01225 825691


Bath Half Marathon Postponement Announcement

The organisers of the Bath Half Marathon announced today with regret that this year’s event has been postponed to 13th March 2022, due to the national COVID restrictions for large-scale events plus planned infrastructure projects on the highways network in the City this autumn.

Message from the Bath Half website reads:

“With just over 4 months now before our event date we still do not have clarification from Government on key factors such as whether social distancing will be required, whether spectators will be permitted and whether participants will be required to provide certification of COVID status.

These factors will fundamentally effect how we deliver our event, and without this clarification we do not feel we have sufficient time now to plan our arrangements, or to carry out proper consultations with the council and other stakeholders, or to tender and place the necessary contractors’ orders.

We also feel that the restrictions that are likely to remain on large scale public events this year will change the community character of our event and prevent us from delivering the Bath Half Marathon in the way our runners expect.

Furthermore, following consultation with B&NES Council, we have also been informed that access to the highways for the event will be compromised by a number of infrastructure projects planned this autumn, including the unavoidable repairs to Cleveland Bridge, which were postponed in 2020, and which is a key part of the diversion route around the city during the event road closures.

We are particularly disappointed for the thousands of local runners who regularly take part in the Bath Half Marathon, and for the impact this postponement will have on our 80 local charity partners and local voluntary groups and well as our national charity partners who will lose out on critical fundraising at this challenging time.

It’s heart-breaking to have to postpone our Bath Half Marathon for a second time and we know that many people will be disappointed by this decision. Sadly the combination of uncertainty surrounding continued COVID restrictions for large-scale events and planned infrastructure projects on the highways network in the City this autumn have left us with no choice. But with the support of our entrants, community and partners we’re determined to return in March 2022 with a celebration for our 40th anniversary.

We will be contacting registered entrants today with details of their deferment and refund options.

We will also notify our charity partners, commercial partners, contractors and volunteer groups about arrangements for the event on 13th March.”

Andrew Taylor – Bath Half Marathon Race Director – Running High Events


“Bath & North East Somerset Council recognises the significant role the Bath Half plays in the city’s calendar of events, inspiring fitness and wellbeing within the city, its importance to charities as the largest regional fundraising event, and the boost it gives to the local hospitality economy. We look forward to the return of the event in March 2022”.

Councillor Richard Samuel, acting leader of Bath & North East Somerset


The Bath Half Marathon is the largest sporting and community event in the city and the largest charity fundraising event in the South-West raising £30 million pounds for charity in the 20 years since Running High Events took over management of the event. Cancellation of this year’s Bath Half will have a substantial impact on the event’s 140 charity partners who stand to lose around £2.5 million pounds this year in fundraising, at a time when demand on the charity sector and the cost of service delivery have both significantly increased, due to the COVID pandemic.

“The Bath Half Marathon is an incredibly important event for local charities, not only in terms of fundraising – around £1 million pounds is raised each year for local charities within Bath & North East Somerset (out of a total of £2.5 million pounds raised by the event) – but also in raising public awareness of our work. The funds raised for local charities through the Bath Half are critical to our services in our community, and now with the challenges presented by the COVID-19 outbreak these funds are even more essential to keep our vital services going”

Joint statement from local charities : Bath RUH Forever Friends Appeal, Dorothy House Hospice Care and Jamie’s Farm


Events like the Bath Half provide an invaluable role in promoting physical fitness and an active lifestyle, a key to the recovery from the COVID pandemic. The Bath Half provides an inspiration and gateway into the UK’s most popular sport, enjoyed by 7.5 million regular runners in England, including 25,000 regular runners in the Bath area. It also provides a focus and motivation for regular runners, and a pathway for elite competition.

“Studies have consistently shown that outdoor activities such as running are very low risk in terms of COVID-19 transmission, and that organised outdoor running events including parkrun are extremely safe with the correct measures in place.

The overwhelming benefits of exercise and physical fitness, in reducing the risk of serious outcome from COVID-19 and a range of non-communicable diseases, including heart disease, diabetes, cancer and dementia, plus mental health benefits, are well known.

