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Local Care: Global Impact

For more than 150 years, excellent healthcare has been at the heart of everything we do at Birmingham Women’s Hospital (BWH) and when you are as passionate about what you do as we are, it’s hardly surprising that we have a global impact.

Pioneering healthcare

A number of operations we take for granted today such as the removal of the appendix, Caesarean section for haemorrhage in late pregnancy (Placenta Praevia) and surgery for ruptured tubal (ectopic) pregnancy – were all pioneered at Birmingham Women’s Hospital by Robert Lawson Tait in the 1870s.

Tackling cancer

The NHS cervical screening programme is considered to be the best in the world.  Its roots are firmly at BWH.   Our cytology centre was set up after the team at the hospital trained with George Papanicolau in New York and brought the Papanicolau (or Pap test) to the UK.

Former BWH medical director Joe Jordan  changed the thinking about routine hysterectomies following abnormal smear results.  Having learned about colposcopy, Joe Jordan brought the technique back to Birmingham and set up the UK’s first colposcopy clinic.

Survival rates for ovarian cancer also improved in the 1970s when BWH oncology specialist Kiong (Charlie) Chan helped to develop surgery for this life-threatening condition.    Charlie Chan’s work is recognised worldwide and he is a founding member of the International Gynaecological Cancer Society and the British Gynaecological Cancer Society.

Local Care: global impact

Today local care: global impact not only means we are the fourth highest research recruiting Acute specialist trust in the UK for clinical trials, we also:

  • treat 50,000 people a year
  • carry out 3,000 operations
  • test more than 50,000 genetics samples
  • test more than 60,000 pathology samples
  • deliver more than 8,000 babies – making Birmingham Women’s Hospital one of the busiest maternity departments in the UK
  • treat babies from across the UK who have life threatening conditions whilst they are still in the womb (fetal medicine)
  • provide neonatal intensive care for the Midland’s tiniest and sickest babies
  • offer specialised services for diagnosis of genetic disorders including tests for familial cancer
  • run the largest genetic laboratory in the UK
  • host the UK’s National Sperm Bank, a modern, NHS based, fully-integrated donor recruitment, screening and banking centre to meet all donor sperm requirements across the UK
  • are collaborating with partners in the West Midlands as one of 11 centres across the country leading the way in delivering the 100,000 Genomic Medicine Project, and
  • provide physiotherapy, new born transport services, radiology and a donor milk bank supporting sick and premature babies across the West Midlands.