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Good Hope to showcase innovative equipment for speedy scanning

Good Hope Hospital will be showcasing its new radiology facilities with latest scanning technology on 11 December.  The event will be opened by Free Radio presenter, Russ Morris.

The Hospital has invested over £1.5 million in modernised technology and rennovated areas of the radiology department including a new state-of-the-art CT scanner.  This scanner will improve patients’ experience through faster scanning, reduced exposure to radiation and more efficient diagnosis through clearer images.

Approximately 13,000 patients per year have a CT scan at Good Hope to diagnose and monitor a variety of health conditions including cancer.

Theresa Hull, radiographer at Good Hope said: “We’re very pleased with this new investment in technology, which will give patients a quicker, more comfortable experience and look forward to opening the doors to staff; local GPs and the public to come ans see what facilities we have to offer in the radiology department.”

Sports stars joined the nationally-acclaimed HIV service at Heartlands Hospital in a double celebration of its 20th anniversary and World AIDS Day.

Olympic bronze medal-winning hockey player, Sally Walton, and the Hospital’s own HIV dietitian and British Power Lifting Champion, Jordana Freemantle, released 50 red balloons containing messages on Friday 30 November, the day before national World AIDS Day. Continuing the ‘positively red’ theme, a red double-decker bus was parked outside the HIV department as a base for celebrations, information and advice.

Focus for this year’s World AIDS Day campaign is on reducing the stigma which can still dissuade people from taking a test. Testing is crucial in diagnosing HIV, helping people onto today’s life-saving treatments, and preventing further transmission. One in four of those living with HIV in the UK do not know they are infected, one in five are aged over 50 and around 3,000 heterosexual people test positive each year.

Dr Steve Taylor, lead HIV specialist at Birmingham Heartlands HIV service, said: “We aim to raise awareness of HIV in the city and encourage people to get tested regularly. Getting tested has never been easier – you can visit many sexual health centres and receive the results on the same day. Alternatively, any GP practice can offer HIV testing.”

Heart of England Foundation Trust health promotion specialist, Jodie Smith, said: “The number of recorded HIV infections in the UK continues to rise. Many more people remain undiagnosed because they don’t consider themselves to be at risk, due to their age or lifestyle choices.”

Outreach groupTwo neonatal nurses from Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust have started up a support group for local mums with premature babies at Castle Vale Children’s Centre.

The fortnightly sessions provide a safe environment for mums and dads to go with their newborns where they can get advice from the nurses and meet other parents with premature babies.

Neonatal nurse, Stacey Shaw said: “Recently we have developed a community nursing team whose job it is to get the babies home earlier and finish off the nursing care in the home with their parents.

“As part of this role we noticed that parents were so very isolated as they had babies on home oxygen, tube feeds or who are simply too small to go out and about.  It can often be daunting to have a premature baby, which is more vulnerable to infection, so as well as providing somewhere nearby that local parents can take their babies to play, the support group is a great place for them to ask any questions they may have and the reassurance they need from the nurses as well as speak to other parents going through similar experiences.

“It’s a place mums and dads can go where they can get away from the Hospital environment.  By getting this support, parents experience fewer problems, which results in healthier and happier babies.”

Dean Hewitt from Yardley has been to every session since the support group with his seven month old, Destiny, who was born three months prematurely at Heartlands Hospital.  He said: “As well as getting me out of the house, it is good to have someone to ask if we have any concerns or questions about monitoring Destiny’s oxygen.  The support group provides an invaluable service.”

The support group is held every on a Wednesday of every fortnight at Castle Vale Children’s Centre, from 10am – 12pm. Call 0121 424 2722 for more information.

A pioneering programme of work aimed at improving the care people receive at the end of their lives has been launched by the Dying Matters Coalition in partnership with Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust in the West Midlands.

 

Dying Matters will be working with the Chief Nurse of Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust and her team on a compassionate care training programme  over three years so that all 6,000 nurses across the Trust’s three Hospitals – Heartlands, Good Hope and Solihull – and their community services will be better placed to care for and support people at the end of their lives.

Alongside this, Dying Matters and the Trust will also be developing an improved compassionate employment programme aimed at supporting staff in the Trust who are affected by end of life issues.  With over 11,000 employees providing general and specialist hospital and community care for the people of East Birmingham, Solihull, Sutton Coldfield, Tamworth and South Staffordshire, Heart of England NHS Trust is one of the largest foundation trusts in the country.