Andrew Taylor – Race Director – Running High Events

Read more

Whatley Manor and Spa offer to RUH staff

In order to say thank you to the incredible team of staff here at the RUH, Whatley Manor Hotel and Spa have generously gifted three breaks, each of three nights duration for two people with dinner in their beautiful country hotel!  The team at Whatley want to say thank you by having the opportunity to look after you and share the warm and generous hospitality that is the Whatley experience.

We are inviting all RUH staff members to nominate a colleague of their choosing, who they think has gone above and beyond, during the recent crisis.

Entries are now open, and close at midday on Tuesday 11th August.  Winners will be selected at random from the list of RUH staff members who have been nominated.

Offer now closed

By completing this form you agree to the following terms and conditions:

  • Entry opens on Tuesday 28th July 2020
  • Entry is scheduled to close at midday on Tuesday 11th August 2020
  • Nominators and those persons being nominated must be currently employed by the Royal United Hospitals Bath NHS Foundation Trust
  • Entrants are required to meet the criteria specified
  • Winners will be selected at random from the list of RUH staff nominated.
  • Persons nominating will not be entered into the draw – unless they have been nominated separately by a colleague
  • Winners will be notified directly, shortly after the competition has ended
  • The competition is only open to residents of the UK who are age 18 years or above
  • If the potential winner cannot be contacted, the winners forfeits all rights to the prize and an alternative winner will be selected
  • The Forever Friends Appeal charity reserves the right to suspend, cancel or modify the prize draw at any time and for any reason without notice
  • The prize is non-transferable
  • Prizes are donated by Whatley Manor Hotel and Spa
  • Winners will have until 30th April 2021 to redeem their gift, dates will of course be subject to availability and excludes Fridays and Saturdays.
  • The gift excludes the following dates 30th August and 31st August 2020, 23 December 2020 to 2nd January 2021. February 14th 2021, 4th and 5th April 2021.
  • Grey’s Brasserie serves dinner Sunday through Monday.
  • The Dining Room serves dinner Thursday to Sunday (please see website for any changes)
  • Bookings will be subject to availability
  • Persons nominating agree to be contacted by The Forever Friends Appeal about your nomination
  • Entry implies acceptance of these terms and conditions as final and binding
Read more

New COVID-19 intensive care unit opens at RUH

A new intensive care unit for COVID-19 patients, built in just 42 days, has opened at the Royal United Hospitals Bath NHS Foundation Trust (RUH).

The Pierce Intensive Care Unit has 14 beds available and, with the hospital’s existing intensive care unit, means the Trust now has space for 27 intensive care patients.

Trust Chief Executive James Scott said: “Our teams of staff and contractors have done an amazing job in creating this facility so quickly. Back in March we answered the call from the Department of Health to increase ICU capacity as part of the response to the COVID-19 global pandemic , and in just six weeks we’ve transformed and converted what was a surgical ward into one of the most sophisticated ICUs in the region.”

An improved feature of the new Pierce Intensive Care Unit’s 14 beds is that each is contained in a negative pressure environment – sealed areas with carefully controlled ventilation that prevents contaminated air from escaping the room – which maximises safety for staff and patients. Staff enter and exit via a separate room that acts as an airlock, helping to reduce the risk of infection.

ICU Lead Consultant Dr Andy Georgiou said: “This fantastic ICU is the only such facility in the South West. It allows us to do two things – firstly to expand our intensive care capacity from 13 to 27 beds, and secondly to separate the care we offer to intensive care patients. It means that if you are coming into intensive care having had, for example, a major operation, you can be confident in the knowledge that you will be cared for in a separate location to patients who are critically ill with COVID-19.

“We’re proud to open the unit and are really grateful to the Trust and our contractors and staff who have helped us to develop and build this facility in such a short space of time.”

James Scott said: “While the RUH has, thankfully, not experienced the number of positive COVID-19 patients seen in other parts of the country since the pandemic began, we have rightly followed Department of Health advice to make contingency plans. The new ICU’s extra capacity will allow the Trust to manage any future surge in intensive care demand, and also to plan for the future when more of our hospital services resume.”

