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

Quality and patient safety

The Canterbury District Health Board (CDHB) has a strong commitment to the provision of high quality health care services. We strive to ensure our services are safe, integrated, focused on evidence based best practice and are responsive to consumer needs.

At the Canterbury DHB we believe that by continuously improving the dimensions of quality throughout the organisation we will enhance the health care services we provide, increase the job satisfaction of our staff and improve organisational effectiveness.

Our vision is that our health system provides exceptional quality by providing the right care and support, by the right person, at the right place, at the right time and in the right way.  With this in mind we have set a patient safety vision of 'zero harm'. 

The Corporate Quality and Patient Safety Team works closely with the divisional quality teams and the executive management team to coordinate and promote an effective, integrated and comprehensive approach to quality and patient safety across the organisation.

The Quality Accounts are a snapshot of how our health system is meeting the health needs of the people in our community.

Please go to our document library to view our latest Quality Accounts and previous Quality Accounts.

If you have any queries, please do not hesitate to contact us:

Susan Wood, Director Quality and Patient Safety

Safe Mobility September


This new campaign is still about preventing harm from falls, but takes a more positive look at the benefits of keeping active and moving around safely but often, whether in hospital or at home.

Staying safely active while in hospital gets you well enough to go home sooner, decreases the risk of depression and ensures you are able to get back to the things that are important to you faster when you do get home.

During Safe Mobility September, our staff encourage patients to move safely as often as they can. At Burwood Hospital there is an active rehabiliation programme that includes activities designed to be enjoyable for patients while improving their confidence, strength and balance, and reducing their risk of a fall.

Staying active at home will ensure you stay well and independent at home as long as possible and can avoid a trip to hospital due to being injured in a fall.

The Canterbury Health System is working to reduce the number of falls and the harm they cause in our hospitals and in our communities.

  • We are committed to achieving zero harm from falls and are focusing on the three key areas
  • falls prevention in the wider community,
  • falls prevention in rest homes and
  • falls prevention for older people receiving care in Canterbury DHB hospitals

These two short videos give helpful and advice and share the wisdom of people who are at risk of falling, but have learned to manage and reduce that risk.

Live Stronger for Longer was the theme of our 2019 'April Falls' campaign.

The Live Stronger for Longer website offers practical information and advice on how to live an active, independent life and encourages people over 65 to join community group strength and balance classes.

Exercise classes can help prevent falls and give older people the chance to have some fun and meet new people, or see if in-home support is appropriate.

The Live Stronger for Longer movement has been developed by government agencies and health providers for people over 65. It aims to prevent falls and fractures, enabling people to stay well and independent in their own home.​

We know that patient experience is a good indicator of the quality of our health services. Better experience, stronger partnerships with consumers, patient and family-centred care have been linked to improved health, clinical, financial, service and care outcomes. Patient feedback is used by our  teams to monitor and improve the care we provide.

Understanding how people experience healthcare gives us valuable insight and an opportunity to celebrate our success, do more of what we are doing well and to find ways of how we can do better.

Every fortnight we invite patients who have spent at least one night in hospital or have attended an outpatient appointment to participate in our patient experience survey. An invitation to participate in the survey is delivered via email or a link in a text message.  Taking part is voluntary.

If you receive an electronic invite – please complete it! We really value your time to provide us with feedback. Be assured your responses are completely anonymous.

In addition, you can also tell us about your experience using our feedback form. The feedback form can be used to share both positive feedback, or to lay a complaint.

Page last updated: 1 April 2022

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