Skip to content
left end
left end
right end

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Use of face coverings when coming to hospital

From Monday 15 June, anyone coming to one of our hospitals will need to wear a face covering at all times, except very young children or those exempt for medical reasons.

This guidance has been introduced by the Department of Health and Social Care to help reduce the spread of coronavirus (Covid-19) and keep patients, visitors including people with carer responsibilities, patient supporters, personal assistants and staff safe. Further information and guidance can be found here.

Guidance for visitors and those with carer responsibilities

UPDATE: New national guidance on visiting patients in hospital was published on Friday 5 June 2020. We have updated our visiting policies from Monday 22 June 2020 in line with these new guidelines while ensuring we continue to maintain the safety of our patients, visitors and staff.  

We will continue to keep this guidance under careful review. Thank you for your help and support in complying with this guidance to minimise the risk of infection to yourself, your loved one and our staff.

Important information for all visitors and those with carer responsibilities

- All visitors must wear masks or face coverings at all times, except very young children or those exempt for medical reasons. Further information and guidance can be found here.

- We recognise that some patients need additional support to meet their communication, health or social care needs. If you are in attendance to support the needs of a patient as a familiar carer/support worker/personal assistant you will be made to feel welcome and will not be counted as an additional visitor. Where possible either the patient or their representative should contact the ward or department in advance to discuss and to make sure that appropriate arrangements can be put in place. Further information about additional visitors can be found below.

If you are in any doubt or need to make additional arrangements to support your particular needs please contact the ward or department for advice and support.

- You must not visit under any circumstances if you have a new persistent cough, high temperature or have an unexplained loss/change in your normal sense of smell or taste. 

- For more information and guidance on coronavirus, please visit www.nhs.uk/coronavirus

Adult Inpatients

The number of visitors to adult inpatients at University Hospitals Bristol and Weston NHS Foundation Trust is limited to one named close family contact or friend. If you are in attendance to support the needs of a patient as a familiar carer/support worker/personal assistant you will be made to feel welcome and will not be counted as an additional visitor.

Ward staff will agree the named visitor with new patients on admission and current patients, or their next of kin, if the patient is unable to identify a visitor themselves.

Before the first visit to an adult inpatient ward, a letter which includes the name of the patient's agreed visitor will be left by a member of the ward team with staff at the main reception desk of the hospital where the patient is being cared for (Bristol Royal Infirmary, Bristol Heart Institute, Bristol Haematology and Oncology Centre, Weston General Hospital, gynecology at St Michael's Hospital, Bristol Eye Hospital and South Bristol Community Hospital) to be collected by the named visitor. This letter will need to be presented at the hospital entrances for all subsequent visits and will be checked by the security teams. Anyone not carrying a letter will be politely informed that they are not permitted to visit.

A single visit per adult inpatient is permitted a day by their nominated family member or friend.

This single visit per day can be between 15 minutes and up to a maximum of 2 hours depending on the patient's condition and their personal needs.

Visiting is allowed between the hours of 11:00-19:00 (11.00am and 7.00pm).

You may be asked to agree a visiting time slot with the ward team; this is to ensure there are only a limited number of visitors on the ward at any one time.

Where possible patients or their representative should contact the ward or department in advance to discuss and make appropriate arrangements. 

Bristol Royal Hospital for Children

Visitors to our children's wards are restricted to one immediate family member or carer on the ward at any one time. A maximum of two family members or carers can be named as visitors, but only one will be allowed on the ward at any one time. Please speak to the nurse in charge if you have any questions about wearing face coverings or if your child has specific needs that need to be taken into consideration, such as a child who has a disability and needs the support of a carer.

We ask that siblings do not visit our children's wards. 

Outpatient appointments

Adult outpatients are asked to attend appointments alone. Patients may be accompanied where appropriate and necessary to assist with the patient's communication and/or to meet the patient's health or social care needs. Where possible patients or their representative should contact the department in advance to discuss and make appropriate arrangements. 

Children can be accompanied by one parent or someone who has carer responsibilities for the child.

Unless we have contacted you to cancel or change your appointment, please attend as planned.

Some outpatient clinics may switch from face-to-face consultations to telephone or video conferencing consultations. If this is suitable for your appointment you will be contacted by the hospital. Please note that telephone calls may appear on your phone as an 'unknown' number: please answer as this could be a member of staff trying to reach you.

Bristol Royal Infirmary and Weston General Hospital emergency departments

Those coming to our emergency departments at the Bristol Royal Infirmary and Weston General Hospital are asked to attend alone, with a very small number of exceptions at the discretion of the nurse in charge or a consultant. People who are there to support a patient are not counted as a visitor, such as those accompanying:

- 16/17 year old patients

- vulnerable patients (a vulnerable  patient is someone who is or may be for any reason unable to take care of themselves, or is unable to protect themselves against significant harm or exploitation.)

- end-of-life patients

- patients who have dementia, a learning disability, autism spectrum disorder (ASD) or a diagnosed mental health condition, where not having someone else present would cause the patient to be distressed

- patients with a disability or impairment who cannot attend on their own or require additional support to access services.

Where a visitor has been permitted, it will be limited to one person to accompany the patient, and they must have no Covid-19 symptoms. If you are in any doubt or need to make additional arrangements to support your particular needs please speak to a member of staff.

Bristol Royal Hospital for Children emergency department

Those coming into our children's emergency department can be accompanied by a maximum of one family member, friend or carer. Those accompanying a child into the department must have no Covid-19 symptoms. Please speak to the nurse in charge if you have any questions about wearing face coverings or if your child has specific needs that need to be taken into consideration, such as a child who has a disability and needs the support of a carer.

Maternity services

UPDATED 08.10.20 If you are having your baby at St Michael's Hospital, please view the current guidance for maternity services.

Staying in touch with your loved ones

Understandably, there has been an increase in calls to our wards as we put these visiting arrangements in place.

In order to get an update on your loved one, please consider, where appropriate, calling their personal mobile phones and devices to stay in touch, rather than call our wards directly. Free Wifi is available to everyone in our hospitals so that patients can make phone or video calls to their family and friends using apps including Facetime, WhatsApp or Skype and mobile reception is available across our site.  

If you do need to call the ward for an update, please coordinate as a family so that only one person calls to avoid long wait times on ward phones.

Diabetes services during the coronavirus outbreak

The Sirona care & Health website has details of  services for people with diabetes, including how to contact the diabetes community services for advice and guidance. The site also contains resources with advice and guidance for  dealing with diabetes during the coronavirus outbreak.

Diabetes UK are also urging parents not to let coronavirus fears stop them from seeking medical help if they're worried their child is showing the signs and symptoms of type 1 diabetes.   Read their news story to find out more.

Share your experiences of our services during Covid-19

We want to hear your experiences of our services during Covid-19. We hope your experience has continued to be a positive one, but if you have ideas about how we could do things better, please let us know by completing this short survey: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/VWQW25M

Thank you for helping us keep our patients, staff and community safe. 

Thank you for helping us keep our patients, staff and community safe. 

 

Updated: 24/09/20