Read more

Two wheels for our NHS heroes

Thirty brand new bikes arrived today (Friday 1 May) at the Royal United Hospitals Bath as a special gift for our NHS heroes. The bikes were donated by BW Cycling, a Bristol-based company that wanted to help staff get to work during the coronavirus pandemic.

They will make a huge difference to staff who have been struggling to get to work on public transport because of reduced services and social distancing guidelines. The Trust organised a free draw and invited colleagues who would benefit of having a bike and the lucky winners were selected at random.

Andy Wadsworth, Co-owner of BW Cycling said:

“We are a small privately owned bike shop which can’t make ventilators or PPE but we have bikes to make transport easier. When we heard stories of frontline NHS staff working long shifts with some walking for over an hour to get to work and back because of reduced public transport and being unable to get a lift share, we thought we could help.

“We are very fortunate to have strong client relationships with local companies and Creo Medical has been very supportive in helping fund 100 bikes for NHS staff.  We’ve donated 50 bikes to RUH staff, the remaining 20 will be delivered next week and donated another 50 to staff at Southmead. It’s been a bit challenging with the logistics and social distancing but we’ve done it, much easier in comparison to what many NHS staff are having to deal with on a daily basis.”

As well as donating the bikes, the lucky winners also received a helmet, lights and a bike lock to ensure they can cycle safely.

Ben Ellis was entered into the draw by his colleagues Ashleigh Farmer and Zoe Lockton who work with him in the Emergency Department. When he found out he was a winner, he said: “Winning a bike was a big surprise as I did not know about the offer. I feel very privileged and look forward to being able to ride to work.”

Another winner, Jo Smith, Clinical Dietitian who lives in Southstoke said: “This will certainly help my journey to work – it’s either over an hour’s walk or try and catch two buses!”

The Royal United Hospitals Bath NHS Foundation Trust would like to thank all businesses for their continued support of our staff and patients during this challenging time. Any businesses looking to make a donation should contact the hospital’s charity The Forever Friends Appeal by email: forever.friends@nhs.net before making any deliveries.

Read more

Recovered coronavirus patients thank RUH staff for their care and support

Two RUH patients who spent time in intensive care after contracting COVID-19 have returned home and thanked hospital staff for the ‘fantastic’ care they received.

Angie Shell, 61, from Trowbridge, was admitted to the Royal United Hospitals Bath NHS Foundation Trust after falling ill at home.

Angie said: “I had a cough and hadn’t been feeling well for a little while, but I have lupus and had put it down to that. I went to bed feeling a bit rough, but as the days went on I got worse and we made the decision to call for an ambulance.

“I was in the Respiratory Assessment Unit for two days and then taken to Parry ward, but my condition deteriorated and I was taken to the Intensive Care unit so I could be given oxygen.

“It was a very frightening time, but the doctors and nurses were unbelievable. They didn’t leave my side and were just wonderful.

“I don’t know how I can ever thank them enough. If I ever win the lottery, I know where the money’s going!

“They saved my life, it’s a simple as that. They are so brave, putting themselves at risk to help care for others. They are absolutely fantastic.”

Angie, a grandmother, is now back at home to continue her recovery. “I feel so much better than I did,” she said. “I’ve still got a bit of a cough and still get tired very quickly but I’m feeling better day by day. It’s a horrible virus but I want people to know that you can survive it.”

Angie’s husband David added: “The staff in the intensive care unit were fantastic. I wasn’t able to visit Angie, so stayed at home waiting for news. A couple of times I called the unit to find out how she was doing and I just fell to bits, but the staff were so supportive, so caring and it helped me to cope.”

Hugh Mullally, 65, from Bath, fell ill after returning home from a work trip to Europe.

He was taken to the RUH and within days was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit.

“I was intubated so that I could be placed on a ventilator. Then I was put into an induced coma. I had about 10minutes to say goodbye to my wife and read the notes that my children had written to me. It all seemed to have happened so quickly.

“I was on a ventilator for nine days in all before I began to recover. When I left the unit, all the staff came into the corridor and gave me a round of applause. I couldn’t believe it. It was very emotional.

