Members of the public were warned to avoid the Royal United Hospital after police received calls about a man making threats and carrying an item believed to be a blade.
Witnesses told Somerset Live that no one was being allowed in or out, with patients “stuck on wards”, while another said they had seen a man with a knife in the car park.
Avon and Somerset Police said officers arrested a man in his 40s on suspicion of making threatening communications and he is in police custody.
A spokesperson said: “Police attended after a report by hospital staff of a man making verbal threats by phone.
“A short time later there was also a report of a man in the area carrying an unknown item, which the informant was concerned may have been a bladed weapon, but this is something that remains unconfirmed.
“The hospital decided to go into a lockdown and we advised a nearby school to take a similar precautionary measure. Both lockdowns were lifted in the early-afternoon and access to both the hospital and school are now unrestricted.”
We'd like to reassure the public that all emergency services have well-rehearsed plans for dealing with incidents.
There are no reported injuries and our advice to avoid the area at the moment is precautionary.
— Avon and Somerset Police (@ASPolice) February 2, 2024
Pictures from the scene showed an unmarked police car parked behind a row of ambulances at the hospital while a police helicopter circled the site.
Police confirmed that hospital staff contacted the police at 9.45am to report they had received a telephone call from an unknown male who made verbal threats.
A police presence was already at the hospital for an unrelated matter, who liaised with hospital security teams.
A second call making verbal threats was received at about 10.15am and further officers were also dispatched to attend the scene, including firearms officers.
“We are currently responding to an incident in the vicinity of the Royal United Hospital (RUHBath) in Bath. Officers are at the scene but at this moment in time would advise people to avoid the area as a precaution,” Avon and Somerset Police posted on X earlier on Friday.
It said: “Our advice to avoid the area at the moment is precautionary. We’d like to reassure the public that all emergency services have well-rehearsed plans for dealing with incidents.”
They added that there are no reported injuries at this time and a police presence remains in the area.