NHS celebrate 70-years of providing health care

I arrived into this world during the 2nd World War. In fact my mother told me that when I was born in the July of 1942 in Solihull, German bombers used to follow the canal on the a moonlit night, using the canal as a navigation guide and then try to bomb the factories alongside the canal.  There was of course many factories that were by the canal, the Rover, Wilmot Breeden, BSA and many more. In those days there was no such thing as an NHS, that didn’t come into being until 1948.

To celebrate the 70th Birthday of the NHS, Birmingham and Solihull CCG (Clinical Commissioning Group) set up an event at the Vox, Resorts World, NEC Solihull. As an active member of  a PPG (Patients Participation Group) in Sheldon. Sheldon Practice, I was invited to attend this event. 

After the introduction by Gemma Coldicott, Head of Communications and Engagement, CCG, (see first photo). The first keynote speaker was Gema Jackson, Chair of the Thornton Practice PPG at Thornton-Cleveleys. She spoke for over an hour how she took over a Chair after first being Vice Chair of this very large practice. They have some very active people on this PPG who have even had to operate after the very severe winter that flooded the practice, they even added a new practice that had to close down.                                                                                  I most impressed with this PPG as it only been operating for two-years with the age of this group being between 71-82-years of age. They produce a an excellent quarterly newsletter which patients always look forward to, it gives details of all  types of information such as when to have your flu jab, details of all the medical team and lots of tips on how to look after yourself.                                                                                                      This PPG also tried to look at the obesity problem with young children by taking a team from their practice into local schools to talk to the children. The upshot from this was a painting competition organized for the children, they hung these pictures in the surgery. This went even further with a presentation at the Tower Ballroom in Blackpool where the children received awards.                                                                                                  Gemma answered lots of questions from the delegates, she was very received by everyone there. One comment from a delegate was do, they do this job full time as the PPG team seem to cover so much work.

 The second speaker was more to do with financial matters on how our GP practices are funded and what the patient expects from their GP. The presenter was, Jason Fraser, he is Senior Primary care Contracting & Commissioning Manager.                                    This is a very complex subject and many people who sit on PPG’s may perhaps find this subject above their pay grade. However, Jason gave a very professional presentation answering many questions raised by the delegates.

The last speaker for this event was on a particular subject that has got a lot of press coverage recently, missed appointments! This speaker was Shirley Bull from a PPG group in Sutton Coldfield. Shirley outlined how what not to do when patients miss appointments, she said there are various ways on how you approached this subject. There are various reasons as to why patients missed their appointment, forgetting, got stuck in a traffic jam, couldn’t get someone to look after the children etc.                                                                                              She has been working with her daughter at Manchester University on this very subject, they have produced a short video which was very informative on how to deal with this problem. 

After the PPG groups and the Doctors groups had finished their separate group meetings, we all joined up for a buffet. The both groups then joined up together to have two more speakers to talk on how on how the the NHS was first formed on the 5th July 1948. They also spoke on how we have improved since its inception. We were also informed that our budget for Birmingham & Solihull CCG is 1.8 billion and we spend £57 per second. The event was completed by questions from the delegates put to a panel who tried to give the delegates honest answers to the questions.

(to see a larger image of the photos, just click on the photo)




               Lol Thurstan. Editor & Publisher of B26 

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West Midlands Police news update for Sunday 15th July 2018

Man dies in Yardley Wood stabbing

A 28-year-old man has died and a 54-year old man has been seriously injured in a stabbing that took place in Yardley Wood in the early hours of this morning (15 July).

Police were called to the incident at an address in Sandmere Road at 1.40am. Both men were treated by paramedics for critical injuries but sadly the younger man died in the ambulance while the other is now receiving treatment in hospital

Police investigations are on-going. Both men were known to each other and police are not seeking anyone else in relation to this incident.


Detectives investigating the stabbing of a Birmingham pensioner have arrested a man on suspicion of her murder.

The 20-year-old was arrested in Stoke-on-Trent in the early hours of Friday morning (13 July) and is currently in hospital receiving medical treatment. He will be questioned once discharged.

