All hospital visitors are recommended to wear a medical face mask. Expand this message for information about visiting hospital.

Last updated:
13 March 2023

Some visitor restrictions for all Te Whatu Ora Waitaha Canterbury hospitals and health facilities remain in place, but we have relaxed others.

There is still a heightened risk to vulnerable people in hospital and so we recommend all people wear a mask when visiting any of our facilities and follow other advice designed to keep patients, staff and  visitors safe.

Kia whakahaumaru te whānau, me ngā iwi katoa – this is to keep everybody safe:

  • Visitors or support people must not visit our facilities if they are unwell. Do not visit if you have recently tested positive for COVID-19 and haven’t completed your isolation period.
  • Patients may have more than one visitor, except in some situations such as multi-bed rooms where it can cause overcrowding.
  • Surgical/medical masks are recommended be worn at all sites. Masks will be provided if you don’t have one.
  • For Specialist Mental Health Services everyone is strongly encouraged to wear a face mask in all inpatient areas and areas where consumers are receiving care (i.e. community appointments, home-visits, transporting people). Discretion may be applied in cases where masks impair your ability to communicate effectively.
  • Visitors must not eat or drink in multibed rooms because of the increased risk when multiple people remove their face mask in the same space.
  • Hand sanitiser is available and must be used.

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.

Visiting patients with COVID-19

  • People can visit patients who have COVID-19 but they must wear an N95 mask – this will be provided if you don’t have one.
  • Other methods of communication will be facilitated e.g. phone, Facetime, Zoom, WhatsApp etc where visits aren’t possible.

All of our Hospitals

Visiting hours for our hospitals have returned to pre COVID-19 hours with the exception of Christchurch Women’s Hospital.

All visitors are recommended to wear a medical face mask.

Parents/caregivers are able to be with their child in hospital and visitors are now allowed, except for the Children’s Haematology and Oncology Day stay where just one parent/caregiver is able to attend their appointment with their child. Exceptions by special arrangement only.

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

More COVID-19 information

Ophthalmology referrals and services

Official information request details

  • How are the ophthalmology referrals prioritized?
  • Is there any automatic referral system in place?
  • Are there any standards or operating procedures that are followed while placing referrals from GPs/primary care providers?
  • Can private eye care providers (Specsavers/OPSM etc.) refer a patient to specialist ophthalmologists in CDHB?
  • Can a patient consult with a specialist ophthalmologist at the ED directly without an appointment?
  • If not, can a GP immediately refer a patient to a specialist ophthalmologist at the hospital?
  • Are there any specialist ophthalmologists available at ED 24*7?
  • What criteria are followed in prioritizing the ophthalmology referrals?
  • In 2019-2020, what is the average time taken for a GP referral for different types (serious, moderately serious, and not serious, etc.) priorities to get an appointment with a specialist ophthalmologist / optometrist?
  • How many specialist ophthalmologists and optometrists are practicing in CDHB separately?
  • How many registered ophthalmologists/optometrists are there in whole New Zealand?
  • Were there any steps taken by DHBs across New Zealand to conduct the ophthalmology clinics remotely over tele platforms so that patients get necessary eye care during the different stages of lockdown in New Zealand?


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Page last updated: 30 September 2020

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