Coronavirus: Public Information [Updated: 30/05/2022]

3rd Mar 2020

COVID-19 positive help pack

If you have received a positive COVID-19 test and been told to isolate, you can download a handy pack with lots of support to help you through your isolation period. It’s available in 14 languages, BSL and also screen reader.

Visiting restrictions - Updated

From May 30 we are able to take a further step on our Living with COVID-19 plan, in line with NHS national guidance. Easing visiting restrictions further.

  • Patients can receive up to two visitors per day for one hour. A child can attend as one of the two visitors and remains the responsibility of the parent / guardian.
  • Visiting appointments must continue to be booked in advance with the ward, as they have been during recent months.
  • Visiting hours are between 11AM and 7PM.
  • Visiting is extended to COVID-19 areas, but the appropriate PPE must be worn by visitors.
  • Please make sure you use hand sanitiser upon entry to the site.
  • Surgical face masks (supplied at the main entrance) must be worn by all whilst on our premises and at all times, including in ward areas, unless exempt.

In relation to Outpatients and Emergency Departments:

  • A patient can be accompanied by one other person at outpatient appointments or in our emergency departments
  • Surgical face masks (supplied at the entrance) must be worn by all whilst on our premises and at all times including in ward areas, unless exempt.

As always, people who test positive for COVID-19 should not visit or accompany a patient.

However, household contacts of COVID-19 cases can attend if they do not have COVID-19. A negative lateral flow test is no longer required to attend.

Please note that visiting is further relaxed for those at end of life, children and those who lack mental capacity. Extensions to our general visiting arrangements can be considered for other vulnerable patients.


We will continue to review visiting arrangements regularly based on a risk assessment taking into account COVID-19 case rates in the community and numbers of cases in our hospitals.

To contact a ward for more detailed information please go through main hospital telephone numbers:

  • Birmingham City Hospital – 0121 554 3801
  • Sandwell General Hospital – 0121 553 1831
  • Rowley Regis Community Hospital – 0121 507 6300 (Not evenings or weekends, please ask for the ward number to contact them directly during this period)
Supporting your recovery / Coronavirus discharge pack

Recovery from COVID-19 will take time. The length of time needed will vary from person to person and it is important not to compare yourself to others. Ongoing symptoms could last for several months after you contract COVID-19 and this can be perfectly normal.

An information pack is also given to patients who leave our care after being tested positive for COVID-19, or with COVID-19 symptoms who are awaiting a test result. This pack describes how to manage symptoms such as breathlessness, guidance on isolation, managing stress and anxiety and who to contact for help. Click here to read.

Our NHS colleagues at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust have produced a patient support website offering advice and guidance on your recovery journey. Here you can find information about what you can do to make recovery easier for yourself, both physically and mentally.

There is also a centralised NHS website Supporting your recovery after COVID-19.

Accessing a Long COVID Clinic

What is Long COVID?

Around one in five COVID-19 patients suffer from long COVID syndrome. Symptoms can vary patient to patient but common symptoms include high temperature, fatigue, brain fog, anxiety and depression, breathlessness and generalised pain. Patients may need further support to aid recovery and rehabilitation. In October 2020 NHS England/Improvement (NHSE/I) announced plans for Long COVID clinics; ensuring specialist support is available for patients referred to the clinic by their GP.

You can read more about the effects of Long COVID and the support on offer by going to the Black Country and West Birmingham Clinical Commissioning Group website here


How can I access my local long COVID clinic?

If you are experiencing any of the symptoms as listed on the NHS guidance pages, please contact your GP for further assessment.

Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and the impact they’re having on your life.

They may suggest some tests to find out more about your symptoms and rule out other things that could be causing them.

These might include:

  • blood tests
  • checking your blood pressure and heart rate
  • a chest X-ray

Your doctor will talk to you about the care and support you might need. You may be given advice about how to manage and monitor your symptoms at home.

If the symptoms are having a big impact on your life, you may be referred to a specialist rehabilitation service or a service that specialises in the specific symptoms you have.

Is any other support available?

GPs can also direct patients to for general support and information

Social distancing measures across the Trust

In order to maintain safety for both patients and staff we have in place across Sandwell & West Birmingham NHS Trust various social distancing measures.

These include:

• Only having essential face to face contacts – lots of general consultations across the Trust have become virtual, either taking place via phone or video call

• Restricting visiting to reduce the number of people in the hospital (please see separate guidance on this).

• Screening patients for symptoms of COVID-19 when they enter parts of the Trust, such as the eye hospital–patients who report COVID-19 symptoms are seen in isolation, using separate facilities.

• Patients are offered masks on entry. These are a requirement to access the site.

• Patients are asked to sanitise their hands on entry, and throughout their time in the hospital. You will find dispensers on the walls throughout the building.