Mandie Sunderland, Chief Nurse at Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust said: “The delivery of high quality care to patients and their families at the end of life is of utmost importance to us. Compassion is a key quality of being a nurse and here at Heart of England we are committed to supporting our nurses to be the best they can possibly be. We are excited to be working with Dying Matters on this innovative project which will assist our staff in improving the support we provide for patients and their families.”

 

Since it was set up by the National Council for Palliative Care in 2009, Dying Matters has been at the forefront of trying to change attitudes towards dying, death and bereavement so that people are more likely to receive better care at the end of their lives and get their wishes met. Its work includes engaging with the public to encourage people to talk more openly about their end of life wishes, as well as work aimed at health and care professionals including training to support GPs in talking about end of life issues  with their patients and to help  with recording wises and future plans.

 

Speaking today, Eve Richardson, Chief Executive of National Council for Palliative Care and the Dying Matters Coalition said: “We are delighted to be working in such an innovative way with Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust to support compassionate care for people who are dying and their families. High quality compassionate nursing is critical at the end of life, both to the person who is dying and to their family, which is why this three-year programme is so important. It’s only by talking more openly about our wishes and the support that we will all need at the end of our their lives and by recording this that we will be successful in ensuring people get the compassionate care we all need, where and when we need it.”

Some of the most talented singers and musicians in the region will be joining forces with Good Hope for a special charity concert to raise funds for vital equipment.

The concert, organised by the Hospital’s League of Friends will feature Birmingham Gospel Choir, Whitehouse Common School Choir and various talented local musicians with all proceeds going towards a bladder scanner for the Elderly Care Unit.

Sue Slater, Deputy Chair from the League of Friends, said: “It promises to be a really magical evening with some excellent musicians. Not only will it be a great festive night out, but all money raised will go towards the scanner for the elderly wards which will make a real difference to patients at Good Hope.”

The concert will take place on 11 December, 7pm at St Chad’s Church, Hollyfield Road. Tickets cost £5 and are available in person at Good Hope Hospital, Trust Headquarters, Cashers Office or by calling 0121 424 7179.  There will be a raffle on the night and refreshments will be served.

For more information call the League of Friends on 0121 424 9125 or 07792397763.

Two neonatal nurses from Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust have started up a support group for local mums with premature babies at Castle Vale Children’s Centre.

The fortnightly sessions provide a safe environment for mums and dads to go with their newborns where they can get advice from ther nurses and meet other parents with premature babies.

Neonatal nurse, Stacey Shaw said: “Recently we have developed a community nursing team whose job it is to get the babies home earlier and finish off the nursing care in the home with their parents.

“As part of this role we noticed that parents were so very isolated as they had babies on home oxygen, tube feeds or who are simply too small to go out and about.  It can often be daunting to have a premature baby, which is more vulnerable to infection, so as well as providing somewhere nearby that local parents can take their babies to play, the support group is a great place for them to ask any questions they may have and the reassurance they need from the nurses as well as speak to other parents going through similar experiences.

“It’s a place mums and dads can go where they can get away from the Hospital environment.  By getting this support, parents experience fewer problems, which results in healthier and happier babies.

Dean Hewitt from Yardley has been to every session since the support group with his seven month old, Destiny, who was born three months prematurely at Heartlands Hospital.  He said: “As well as getting me out of the house, it is good to have someone to ask if we have any concerns or questions about monitoring Destiny’s oxygen.  The support group provides an invaluable service.”

 The support group is held every on a Wednesday of every fortnight at Castle Vale Children’s Centre, from 10am – 12pm. Call 0121 424 2722 for more information.

Some of the most talented singers and musicians in the region will be joining forces with Good Hope for a special charity concert to raise funds for vital equipment.

The concert, organised by the Hospital’s League of Friends will feature Birmingham Gospel Choir, Whitehouse Common School Choir and various talented local musicians with all proceeds going towards a bladder scanner for the Elderly Care Unit.

Sue Slater, Deputy Chair from the League of Friends, said: “It promises to be a really magical evening with some excellent musicians. Not only will it be a great festive night out, but all money raised will go towards the scanner for the elderly wards which will make a real difference to patients at Good Hope.”

The concert will take place on 11 December, 7pm at St Chad’s Church, Hollyfield Road. Tickets cost £5 and are available in person at Good Hope Hospital, Trust Headquarters, Cashers Office or by calling 0121 424 7179.  There will be a raffle on the night and refreshments will be served.

For more information call the League of Friends on 0121 424 9125 or 07792397763.

