COVID-19 Statements

Please see below our latest statements regarding COVID-19:

Friday, 17 April

We are pleased to hear via social media posts from the family that the gentleman concerned in a recent complaint about City Hospital care is now recovering well.  We note that another hospital, not ours, also considered that a COVID-19 assessment and test were necessary.  That is what our doctors also recommended and what family members disputed and continue to dispute.  That common view of good clinical practice challenges again the unfounded allegation of racial profiling, made in a viral video, against our NHS staff, who are drawn from all backgrounds, including very many from the local BME community.  The NHS stands with and is rooted in the local community.

We have now completed a review of the care of the patient, and sent that to the family, concluding the formal complaint process.  We have offered a follow up meeting next week to discuss any abiding concerns.

From this situation, and other contact by worried local residents, it has become clear that there is a widespread misunderstanding locally of the symptoms of COVID-19.  In addition it seems clear that there is a belief that the COVID-19 test can be done “on the spot”.  In reality it is a test that takes around two days to complete.  Patients with possible COVID-19 symptoms are looked after in specific wards.  These wards are called red wards and comprise about 75% of the beds now in our hospitals.  They receive the same care as everyone else that we look after, but with additional isolation procedures consistent with possible infection.  Most patients cared for in these wards have been discharged safe and well into their homes and the wider community.

We note the national enquiry launched into BME communities and COVID-19, which is really welcome, and look forward to sharing both data and insights from our staff with the Birmingham Health and Wellbeing Board when it meets on Thursday April 23rd.

Deprivation, age and co-morbidities are undoubtedly risk factors to onset and outcome associated with COVID-19.  We urge all members of our local community to observe social distancing, handwashing practice, and self-isolation.  However, we would reiterate the need to seek medical attention from any disease when it is needed, not to stay away from care.  And to ensure good management of long term conditions like asthma and diabetes for which local GPs can provide expert advice.  

Wednesday, 15 April

We are aware of a film circulating on social media which focuses on a family’s complaint about their father’s care at City Hospital.  Our Chief Executive was in touch with the patient’s relative an hour after their concern was raised on Easter Sunday, so that their complaint could be investigated and addressed.  We never want any family to be distressed, confused or angry about the work we do to care.

The film makes serious allegations of racism against our staff, which are unfounded.  In particular ethnicity, gender and age do not play a part in how we treat patients or which wards they go to for their care.  All patients in our community are valued equally and treated with compassion from a workforce that is just as diverse as our own population.

Covid-19 assessments are made on the patients we care for.  When COVID-19 is suspected patients are placed in specific wards while the test is undertaken and the results are awaited.  Here, as elsewhere, the test usually takes two days to be completed.  Our medical staff make judgments about care based on symptoms and nothing else.

Working with University partners, other hospitals, local authority colleagues and others we continue to analyse data about the work we do to better understand COVID-19, how to diagnose and to treat it.  This analysis includes, and has included since early March, analysis of age, gender and ethnicity as well as co-morbidities like diabetes.  We have been public about that data before this week and will continue to discuss emerging findings and conclusions.

We continue to discuss with the family who posted the film their concerns and will address those as quickly in coming days as is possible.

ENDS

Tuesday, 7th April 

We are aware of a distressing video being shared on social media claiming to have been filmed in Sandwell Hospital. It is not. The video in question has been widely shared overseas tagged with other health facilities names.

This misinformation is upsetting to both our staff and patients, so we would ask you not to share it, and if you do see it please report it as misleading to the social media platform it is hosted on.

Thank you.


Sunday, 5th April 

The Trust continues to offer midwife-led births in our Trust.  However, in order to manage safely the COVID-19 outbreak, including the challenges of safe staffing through the pandemic, we have relocated this service into our main maternity department.  This is a change, and not one we have taken without due thought.

Helen Hurst, Director of Midwifery for the Trust, said: “We appreciate this is disappointing to women who had chosen our care because they felt comfortable with the facilities in the unit itself.”

“We will send out messages via social media as we are trying to share updates as quickly and widely as possible and give women as much notice as possible of any changes. We will, of course, also be contacting those affected to reassure them and have detailed discussions about their next steps as we know this news will have come as a frustration.  Women will still be able to achieve their low risk birth at the Trust in our main delivery unit, with the skills and support of our dedicated staff.  We continue to support parents to attend the birth of their children, but are severely restricting all other access for reasons of infection risk to all involved.”

Wednesday, 1st April

Toby Lewis, Chief Executive, said: “Sadly, we can confirm that eight people, who were being cared for at our Trust, and had tested positive for COVID-19, have died.
“The patients were aged between 51 and 91. Our thoughts and condolences remain with their families at this very difficult and distressing time.”

Monday 30th March

Toby Lewis, Chief Executive, said: “Sadly, we can confirm that two people, who were being cared for at our Trust, and had tested positive for COVID-19, have died.
“The patients were in their 70s and 80s. Our thoughts and condolences remain with their families at this very difficult and distressing time.”

Sunday 29th March

Toby Lewis, Chief Executive, said: “Sadly, we can confirm that four people, who were being cared for at our Trust, and had tested positive for COVID-19, have died.
“The patients were aged between 72  and 90. Our thoughts and condolences remain with their families at this very difficult and distressing time.”

Saturday, 28th March

Toby Lewis, Chief Executive, said: “Sadly, we can confirm that five people, who were being cared for at our Trust, and had tested positive for COVID-19, have died.
“The patients were all in their 80s. Our thoughts and condolences remain with their families at this very difficult and distressing time.”

Thursday, 26th March 

Toby Lewis, Chief Executive, said: “Sadly, we can confirm that 11 people, who were being cared for at our Trust, and had tested positive for COVID-19, have died. The patients, whose ages ranged from 45 to 90, had underlying health conditions. Our thoughts and condolences remain with their families at this very difficult and distressing time.”

To see the national news release please click here.

Saturday, 21st March

Toby Lewis, Chief Executive at Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust said: “Sadly, we can confirm the death of a patient at Sandwell Hospital who had tested positive for COVID-19. The patient was a man in his early 80s and had underlying health conditions. 
The family has been informed and our thoughts and condolences are with them at this difficult and distressing time.” 

Thursday, 19th March

Toby Lewis, Chief Executive, said: “Sadly, we can confirm that two people, who were being cared for at City Hospital, and had tested positive for COVID-19, have died. Both patients, a man and woman, who were in their 80s, died on 18 March. The patients had underlying health conditions. 
“Their families have been informed and our thoughts and condolences are with them at this difficult and distressing time.” 

Wednesday, 18th March

Toby Lewis, Chief Executive, said: “Sadly, we can confirm that two people who were being cared for at our Trust, and had tested positive for COVID-19, have died. Both patients had underlying health conditions. 
“Their families have been informed and our thoughts and condolences are with them at this difficult and distressing time.” 

Saturday, 14th March

Toby Lewis, Chief Executive, said: “Sadly, we can confirm that a man who was being cared for at City Hospital, and had tested positive for COVID-19, has died. 
“The patient, was in his mid-80s and had underlying health conditions. 
“His family have been informed and our thoughts and condolences are with them at this difficult and distressing time.”