An Interpreter Service is available if you do not speak English as your first language or have hearing loss and use NZ Sign Language. Please discuss with a member of your healthcare team (e.g. nurse, doctor) to arrange an interpreter.
For areas outside Christchurch City (such as Ashburton, Kaikōura, and rural hospitals), ask staff about interpreters.
The Canterbury DHB interpreter service is:
If no Canterbury DHB interpreter is available, staff will contact a community provider or the Interpreting NZ Telephone Service.
Language interpreters do not translate papers or documents.
If you have health documents in another language, you can arrange to translate them through credentialed translation provider MLT Translation Centre, or ask a member of your health care team to arrange this.
If you or your family need accommodation during your treatment period, you should discuss this with your regular health care team in your home town. A social worker or the person in charge of your care can give you accommodation information.
The Māori Health Service also runs a low-cost whānau accommodation service for those eligible.
The hospital chaplains have been theologically and clinically trained and licenced to work in a hospital.
The chaplaincy team offers confidential compassionate support, prayer, and a listening ear in times of stress or loneliness; before and after surgery; for people experiencing loss and bereavement and around matters of faith and illness; and in celebrating the joys of life. They are available for prayer and church sacraments.
Many hospitals have an interfaith chapel, or a quiet place for prayer and reflection.
The chaplains are available to people of all faiths and no faith, and are here to support people of all religions and cultures. They can also contact your own religious or spiritual advisor and ask them to visit (Jewish, Hindu, Muslim, Buddhist, etc.).
Your nurse, social worker, ward clerk or doctor can arrange for a chaplain to visit you, or you can ask to speak with a chaplain when you see them in the ward.
Hospital chaplains provide appropriate blessing rituals for patients, their families and staff. This includes blessing rooms after death, equipment, wards, and workplaces.
Māori health services in Canterbury give patients and whānau culturally appropriate advice and support.
Specially trained staff give āwhina/help and tautoko/support with cultural issues and education on tikanga (values and beliefs). The service can also help you find organisations and resources to support your recovery.
The services available are:
Staff can sometimes arrange video conferences with your GP or practice nurse and family.
A video consultation uses a video link to allow you and your health care professional (clinician) to see and hear each other, even though you are not in the same place. They can save you time, money and may be preferred if you can’t travel far.
Things to remember for a video conference:
Tell your clinician if you want to end the video conference at any time
If you have concerns about your care, you can talk to staff, managers, customer support, or the Consumer Advocacy Service.
Staff and support services are available to help you when you have a bereavement.
Visit the Healthinfo website for advice on what to do when someone dies.
You may qualify for funded short term counselling sessions through your GP.
Many funeral homes offer grief support and information.
National organisation offering support services, information, counselling and support groups.
Phone: 0800 299 100
Bereavement support and grief counselling services.
Phone: 03 375 4274
24-hour community helpline.
Phone: 0800 543 354
24-hour support for people affected by crime or trauma
Phone: 0800 842 846
At some of our hospitals there may be volunteers who help patients, visitors and staff in a variety of ways including:
There are many ways you can make a difference through a role that matches your skills, interests and availability.
Enquiries for volunteering at Burwood Hospital:
Phone: (03) 383 9499
If you would like to volunteer at one of our other sites or services, please contact that site or service directly.
Free public Wi-Fi internet access is available in most Canterbury DHB hospital areas.
For more information read our Wi-Fi FAQs below or view more information about Connecting to DHB Public Wi-Fi Mobile devices.
Which Canterbury DHB sites provide free public Wi-Fi?
Christchurch Hospital, Christchurch Women’s and outpatient areas have the free service. Some areas of Burwood and Hillmorton Hospitals also have free public Wi-Fi.
Exclusions include the Great Escape Cafe in Christchurch Hospital and the University of Otago, Christchurch School of Medicine.
How will people know exactly where it is available?
We are currently preparing signs, posters and other promotional materials to make it clear where the Wi-Fi service is available.
How easy is it to use and how reliable is the service?
The service is delivered over high-speed fibre infrastructure and is reliable. Priority is given to clinical data.
Who is paying for the service?
Canterbury DHB provides the infrastructure and 2degrees provides the internet feed.
What restrictions are there?
TVs are available for patients and visitors to watch in patient lounges, waiting areas, and some wards and patient rooms.
TVs brought from home will not work in our hospitals. Patients and visitors are welcome to watch videos on their phones, tablets or notebook computers as long as they do not disturb other patients or staff.
You can help your own recovery by learning about your condition on our HealthInfo Canterbury website.
Page last updated: 5 November 2018
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