Despite government restrictions being lifted on Monday 19 July 2021, healthcare settings will continue to request that patients, staff and visitors adhere to Public Health England’s infection control guidelines and hospital visiting guidance.
This is to keep our staff and vulnerable patients safe.
- NHS Patients, staff and visitors must continue to wear face coverings in healthcare settings
- Learning disabilities and autism (advocacy information)
Patient visiting restrictions
We know how important visiting is to our patients, and their family and friends. The majority of inpatients are permitted to have two visitors every day, between 11:00 and 19:00 (though this may very on certain wards). This must be arranged in advance with the ward.
Our hospitals care for vulnerable patients and continue to be high-risk locations for COVID-19. Therefore, all visitors are required to:
- sanitise their hands
- follow the latest guidelines on mask wearing, unless medically exempt
- follow any personal protective equipment (PPE) guidance, as instructed by staff
Visitors do not need to provide a negative lateral flow test.
However, please do not enter our hospitals if:
- you have COVID-19 symptoms
- you have tested positive for COVID-19
- you have recently been in close contact with someone who's tested positive for COVID-19
Symptoms of COVID-19
The main symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, a new and continuous cough, anosmia (loss of smell) and ageusia (loss of taste). However, COVID-19 can have other symptoms, including shortness of breath, fatigue, loss of appetite, myalgia (muscle ache), sore throat, headache, nasal congestion (stuffy nose), runny nose, diarrhoea, nausea and vomiting. Please do not visit our hospitals if you are experiencing any of these symptoms.
Adult inpatient wards
Visiting hours are between 11:00 and 19:00 every day, unless there are other agreements in place with the ward.
In most cases, two visitors are allowed to visit the patient at a time/per day. However, in certain areas of our hospitals, visiting arrangements may vary, for example reduced number of visitors/length of visit. The ward will advise you if this is the case.
Please speak to the ward to make arrangements to visit.
No children should visit adult wards unless agreed in special circumstances. (See "special circumstances", below.)
Visiting is not permitted in day case/assessment areas with less than 24 hours stay, except under special circumstances. (See "special circumstances", below.)
You should always follow directions from ward staff. Please ask them if you’re not sure about anything.
In our emergency departments (A&E)
One person may accompany a patient in the Emergency Department. However, this does not apply to minor injuries units, where special circumstances will apply, due to restricted space. (See "special circumstances", below.)
Children, including neonates
For paediatric (children's) wards, each child can have two parents/carers visit per day (one at a time), with one parent/carer able to remain overnight.
In the Neonatal Unit, both parents/named carers are able to visit.
You should always follow directions from ward staff. Please ask them if you are not sure about anything.
Specific restrictions apply to visiting maternity patients.
Patients may be accompanied or supported by one person, except under special circumstances. (See "special circumstances", below.)
For further information on attending outpatient appointments, please see our COVID-19 information pages.
Under the following circumstances, visitors may be able to extend visits or visit outside of the 11:00 - 19:00 visiting times. This must be agreed with ward staff in advance.
- Patients under 18
- Patients with dementia, a learning disability or autism
- Visits from recognised carers (paid or unpaid), providing support where they would usually provide care at home
- Patients with specific communication needs
- Supporting meal times to encourage a patient to eat
- Patients requiring spiritual/religious support – all requests will go via the Chaplaincy team
For patients with COVID-19, ward staff will perform a risk assessment and advise visitors whether they may attend.
Children are not generally permitted to visit. However, in exceptional circumstances, consideration will be given to under-18s attending with appropriate support.
Collecting a patient on discharge from hospital
Please discuss discharge arrangements with the ward. We aim to discharge patients by 11:00, and appreciate your help in making arrangements to collect them by this time.
We are constantly reviewing our visiting guidance in line with national guidance, cases of COVID-19 in our hospitals and in the local community. Thank you for your understanding and cooperation.
You must not attend your face-to-face appointment if you should be self-isolating because you, or somebody close to you, has, or has had, symptoms.
To ensure your outpatient consultation takes place in the most appropriate setting, your referral will be looked at by a hospital doctor who will decide the next steps. This could be a virtual consultation via telephone or video, or a face-to-face appointment in clinic.
Unless we have contacted you to cancel or rearrange your consultation, please attend as planned. This is really important, whether you have a virtual consultation or a face-to-face appointment.
Further information for people attending face-to-face appointments, including details of who can accompany them to their appointments, is available on our advice page.
External company representatives visiting the Trust
No external company representatives are to attend UHB sites unless the training/medical equipment they are bringing with them are essential for the treatment of a patient.
Advice for patient groups
Information for some specific groups of patients is now available from the Trust. We will add new information here as it becomes available.
Alternative ways of keeping in touch
Patients are actively encouraged to call home using their own phone, or a member of staff will support them to use a ward mobile phone (cleaned with a disinfectant wipe before and after each use). Where patients are too poorly to make their own call home, we will ensure their named contact receives an update call (with patient consent, where appropriate) which will include information such as ward moves and discharge plans.
Tablet devices are available for patients to use on request and are a great way for families to be able to see each other. Many of the tablets on the wards have been kindly donated by UHB Charity.
"Letters for loved ones": send a message to a friend or family member
Many patients will be able to pick up the phone and call or message their friends and family members themselves. However, not all will be able to do this. Our "letters for loved ones" service allows you to email us a message or letter for a patient who is in hospital.
Bereavement information for friends and family
We have prepared some practical information to help you if you've lost somebody. This information is now available on the Bereavement Care pages in our services section.
We're looking for doctors, nurses, allied health professionals, healthcare support workers, facilities staff and administration staff to join our team and help us in the fight against coronavirus.
Thank you for your interest in volunteering. Due to the high volume of applications received, we have temporarily paused our volunteer recruitment programme.
Should we begin recruiting volunteers again, further information will be made available here.
Offers and donations for NHS workers
We're grateful for your consideration at this time. In order to ensure that your kind offer gets to our 22,000 staff, please contact the the Health and Well-being Team.
Off-site blood testing service
University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust (UHB) is currently temporarily providing blood test services at local off-site locations including Birmingham New Street Railway Station and Yardley Green Road. This is so that patients have the option, if it is more convenient, of attending their blood test appointments at a location outside of the Trust’s hospitals.
The service will allow patients to have their blood tests taken without going into one of the Trust’s hospitals. Contact with others is kept to a minimum, which means that the service is good for those that are currently shielding.
Patients will be able to access the service by appointment only and will be contacted by UHB to be booked into a slot.