VISITING HOSPITAL

Hospital visitors must wear a medical paper face mask. Fabric face coverings are not acceptable. Expand this message for more detailed information about hospital visiting guidelines.

Last updated:
16 September 2022

 

Mask exemptions accepted for people seeking treatment
Any member of the public with a mask exemption is welcome in all our facilities when attending to receive health care and *treatment. Please show your mask exemption card and appointment letter to staff at the entrance.

*Treatment includes: coming into the Emergency Department, outpatient appointments,  surgery or a procedure.

For visitors to all facilities effective from Friday 16 September 2022

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 people must continue to wear a mask when visiting any of our facilities and follow other advice designed to keep patients, staff and other 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 must 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 surgical 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 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 are able to 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, WhatApp 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 must wear a medical mask.

Parents/caregivers are able to be with their child in hospital and visitors other than a parent or caregiver 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

Health Warning lifted for Algal Bloom in Te Roto o Wairewa – Lake Forsyth

Health Warning – Algal Bloom in Waikirikiri Selwyn River at Glentunnel - 16 November 2022

Health Warning lifted for Algal Bloom in Te Roto o Wairewa – Lake Forsyth

Te Mana Ora | Community and Public Health has lifted its algal bloom health warning issued for Te Roto o Wairewa – Lake Forsyth

Recent water testing at Te Roto o Wairewa – Lake Forsyth has shown the quantity of potentially toxic blue-green algae (planktonic cyanobacteria) in the lake has reduced and concentrations are now below levels that are of concern to public health.

Dr Matthew Reid, Canterbury Medical Officer of Health, National Public Health Service, says Environment Canterbury’s sampling of Te Roto o Wairewa – Lake Forsyth will continue on a fortnightly basis.

“The public will be informed if testing shows that concentrations have increased and there is a risk to public health again”, Dr Reid says.

Facts about cyanobacteria

  • The algae occur naturally but can increase rapidly during warmer months.
  • Algal blooms are caused by a combination of nutrients in the water (such as nitrogen and phosphorus), and favourable weather conditions (e.g. increased temperature, calm days).
  • If the water is cloudy, discoloured, or has small globules suspended in it, avoid all contact.
  • Not all cyanobacterial blooms are visible to the naked eye and toxins can persist after the blooms disappear.
  • Cyanobacterial concentrations can change quickly with changing environmental conditions (e.g. wind). If a health warning is in place avoid contact with the water.
  • If a warning is in place, people and animals should not drink the water from the lake at any time, even boiled water.
  • Exposure to an algal bloom can cause skin rashes, nausea, stomach cramps, tingling and numbness around the mouth and fingertips. If you experience any of these symptoms visit your doctor immediately and please let your doctor know if you have had contact with lake water when there is a health warning in place.

For further details visit: https://www.lawa.org.nz/explore-data/canterbury-region/

Or contact Te Mana Ora on (03) 364 1777:

https://www.cph.co.nz/your-health/recreational-water/

For more information about Mahinga Kai:

https://www.cph.co.nz/wp-content/uploads/saf0112.pdf

For further information, contact:

communications@cdhb.health.nz

ENDS

 

Unless it’s an emergency, expect delays at Christchurch Hospital’s Emergency Department this weekend.

Due to medical staff shortages, there may be longer wait times than usual for people seeking less urgent care at Christchurch Hospital’s Emergency Department (ED) this weekend.

Everyone who comes to the ED will be seen by a nurse when they first arrive and their condition will be triaged (assessed for urgency). People who come in with non-urgent conditions that could be treated by a General Practice or Urgent Care clinic can expect a prolonged wait while our clinical staff focus on treating people who arrive with life or limb-threatening injuries.

“I need to emphasise that if you are very unwell, please head to the ED straight away and do not delay. However, we ask you to be patient if you do need to wait,” says Becky Hickmott, Senior Responsible Officer for Seasonal Pressures.

“At peak times we will have kaiāwhina (health support workers) supporting the waiting room which is a new intiative. If you think your condition is getting worse, please speak up to our staff who can let the triage nurse know.