For Natalie Tomlinson, 38, from Sheldon, it is especially fitting that her birthday this Wednesday falls on World Diabetes Day and her daughter Neave’s just two days before.  Having been diagnosed with type one diabetes at the age of 14, Natalie’s eyesight was affected by diabetic retinopathy, a condition where the blood vessels in the eye leak. Known to cause great risk to eyesight during pregnancy, Natalie took all appropriate measures before and during her pregnancy with  regular check-ups through the diabetic eye screening programme at Heartlands Hospital.  Natalie also underwent laser treatment to seal the blood vessels inher eyes to keep them stable.

However, with pregnancy making the control of blood sugar levels more difficult, at 33 weeks of pregnancy in 2009, Natalie developed a haemorrhage in her left eye, affecting her vision drastically.  As a result, baby Neave was delivered early at 36 weeks via caesarean section. Thankfully Natalie’s sight was maintained.

Natalie said: “Celebrating Neave’s birthday next week and my birthday always feels extra special because of everything we went through during my pregnancy. When I was considering having a child, although there is no guarantee my sight would have been saved, the specialists were fantastic and gave me all the information I needed.  I wanted them to be honest.  I was risking my whole life – I work in a customer complaints department, which involves using a computer, and had to go from full to part time work.  I also had to consider whether I would be able to look after a new baby and see her grow up properly.  Professor Gibson and the rest of the staff at Heartlands were fantastic during this time.  If it wasn’t for them, I don’t think I would have my sight now.

“I think when you have diabetes, you can take your health for granted and it’s not until there is an impact on, like in my case, my sight, that you sit up and take notice.  If you have diabetes, you must attend screening appointments and keep the tightest controls on your condition as you can.  If you are struggling, I would advise asking for help.”

Consultant ophthalmologist, professor Jonathan Gibson, said: “Diabetes is one of the leading causes of blindness in people of working age in the UK.  Unfortunately, one in five diabetes patients in the West Midlands do not attend these vital screenings.  I would urge anyone invited to go to diabetic eye screening appointments so early diabetic eye changes can be detected, aiding swift diagnosis and treatment where appropritate.”

For further information about the diabetic eye screening programme please contact: 0121 424 0655.

The winter diarrhoea and vomiting bug, known as norovirus, is on the rise in the local community, and Heartlands Hospital is now experiencing its first cases. The Hospital has ward 21 and Beech currently closed to visitors and with the situation liable to change at any time, visitors and the public are being reminded to steer clear and stay at home if they have recently suffered symptoms.

Diane Tomlinson, lead infection control and prevention nurse, explains: “Norovirus mostly spreads by contact but can also be air borne and is highly contagious, so we are concerned that locals entering the Hospital with the infection may pass it on to vulnerable patients. Although you may feel fine after suffering from the vomiting bug, you are still passing on germs to others for 48 hours after your last symptom.

“Those who have recently experienced norovirus symptoms but are otherwise fit, are advised to stay home and rest, drinking plenty of water during the illness, and importantly, to stay home for 48 hours after the symptoms have disappeared so as not to pass it on to others. Recent cases may have been brought in by visitors coming in too early after being ill.

“To tackle this and prevent our patients being at risk, Hospital staff are now checking all visitors before letting them onto wards to make sure visitors are fit and well and symptom free for 48 hours.”

To find out more information about norovirus, visit www.nhsdirect.nhs.uk  If you are worried about Norovirus, contact your GP or call NHS Direct on 0845 4647.

Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust has celebrated a key milestone for its new Pathology building with a traditional ‘roof topping’ ceremony.

The jointly funded £8 million development involves a two storey extension to the current pathology building on the Heartlands Hospital site and will accommodate a new centralised core laboratory. It will also house a state-of-the-art molecular biology laboratory for the diagnosis of infectious diseases and genetically acquired conditions.

The team of 400 laboratory medicine and Health Protection Agency (HPA) staff working in the laboratory currently turn around more than 2.6 million clinical sample requests every year for the Hospital Trust and GPs in the surrounding community, plus public health samples from across the region. The extension will increase the laboratory’s capacity in line with demand, whilst modernising the services provided for patients and public health.

Completion of the building work was marked by Lord Philip Hunt, the Trust’s Chairman who placed the last tile on the building’s roof, thereby completing this key stage of the building development.

Lord Hunt said: “I’m thrilled to see the progress on the Heartlands pathology complex.  Providing an excellent patient experience is at the core of what we do. This new development will allow us to provide an improved service including an increased amount of samples turned around every year and 24 hour service for local GPs.”

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