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.

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 to 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

Wellbeing recovery after mass shootings: information for the response to the Christchurch mosque attacks 2019

Executive summary

On Friday 15 March 2019, two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, were attacked by one shooter. To date, 51 people have died from their injuries. Forty-five people were hospitalised on the day of the shooting, and 118 people were treated or admitted by Canterbury DHB in relation to the incident (as at 7 May 2019). Emergency personnel from the Police and St John Ambulance attended the scene. A number of members of the public assisted in the first aid response and in transporting the injured to hospital. Almost all of the injured were taken to Christchurch Hospital.

A rapid literature review undertaken suggests that mass shootings are more intensely traumatic than other disasters, but that the majority of those affected by mass shootings will be resilient. Most people will be minimally impacted, but approximately eight percent may have moderate symptoms and two percent chronic dysfunction (Despotes et al. 2016). These prevalence figures depend on the context of the event.

An overview of the literature suggests the intensity of symptom trajectories are likely to vary over time and among groups, and depend on pre-existing risk factors (including young age, female gender, low socioeconomic status), high incident exposure (close proximity to the event or psychosocial proximity to deceased, concern they would die during attack), and differing coping strategies.

Locally those most at risk would be people highly exposed to the event, those from the targeted Muslim community, emergency responders, young, female, and potentially those with a loss of income, and concerns about residency status/ability to stay in New Zealand.

An appropriate response could be multi agency, similar to that offered in the aftermath of the Manchester Arena bombing. This should be directed in the first weeks at normalising anticipated reactions and supporting coping mechanisms and natural networks, through multiple routes including public health messaging, social marketing, the patient information website HealthInfo, primary care, and workplaces. After the initial weeks, the emphasis should shift to identifying those that need a higher level of assistance, focusing on those who have experienced greater levels of trauma, and those with previous mental health difficulties, as they may be more vulnerable. Training on ‘Mental Health First Aid’ may be beneficial in this context. Strategies are suggested in this document. In the longer term, the triggering nature of anniversaries of the attacks should be considered.

Evaluation of any initiatives should be incorporated into the response.


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Page last updated: 29 May 2019

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