Child Health

If your child is ill, the Child Health Service is here to make the journey through the health system as easy as possible both on the child and their parent/ guardian and provide the most comfortable, caring environment possible. We have services based on two campuses: Christchurch Hospital Campus and Burwood Hospital Campus.

Our philosophy of care is centred around the rights of the child. Our service aspires to promote and protect the rights of children and young people. If you want more details about the rights of children and young people in healthcare please read the Charter on the rights of children New-Zealand


Donations and Bequests

From time to time patients, outside organisations and individuals offer donations or bequests to the benefit of our patients within Child Health services.

Child Health is always grateful for any financial assistance received by way of these donations and bequests as it enables us to purchase additional items of equipment, especially for the benefit of patients.

To make a donation or for further information please telephone the Christchurch Hospital and ask to speak to one of the following staff members:

Christchurch Hospital 03 364 0640
General Manager, Christchurch Hospital Ext 80215
Personal Assistant to General Manager Ext 80212
Service Manager – Child Health Ext 81230
Personal Assistant to Service Manager Ext 80742
Charge Nurse Manager – Neonatal Unit  Ext 85945


Child Health wishes to thank the following groups/companies for their continuous support:

Buddle Findlay Child Health Foundation

Countdown Kids Appeal

Friends of Children in Hospital

Hospital Volunteers

The Warehouse

Maia Health Foundation

Radio Lollipop

Child Haematology & Oncology (CHOC) is one of two specialist treatment centres for childhood cancer, the other being Starship Hospital. We care for infants, children and adolescents with cancer, and their families/whanau.

You can view more information about Child Haematology & Oncology (CHOC) in our health services directory.

Dunsandel School Student Council organised a mufti day to raise money to purchase some cool toys for the Activity Room toy library.

The Canterbury Neonatal Service provides a holistic family/whānau​ oriented model of care. We view the baby/peepi as being the focus for our planning of care and for this reason, we have incorporated a “Developmentally Supportive Care” philosophy for all our babies/pēpi​.

The Neonatal Service provides 24-hour care for newborn babies with a variety of special needs. This includes prematurity, surgery, congenital abnormalities and babies who may have been compromised at birth. Care is provided by a skilled and experienced multi-disciplinary team utilising current evidence based practice.

Neonatal Visiting Policy

This visiting policy has been developed to ensure an optimal safe and secure environment for your baby, by minimising infection risk, protecting family’s individual privacy, and providing an environment that promotes baby’s well-being and development.

We recommend no more than three people per family at any one time. This includes parents. Baby’s health and safety can be affected by over-stimulation, particularly if they are early or unwell. By limiting the number of people at the bedside, this reduces noise, activity, infection risk and helps in baby’s rest and wellbeing. In the event that the nursery area becomes too noisy or overcowded, impacting on the babies’ wellbeing, a nurse may request that you take your visitors out to the parent lounge. Please do not be offended.

Hands must be washed immediately upon entering the unit. This is to prevent the spread of infections that are carried on the skin; as well as cold and flu viruses, which are carried in the air and on objects such as furniture, hands, baggage, clothing, etc. Sterilising foam is also available at your baby’s cot.


Parents are welcome 24 hours per day. For privacy reasons you will be asked to wear headphones provided during the medical ward round and nursing handovers. You will be asked to please respect the privacy of other families: do not look or ask about other babies.


All visitors are to be accompanied by a parent. Visitors are welcome between 11.00am to 1.00pm, and again between 3.00pm to 8.00pm.

Brothers and sisters of all ages are welcome under adult supervision and are included in the 3 per family policy. Other children under 12 years of age are not permitted to visit due to the increased risk of infections in this age group. No visitors will be permitted between 1.00pm to 3.00pm. This enables parents to spend uninterrupted quiet time with their baby.

Any visitor with a cough, cold, cold sores, rashes, other infection, or vomiting and/or diarrhoea should not visit. This is for the protection of your baby. If you as parents are unwell please discuss this with the nursing staff. We may ask you to see your GP to diagnose or confirm illness before you can return.

Non-immunised brothers and sisters of babies should not visit if they have any symptoms of any sort. Any child who has been in contact with other children with Pertussis (Whooping Cough), Mumps or Measles, Chicken Pox or Shingles should not visit and this information needs to be notified to the staff.

Staying in hospital can be a stressful time for children and their families. We do everything possible to provide a comfortable environment for you and your child. If your child is scheduled to stay in the hospital you will receive an admission letter from the hospital outlining where you are to go and what time. Please take special note whether your child is allowed to eat or drink prior to arrival. This is what you’ll need to bring with you and what amenities are available for your convenience.

Surgical Information

Your Surgical Journey (PDF, 1MB) What you need to know and do.

Overnight stay

A parent/caregiver is encouraged to stay overnight, you may be provided ​​with a bed or a pull-out chair, and you may share a room or have your own.
Arranged admissions
If arranged admission, go directly to the department/ward which is specified on your admission letter.


Accommodation for out of town families is available, this needs to be arra​​nged prior to admitting at Christchurch Hospital, please ask your Social Worker at your local hospital to arrange this.

What to bring

Bring pyjamas​​, comfortable clothing, a favourite toy, game or book (toys, books, games, TV and DVDs are provided by the hospital).

