Hospital visitors don’t need a Vaccine Pass, but must wear a surgical/medical paper mask. Fabric face coverings are no longer acceptable. See our COVID-19 pages for visiting guidelines, COVID-19 tests current case numbers in regions of Canterbury and care in the community advice. See for info about vaccinations.

We are at ORANGE according to the NZ COVID-19 Protection Framework

Last updated:
19 April 2022

For visitors to all facilities effective from Tuesday 19 April 2022

With the change to the ORANGE Traffic Light setting, Canterbury DHB is easing its visitor policy in recognition of the fact we have passed the peak of the current Omicron outbreak and case numbers are slowly reducing.

The following visitor restrictions are now in place for all Canterbury DHB hospitals and health facilities:

  • One adult visitor may be accompanied by no more than one child over the age of 12 per patient in the hospital at any given time, except where stated otherwise in the ‘exceptions’ section below.  No children under 12 and those 12 and over must be accompanied by an adult and wear a medical mask.
  • Visitors or support people should not visit our facilities if they are unwell.
  • Surgical/medical masks must be worn at all times at all Canterbury DHB sites and will be provided if people don’t have them.
  • Hand sanitiser stations are visible and must be used.

By adhering to these conditions, you help keep our patients, staff, other visitors and yourself safe. We thank you in advance for your patience and understanding as our staff work hard to protect and care for some of the most vulnerable in our community.

Exceptions to the ‘one visitor’ policy

  • Exceptions can apply in some circumstances (ie more than one visitor) where a trusted whānau member provides assistance, reassurance and other support for therapeutic care or on compassionate grounds – please talk to the ward’s Charge Nurse to discuss this before you come to hospital to visit. For whānau with an essential support role as a Partner in Care – please check with the ward’s Charge Nurse before you come to hospital to visit
  • People attending Christchurch ED or Ashburton AAU can have one support person with them
  • Women in labour and in the birthing suite can have two support people, and women on the Maternity Ward are allowed one support person for the duration of their stay in our facilities at Christchurch Womens Hospital and other maternity units. Only one support person can be with each woman in the maternity ward, and one support person for maternity clinic appointments, no children are allowed to visit.
  • Parents/caregivers can be with their baby in NICU.
  • Parents/caregivers are able to be with their child in hospital (Except Children’s Haematology and Oncology Day patients where only one parent or caregiver is permitted, following a supervised negative RAT result)
  • Children who are inpatients, one other visitor (other than a parent or caregiver) is able to visit in consultation with the nurse in charge.
  • People requiring support when attending an appointment can have one support person. Please let the relevant service know if you need this so they are able to accommodate your request.

Exceptions for people with disabilities

An exception will be made for people with disabilities who are in hospital or have to attend an outpatient appointment – where they need a support person to access health services. For example, a sign language interpreter, support person for someone with a learning disability, or someone to assist with mobility. The support person is in addition to the one permitted visitor.

Face covering exemption cards

The Exemptions Team at the Ministry of Health is now responsible for processing requests for Face Covering Communication Cards.

Updated information about mask wearing, and how to request an exemption card can now be found here. People unable to request an exemption card online can call 0800 28 29 26 and select option 2, or text 8988

Patients and visitors should also read the additional more detailed visiting guidelines for each specific hospital.

More COVID-19 information

Awards and recognition

The Canterbury Health System and its staff are internationally renowned for their whole-of-system approach – where everyone in the health system works together to do the right thing for the patient and the right thing for the system

International awards & recognition

The King's Fund

The Canterbury Health System has been internationally recognised by The King's Fund – a highly-regarded British health authority, as one of the high-performing health systems in the world.

The King's Fund international report encourages other health systems to learn from Canterbury DHB: ​​”The Canterbury Health System model of integrated services and collaboration is being used extensively overseas (particularly NHS England, NHS Scotland, NHS Wales, NHS Ireland as well as a number of states in Australia).​​” David Meates, former Chief Executive, Canterbury DHB.

Read more about The King's Fund report

​​​National awards & recognition

Institute of Public Administration New Zealand (​IPANZ)

The Institute of Public Administration host the annual Public Sector Excellence Awards to recognise outstanding performance and achievement within the New Zealand Public Sector.

Canterbury DHB won four award categories at the IPANZ awards in 2015:

  1. The Prime Minister's award for Public Sector Excellence​; this award was open to all category winners and was won by the Canterbury Health System's Canterbury Clinical Network.
  2. The Treasury Award for Excellence in Improving Public Value through Business Transformation​; the Canterbury Clinical Network which has led the transformation of health services through their patient-centric, clinically-led alliance approach.
  3. The State Services Commission and Leadership Development Centre Award for Improving Performance through Leadership Excellence​; the Canterbury Health System's ‘8' programmes, Xcelr8, Collabor8 and Particip8 which develops leaders across the Canterbury Health System was a joint winner with the Department of Internal Affairs.
  4. The Victoria University of Wellington School of Government Award for Excellence in Public Sector Engagement​. The ‘Heading to hospital – Plan your trip!' campaign to inform Cantabrians about the closure of onsite parking at Christchurch Hospital, and the establishment of a new Park & Ride scheme.

Find out more by reading the IPANZ Awards Media Release

Gold award for Canterbury DHB in energy management 

Energy Mark GoldCanterbury DHB is now the proud holder of an Energy-Mark Gold Award for energy management – only the second organisation in New Zealand to do so.
Described as the “ultimate step in the energy management journey” in New Zealand, a Gold Award is a very significant achievement for the DHB, especially for our Maintenance and Engineering team who have worked very hard behind the scenes to make sure that our energy systems are as good as they can possibly be.

We have already earned our Bronze and Silver awards from Enviro-Mark Solutions, the leading provider of environmental certification in New Zealand. A Gold award means that we are now running our energy systems to ISO50001, the international gold standard for energy management. Certification as an Energy-Mark Gold organisation is complicated, but the DHB achieved it “without findings” – in other words, without any corrective measures being required.

“This is a major achievement for the Canterbury DHB,” says Dr Belinda Mathers, General Manager Technical from Enviro-Mark Solutions. “With a bespoke approach to energy management now in place across all sites, the DHB can be proud of achieving international best-practice in energy use, performance and efficiency. We look forward to seeing the effects of future developments such as the proposed wood-waste boilers at the Christchurch Hospital campus on your energy use and management.

Energy-Mark Gold certified organisations have robust processes for making the information within the energy management system accessible and keeping it up to date. The organisation regularly performs internal audits of the management system and top management reviews the strategy of the energy management system

Since 2001, Enviro-Mark Solutions’ environmental certification schemes have ensured that New Zealand companies and organisations benefit from international best practice, applied science, and effective tools. Enviro-Mark Solutions is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Landcare Research, a Government-owned Crown Research Institute.

The Guardian newspaper – UK

Everyone working in the Canterbury Health System should be very proud, as our collective achievements were highlighted in the form of an article published in The Guardian newspaper in the UK on Tuesday 3 July.

The article, ‘Five ideas from other health systems that could transform the NHS’ highlights Canterbury’s integrated health system and talks about our collaborative approach to health and social services care, and our ongoing journey of transformation.

Article: Five ideas from other health systems that could transform NHS

Page last updated: 27 January 2021

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