“All the way through, from the moment I arrived at the RUH to the day I left, the care was just outstanding. All the staff were so professional and kind. They became like friends to me. I can’t speak highly enough of them. The hospital food was excellent too!

“I feel incredibly lucky that we have the NHS and will never forget the outstanding care and compassion that I received from the staff at the RUH.”

Hugh’s wife Karen said: “We all feel like the NHS has given us Hugh’s life back”

Hugh’s daughter Tara, who has been furloughed from her job, ran a staggering 10km every day he was in a coma, raising a massive £5,000 for NHS charities.

RUH Chief Executive James Scott said: “I’m delighted that Angie and Hugh are back home and wish them all the very best with their recovery. They are just two of more than 100 COVID-19 patients who have been well enough to leave the hospital and head home.

“I’m so incredibly proud of all our staff. They are facing unprecedented challenges and continue to provide our patients with the very best care.”

Read more

Ed Jackson climbs Mount Everest…at home

Inspired by Captain Tom Moore who has raised millions for NHS Charities Together, Ed Jackson, former professional rugby player has set out to raise £10,000 for our charity and two others by climbing the equivalent of Mount Everest on his parents’ staircase.

We are in awe of what he’s set out to do and we wish him the best of luck with this challenge as we know Ed well. He was cared for at the RUH three years ago following an accident which left him with a broken neck. At the time he was told that he may not walk again, but after a gruelling recovery and rehabilitation at three different hospitals including the RUH, he made an amazing recovery and became one of our Therapies Matters ambassadors.

Ed said: “I managed to ditch the walker two years ago and despite my disability I have developed a weird obsession with climbing and I hope to be the first quadriplegic to climb Mount Everest. Obviously I can’t get to the mountains but I’ve decided to bring one here. I’m not really sure how much I’ve bitten off but those of you who have seen any of my climbing blogs before will know that thanks to my disability stairs are my nemesis.”

During the four day challenge, which started today (Tuesday 21 April), Ed will wear of the kit that he will take with him when he is able to travel to the Himalayas and will walk up and down the staircase 2,783 times, that’s 89,000 sets of individual steps.

Ed continued: “The money raised will be shared with The Forever Friends Appeal in support of the NHS. The incredible people of the NHS saved my life and got me back on my feet three years ago and now they’re making that difference for many more.

“Any donation no matter how small is massively appreciated because all of our charities need support at the moment and I hope together we can raise enough to make a real difference for these three.”

The other two charities that are close to Ed’s heart and will also receive a share of the funds are Wings for Life Spinal Cord Research Foundation and the Neverest Orthopaedics Foundation.

Ed hopes to finish the challenge around 6pm on Friday 24 April and we’ll be there to help him complete the last few flights of stairs.

If you would like to show your support to Ed, donations can be made at https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/edjackson8

You can stay up to date with Ed’s progress by following him on Twitter and on Instagram.


Read more

New ‘wobble rooms’ introduced for RUH staff

Staff working at the Royal United Hospitals Bath NHS Foundation Trust can now visit one of several special quiet rooms if they are feeling overwhelmed and need some peace and quiet.

With workers at the hospital facing unprecedented challenges, the new rooms are already proving popular with staff that might be having ‘a wobble’ and need a moment to themselves.

The rooms have been introduced to provide staff with:

  • A place they can go to take a pause and ground themselves if they are feeling overwhelmed
  • A space to do some psychological first aid, such as mindful breathing
  • Somewhere to have a drink, snack or a short rest
  • Somewhere to make contact with the Pastoral Support team if they want to access more help
  • A space which recognises that our mental health fluctuates and that sometimes we need to take a moment to look after ourselves

The wobble rooms can be found in the Incident Coordination Centre, Education Centre, the EAP (Employee Assistance Programme) offices and the RHNRD and Brownsword Therapies Centre.

The new rooms are in addition to spaces around the hospital that already exist for staff who need to take a few minutes to find some peace and quiet, including the Spiritual Care Centre and garden.

Sarah Shatwell, Head of Staff Counselling at the RUH, said: “Our staff are facing huge challenges at the current time and we’re working hard to make sure we can support both their physical and mental wellbeing.

“The new wobble rooms are somewhere for staff to go if they need to take a moment to themselves and find some peace and quiet.

“All of the rooms have information about how to access further support including counselling, psychology support and support in relation to traumatic incidents. One has a laptop which can be used for video calls to the pastoral support team and another is located within the hospital’s counselling service where a qualified therapist is present if needed.

“We recognise that our staff are facing unprecedented demands and we will continue to do all we can to ensure they have the support they need.”

Read more

Message for all our volunteers and supporters re: Coronavirus

17 March 2020

Dear valued volunteers & supporters,

We want to thank you for your kind and continued support and we’re thinking of you and our wonderful community of supporters at this time.

Our staff at the RUH are working incredibly hard to keep all of our patients safe and we are following the guidelines of the Department of Health about COVID-19 (coronavirus). As always, the care of our patients is the number one priority.

The COVID-19 is a rapidly changing situation so as the RUH Hospital Charity we wanted to give some guidance and advice on visiting our hospital, our future planned events, fundraising in the community and how you can support for our charity and your hospital. Please check regularly for updates.

To stay up to date with the latest NHS information and advice about coronavirus please click here

Visiting our hospital and Forever Friends Appeal offices

The Forever Friends Appeal offices are based on site at the RUH and we want to help keep our hospital site safe, therefore over the coming weeks and months many of the team will be working remotely from home. We are asking volunteers and visitors to please refrain from visiting the hospital unless specifically invited to do so. Whilst we may not be able to speak to you in person we will be available via the phone and email.  We may not always be able to answer phone calls immediately but do leave messages as we are able to pick up voicemail.

All non-essential meetings or events have been cancelled or postponed for the foreseeable future, instead we can talk to you via phone/ video calls where practical. The cancelled events includes cake and book sales that would normally be held in our atrium at the RUH. We have contacted our supporters who were due to hold an events here at the RUH and we will get in touch if you have an event planned in the near future if it needs to be cancelled or postponed.

If you do visit our hospital for an appointment, treatment or as a visitor, we kindly ask that you use the alcohol hand gel provided at each of our main entrances as you enter and leave hospital to protect yourself and others. Please also check regularly the information and advice being given by our hospital here

Our planned events

Whilst the COVID-19 situation continues, we are looking at how we can help reduce the risk of the spread of infection and keep our supporters safe. The health and safety of all our event participants, supporters and volunteers, many of whom take part in support of a family member who is a patient or as a patient themselves, is our absolute priority.

We have therefore decided to postpone the Walk of Life which was due to take place on Saturday 16th May.  We are currently working with the our suppliers to find an alternative date for later in the year and will keep in touch with all registered walkers to update them with the plans, as soon as they are confirmed. We would like to thank all of our brilliant walkers and volunteers for their support with this event so far, especially for all the hard work they have put into training and fundraising. We are determined to make sure every step they take/have taken, will still count for our patients.

At this time, we are also monitoring the other events we organise as a charity, and the impact they could potentially have on our supporters and others. The Event Section on our website will be updated on a regular basis and should plans for any of our other events change, we will notify those that may be affected as soon as possible.

If you are planning to attend an event which is organised by a third party in aid of The Forever Friends Appeal, then please check with the organiser for an update and further information.

Fundraising in the community

If you were planning to hold your own fundraising activities in aid of our charity in the coming weeks we understand that you may now have questions about what to do. We would recommend that you carefully consider the activities you have planned as the situation and government advice is changing on a daily basis. It is important that you keep up to date with the latest NHS guidelines and Government information to help you make your decisions.

Your support of the RUH hospital is very much appreciated especially at this time but more importantly your health and wellbeing, as well as that of your families and the wider public, is paramount. We fully understand if you decide to postpone or cancel your fundraising activities or you may choose to do a “virtual” activity in your own home.