Emergency services rushed to Aubrey Road in Small Heath just after 11am Friday where the 86-year-old woman was found with stab wounds and pronounced dead at the scene. A post mortem examination will be carried out later. An 18-year-old man remains in a critical but stable condition in hospital.

The address remains cordoned off while forensic experts examine the scene.

Detective Inspector Harry Harrison, from the force’s homicide team, said: ”Our investigation is moving swiftly and although we have made an arrest, we are still keen to hear from anyone who saw what happened yesterday.

“This is an horrendous crime, made all the more shocking due to the age of the victim and we are determined to bring her killer to justice.

“We have specialist officers with her family as they try to come to terms with the devastating events of yesterday.”

Anyone with information should call the homicide team on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

From Corporate Communications Team  – On behalf of Superintendent Jane Bailey

East Birmingham Neighbourhood Policing Unit |West Midlands Police – Lead officer for Drugs & Psychoactive Substances |Internal Tel: 8443002

Twitter: @JanebaileyWMP  J.bailey@west-midlands.pnn.police.uk


Toddler critically injured in van collision on Birmingham parkland

A toddler is critically ill in hospital following a collision involving a van on parkland in Birmingham on Friday morning (13 July).

It’s understood the van collided with the 19-month-old just before midday at Sarehole Mill off Wake Green Road in Billesley.

The boy was taken to Birmingham Children’s Hospital with a critical head injury.

A man aged 30 and a 26-year-old woman have been arrested on suspicion of causing serious injury through dangerous driving and are currently in police custody.

A van has been seized by police and will be forensically examined.

Inspector Steve Radford from West Midlands Police’s Collision Investigation Unit (CIU), said: “We believe the collision happened on grassland just off Wake Green Road; the child is very poorly in hospital and we await an update on his condition.

“I’m keen to hear from anyone who was in Wake Green Road or the immediate vicinity and may have witnessed the collision or heard anything that may assist our investigation.”

Anyone with information is asked to call the CIU on 101 quoting log 1016 from 13 July or email FL. COLLISION _INVEST@west-midlands.pnn.police.uk.

Once again we see the crime rate increasing yet again. A stabbing in Small Heath resulting the death of an 86-year old woman. A stabbing in yardley Wood causing the death of a 28-year old man and a serious injury to a 54-year old man. And finally, a toddler seriously injured  after being hit on parkland by a van at Sarehole Mill.

Can anyone tell me if we have found any benefit by electing a Police & Crime Commissioner whose job it is to make the people of the West Midlands feel safe, and he’s well paid for doing it. Also what is our Chief Constable doing to reduce crime? 


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Moo Music this coming August

(click on the poster for all of the detail)

Moo Music will be holding at least 13 of our 5* rated sessions at Sheldon Country Park throughout August. Each session will involve a Moo Music session, plus an animal experience with a Ranger. Sessions are just £4, £1 of which will go straight to the farm.



B26 the website for keeping you informed

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‘Footballs coming home’

I have to say I have been most impressed with this new young England side. Usually we would be home by now, however, these young lads have really got their footballs boots on. 


We must not get too carried away because we still have to beat Croatia on Wednesday night to get through to the final on Sunday. I bet all of you that you were very pleased the way we beat Sweden on Saturday, with Harry Maguire scoring a great header and the Dele Ali scoring the winner.

The British public and the press, were not too sure about the manager Gareth Southgate, I think they all thought he was a bit too safe. How wrong have we all been. Gareth Southgate seems to get on very well with everyone especially the team, what about that waistcoat?


On behalf of the readers of B26, I hope that Harry Kane can score us some more goals and take us through to the final on Sunday, also winning the golden boot in the process. Come On England!



Lol Thurstan. Editor & Publisher of B26





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Have your say on community cohesion in city

Simplistic analysis of community cohesion in Birmingham fails to recognise the complexity of a super-diverse city according to the Cabinet Member with responsibility for the topic.

Cllr Tristan Chatfield, Cabinet Member for Social Inclusion, Community Safety and Equalities, has spoken out as consultation into a new Community Cohesion strategy for the city gets underway from today (July 9).

The ‘Green Paper’ draft strategy, supported and not led by the council as well as being backed by a range of partner organisations, looks to rectify the imbalance in perceptions and highlight examples of good practice across the city.