• Some areas of seating have been temporarily removed or taped off to enhance social distancing.

Please abide by any guidance supplied when on our sites, all measures are necessary to keep facilities and services operational and are for the benefit of everyone.

Maternity care

Updated Maternity Guidance – April 2021

City Hospital

During labour, one birthing partner is allowed to attend within the hospital premises.

The birthing partner is now also able to accompany the mother on scans/antenatal appointments and visiting across the maternity services.  On arrival there will be a requirement to undertake a Lateral flow test (rapid COVID-19 test) before all antenatal appointments. This is also applicable when visiting the inpatient areas. The Trust is able to offer limited visiting on inpatient wards at time designated slots.

Please see our leaflet for further information on visiting.

For any questions or queries relating to your treatment please contact the SWB Maternity Coronavirus team at

Attending Sandwell Hospital and West Bromwich Albion and Aston Villa maternity clinics

There is also a requirement to undertake a lateral flow test when attending these venues for both the mum-to-be and her partner, however  this must be done prior to arrival.

Mums-to-be can receive a box of lateral flow tests, which must be carried out at home prior to appointments. If both parties record a negative result, they can attend (please let the team know if you cannot). Write your name and when the test was taken on the cartridge and take a photo of the test on your phone, with the details and result clearly visible. Please show this photograph to healthcare staff when you arrive.

Alternatively you can record the result on the NHS Test and Trace app and you will receive a text which you will need to show the staff at the hospital.

You can find a video about doing a lateral flow test at home below:

Please see our leaflet for further information on visiting.

For additional information about maternity care and other areas of care during the Coronavirus pandemic, please click here. You can find details of the modified maternity pathway here.

Maternity care during the coronavirus outbreak

We understand that you will be worried about what Coronavirus means for you and your baby and we are doing all we can to help keep you, your baby and your family safe.

We are following updated guidelines on your appointments to ensure you continue to have the maternity care you need while reducing the risk from contacting Coronavirus. This means that you may have fewer face-to-face visits with your midwife and some of your appointments may be over the phone including your first booking appointment.

It is still very important that you attend any face–to-face appointments if you are requested to do so or take part in any telephone appointments. If you have a high temperature or a new persistent cough please ring for advice before you attend a face-to-face appointment.

If you need to attend hospital for an appointment (including for a scan) you will need to attend alone. No visitors are allowed on any of our antenatal or postnatal wards including the baby’s father. One birth partner is allowed during birth, but this must be the same person throughout and they will need to leave two hours following the baby being born.

If your baby is admitted to the Neonatal Unit one parent is allowed to visit and we ask that person to bring food etc. with them (the staff will heat it up for you if need be) to minimise the number of times you enter and leave the unit. Please follow the instructions on washing your hands before entering and leaving the unit. We have introduced a new system called vCreate which is an NHS Trusted Secure Video Messaging service that enables the nursing team to send you short videos and photos of your child, during those times when you’re unable to be on the unit.

Read our leaflet below for more information:

Read the leaflet in the following languages:

Bengali Kurdish Punjabi Romanian Tigrian Urdu

For advice on managing anxiety during pregnancy and after the birth during COVID-19, see the leaflet: Managing Anxiety in the Perinatal Period

Read the leaflet in the following languages:

Bengali Romanian Tigrian Urdu Kurdish Punjabi

You can find details of the modified maternity pathway here.

SWB Maternity Coronavirus email:

Cancer Support

Cancer patients, diagnosis and treatment

Coronavirus as you can understand has been the main priority for the NHS since the outbreak began, however we have continued to accept referrals and triage all of our urgent cancer patients.  We still though have many patients in our Community living with cancer.  It’s vital that our patients receive the treatment and support they need.  Therefore, if you feel that you aren’t getting the treatment you need or have confusion or misunderstanding about your current cancer pathway please read through the leaflet below which will help you understand your rights and more importantly how to act on them.

Cancer and Coronavirus – know your rights in England

Useful websites for cancer patients during coronavirus


For more information about the organisation’s telephone buddies system guidance around cancer treatment and COVID-19,  looking after your immune system, and shielding, go to:


There is lots of helpful information about coronavirus and leukaemia, lymphoma and myeloma, including information around treatment and patient’s in remission. See:

Cancer Research UK

This website contains detailed information around vulnerable groups and how to cope with cancer during Coronavirus. See:

Disease Specific Help

There is plenty of disease site specific information available from the following website:

It provides links to cancer support websites which contain disease specific information around COVID-19.

Taking care of your mental wellbeing

Many of us are struggling with maintaining our mental wellbeing during coronavirus. It may feel difficult to take care of your mental wellbeing if you’re spending a lot of time at home and away from other people in your life on top of receiving treatment for cancer.

