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Sickle Cell & Thalassaemia

Medications Under COVID-19

We know this is an extremely worrying time. We will ask you if your medications can be collected by a trusted party for you, if this is not possible, we will arrange courier delivery.

You can contact the centre on 0121 507 6040

If you develop symptoms please contact NHS 111 and state that you are in at risk group.

Watch our video featuring patients with Sickle Cell disease talk about the COVID-19 vaccine below.

Getting the COVID-19 vaccine: Sickle Cell patient stories

Sickle Cell, COVID-19 and vaccination (Presentation and Q&A)

Learn about the COVID-19 vaccine with Dr Anna Goodman

Haemoglobinopathy & COVID-19: What’s my risk?

As lockdown eases those shielding with anemias may find making their next choices difficult. Here’s a breakdown of figures courtesy of the UK’s National Haemoglobinopathy Panel. You can also find this information here.

Additional Information: “COVID-19 Vaccination in patients with Haemoglobinopathies and Rare Inherited Anaemias”


Sickle Cell and Thalassaemia (SCaT) Centre

Welcome to the Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust Sickle Cell and Thalassaemia Centre (SCaT). The service is located on the first floor of the main City Hospital building, opposite ward D15.

Some members of the team.

The unit is a day-case treatment centre providing care for patients with Sickle Cell Disease and Thalassaemia and their families and friends. Some appointments are booked; but we are largely a walk-in service. We have three beds, two consultation rooms and an open area with four reclining chairs.

The West Midlands Adult Haemoglobinopathy Network

The West Midlands Adult Haemoglobinopathy Network was established in 2016. The aim of the network is to bring about improved and standardised care of sickle cell anaemia and thalassaemia patients living within the West Midlands area.
It also aims to bring more cohesion between the multi-disciplinary teams of professionals involved in the care of patients,
promote patient/family involvement, recognise and support community/voluntary sector’s contribution
to overall care/support of patients in the region.
It brings together services for adult patients with inherited blood disorders that affect
haemoglobin from hospitals across the region and consists of:

Nationally recognised, Birmingham has the highest concentration of haemoglobin disorders (sickle
cell anaemia and thalassaemia) outside of London.

Haemoglobinopathy is defined as any haematological disorder due to alteration in the genetically determined molecular structure of haemoglobin, resulting in conditions such as Sickle Cell Anaemia and Thalassemia.


To contact the Sickle Cell and Thalassaemia Centre call: 0121 507 6040

Centre opening times:
Monday – 9am to 4pm

Tuesday to Friday – 9am to 5pm

Lead Haemoglobinopathy Consultants:
Dr Christine Wright

Dr Shivan Pancham

Our team also consists of the following:
Lead nurse/unit manager

Haemoglobinopathy sister
Staff nurses
Health care assistants
Liaison sisters

Orthopaedic Consultant:
Mr Manoj Sikand

Endocrine Consultant:
Dr Parijat De


The SCaT centre is a regional service providing:

  • Day case pain management for sickle cell patients in acute sickle cell painful crisis
  • Regular blood transfusions for Thalassaemia patients and support with chelation therapy
  • Some blood transfusions for sickle cell patients
  • Outreach support for all our patients when they are in-patients
  • Medical and Nurse-led reviews
  • Consultant led out-patient clinics
  • Apheresis in conjunction with the National Blood Transfusion Service
  • Joint endocrine and orthopaedic clinics

Other Services 

The Sickle Cell and Thalassaemia Centre works very closely with the Community Haemoglobinopathy Nursing Team, the Birmingham Children’s Hospital Haemoglobinopathy Unit, the Voluntary Sector (OSCAR Birmingham, OSCAR Sandwell and the Sickle Cell Cares Wolverhampton) and our own hospital’s wider multi-disciplinary team.

We run joint endocrine clinics and joint orthopaedic clinics quarterly. We work closely with the leg ulcer nurses and the diabetes/endocrine nurses.
Apheresis is provided in conjunction with the National Blood Transfusion Service.

For more information see:

Patient Stories

Please feel free to share your experiences of this service. Please e-mail your views to

Our sickle cell patients become first recruits for worldwide study

The sickle cell team have become the first in the world to recruit patients onto a ground breaking study which will trial a new drug to treat the condition.
The study, which is sponsored by the company Imara, aims to find out if taking IMR-687 can help prevent sickling, therefore reducing the number of painful sickle cell crises. It is also hoped that this can be done with no side effects. Hydroxycarbamide is the more commonly used medication to reduce sickling and it works well but can have some side effects.

Liz Green and Amanda Tembedza, from the Sickle Cell and Thalassaemia team, based at City Hospital.

Four centres within the UK have been asked to take part in the trial, including our organisation, whilst 10 centres are involved in America.  We have so far recruited two patients.
Liz Green, Sickle Cell and Thalassemia (SCAT) Manager, said: “This is the first time that we have taken part in a research project and we are extremely proud to have become the first centre to recruit to this worldwide study.
“We held an engagement event to speak to our patients about the trial and the feedback from this was very positive with around 40 people attending.
“Our first recruit came forward in January, with a second following soon afterwards.
We are the only centre involved in the UK, outside of London.”

She added that research trials into sickle cell were quite uncommon. It’s fantastic news that there is research being done into this condition which is looking at alternative treatment.
“Historically more studies are done around the white blood cell conditions, like leukaemia, rather than the red blood cells.
“Patients who take Hydroxycarbamide, can experience a number of side effects, including discolouring of the nails and neutropenia which means they are more vulnerable to infections.
“It’s believed the study drug will have none of these side effects, yet still have the benefits of Hydroxycarbamide, which reduces the chances of sufferers experiencing a painful crisis and sickling in the blood.”
The trial will take place over a six month period with up to 54 patients involved worldwide.

How the trial will work:

The trial is split into two groups.
Group A will be made up of patients who do not take Hydroxycarbamide.
Half will be given the new drug to take whilst the others will take a dummy medication, known as a placebo.
Group B will involve patients who take Hydroxycarbamide.
Again half will be given the new drug which they will take alongside Hydroxycarbamide. The other half will take a placebo.
The aim will be to find out how safe the study drug is for treating patients and whether it has any unwanted effects. It will also look at how long it takes IMR-687 to get into the patient’s bloodstream, the length of time it stays there and how it is broken down and processed by the body. They will be monitored on a regular basis to check any adverse reactions they may have. Both SWB patients are included in this group.


Patient Information

Moving (transitioning) from child to adult services

We would like to welcome young patients into our adult service. We have two patient information leaflets below which tell you what to expect. There is also a video which takes you on a quick tour of the SCAT ward, which is based at City Hospital. As you can see we are all very welcoming!

A virtual tour:

Patient information leaflets: 

The following patient information leaflets are available: 

The following are available upon request from the department: 

  • Diabetic Ketoacidosis (DKA)
  • Employment and Sickle Cell Disease
  • Endocrine Problems in Thalassaemia
  • Hydroxycarbamide for the Treatment of Sickle Cell Disease
  • Hypoglycaemia
  • Iron Overload and Chelation
  • Painkillers (Analgesia)
  • Sickle Cell Trait
  • Supporting the National Haemoglobinopathy Registry (NHR)


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