Food and drink for your ​child

All food for your child is provided. Please notify staff if your child has special dietary needs. If your baby is on a breast milk substitute please bring this with you (the wards only s​​tock one type). If your baby needs to have a breast milk substitute during your time on the ward, your written consent will be required before it can be given.

Food and drink for parent/car​​egiver

Breakfast and tea/coffee/water are provided free for parents. A​​dditional food and drinks can be purchased from the Christchur​​ch Hospital facilities or vending machines. Meals are provided on the ward for a mother breastfeeding a patient less than 6 months of age. Hospital meals can be ordered and provided for $5 if you are unable to leave your child. Payment is made to the Ward Clerk. Change for vending machines etc can be provided at the BNZ located in the Main Foyer, Ground Floor, Christchurch Hospital.


Showers are available​. Remember to wash your hands often to avoid spreading germs to your child or other patients.

Laundr​​y facilities

Ward 21 has a​​​ washing machine and dryer for parents in the children’s wards.


Bring valuables at your own risk.

​Internet access

​Internet access is free and accessbile from – DHB Public Wi-Fi.


There is a Westp​ac ATM machine located in the main foyer, Christchurch Hospital and a BNZ ATM machine located on the ground floor, Christchurch Women’s Hospital.

Change for parking/vending machines

Notes can be exchanged for coins at the Bank of New Zealand, M​ain Foyer, Christchurch Hospita​​​l.


Smoking is not permitted within any CDHB hospital or on hospital g​​rounds. Quitpacks can be arranged. Please speak to a staff member if you wish to find out further information.

Referral to these services is arrang​ed by hospital staff.

Allied Health


Māori Health Worker

Paediatric Nutrition Service

Occupational Therapy Service

Physiotherapy Service

Psychological/Counselling Service

Social Work

Speech Language Therapists

Interpreter Service

An Interpreter Service is available for people who are deaf or do not speak English as their first language. Discuss with the nurse in charge. Canterbury DHB’s interpreter service is available 24 hours a day and should be used whenever a lack of ability in the English language could restrict understand of a patient’s needs, rights and obligations. The interpreter service is provided at no charge to the patient and there are a large number of languages available. ​

Notify the interpreting service of your admission to hospital

If you wish to notify the interpreting service of your impending admission to hospital please email the service at or phone 03 364 0669. 

La Leche League NZ

La Leche League have found the kind of information and support they need to breastfeed their babies. The Ministry of Health also has valuable advice for new mothers on its website.

Child, Adolescent and Family Services

This service provides specialist community and inpatient mental health services, including assessment, treatment and education for individuals and their families.  It also provides consultation and liaison for general practitioners, schools and key allied health and social service agencies.  It also provides regional consultation services to the West Coast and South Canterbury.

Patie​nt Advocacy Service

This service is independent of Canterbury District Health Board. It is a free service and provides:

  • Information on Health and Disability Consumer Rights.

  • Assistance to the person to resolve the difficulty.

  • To raise with the health organisations and promote organisational change on issues which hinder appropriate care.

The service can be contacted by phoning 03 377 7501 (leave a message on the answer phone if the office is unattended).

Southern Regional Health School

The Southern Regional Health School is a state school for students from Years 1 to 13 who are too ill to attend full-time education at their usual school. They teach students anywhere in the South Island.  ​

Clown Doctors

The Clown Doctors mission is to bring joy and laughter to children in hospitals and lift the spirits of people in need.​

Keeping Kids Safe in Hospital

Just like home, there are potential hazards in the hospital environment that we all need to be aware of. It is important that while a child is in hospital that those caring for them, including parents/ caregivers are aware of these hazards.

So check this out for yourself by watching our newest video ‘Keeping your child safe in hospital’.

When you have to go to hospital

Coming into hospital can be little bit scary. To help make you less anxious Charlie, Sheena and Gemma from What Now have made some videos to show you what may happen during your stay.

If you need an X-ray or scan

If you need a blood test

If you need a PICC line

If you need an IV line

If you need a plastercast

A parent/caregiver is encouraged to stay with their child overnight.

Wards at Christchurch Hospital

  • Parents/caregivers: 24 hours/7 days
  • All other visitors: 8am – 8pm

Neonatal Unit (NICU) at Christchurch Women’s Hospital

  • Parents/caregivers: 24 hours/7 days
  • All other visitors: 10am – 1pm and 3pm – 8pm
  • The Neonatal Unit has “Quiet Time” between 1pm – 3pm

Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at Christchurch Hospital

  • Parents/caregivers: 24 hours/7 days
  • All other visitors: 8am – 8pm

General enquiries

If you have a health concern please contact either your GP or after hours surgery in the first instance. All other enquiries please contact the main hospital switchboard at Christchurch Hospital on (03) 364 0640, or directly on the Canterbury DHB website.

Physical Address

Child Health
Christchurch Hospital
2 Riccarton Road
New Zealand

Postal Address

Child Health
Christchurch Hospital
Private Bag 4710
New Zealand

New Child Health facilities

The Christchurch Hospital Campus is in the process of many redevelopments, one of which will include a new facility for children. To keep up to date with the progress of the redevelopment, visit the It’s All Happening website.


Page last updated: 19 October 2018

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