Information for ENT patients during the Covid-19 (coronavirus) outbreak

The Covid-19 pandemic is forcing us to change the way we offer ENT services to our patients and families. In order to minimise the spread of Covid-19 infection, to be able to provide as much capacity to treat patients requiring emergency treatment and of course to protect our patients and their families, we have had to make significant changes to the scheduling of surgery and out-patient appointments. While it is not possible to predict how long these emergency measures will have to remain for, we shall be reviewing the situation on a day by day basis and will update the information on this page as it appears.

All planned / elective surgery has been suspended at the Birmingham Children’s Hospital and this includes ear, nose and throat surgery. There are many reasons why the number of patients who can be operated on is dramatically reduced, including the need for stringent cross-infection procedures increasing the time needed to do each operation, the availability of medical and nursing staff and the need to control spread of the infection. As such, the reduced resources will be prioritised for patients needing desperately urgent surgery which cannot wait. Please be assured that you and your children will not be ‘forgotten’ and as soon as normal service resumes,  we shall be able to inform you of the rescheduled date for your child’s operation.

Similarly, all but the most urgent out-patient appointments will be cancelled for the foreseeable future. It would be impossible to keep elective outpatient services running safely with the reduced resources and it would also increase risks to our patients in close proximity to each other in the waiting room. Therefore, please do NOT attend the out-patient department unless you have been specifically requested to. Where possible, a doctor will telephone you but it will not be possible in all cases.

This is a difficult time for everyone and we appreciate your patience and understanding during this time. If you have any queries, please direct them by e-mail to:

Bwc.entbwch@nhs.net

Someone will get back to you as soon as possible.

Ear, Nose and Throat

Our Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) surgery service at our Children’s hospital is one of the largest in the UK and provides a full range of children’s ENT care, managing problems ranging from ear infections and neck lumps to profound deafness and major congenital malformations of the head and neck. 

We also have well-established programmes in implantation otology (cochlear implants, bone anchored hearing implants and other implantable hearing devices), head, neck and thyroid surgery, airway reconstruction and skull base surgery and extensive expertise in the management of complex obstructive sleep apnoea.

Each year our busy department has around 9,500 outpatient attendances and performs around 2,500 operations. An outpatient consultation may be all that is required as a large number of ENT conditions can be managed with medicines. However, if you require an operation our highly skilled anaesthetic doctors and friendly ward staff will make the visit as safe and pleasant as possible.

We treat children from as soon as they are born to the age of 16 and aim to provide patient-centred care of the highest quality. We are also a pioneer in the use of day case and short stay surgery, according to the needs of each child.

The team

Our large team includes several specialist consultants, specialist trainees (fellows and registrars) and junior doctors, with an ENT specialist nurse and ENT-trained ward nurses. We work closely with the Audiology (hearing testing) and Speech and Language Therapy services and are supported by radiologists, pathologists, anaesthetists and other specialists within the hospital, including Intensive Care, in order to provide the best care for our children and young people.