COVID-19 safe haven: Solihull Hospital first in line to restore services

Solihull Hospital exterior

As part of University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust’s Phase 2 COVID-19 response, plans are progressing at pace to turn Solihull Hospital into a site clear of COVID-19. This will enable as many local patients, as is safe and practical, to undergo surgery and procedures that have been ‘paused’ during the initial response to the pandemic.

Since Friday 8 May 2020, GPs have been referring patients for medical assessment largely to Heartlands Hospital and all medical inpatients have been discharged to their usual place of residence, or transferred to Heartlands Hospital or the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham; as a result there are now no inpatients in Solihull Hospital.

The next step will be to deep clean and enable construction works, in readiness for the hospital to open its doors again to patients requiring surgery on Monday 1 June 2020. To facilitate the maintenance of a COVID-clear hospital, the Minor Injuries Unit (MIU) will be closed from 22:00 on Thursday 21 May 2020, as part of the temporary measures being implemented.

These departments at Solihull Hospital will continue to provide services to patients and in ways that meet NHS England and NHS Improvement’s guidelines for managing COVID-19:

  • Dialysis
  • Pharmacy
  • Pathology
  • Outpatients
  • Women's Unit (inc. Birthing Unit)
  • Cardiac Catheterisation Lab
  • Cardiology Diagnostic Testing
  • Physiotherapy
  • Chronic Pain
  • Dermatology
  • Rheumatology
  • Haematology/Oncology
  • Imaging
  • Ophthalmology

With the closure of the MIU from this 22:00 on Thursday 21 May 2020, patients with a minor injury should seek treatment elsewhere. This could be:

  • Visiting a local pharmacy
  • Visiting the NHS 111 website or calling 111 (free and open 24/7)
  • Travelling to another local minor injuries unit or walk-in centre
  • Contacting their GP
  • For more serious issues (including suspected broken bones), travelling to Heartlands Hospital or Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham A&E departments

Approximately 40 people currently attend the MIU at Solihull Hospital each day, between 08:00 – 22:00, for conditions such as:

  • Sprained ankle: minor sprains can often be treated at home, by using RICE therapy: Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevate. The NHS website is a good and reliable source of self-care advice, or a pharmacist can also give advice about sprains and strains, including advice about painkillers
  • Urinary tract infection (UTI): can often be treated by speaking to local pharmacist, or contacting their GP
  • Cellulitis: patients would be advised to contact their GP if they are concerned they have cellulitis, or contact NHS 111
  • Minor cuts: can often be treated at home, or with advice from a pharmacist

More information about local services can be found on the NHS website.

Options are currently being explored to ensure that patients have an urgent care service in the borough, whilst these temporary measures at Solihull Hospital are taken.