This is a wellbeing checklist which might help:

  • Connectivity: have you got ways to keep in contact with people in your life? Do you need help with using digital communication, like video calls?
  • Routine: can you create a routine or timetable for yourself? If you live with other people, should you create a household schedule?
  • Food & Cleaning Supplies: do you have a way to get essentials delivered if you need to self-isolate?
  • Medication: do you have enough medication, or a way to get more?
  • Therapy: Can you reorganise any therapy or counselling to phone or online sessions?
  • Exercise: is there any physical activity you can do inside your home, like going up and down the stairs, using bean tins as weights, or exercises you can do in your chair?  Visit
  • Nature: have you thought about how you can bring nature into your home? Can you get some seeds and planting equipment delivered, or put up photos of green spaces?
  • Entertainment: have you thought about things to do, books to read or TV shows to watch?
  • Relax: have you got materials so you can do something creative, such as pencils and paper?

Please also access the following sources of support and information:

If Coronavirus is also causing you sleep anxiety, please access the following website for support:

Please watch this video created by THRIVE about managing your wellbeing during Coronavirus:

Contact us

If you need any further support please contact your Cancer Nurse Specialist directly or you can contact the Living With and Beyond Cancer team:

Phone: 0121 507 3817


Facebook page @SWBHcancersupport

We also have a Cancer Support Services page where you can find the latest information about how we can help you:

Here to help.  Here for you.  Here when you need us.

Access to GPs and repeat prescriptions

GP practices are still available to contact

GP practices are available to phone as usual during the COVID-19 outbreak, even on Bank Holidays and should be contacted first before coming in to A&E unless it is an emergency.

Practices have changed how they operate some services and in some cases may ask you to attend another local practice for your appointment.  Care continues. If you do need to see a doctor outside of COVID-19 concerns please contact your GP practice for advice at the earliest opportunity. Please also arrange with them, as you usually do, your repeat prescription and all appointments for your routine care.


Eye Casualty at BMEC

Eye Casualty at the Birmingham and Midland Eye Centre remains open and is seeing patients.

Any contact lens wearer who is experiencing eye pain, redness and reduced vision that doesn’t settle or gets worse over a 24 hours period must attend Eye Casualty. Anyone who has previously had corneal transplant surgery and is experiencing such symptoms should call the BMEC central helpline.

For any general queries relating to procedures/treatments at BMEC please call our helpline on 0121 507 4440.

Injection appointments at BMEC

IVT injections have continued throughout the COVID-19 crisis due to the importance that these patients receive this treatment to avoid irreversible sight loss.

If you are due to have an appointment related to receiving an injection please do attend. For any inquiries please call the BMEC helpline on 0121 507 4440.


If you’re concerned about attending your hospital eye clinic appointment during coronavirus, the RNIB has created a short film. It features three Eye Clinic Liaison Officers (ECLOs) offering their tips on how to prepare, what to bring and what you might expect to happen when you arrive, along with alternatives to attending in person.  Additional information can be found here.

Cancer patients, diagnostics and treatment

We are continuing to provide services for two week wait referrals – both for diagnosis and the treatment of cancer – with some cases being carried out at different sites, including in local private hospitals.  GPs have been given updated guidance to ensure patients are given access to clinic or telephone reviews and onward investigations as appropriate.

We have also set up a helpline for patients and carers to contact us with any questions they may have around their cancer diagnosis and the Coronavirus (COVID-19). The number, for non-urgent enquiries, is 0121 507 3817 and is available from 10am until 2pm.

Cancer patients who are undergoing chemotherapy treatment and have queries can call their treatment unit or the 24-hour emergency hospital helpline (Acute Oncology Service) on 07976 499140.

Scans and x-rays (Imaging)
For both patient and staff safety, we have prioritised diagnostic investigations for urgent cases and cancer related diagnostics with other non-urgent cases postponed and rescheduled. GPs practices have been informed of any affected patients. If you have any queries please contact your GP.
Planned surgical procedures

We are contacting all patients with planned procedures that we need to change. We continue to do urgent surgery and surgery for patients on two week wait pathways.

Outpatient appointments

Some routine outpatient appointments are now taking place by telephone or video phone. Your appointment will still take place but someone will telephone you instead. We will let you know if you need to be seen in person. For appointment queries in the please call our contact centre on 0121 507 4151.

If you have an outpatients appointment, please read our leaflets which contains some information and advice when attending our healthcare sites:

Advice for patients attending Outpatients Appointments during COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

I'm from a vulnerable group - where can I find more information about COVID-19?

As mentioned below you can find a lot of information about COVID-19 on both the NHS website and on GOV.UK, however there are also a number of resources on the Health Education England (HEE) website too.

