Country and West Birmingham Integrated Care System (ICS), Healthier Futures.  

The panel gives greater say for people who live, work and use health and care services across the Black Country and West Birmingham.  

The voluntary membership scheme allows you to share your views and experiences at a time that works for you. You’ll receive invites to complete surveys or attend workshops about planning and improving local health and care services. Your views will be shared with health and care decision makers and you’ll be kept up to date on how these are being used to influence developments.  

The panel aims to reflect the population of the Black Country and West Birmingham – so support your local ICS and join Black Country Voices.  

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Have your say, your way by joining our online citizen’s panel, Black Country Voices. It’s your chance to share your views and experiences on health and care services to improve them for the future. Find out more and sign up:  

Useful resource 

Find out more about Black Country Voices on the Healthier Futures website:  

You’re invited to our AGM 

You’re invited to our Annual General Meeting (AGM) on Monday 27 June from 4.30pm to 6.30pm.  

The current pandemic has meant that our meetings are held virtually so we will be live streaming the meeting. 

There is an item on the agenda to discuss questions from the public and members of the public are welcome to submit questions 24 hours in advance of the meeting to 

Join the live meeting on the day using this link

Tell us what people are saying

We’d be grateful for your feedback on what people are saying. If people are asking for information on a particular health condition or subject, or have any comments about a health service they’ve recently experienced, please get in touch with our Time 2 Talk team.

You can contact them direct Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm (excluding Bank Holidays):

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For the latest local NHS news and health advice, visit our website:

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