Enquiries and keeping in touch


The ward nursing staff appreciate the need for your relatives to enquire about your well-being. 

We would ask that where possible, that one person is nominated by yourself to act as the main point of contact to enquire about you.

That person can then inform the rest of your family and friends. 

All wards have direct telephone lines to make it easier for your nominated named person or next of kin to contact the staff looking after you.

If your next of kin wishes to speak in person to the Doctor in charge of your care, they can ask the ward staff to arrange this with your permission.

Keeping in touch with friends and family


You can use your bedside telephone for a fee and there are also card-operated payphones around the Great Western Hospital.

Your relatives and friends can call you on your bedside phone in most cases. 

More on the TV and phone service

Mobile phones

Mobile phones should not be used in some areas, as they might interfere with some medical equipment or disturb other patients.

In the places where you can use them, please keep them on silent mode and be considerate to other patients. 

Always check with staff before using a mobile phone.

The use of a mobile phone camera is also not permitted on the wards as this may compromise patient confidentiality. 


Your relatives or friends are welcome to write to you whilst you are in hospital.

Please ask them to address the letter or card with your full name and the name of your ward, followed by the address of the hospital where you are staying.

If you would like to send a letter yourself, please hand this to your nurse who will post it for you. You will need to provide a stamp.

Just Visiting

To make it easier for you to keep your relatives up to date about how you are getting on, we have lent our support to a new website called Just Visiting, a free and confidential service which provides a safe and secure way for relatives and friends to keep each other updated on your progress while you are in hospital.

Patients can visit the website from their hospital bedside or from home, benefiting from more social contact and interaction, while family and friends can log on to view your progress and stay in touch.

This can save you, your family and friends and nursing staff from sharing the news through costly phone calls.

Report a problem with this web page

Please contact us at gwh.webmaster@nhs.net and we'll put it right.

Translate this page: