Visiting arrangements are currently restricted at our hospitals.

Updated 20 August 

Visiting restrictions remain in place within our hospitals to continue to protect our patients who are at higher risk of serious illness.

It is important that we limit the amount of people in the hospital at all times to reduce the spread of infection. Therefore – for the safety of patients, staff and visitors – we are running reduced visiting at our hospitals.

The current visiting restrictions are:

Adult inpatients

  • One nominated visitor per patient for the duration of stay
  • The nominated visitor to visit for a one-hour per day during the hours of 11am-7pm
  • The nominated visitor will need to book their visit at least one day in advance with the ward management team. Contact details for the wards can be found here.
  • If you are a contact of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 please contact the ward before visiting. 

Exceptions can be made for a carer if the patient requires them for ongoing personal  physical and emotional care and support whilst in hospital, for example those with learning disabilities or dementia. Other circumstances where exceptions can be made include visiting on compassionate grounds such as when a patient is at end of life.

  • Child inpatients: Where a patient is under the age of 18, visitors are restricted to one parent at any one time.
  • Maternity services: Our visiting policy for maternity services can be (read in full here)
    • Scans and appointments: Women are able to attend all EPAC appointments, all maternity appointments, and antenatal scan appointments with one non-symptomatic adult from the same household or support bubble. 
    • Labour and birthWe are now in a position to be able to offer women to have two birth partners present with them when they are in labour – whether this is at Cossham Birth Centre, the Mendip Birth Centre or Central Delivery Suite at Southmead Hospital.
    • Visiting: The partner (or named supporter) of women admitted to the postnatal inpatient ward at Southmead Hospital can visit them on the ward from 10am - 12 midday and 2pm - 7pm.
    • Neonatal care visiting: If your baby needs to be admitted to the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), both parents can have unrestricted access to the unit.

Further exceptions may be possible in exceptional circumstances if agreed with the ward management. If you are planning to visit the hospital, please arrange and agree your visit with the ward management team before travelling.

We strongly advise that women, birth partners and visitors do a lateral flow test before coming into the hospital for an appointment, or for a postnatal care visit so you can demonstrate you do not have COVID-19. These are available for free. See the NHS website for information about regular rapid coronavirus tests.  

We understand that it is important for patients to keep in contact with family and friends. Therefore we will always support patients to make use of any telephone and video call functions available where possible.

Coming to a hospital appointment

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.
  • If you require assistance, a Move Maker volunteer may be able to help. Please telephone 0117 414 3709 for further information to discuss your requirements.

Guidance for visitors - hygiene and social distancing 

  • Think Hands, Face, Space when you are with us by washing your hands regularly, wearing a face mask in the hospital at all times, and keeping 2 metres’ space between you and others
  • Please be aware that there is a risk of infection from travelling and coming to the hospital.
  • Do not come to the hospital if:
    • You have received a ‘shielding’ letter advising you to remain at home
    • You are required to self-isolate because you live in a household where someone has had symptoms of COVID-19 in the last 14 days
    • You are displaying any symptoms of COVID-19
  • Do not visit if feeling unwell with sickness, diarrhoea, fever, sore throat or flu
  • If you have had diarrhoea and/or vomiting, do not visit for at least 48 hours after symptoms have stopped. Spreading nasty bugs to people who are already unwell may mean they become more poorly or take longer to recover
  • Do not sit on patient beds
  • Check with staff about bringing in food items. Wrapped sweets are preferable to unwrapped
  • Talk to staff if you have concerns about the cleanliness of the ward or public areas
  • Use public toilets not patient toilets and remember to wash your hands
  • If in doubt ask a member of staff for advice

Visiting Times

In line with the Government’s new guidance, we have updated our visiting arrangements.


We provide general hospital services and pioneering treatments.