Family, friends and carers are welcome to visit patients on our wards

Last updated: 1 November 2021


If you are visiting an inpatient, we ask you to order and complete a rapid swab (lateral flow) test before coming to our hospitals

Outpatient appointments

Please attend appointments by yourself if you can, to minimise the spread of infection, unless you/ the patient falls under the special circumstances list described below.


If you are asked to comply with guidelines when visiting our hospitals, we ask you to please respond politely and treat our staff with respect

Visiting adult wards (inpatients)

From Tuesday 2 November our visiting hours for adult wards at Cheltenham General Hospital and Gloucestershire Royal Hospital are 11am to 8pm, 7 days a week.

  • Only 1 visitor may visit a patient at a time for a 2 hour period each day. Time slots must be booked with ward staff to ensure that only 2 visitors are in a bay at any one time
  • All visits must be booked through the ward you are visiting. See our wards and departments for telephone numbers
  • Visiting outside these arrangements may be possible in special circumstances (see below)

COVID tests

Visitors should order a rapid swab (lateral flow) test and complete it before visiting an inpatient at our hospitals. The rapid swab test is a nasal swab, which provides test results after 30 minutes.You can order rapid swab tests from the NHS.UK website, or collect up to 7 rapid tests from your local pharmacy or test site (details of how to do this, including getting a code that pharmacies may ask for, on NHS UK).


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

Children and neonatal intensive care

The children's ward and neonatal intensive care is open for visiting, with the following restrictions:

  • Visiting is restricted to parents, carers or guardians only
  • Only 2 visitors are allowed per child at any one time
  • Please discuss siblings visiting with the nurse in charge
  • Only 2 visitors are permitted on the neonatal ward at any one time, this should be parents, carer or guardians only; if parents, both can visit at the same time.


See our maternity section for details about maternity visiting

Attending our hospitals (including Emergency Departments)

  • Patients may be accompanied where appropriate and necessary to assist their communication and/or to meet their health, emotional, religious or spiritual care needs.
  • One parent or guardian may accompany a person under the age of 16 to the Emergency Department, Minor Injury and Illness Units, or to an Outpatients appointment.

Special circumstances

If you would like to request a visit for exceptional reasons or to provide personal care and support to a vulnerable patient, please speak to the nurse in charge of the ward.

You may accompany adults that require support to our hospital, if you are:

  • their carer or they have particular support needs

People who are allowed to have an adult accompany or visit them for longer than 2 hours in our hospitals include:

  • patients under the age of 16
  • people with dementia, delirium or a cognitive impairment
  • people with mental health needs
  • people with autism or learning disabilities
  • people with impaired mobility

Visiting may also be possible for patients receiving bad news, and for patients who are 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

This is limited to 2 visitors. Unless it has been agreed with our infection prevention and control team, you cannot visit:

  • dedicated COVID-19 wards
  • patients who have been exposed to coronavirus (COVID-19)

Collecting a patient

  • If you are planning to collect a patient leaving hospital, please contact the ward for instructions on where to meet them. Only one person should enter the hospital building to collect a patient.
  • Please do not wait for patients inside the hospital building, unless you have been asked to by a member of staff. This is because having lots of people inside the hospital increases the risk of infection to patients, staff and volunteers.


  • Whilst not mandatory, we ask that you only visit a patient at our hospitals if you are fully vaccinated to protect yourself, our vulnerable patients and our staff.

  • Surgical masks must be worn at all times during the visit. If you have a medical mask exemption, please arrange an alternative way to make contact with your friend or relative during this period.

  • If you are visiting an inpatient, we ask you to order and complete a rapid swab (lateral flow) test before coming to our hospitals

  • We ask all visitors to wash their hands before entering and leaving the building and to use the hand sanitiser outside each ward and department

  • Please make every effort to maintain 2 metre social distancing from people other than the person you are visiting


  • 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 have tested positive for COVID-19, including via a lateral flow test

  • You are displaying symptoms of COVID-19

  • Visitors who were previously shielding due to COVID-19 should remain cautious about visiting and have strict adherence to the social distancing, face mask and hand hygiene guidelines

  • You have been unwell with a flu-like illness

  • If you or a close friend, work colleague or relative has experienced sickness or diarrhoea in the last 72 hours then it is essential to avoid visiting our hospitals

  • Please do not visit if you cannot tolerate wearing a surgical mask for the duration of the visit