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Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust

Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust is an integrated care organisation dedicated to: improving the lives of local people; maintaining an outstanding reputation for teaching and education; and embedding innovation and research.

The Trust employs over 7,000 people, who are responsible for the care of 530,000 local people from across North-West Birmingham and all the towns within Sandwell. Ensuring that its patients are able to take part in clinical trials and other well-designed research studies is an important part of the way that Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust provides care.

Its teams are committed to providing compassionate, high-quality care from City Hospital on Birmingham’s Dudley Road, from Sandwell General Hospital in West Bromwich, and from intermediate care hubs at Rowley Regis and Leasowes in Smethwick, as well its GP services.

The Trust includes the Birmingham and Midland Eye Centre (a supra-regional eye hospital), as well as the Pan-Birmingham Gynae-Cancer Centre, its Sickle Cell and Thalassaemia Centre, and the regional base for the National Poisons Information Service – all based at City.

Additionally, the Sandwell Clinical Research Facility is home to 10 clinic rooms, laboratory space and office space dedicated to clinical research. Many specialties undertake research clinics here, identifying and following up participants across the organisational specialities. The facility was opened in 2018 and sees approximately 2000 participants recruited each year.


Gynaecological Cancer Centre

City Hospital, Birmingham is the site of the pan-Birmingham Gynaecological Cancer Centre. The centre is the hub of the Pan-Birmingham Gynaecological Cancer Network which provides tertiary level care for five cancer units.

The primary objective of the centre is to provide high quality, patient focused, modern cancer care, in as timely a fashion as possible. Research includes a study to use an advanced test to detect early-stage ovarian cancer potentially saving thousands of lives.

Working with primary care provider Modality and the University of Birmingham, a blood test called ROMA is offered to patients experiencing early symptoms of ovarian cancer. Learn more about the Gynaecological Cancer Centre (external link).

West Midlands Adult Haemoglobinopathy Network

The West Midlands Adult Haemoglobinopathy Network is based at City Hospital’s Sickle Cell and Thalassaemia Centre and 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.

Patient Loury Mooruth was one of the first in England to receive a new life changing treatment called Crizanlizumab to reduce episodes of extreme pain in those with the disease – read her story or find out more about the Sickle Cell and Thalassaemia Centre.

Alcohol Care Team

The West Midlands Poisons Unit is based at City Hospital and was established in 1973. The unit has a dedicated team of experts who treat patients suffering from acute and chronic poisoning, and from alcohol and other drug withdrawal syndromes. The unit also provides an outpatient service.

The Alcohol Care Team is part of the unit and has been recognised for improving the care and management of alcohol dependent patients in A&E, which they achieved through an innovative approach which empowers patients to take ownership of their own recovery.

The team have prevented approximately 1,950 bed days in the first four years of the initiative and the number of admissions for acute withdrawal reduced from 1.66% of all acute admissions, to 0.68%. This project has gained attention from both NHS England and Public Health England, who published a case study on this service. This model has been used in the national ACT plan to advise other NHS Trusts.

Oesophageal cancer

A new innovative way to detect the early stages of oesophageal cancer is being piloted at SWBH. Cytosponge, also known as a pill on a string, is a new diagnostic test for patients with reflux disease.

The test involves a patient swallowing a capsule consisting of a spherical sponge in a dissolvable capsule, which is attached to a thread.

When the capsule is swallowed, the outer coating of the capsule dissolves within seven minutes resulting in the sponge expanding into small, rough-textured sponge in a person’s stomach. The sponge is then pulled back up by pulling on the string and it collects cells from the lining of proximal stomach and the oesophagus as it goes. Traditionally these patients would have undergone an upper gastrointestinal endoscopy to diagnose these conditions.