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.

Patient visiting restrictions

We know how important visiting is to patients and their loved ones. The majority of inpatients are permitted to have one visitor every day between 11:00 and 19:00. (This must be arranged in advance with the ward.)

As our hospitals care for vulnerable patients and continue to be high-risk locations for COVID-19, all visitors will be required to:

  • sanitise their hands
  • wear a hospital-supply surgical face mask (unless they are medically exempt)
  • follow any personal protective equipment (PPE) guidance as instructed by staff while they are on hospital premises

Visitors do not need to provide a negative lateral flow test.

However, please do not enter our hospitals if:

  • you have COVID-19 symptoms or your lateral flow test is positive
  • you've recently been in close contact with someone who's tested positive for COVID-19
  • you have any respiratory symptoms, such as coughing, sneezing or a sore throat
  • you've been sick or have diarrhoea

We are constantly reviewing our visiting guidance in light of national guidance, cases of COVID-19 in our hospitals and community rates of the virus.

Adult inpatient wards

Visiting hours are between 11:00 and 19:00 every day, unless there are other agreements in place with the ward.

One visitor is allowed to visit the patient at a time. A different visitor is allowed each day.

Patients in critical care can have two visitors.

Please speak to the ward to make arrangements to visit your friend/relative.

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 A&E departments

One person may accompany a patient in the Emergency department. However, this does not apply to Minor Injuries, where special circumstances will apply, due to restricted space. (See "special circumstances", below.)

Children, including neonates

For paediatric wards, each child can have two parents/carers visit a 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’re not sure about anything.

Maternity patients

Specific restrictions apply to visiting maternity patients.

Outpatient appointments

Patients who require support coming to the hospital due to a health issue may be accompanied to their appointment by one other person, except under special circumstances. (See "special circumstances", below.)

For further information on attending outpatient appointments while restrictions are in place, please see our COVID-19 information pages.

Special circumstances

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 – two parents or guardians may visit, but only one of these visitors may be in the hospital at any one time (local rules apply for neonatal units – see "children, including neonates", above)
  • Deteriorating and dying patients
  • 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 relevant hospital's 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, consideration will be given to under-18s attending with appropriate support in exceptional circumstances.

Outpatient appointments

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.

The COVID-19 Critical Care Unit: key information for relatives

Find the answers to some of your questions and see other important information about your relative's treatment.

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

Phone calls

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.

Video calls

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.

Job opportunities

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.

Volunteering opportunities

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.

Email: Inclusion@uhb.nhs.uk

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.