Visiting restrictions during coronavirus, including policies around compassionate visiting and virtual visits.

Last updated: 27th April 2020

Visiting restrictions


All visits to our hospitals have been stopped until further notice.

These restrictions apply to Gloucestershire Royal Hospital (GRH), Cheltenham General Hospital (CGH) and 7 community hospitals in the county:

  • Cirencester
  • The Dilke (Cinderford)
  • Lydney
  • North Cotswolds (Moreton-in-Marsh)
  • Stroud
  • Tewkesbury
  • The Vale (Dursley)

They also apply to the county’s mental health and learning disability inpatient units:

  • Wotton Lawn (Gloucester)
  • Charlton Lane (Cheltenham)
  • Berkeley House (Stroud)
  • Laurel House (Cheltenham)
  • Honeybourne (Cheltenham)

Exceptions may be made for relatives collecting patients who have been discharged, or relatives who wish to visit patients at the end of their life. You will need to phone the ward and speak to the nurse in charge to arrange any visiting allowance before coming to any of our hospitals or inpatient units.


Our maternity wards are open for visiting, with the following restrictions:

  • only 1 birthing partner can accompany people in labour
  • only birthing partners can visit the maternity ward, the delivery suite and our birth units
  • no children or young people under the age of 16 should visit

Find out how our coronavirus response will affect you if you are pregnant.

Children in our hospitals

The children's ward is open for visiting, with the following restrictions:

  • only parents or guardians can visit the ward
  • no siblings or young people under the age of 18 should visit

This handy guide from the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health gives you at-a-glance information about symptoms to look out for and when to bring your child to hospital

Compassionate visiting

Visiting may be possible for those most important to a patient who is critically ill or dying, as long as:

  • you and members of your household do not have symptoms of coronavirus, like a fever or cough
  • you have not been told to self-isolate or shield for health reasons

The nurse in charge is responsible for deciding if you are allowed to visit, and access will only be given to a maximum of 2 visitors.

If you are allowed to visit, you increase your risk of contracting coronavirus from:

  • the patient you visit, if they have coronavirus
  • being in an environment where other patients may have coronavirus

During your visit

If you are allowed to visit the hospital:


  • wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds on entering and leaving the ward

  • wear appropriate personal protective equipment if you are asked to, like an apron, gloves or a mask

  • follow social distancing rules when you visit with respect to other patients, visitors and staff

  • decontaminate personal devices, like phones, with wipes provided by our staff before and after you visit the ward

  • stay in the patient’s room or at their bedside at all times


  • do not visit any other care area in the ward or hospital

  • do not use any toilet facilities, other than the one designated to you by ward staff

  • do not access food areas, which are currently closed to anyone except staff

You must be prepared to self-isolate in line with national guidance, as you may have been exposed to the virus during the period of access to the ward.

Please speak to the nurse in charge for a carer’s permit for parking.

If there is anything else that you feel will make things easier for the patient or for you then please do ask the clinical team.

If you cannot visit

We appreciate it can be distressing to be unable to visit your loved one in hospital. As a result, we have introduced a number of measures to help and support you at this time:

  • All wards in our hospitals have access to iPads, so if you are unable to visit you can still have contact with your relative. Staff are happy to support this with the consent of the patient where possible. Please contact the Patient Support Service Hub (contact details below) who can help to arrange this
  • If you wish to email photographs, letters or messages to your family member, please email them to They will be printed and taken to your relative
  • Drop in belongings for your loved ones, such as clean clothes to go home, toiletries, or phone chargers in emergencies.

Locations and timings of drop off points are:

  • Cheltenham General Hospital, Pillars entrance, Monday to Sunday 11am to 1pm
  • Gloucestershire Royal Hospital, outside the Chapel in the Tower Block, weekdays 11.00am to 1.00pm and 4pm to 6pm, and weekends 11am to 1pm.

Please ensure the patient’s name, date of birth and their ward are clearly marked on the bag and only leave belongings with our volunteer and never leave any bags unattended.

For more information on any of the above, please contact our Patient Support Service Hub on 0800 019 3282 or It’s open 7.30am to 7pm, 7 days a week.

For information about patients being treated in our hospitals for coronavirus, please call the patient support service hub on 0800 019 3282.

Please choose 1 family member to be the point of contact for the hospital. They should then share information with other relatives and friends.