“Acute and emergency care will always be available. We do apologise to those who have to wait and understand that this can be particularly distressing when unwell.”

The ED is short of five junior doctors (Resident Medical Officers) this weekend which is 30% of the department’s usual number per day due to a mix of sick leave, annual leave and vacancy. Some senior doctors will be providing extra cover, but the department is experiencing unprecedented medical shortages.

Anyone who doesn’t want to wait to be seen at an Urgent Care clinic, might like to try a virtual consultation with a clinician. There are apps enabling you to have an appointment with a New Zealand registered health practitioner without seeing them in person. This is also called a virtual consult or telehealth. You can find a list of some of these providers here, several of whom have evening and weekend availability, and one offers free consultations for children aged under 14 years https://www.healthnavigator.org.nz/apps/v/virtual-consult-apps/

Christchurch has three urgent care clinics where you can seek care in person, the 24 Hour Surgery, Riccarton Clinic (8am-8pm) and Moorhouse Medical Centre (8am-4pm). You can also see your local pharmacist for advice on medication and minor health concerns.

For free health advice over the weekend, please phone Healthline on 0800 611 116 any time of the day or night and they can advise you on what to do and where to go if you do need to be seen urgently. Parents and caregivers can call PlunketLine on 0800 933 922 at any time to talk with a Plunket nurse if they have unwell infants or children.

Health warning removed for algal bloom at Waiau River at Waiau Township Bridge

Health Warning – Algal Bloom in Lake Pegasus

Te Mana Ora Community and Public Health, part of Te Whatu Ora National Public Health Service, has issued a health warning after potentially toxic blue-green algae (planktonic cyanobacteria) was found in Lake Pegasus.

People should avoid the lake. Animals, particularly dogs, should not be allowed near the water until the health warning has been lifted.

Dr Ramon Pink, Waitaha Canterbury Medical Officer of Health, says the algal bloom can produce toxins harmful to humans and animals.

“People should avoid contact with the water until further notice,” Dr Pink says.

“Exposure may cause skin rashes, nausea, stomach cramps, tingling and numbness around the mouth and fingertips. If you experience any of these symptoms visit your doctor immediately and please let your doctor know if you have had contact with the lake water.”  

No one should drink the water from the lake at any time. Boiling the water does not remove the toxin.

Animals that show signs of illness after coming into contact with the water algal mats or scums should be taken to a vet immediately.

Fish and shellfish can concentrate toxins and their consumption should be avoided. If fish are eaten, remove the gut and liver and wash in clean water. Further information on gathering Mahinga Kai can be obtained below.

When a bloom of potentially toxic cyanobacteria is present in a lake, there is a possibility of cyanobacteria and toxins being transported downstream.

The lake is monitored weekly during summer and the public will be advised of any changes in water quality that are of public health significance.

Facts about cyanobacteria

•         Cyanobacteria occur naturally but can increase rapidly during warmer months.

•         Algal blooms are caused by a combination of nutrients in the water (such as nitrogen and phosphorus), and favourable weather conditions (e.g. increased temperature, calm days).

•         If the water is cloudy, discoloured, or has small globules suspended in it, avoid all contact.

•         Not all cyanobacterial blooms are visible to the naked eye and toxins can persist after the blooms disappear.

•         Cyanobacterial concentrations can change quickly with changing environmental conditions (e.g. wind). If a health warning is in place avoid contact with the water.

For further details visit:

https://www.lawa.org.nz/explore-data/canterbury-region/

Or contact Te Mana Ora on (03) 364 1777:

https://www.cph.co.nz/your-health/recreational-water/

For more information about Mahinga Kai:

https://www.cph.co.nz/wp-content/uploads/saf0112.pdf

ENDS

Fines issued for seven Christchurch vaping product retailers

Seven Canterbury vape retailers have been fined after failing controlled purchase operations (CPO) in August and October. This is despite public health staff visiting the retailers prior to the CPO to ensure they were aware of their legal obligations.

