Call us on 0121 212 9209

What We Do

Advice & Information

OSCAR Birmingham provides advice and guidance around the social issues associated with Sickle Cell and Thalassaemia to clients and various organisations i.e. to statutory groups (social services, housing departments) voluntary and other community groups. Advocacy is about representing the individual or the family and acting as a voice on their behalf when they are dealing with external organisations such as:

  • Health and Social Care
  • Tribunals (DWP)
  • Employers
  • Job Centre Plus
  • Education and Training organisations
  • Hospitals
  • GPs

We provide a Drop- In service:

Every Wednesday 1pm-4pm no appointment necessary.

You are welcome to refreshments & a chat with our advisor about matters relating to your disorder in a confidential & relaxed environment.

Raising Awareness

Raising Awareness
OSCAR Birmingham promote awareness of Sickle Cell and Thalassaemia Disorders in schools, colleges and local community projects, providing education on the effects of the conditions and how carers can encourage and support their families to gain a greater understanding, empowering them within a supported framework.

Volunteers & Student Placement

OSCAR Birmingham believe that volunteering should be accessible to all and that every individual has the right to volunteer providing that they are deemed suitable for the organisation.

Opportunities are made available to all sections of the community, offering the possibility of gaining or utilising new experiences and skills.


What is Sickle Cell and Thalassaemia Screening?

Sickle Cell and Thalassaemia are genetically inherited blood disorders which can be very serious and disabling. Screening is the process by which a quick and simple blood sample is taken. The sample is then sent for testing at City Hospital.

Why is it important?

Screening will identify carriers of Sickle cell or Thalassaemia which allows an individual to access information and advice, creating access to service beyond services offered by the NHS, promoting access and flexibility and a culturally sensitive service targeting hard to reach communities who are at risk of inheriting Sickle Cell or Thalassaemia Blood Disorders.

When considering on planning a family for the future it allows the individual to have an informed choice. Non-directive genetic counseling is offered pre and post screening.If you and your partner are carriers you may be at risk of having a child with Sickle Cell Disease or Thalassaemia Major.

Carrier Frequency in the United Kingdom

Sickle Cell African-Caribbean 1 in 10
West Africans up to 1 in 4
Punjabi Sikhs 1 in 100
White British 1 in 1000
C Trait African-Caribbean 1 in 30
Ghanaians up to 1 in 6
D Trait Punjabi Sikhs 1 in 100
Thalassaemia Cypriots 1 in 7
Asians 1 in 10-30
Chinese 1 in 30
African-Caribbean 1 in 50
White British 1 in 1000
Extract taken from College of Royal Physicians 1989
How is it done?
  • Pre-counselling session – About Sickle Cell/Thalassaemia and the process for screening.
  • A small sample of blood is taken from the arm.
  • Personal details are obtained e.g.; Name, Address, Date of birth & GP.
  • The sample is then taken safely to City Hospital for testing in the Hematology Department.
  • Your G.P, specialist nurse and OSCAR Sandwell will receive a copy of the results.
  • OSCAR Sandwell will follow up your results if you request them to do so.
Can anyone be tested?

Yes! Sickle cell disease and Thalassaemia are genetic disorders that affect anyone. They occur predominantly in African, African-Caribbean, Asian, Middle Eastern and Mediterranean populations. Rare cases have been found in North Europeans; in the main however, sickle cell and Thalassaemia occur in people of non-North European origin

Where can you be screened?

You can contact OSCAR Birmingham and we will make an appointment on your behalf. Blood can be tested at:-

  • Sandwell & West Birmingham Health Care Trust (City Hospital)
  • In your own home
  • Your own Local G.P.

If positive result

i.e. if you are identified as carrying Sickle Cell, Thalassaemia or any other unusual gene:

  • A card will be issued stating your results.
  • A hospital appointment will be sent for you to see the consultant hematologist and/or specialist nurse.
  • Your G.P will be informed.
  • The hospital will request for your family to be screened. (optional)
  • OSCAR will be involved in your care to offer counseling / further information and advice.

If negative result

i.e. you are not affected by these disorders:

  • A card will be issued stating your results.
  • Your details/results kept on OSCAR records.
  • Family tested (optional)
  • G.P informed of results.
  • Further information.