HEE has produced a library of high quality COVID-19 patient information specifically for vulnerable groups, information in a more accessible format (easy read, sign language, Makaton, etc.), resources for older people, as well as resources for children and young people to help them better understand the virus and the changes that have been going on in the world around them.

Head to to find out more.

Advice for parents during COVID-19

Whilst Coronavirus is infectious to children it is rarely serious. If your child is unwell it is likely to be a non-Coronavirus illness, rather than Coronavirus itself. If they require urgent or emergency treatment do not let this be a barrier to bringing them to hospital, we continue to take care of patients young and old outside of the pandemic. As do GPs and NHS 111.

Click here for some additional guidance on steps to take if your child needs medical care.

24/7 mental health helpline

It is only natural, with all that has been occurring, to experience some stress and anxiety. Particularly when you are isolating for long periods of time and are unable to do your usual activities.

If you do find that your mental health is being affected by the implications of Coronavirus, then please don’t suffer in silence. The Black Country Partnership NHS Foundation Trust have launched a new, 24/7 helpline which is open to residents of all ages across the Black Country and will give access to urgent mental health, learning disability and/or autism support.

The helpline is staffed by specialist mental health colleagues who will provide advice and can also direct you to other mental health services if these are required.

Please do not think you are alone. It is okay to not be okay – and if you aren’t, then please do pick up the phone and speak to someone.

People can access the 24/7 freephone number by calling 0800 008 6516.

Alongside those in crisis, for more common mental health problems such as low mood, depression, anxiety and stress people can self-refer to Healthy Minds / Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) services.

Dudley Talking Therapies 0800 953 0404
Sandwell Healthy Minds 0303 033 9903
Walsall Talking Therapies 0800 953 0995
Wolverhampton Healthy Minds 0800 923 0222 or 01902 441 856 ​​​​​​​


Existing service users are encouraged to maintain their existing service contacts. 

Coronavirus foreign language posters

Jezyk Polski/Polish 
Arabic / اللغة العربیة
Urdu / اردو
Shqip / Albanian
简体中文 /Chinese
Français / French
Kurdish Sorani  / کوردی سۆ رانی
Soomaali /Somali
Español /Spanish
Türkçe/ Turkish
Tiếng Việt/ Vietnamese


Following on from the announcement by the Government, please see the guidance for the general public here to help stop the spread of the Coronavirus (also referred to as COVID-19). This includes people of all ages – even if you do not have any symptoms or other health conditions.

You can only leave your home:

  • to shop for basic essentials – only when you really need to
  • to do one form of exercise a day – such as a run, walk or cycle, alone or with other people you live with
  • for any medical need – for example, to visit a pharmacy or deliver essential supplies to a vulnerable person
  • to travel to and from work – but only where this is absolutely necessary

Continue to stay at home if you have either:

  • a high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
  • a new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)

To protect others, do not go to places like a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital. Stay at home.

Only go outside for food, health reasons or essential work

  • Stay 2 metres (6ft) away from other people
  • Wash your hands as soon as you get home

Anyone can spread the virus.

If you are worried about Coronavirus

The Coronavirus outbreak may cause you to feel anxious, stressed, worried, sad, helpless, overwhelmed, confused or angry. It’s important to remember it is OK to feel this way and that everyone reacts differently to different events.

You can find a number of tips to ease any anxiety and help your mental wellbeing here.


Testing will not be offered routinely to individuals staying at home.
Patients who require overnight admission to hospital should still be tested regardless of travel history if they present with
• either clinical or radiological evidence of pneumonia
• acute respiratory distress syndrome
• influenza like illness (fever ≥37.8°C and at least one of the following respiratory symptoms, which must be of acute onset: persistent cough (with or without sputum), hoarseness, nasal discharge or congestion, shortness of breath, sore throat, wheezing, sneezing)
Clinicians should be alert to the possibility of atypical presentations in patients who are immuno-compromised.

NHS 111

Up-to-date information can be found on We expect the health service to be exceptionally busy in the coming days and weeks. If people have serious symptoms that they cannot manage at home they should use NHS 111 online. They should only telephone NHS 111 if they
cannot go online.

If you have to isolate, NHS 111 can provide you with an isolation note if one is required for your workplace.

Full guidance on staying at home and away from others

You can find the latest information and advice from Public Health England at with further information available on

Like the common cold, Coronavirus infection usually occurs through close contact with a person with novel Coronavirus via cough and sneezes or hand contact. A person can also be infected by touching contaminated surfaces if they do not wash their hands.

Everyone is being reminded to follow Public Health England advice to:

  • Always carry tissues with you and use them to catch your cough or sneeze. Then bin the tissue, and wash your hands, or use a sanitiser gel.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after using public transport. Use a sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are unwell.


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