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 suspended

As our hospitals care for vulnerable patients and continue to be high-risk locations for COVID-19, our restrictions remain tighter than other locations.

All visiting is suspended, except in the special circumstances listed below.

However, if you should be self-isolating, i.e. staying at home because you have or may have coronavirus, you must not attend our hospitals as a visitor under any circumstances. 

Guidance on when to self-isolate is available on the NHS website.

If you are self-isolating, please use other ways of keeping in touch with your loved ones, such as phone and video calls or our "letters for loved ones" and "parcels for patients" initiatives.

Special circumstances

Visits from all friends and relatives of patients are currently suspended on all our hospital sites, except in the following circumstances and with agreement from ward staff.

All visits must be agreed with the ward before visiting the hospital.

  • 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)
  • Patients at end of life – a maximum of four (two at any one time) close family members/other people important to a patient at the end of their life may visit during the last week of the patient's life
  • Patients with dementia, a learning disability or autism – one person may visit to provide support if it is agreed with staff that this visitor not being present would cause the patient to be distressed
  • Patients with with a mental health condition – one person may be permitted a pre-arranged, one-off visit if required to support the patient's well-being or decisions about their care, where the nurse in charge agrees it is in the patient's best interests
  • Patients with specific communication needs – where appropriate and if no alternative is available, one person may be permitted to attend to support the patient with agreement from the nurse in charge
  • Patients with spiritual care needs – please ask the ward to contact the Chaplaincy team to arrange support
  • If, as part of the patient's care plan, a "do not attempt cardiopulmonary resuscitation" (DNACPR) order is agreed, a visit should be arranged to discuss and support the patient
  • A visit before surgery may be arranged if family are informed that the patient may not survive
  • Children are not generally permitted to visit. However, consideration will be given to under-18s attending with appropriate support in exceptional circumstances

Specific restrictions apply to visiting maternity patients.

In our A&E departments:

  • Anyone accompanying a patient to A&E will be asked to wait outside or go home. Please wait to hear from staff whether or not the patient will be admitted or discharged, as we understand you may wish to take your friend/relative home
  • A parent can stay with a child up to the age of 18
  • One person may accompany the patient in A&E if they meet the circumstances listed above
  • In addition, if the patient has a mental health condition, learning disability or autism, and unit staff are escorting the patient, individuals should also be permitted and are not counted as a visitor

Please contact the ward or department in advance to discuss appropriate visiting arrangements.

Additional requirements for visitors

  • The authorised visitor(s) for a patient must be the same person/people for each visit. Visitors may not swap, unless permitted by the circumstances outlined above
  • If it is agreed that a visitor/carer can attend to support an inpatient on a site which has been declared free of coronavirus, specific procedures must be followed. Our staff will discuss these procedures with visitors when visiting arrangements are made
  • On arrival to any ward or department, permitted visitors must immediately wash their hands and report to a senior sister or charge nurse
  • Visitors must also wash their hands or use the hand gel when they leave wards
  • Visitors must wear a face covering at all times within the hospital. If you are required to wear personal protective equipment (PPE), e.g. a surgical mask, staff will provide this for you
  • If you are unable to wear a mask, staff will discuss alternative options with you, such as virtual visiting. Our wards have access to iPads/tablets to support this so you can still have contact with your relative

Thank you for your continued support with this difficult decision that will help us to better protect staff, visitors and patients from infection.

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.

Keeping in touch

As all-but-essential visiting has been suspended on our hospital sites during the ongoing coronavirus situation, we'd like to make it easier for you to keep in touch with your friends or family members while they're in hospital.

Phone calls

Patients are actively encouraged to call home using their own phone, or a members 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.

Parcels for Patients

The Parcels for Patients (P4P) service enables friends and relatives to deliver essential care packages to their loved ones via hospital volunteers.

Bereavement information for friends and family

We have prepared some practical information to help you if you've lost somebody.

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.