Healthwatch Sandwell Q&A

Healthwatch Sandwell recently received a number of questions via its Facebook page.  Below, you will find those questions and our answers:


Q. Where is the new hospital going to be?

A. The new hospital will be situated in Smethwick.

Q. Which road is the Midland Metropolitan University Hospital being built on?

A. The hospital is being built on land that is bordered by London Street, Heath Street, Grove Lane, Grove Street and the Cape Arm Canal in Smethwick. The entrance will be on Grove Lane.

Q. Does the MMUH serve Sandwell and Birmingham?

A. The hospital will serve all the communities living in Sandwell and West Birmingham.

Q. Why was Smethwick chosen to situate a new hospital?

A. A number of sites were considered but the Smethwick site was chosen because of its central location, convenient to both Sandwell and West Birmingham residents.

Q. What is happening to A&E in Sandwell General and City?

A. One Emergency Department will be housed at Midland Metropolitan, which will be the biggest in Europe. Both A&Es at Sandwell and City will close as a result, however, there will be an urgent care centre at Sandwell.

Q. How will a hospital in Smethwick serve the Sandwell Community better?

A. The location of Midland Met University Hospital is easily accessible for our patients as it is in a central area. It brings together acute and emergency services onto a single site with clinical teams in one place, providing specialist care for our patients.


Q. What Paediatric services will be within the new Midland Metropolitan University Hospital?

A. There will be two children’s wards, and a paediatric Emergency Department will be housed within the A&E department.

Q. Where will the Diabetic team be based?

A. Outpatient clinics are to be located at City, Sandwell and other community facilities. Consultants and specialist nurses would of course need to treat inpatients who have been admitted to hospital who need their specialist support.

Q. Where will the Cardio Rehab be moved too?

A. Cardiac Rehab is currently sited in Sheldon Block at City Hospital, and it will remain within that building, which will be retained by the Trust.

Q. Will A&E remain in place at Sandwell hospital once the new hospital has opened?

A. One Emergency Department will be housed at Midland Metropolitan, which will be the biggest in Europe. Both A&Es at Sandwell and City will close as a result, however, there will be an urgent care centre at Sandwell.

Q. Which wards will remain open at Sandwell (if any) once the new hospital had opened?

A. There will be rehabilitation and intermediate care wards at Sandwell.

Q. Why are most appointments transferred to City Hospital instead of Sandwell General Hospital?

A. Outpatient appointments are provided at both Sandwell and City Hospitals and increasingly in community facilities such as Rowley Regis Hospital. This will continue to be the case in the future.

Q. Will  the services and capacity at the new hospital be as much as City and Sandwell combined?

A. Yes we will be offering the full range of services as is currently provided. The number of beds in Midland Met and our intermediate care facilities changes slightly.

Q. Is it true the new hospital has fewer beds than Sandwell General and City hospitals?

A. The new hospital will have 675 beds – a smaller number of acute beds but increased number of community/rehabilitation beds.

Q. Why was a new hospital built instead of updating Sandwell General and City hospital?

A. The new hospital will be a state-of-the-art facility, housing the latest equipment. This in turn will provide better care for patients in a modern facililty. A refurbishment of the existing sites would not have brought together clinical team onto a single site.


Q. How long does it take to get to the new MMUH from Sandwell hospital?

A. If you are travelling by car, the journey is approximately 15 minutes during off-peak times. Public transport could take an estimated 30 minutes.

Q. How many parking spaces are there compared to the other hospitals?

A. There will be 800 secure spaces for patients and visitors, with several access points from the public highway. In addition there will be designated drop-off and collection points for visitors and staff.

Q. Are the parking charges going to be reasonable?

A. The parking charges will be in line with prices set by the Trust.

Q. Will one hospital parking be expensive than another hospital?

A. Our two acute sites charge the same prices for car parking and this will remain the case once the Midland Metropolitan University Hospital opens.

Q. What public transport will get me to the new hospital?

A. Buses that will stop at the new hospital are: Number 11, with 16 buses every hour. Numbers 83 and 89, with 8 buses every hour. Bus numbers 82 and 87 will travel to the New Dudley Road/Grove Lane stop, with 24 buses every hour. The train will stop at Rolfe Street station, which is around a 20 minute walk to the Midland Met.


Q. Will the cost of keeping limited services running at the left-over hospital sites be cost effective?

A. The services provided at our other sites will be increased rather than limited. Our priority is to offer patients the right care, in the right place at the right time.


Q. When might I expect to see jobs advertised at the new hospital?

A. You can find the latest vacancies at our Trust by going to Recruitment to work at our Trust is ongoing.

Q. When is the hospital officially opening?

A. The opening date for the new hospital is due to be announced in autumn 2021.

Q. Is it true, that the new hospital is not accurate to its building plans?

A. No, the hospital is being built as designed.