ICU Visitor Information

We recognise that it is a very distressing time when you have someone close to you seriously ill and in need of intensive care.  

Southmead Hospital ICU is a very large unit and we understand that visiting can be overwhelming but we are all here to help and support you.  

Our ICU team is made up of a large number of staff, including doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals, as well as administrative and support staff.  Please feel free to ask questions or discuss with us any worries you may have at any time.

This ICU is divided into 4 separate 12 bedded areas, known as Pods.

Visiting ICU

When your loved-one is admitted to the ICU you will be informed of the Pod and room number they are in. You will also be given a telephone number which will allow you to dial directly into the room. You may be asked to set up a password which allows staff to confirm your identity ensuring privacy and confidentiality is maintained at all times. Please feel free to phone us at any time, day or night.

Reception is open Monday to Friday 8am to 8pm and Saturday and Sunday 8am to 4pm. Outside of these hours we have an intercom system which links directly to the Pods.  Sometimes the areas may be busy, so please do not be concerned if there isn't an answer straight away. Please wait a few minutes and try again.

Visiting ICU

ICU visiting times are 11am to 7pm with a two hour rest period. This can be negotiated under certain circumstances, please talk to one of our senior nursing team. As a rule we have a limit of two visitors per bed. This is for safety reasons and to respect the privacy of other families within the unit. Again, this can be reviewed as necessary. We allow children to visit when appropriate but please discuss this with one of the senior nurses beforehand.

We aim to give some of our patients who would benefit from it a rest period between 1pm and 3pm. This should be discussed with the nurse caring for your loved-one.

At times during the day you may be asked to leave the room for short periods so that we can provide essential care. You may wait in the reception waiting area until you are called back in. The rooms at the entrance of the pods are for private discussions and are not general waiting areas.

For infection control purposes we kindly ask you not to bring food or drink into the unit

Patient rooms

In each of our patient rooms we have an ‘All about me’ board where you are welcome to display photographs or information about your loved-one that you would like to share with us. Things like their favourite radio station for example would be helpful when there are no visitors present.

Around each bed is a great deal of equipment, all designed to help in the care of the patient. Please try to ignore this equipment and concentrate on visiting your relative or friend.  They will be supported and encouraged by your presence even though they may not be able to respond or talk to you.


For those visitors who have come from a distance we have limited accommodation available which we can provide for up to 48 hours.

Contact Intensive Care Unit

Gate 37, Level 2
Brunel building
Southmead Hospital
Southmead Road
BS10 5NB

Telephone: 0117 4141400

Reception hours:
Monday to Friday 8am-8pm
Saturday & Sunday 8am-4pm

ICU Visitor Information