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Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Visiting Guidance

This information is correct as of 12 April 2021

Due to coronavirus (COVID-19) we have reviewed arrangements to allow visiting to patients staying in hospital in a very careful and COVID-19-secure way.

We appreciate how hard it has been to keep in touch with loved ones who are in hospital with the restrictions in place. We'd like to thank you for your support and understanding during this difficult time.

We need to maintain safety for all, ensuring social distancing and other government advice is followed. We will continue to review our visiting arrangements in line with national guidance and the local infection rates.

This guidance is subject to change at short notice so please check this website for updates.

All Visitors must:

  • Wash their hands
  • Wear a surgical face mask (unless exempt from doing so) which are available at all hospital entrances. Guidance around exemptions is available on the Government website. Please notify us on attendance if you are exempt from wearing a face mask. The Trust will endeavour to make reasonable adjustments for you, if appropriate.
  • Maintain 2 metre social distancing


Adult inpatients 

We have made changes to our visiting guidance for adult inpatients from 6 April 2021. All other visiting guidance, including maternity, remains unchanged.

Visits permitted are:

  • One nominated visitor per patient for the duration of stay
  • Limited to one close family contact or someone important to the patient, including a familiar carer.
  • The nominated visitor to visit for one-hour per day during the hours of 11am-7pm

Exceptions can be made under compassionate grounds or if the patient has specific needs that require the support of a carer, including vulnerable patients with dementia or learning disabilities, patients with a key carer, and patients receiving end-of-life care.

How do I arrange a visit?

  • Contact the ward after 2pm to arrange a visit for the following day or a later date
  • You will be asked some questions when you get in touch to decide if a visit can go ahead. These questions will be asked every time you visit to ensure everyone's safety


You will not be able to visit if you have any COVID-19 symptoms / have tested positive

Red -cross

You will not be able to visit if you've been advised to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace


It may be that the ward has to restrict or postpone your visit if there are too many visitors, to allow for social distancing and the safety of all. We apologise in advance if this occurs.

To ensure that we can maintain our levels of safety for everyone, it is important that everyone follows the national guidance on social distancing and self-isolation, staying at home wherever possible, to help limit the spread of COVID-19.

If you are considered at 'high risk', visiting is not recommended and you do so at your own risk.

Before your visit, a member of our ward staff will discuss your visit and what you can expect.

On the day of your visit staff will ask the following questions, part of a safety check:

  • Are you feeling unwell?
  • Do you have a new/continuous cough?
  • Have you had any sickness or diarrhoea within the last 48 hours?
  • Have you noticed a change in your temperature?
  • Have you noticed a change in your normal sense of taste or smell?
  • Are you self-isolating because you have been in contact with anyone suspected as having, or who has tested positive, for COVID-19 in the past 14 days?


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. Handover between parents or carers must take place outside of the hospital. Please speak to the nurse in charge if you have any questions about wearing face masks 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. 


Maternity services

UPDATED 26.04.21 If you are having your baby at St Michael's Hospital or Ashcombe Birth Centre, please view the current guidance for maternity services. 


Attending our emergency departments

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 (or any patient under the age of 18 attending Weston General Hospital emergency department).
  • 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).
  • patients receiving end-of-life care.
  • 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 masks 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.


Outpatient appointments

What to do if you have a hospital appointment at any of our hospitals:

Please continue to attend your hospital appointments unless you are advised otherwise. You don't need to call to check that a booked appointment is going ahead. We will be in touch if anything changes with your care.

However, please be aware of the following information ahead of your appointment:

  • Please come to your appointment alone unless you need a carer or require emotional support
  • Please arrive no earlier than 15 minutes before your appointment.
  • Less seating capacity means you may be asked to wait outside or in your car;
  • Please leave the building promptly after your appointment.


What support is available while I'm waiting for planned hospital care? 

Please view the BNSSG website for advice and support if you are waiting for a routine (planned) operation or procedure.

Getting ready to go home

Health and care agencies across Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire are working together to try to ensure people are able to leave hospital as soon as they are medically well enough. Our priority is ensuring people are discharged safely to continue their recovery and our teams will discuss with individuals and a family member if they wish, the details of their discharge once the doctor has advised they are well enough to leave hospital. Find out more.

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 a message with your loved one in hospital

We know it is important for our patients to keep in contact with family and friends and we will support them where possible to make use of any telephone or video calls so they can keep in contact with their loved ones.

But it is also important that we look at other ways we can help people keep in touch and we have a new Message to My Loved One service which gives people a chance to try something a bit different to the normal routine methods of communication at a distance.

The new Message to My Loved One service is being run by UHBW's patient experience team with the support of Trust Voluntary Services and allows people to send in messages via email or a dedicated phone line, which will then be printed and delivered to patients.

Messages received by 11am each day, Monday to Friday, will be delivered that day to inpatients in our hospitals.

The Trust is also offering the chance for people to drop off small gifts, letters or essential personal items from 10.30am to 12.30pm, Monday to Friday, which members of the team can pass on. We aim to deliver the items to the wards as soon as possible from them being delivered, but it may be not be the same day.

If you would like to send a message to a loved one in hospital please email  or call 0117 342 1561 for Bristol hospital sites or 01934 881394 for Weston General Hospital.

If you would like to drop off a small gift, letter or essential personal items for a loved one in hospitals, please follow the following guidance:

  • Small, essential items only.
  • No food, drink, flowers or valuables.
  • Please place items in a sealed bag clearly labelled with the patient's name and ward. If the ward is not known then please include date of birth or home address.
  • We aim to deliver items to the wards as soon as possible from them being delivered, but it may be not be the same day.

Items can be dropped off from 10.30am to 12.30pm Monday to Friday at the Patient Possessions Drop-off point in the main entrance of the Bristol Royal Infirmary, and to the main reception desk at Weston General Hospital.


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:

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

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