Cllr Chatfield said: “Birmingham has been used as a punchbag on issues around cohesion for as long as I have been involved in local government.

“The Trojan Horse scandal, OFSTED, the Henry Jackson Society study (into the origin of terrorism offenders) and the Dame Louise Casey report have all been used to illustrate and highlight wider concerns regarding integration in the UK.

“Birmingham has been presented as a battleground between two competing ideals, liberal democracy versus religious theocracy. This analysis is grossly simplistic and fails to recognise the complexity of Birmingham. It also neglects the many examples of good work being carried out around cohesion every day in our city.”

Cllr Chatfield said that the overall approach was to recognise that whilst diversity is broadly positive and has brought many benefits to the city it also presents challenges – often simply a result of the rapid population churn that has resulted from internal as well as international migration.

Cllr Chatfield added: “Poverty and economic exclusion remain as a great barrier to developing the kind of inclusive city we all want to see. We cannot rely on national government policy to address these problems alone, it is essential therefore the Birmingham sets out a clear set of principles when it comes to cohesion.”

The eight guiding principles in the Green Paper, identified during conversations last year with partners, communities and young people are:

  1. Mainstream cohesion: making community cohesion everyday business;
  2. Connecting and exchanging ideas that promote community cohesion and mobilise social action
  3. Nurturing and supporting aspiration of young people
  4. Promote citizens’ rights and responsibilities
  5. Progress equality in all spheres of social and economic life
  6. Promote inclusive economic growth that benefits everyone across Birmingham
  7. Empowered and engaged neighbourhoods
  8. Bringing together people through art, culture and sports

On the final principle above, the Green Paper makes specific reference to Birmingham’s status as Host City of the 2022 Commonwealth Games – which the draft strategy says should be used as a catalyst for further improvement when it comes to creating a cohesive society.

David Grevemberg CBE, Chief Executive Officer of the Commonwealth Games Federation, which awarded the 2022 Games to Birmingham last year, said he supported the Green Paper’s suggestions about the potential unifying effect of sport upon the local community.

“In Glasgow 2014 and at Gold Coast 2018, we saw first-hand how civic pride increased as a result of hosting the Games, creating opportunities to bring together host communities in a celebration of global sport and local culture,” he said.

 “In the case of Glasgow, long-term post-event research has shown that people feel more engaged in decision-making and that the Games has raised the city’s profile. This continued investment and successful bidding of more major events has undoubtedly had a huge positive impact.

“We’re all excited by the prospect of how Birmingham, a young, diverse and truly Commonwealth city, will showcase its humanity and pride to the world. Everyone in Birmingham has a part to play in the success of their largest ever sporting and cultural event in 2022.”

Consultation on the Green Paper runs from July 9 to August 31, and a White Paper is set to be published in October ahead of a Community Cohesion summit for the city a month later.

Marcia Lewinson, Chief Executive of Birmingham-based W.A.I.T.S. (Women Acting In Today’s Society – which supports women to overcome issues such as domestic abuse and poverty), is also urging as many people as possible to have their say on how to develop cohesion in the city.

She said: “For me community cohesion is about bringing people together to achieve goals that benefit individuals, families and communities.

“At W.A.I.T.S. we see everyday women and families who feel isolated and disengaged due to inequality, poverty, language barriers and abuse. The Community Cohesion Strategy Green Paper suggests how women, young people and families can be empowered by removing barriers and developing skills so that they are able to contribute to Birmingham’s economy, become self-sufficient and participate in the democratic process.

“By us all working together in this way we will break down barriers and end exclusion. “

The Rt Rev David Urquhart, the Bishop of Birmingham, who has also been involved in developing the strategy, added: “Birmingham has a wonderful history of welcome and hospitality. As Bishop of Birmingham I believe that our city of over a million people can be an example for the world in living together in diversity and difference.

“With youthful creativity and opportunities for every age and background we have the talents and resources for global success.

“The Community Cohesion Green Paper provides an opportunity for as many people as possible in Birmingham to be involved in shaping a new way forward for a dynamic international 21st Century city.”

