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’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 

NHS logo top right. Elderly person and two children. Copy says Get Vaccinated, get winter strong. Flu and COVID-19 vaccines top up your protection even if you've been vaccinated before.'This winter, eligible people can protect themselves with the COVID-19 and flu vaccination.

People can now book their COVID-19 vaccination online via the National Booking System, by downloading the NHS App, or by calling 119 for free.

Eligible groups may also be offered a vaccination by their GP surgeries or other local NHS services.

Those eligible include:

  • all adults aged 65 and over
  • care home residents
  • frontline health and social care staff
  • those at increased risk because they are pregnant or have a certain underlying health condition
  • unpaid carers
  • household contacts of those at risk.

The annual flu vaccine is also being made available to these groups.

This year’s adult COVID-19 and flu vaccination programme has been brought forward on the advice of scientists following the emergence of a new variant (BA.2.86) and ahead of the winter period.

Sally Roberts, Chief Nursing Officer for the NHS Black Country Integrated Care Board (ICB), said: “It is important for those who are eligible to top up their protection, even if they have had a vaccine or been ill with flu or COVID-19 before, as immunity fades over time and these viruses change each year.

“The NHS winter flu and COVID-19 vaccination programme provides vital protection to those eligible and their families over winter, keeping people from developing serious illnesses, and helping to minimise hospitalisations during busy winter months.”

COVID-19 vaccination for those aged under 18 years will begin later in the year – the NHS will let eligible families know when this offer opens.

Eligible people can book their flu vaccine by visiting the NHS website here.

Eligible people can book their autumn COVID-19 vaccine via the National Booking System here.

For those who are unable to get online, vaccinations can also be booked by calling 119. Calls to 119 are free from mobiles and landlines and the booking service provides support in 200 different languages.

Those who have difficulties communicating or hearing or are a British Sign Language (BSL) user can use textphone 18001 or the NHS 119 BSL interpreter service.

MMR social graphic_9 out of 10 unvaccinated children will catch measles if someone in their class has it.pngMeasles cases in the Midlands are rising. Measles is an infection that spreads very easily and can cause serious problems in some people. Having the MMR vaccine is the best way to prevent it and protect our communities.

Measles symptoms include: high fever, sore, red, watery eyes: coughing; aching and feeling generally unwell; a blotchy red brown rash, which usually appears after initial symptoms.

If you have symptoms of measles, stay at home and phone your GP or NHS 111 for advice. Stay away from GP surgeries and A&E departments

Stay off nursery, school, or work for at least 4 days from when the rash first appears.

It’s never too late to be vaccinated. You need two doses of the MMR vaccine to be fully protected against measles, mumps and rubella.

Dr Fiona Rose, GP from Halesowen and Clinical Director for Quality and Safety at the NHS Black Country Integrated Care Board has done a series of videos where she talks about measles, mumps and rubella, the risks and complications about each and how to get your child vaccinated against them. Watch the measles, mumps and rubella 3 part series with Dr Fiona Rose.

For more information visit:


A new NHS website has been created to support pregnant women and children and young people in the Black Country.

Launched by the NHS Black Country Integrated Care Board (ICB), the 0-18 years website for the Black Country has been created in partnership with local healthcare professionals and contains a range of health advice in one place.

There’s an extensive directory of common childhood illnesses such as rashes, coughs, asthma, sickness, earache, conjunctivitis, and head injuries as well as information on maternity and mental health and wellbeing.

The health information showcases a traffic light system so parents and carers know the signs to look out for, where to seek help, what to do to keep an unwell child comfortable, and how long symptoms should last. It can be easily shared by print or by sending a link via SMS for free.

To access the new 0-18 years website for the Black Country, visit www.blackcountry0-18.nhs.uk.

The 0-18 years website for the Black Country is part of the national Healthier Together group of websites, which are used by the NHS up and down the country and have shown a positive impact by reducing GP appointments and A&E attendances.

Dr Tania Hussain features in a short video to launch the online platform


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 NHS Black Country ICB website:

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