Supporting the RUH Bath at this time

Our RUH hospital staff are working incredibly hard to continue to provide the highest quality of care for all our patients. If you would like to show your support to our staff and hospital you can by making a donation – we are incredibly grateful to all our supporters and the funds will be used towards the areas in the hospital where it’s needed most.

During this time we will be providing updates via social media, our website and e-newsletters, if you would like to sign up to receive news and information about how you can support our work please click here.

If you have any questions about how to support the hospital or about your fundraising please email forever.friends@nhs.net

Thank you for your patience and continued support

Rhyannon Boyd

Head of Fundraising

Read more

Patient funds new scanner for RUH ward

Patients on the Gastroenterology ward at the Royal United Hospitals (RUH), Bath are benefitting from a new scanner, thanks to a former patient who funded the machine.

Bath resident Liz Daniel, who spent five weeks on Haygarth ward wanted to give something back for the care she received. After speaking to staff to find out what she could do, she funded a bladder scanner which cost £7,500.

Liz, who suffers from LA Amyloidosis, a very rare condition said: “The RUH has been there for me on several occasions and my first admission was on to Haygarth ward back in 2000.  My most recent stay was last summer. I am so thankful to the nurses on the ward for their wonderful care.  I’m sure having their own bladder scanner will make a huge difference to the staff and patients.”

The scanner uses ultrasound to scan a patient’s bladder to determine its volume, and is a valuable diagnostic tool. The procedure is painless for the patient and takes only a couple of minutes to complete.

Vanessa Barthez, Medical Nurse Practitioner on Haygarth ward said:

“We are so grateful to Liz for this generous gift. Many of our patients need to have their bladders scanned to assess their need for catheter intervention.  Having our own scanner means that we can get immediate results in a non-invasive way.”

The purchase of the bladder scanner was facilitated by the hospital’s charity, The Forever Friends Appeal. Thanks to the application of Gift Aid, the ward was also able to purchase extra equipment, given by Liz as a tribute to her late husband, Reginald Jack Daniel OBE.

To find out more about our Appeal and the ways you can support the RUH please click here

Read more

HRH The Duchess of Cornwall officially opens the new RNHRD and Brownsword Therapies Centre

Staff, patients and guests celebrated the official opening today (Tuesday 22 October) by Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall, of the new RNHRD and Brownsword Therapies Centre at the RUH.

The Duchess, President of the Royal Osteoporosis Society and Patron of Versus Arthritis, was given a guided tour of the new £20m purpose-built Centre and shown some of its facilities, including the hydrotherapy pool, specialist treatment areas and physiotherapy gyms.

James Scott, Chief Executive of the Royal United Hospitals Bath NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We were delighted to welcome Her Royal Highness here again. She has a long association with the Trust as well as being a former patron of the Royal National Hospital for Rheumatic Diseases. The Duchess is a great supporter of our work and we were very proud to show her the wonderful new facilities we have created here.”

The Duchess was accompanied on her visit by Trust Chair Alison Ryan.  She was introduced to local entrepreneurs Andrew and Christina Brownsword, whose £1m Match Funding Challenge has enabled the hospital charity, The Forever Friends Appeal, to raise  £2m towards the overall cost of the new Centre, with every donation doubled by the Brownsword scheme.

The RNHRD and Brownsword Therapies  Centre brings together therapies and pain services located at the RUH with many of the services previously  located at the RNHRD’s Mineral Water Hospital site, known locally as the ‘Min.’

Uniting staff and services together on one site has been many years in the planning, and the RUH has worked closely with patients and staff to design the best new home for services relocating from the Min.

The Duchess also attended a reception to celebrate the 20th anniversary of The Forever Friends Appeal and its raising of over £25m for patient services at the RUH.  She met with donors and volunteers and unveiled plaques to mark the event and officially open the new Centre.

During the reception The Duchess said: “As a past patron of the Min it’s lovely to be able to come here and see what has been done for the new Centre. I’m incredibly impressed by everything – the hydrotherapy pool looked extremely tempting! There seem to be a lot of very happy patients and it has a very welcoming atmosphere. I know that all of you here do so much to raise money for this hospital…so thank you for contributing to this wonderful new building.”

Read more