To have a say on the Green Paper, visit: https://www.birminghambeheard.org.uk/economy/community-cohesion-strategy/

To join the debate online, use the hashtag #bhamcohesion



Working with and supporting the local community

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Fire at Sheldon Country Park, Old Rectory Farm

An early morning wake up call was not what I was expecting on a Sunday morning at 4.30am. A member of the public was shouting that the barn was on fire after it was seen by an early morning dog walker. After waking from my slumber I walked out and discovered that recently new toilet block was on fire. 

With a hosepipe we managed to put it out before it got any worse. Sheldon Fire Brigade were quickly on the scene at took control of dousing the building down making sure the fire was completely out. There is no sign of arson, nothing suspicious on the CCTV, the likely cause is that the compost in the nearby planter, when it gets hot it can combust and this then spread to the toilet block.

We have suffered quite a lot of damaged to the toilet block but it could have been a lot worse if it had spread to the cow barn, None of the animal were harmed and any smoke inside the barn was quickly dispersed by the fire brigades big fan. The result is that there is limited toilet facilities at the farm so please be aware of this when visiting the farm.

A big thank you to the dog walker and member of the public who spotted the fire and alerted us to it. Also Sheldon Fire Brigade for their prompt response.

There is always a risk of fire, especially now during this very dry spell we are currently experiencing/enjoying but this does come with very high risks of fires staring, this is why we do not allow any fires or BBQ’s on the country park, also please be careful on how you stub out and discard of cigarettes.

On behalf of the readers of B26, I would also like to thank the dog walker and Sheldon Fire Service. I must also thank Arthur Tamlyn who is Chairman of Friends Of Sheldon Country Park, he happens to live in the old Thomas Bray House, without him using a hose, it may have spread even more quickly. 




B26 bringing you the latest local news.


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Dartmouth Circus works set to begin

Work to carry out essential maintenance and improvements to one of Birmingham’s busiest road junctions is set to begin this week.

A package of works at Dartmouth Circus is scheduled to run from Wednesday, 4 July, to Monday, 3 September, with Birmingham City Council, Transport for West Midlands and Highways England working in partnership to co-ordinate schemes and minimise disruption.

This includes maintenance works to ensure Dartmouth Circus meets modern standards, including replacing joints on the highway and repairing the concrete around these.

Work will be carried out 24 hours a day and are expected to take eight weeks to complete, during which there will be phased lane closures around Dartmouth Circus Gyratory and overnight road closures of the A38(M) Dartmouth Circus underpass into and out of city, from 8.30pm to 6am.

Alternative routes will be signed, although people are advised to walk, cycle or use public transport wherever possible.

To coincide with these works, we are working with Transport for West Midlands to carry out works to extend the priority bus lane on the Lichfield Road which, when completed, will help improve bus journey times around the city.

Additionally, Highways England will be undertaking maintenance work on the M6 Junction 6, including removal of structural steel works under slip roads and removal of all temporary traffic management.

This will require full overnight closure of the outbound A38(M) and associated slip roads on 18 and 19 July, 23 and 24 July, 6 to 8 August and possibly 9 August.

Councillor Waseem Zaffar, Cabinet Member for Transport and Environment at Birmingham City Council, said: “These are important works to improve one of our busiest junctions as well as ensuring that buses in the city are able to reach their destinations more quickly.

“We have chosen to carry out these works at Dartmouth Circus during the summer months, when traffic is usually lightest, and I would like to thank our partners at Transport for West Midlands and Highways England for working with us to co-ordinate these works so that they can be completed in the shortest possible time with the minimum of disruption.

“However, people should still expect some congestion and so I would urge you to plan your journeys carefully in advance. If you are able to leave the car at home and walk, cycle or use the bus then please do so – you will be helping the environment and ensuring there are fewer cars on the road while these works are carried out. If you must drive then please plan ahead and use alternative routes wherever possible.”

Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands, said: “By working in partnership with Highways England and Birmingham City Council we can reduce the amount of time motorists and bus users will be affected by these works. This is another step forward in Transport for West Midlands’ approach in supporting local authorities to co-ordinate road and utility works across the region and cut congestion.”

Further information on the works can be found here.

(click on map to see more detail)




B26 keeps you informed


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