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Our media relations policy

Patient confidentiality

As part of its duty of care, University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust is committed to protecting patients' confidentiality. Legally, we have to get permission from patients or their next of kin in order to give any information to the media. Requests for interviewing and or photographing patients must always be made through the Communications team.

Condition checks

We are able to give a basic condition check to the media where a named individual has been identified and after the patient or their next of kin gives consent for this information to be released; otherwise we will not be able to provide a condition check. Requests for condition checks should be made to the Communications team.

Dealing with patient complaints through the media

We are legally obliged to ask permission of patients to discuss their individual circumstances. In the event of a media enquiry regarding a patient complaint about their clinical treatment, or about other hospital services, we do have to check the individual or their next of kin is happy for us to talk to the media. This is not because we are trying to be obstructive. This is because, legally, we have to confirm the patient is willing to have information about their care shared publicly.  

Media contacting hospital staff

Staff are not authorised to represent the Trust to the media.  If staff are contacted directly by the media it is our policy that they must refer the journalist to the Communications team in the first instance.

Visits to hospital sites

All media visits to our hospitals must be cleared in advance through the Communications office. We are not being over bureaucratic; this policy is in place because privacy and security for patients is very important.  It is the role of the Communications team to help smooth the way for media visits and filming.

Non-news, location or commercial filming

We encourage this where it is operationally possible.  However, we do make a charge to cover staff time, administration and disruption. Permission to film will not be granted until the Trust is satisfied that appropriate public liability insurance is in place and a filming agreement has been signed.

Freedom of Information enquiries

Further information here can be found on our FOI pages

Fundraising or charity requests

For fundraising or charity enquiries, contact the Above & Beyond charities on 0117 927 7120 or the Wallace and Gromit Grand Appeal on 0800 919 649.