Dr Cheryl Brunton, Waitaha Canterbury Medical Officer of Health, Te Whatu Ora National Public Health Service said the CPO is an important tool public health staff use to ensure retailers are compliant with the Smokefree Environments and Regulated Products Act 1990, particularly in relation to under age sales.

“Unfortunately during recent CPOs seven out of 39 retailers failed to ask for identification and sold vape products to a 16 year old,” says Dr Brunton.

“Selling vape products to a minor is both illegal and unacceptable. These operations are carried out regularly for both tobacco and vape sales to protect our young people from the harmful impacts of vaping and smoking.”

The retailers who failed the CPO were: Discount Vapor (Woolston), Keyes Road Dairy, Better Life Dairy, Shosha (Riccarton), Shosha (High Street), Huff and Puff, and JDs Dairy. 

All seven premises have been issued with an infringement notice by the Ministry of Health. If any of the retailers breach the rules three times they could face prosecution.

Dr Brunton said the Smokefree Enforcement Officer in Canterbury has been working hard to educate retailers about their obligations.

“Prior to the CPO we received a number of complaints, so our public health staff visited all the retailers to ensure they were aware of their obligations under the Act.

“While it is frustrating that seven retailers failed CPOs in August and October, we will continue to work with the sector to prevent minors from being able to purchase vaping products.

“We take our compliance investigation role very seriously and we will continue to undertake general compliance testing of a range of retailers, particularly around age eligibility.”  

For more information on compliance with the Smokefree Environments and Regulated Products Act 1990 or to discuss concerns about retailers selling tobacco or vape products to minors (under 18’s), please contact Te Mana Ora Community and Public Health on 03 364 1777.

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THIS IS AN ARCHIVED PAGE. The advice and information contained in this page may not be current and it should only be used for historical reference purposes.

Keep ED for emergencies this long weekend

With the long weekend in our sights, Cantabrians are being encouraged to be prepared for their health care needs over Labour Weekend.

Demand remains high for urgent and afterhours care across all our facilities in Canterbury including Christchurch Hospital’s Emergency Department (ED) and Ashburton Hospital’s Acute Assessment Unit (AAU). If you do not require emergency or acute care, there will be long waiting times as they remain very busy. 

“I need to emphasise that if you are very unwell, we do want to see you so you can get the care you need. In a life-threatening emergency, call 111,” says Becky Hickmott, Senior Responsible Officer for Seasonal Pressures.

“However most coughs, colds, viruses and fevers can be safely treated at home with over the counter medications, fluids and rest.

“It’s important to seek advice early – if you have been feeling unwell and you think you need an appointment to see a nurse or doctor, phone your normal healthcare provider today. Your local pharmacy can also advise on treatment for a range of minor illnesses and injuries.

“Our Urgent Care facilities, ED and AAU are under continued pressure and this will assist us to care for those who are very unwell over the weekend.”

“Please also remember to stock up on prescriptions if you need them before the weekend. Don't leave it until the last minute. Most repeat prescriptions can be organised by phoning your general practice team, and some enable repeat requests through their websites, neither of which will require an appointment with the doctor,” she says.

“For free health advice over the weekend, please phone Healthline on 0800 611 116 any time of the day or night and they can advise you on what to do and where to go if you do need to be seen urgently. Parents and caregivers can call PlunketLine on 0800 933 922 at any time to talk with a Plunket nurse if they have unwell infants or children.

For people who don't have a doctor and are new to Canterbury, it's important they register with a general practice team in order to have the best access to health services. If you aren’t already enrolled with a general practice team, you can find one here https://www.healthpoint.co.nz/gps-accident-urgent-medical-care/canterbury/.

Spring is the perfect time to be out in the garden. It’s also unfortunately the time when gardeners are most at risk of catching Legionnaires’ disease from bags or bulk loads of potting mix and compost.

With 32 cases of the disease already confirmed in the region this year, gardeners are being urged to take care with potting mix and compost.

Dr Matt Reid, Te Whatu Ora National Public Health Service Waitaha Canterbury Medical Officer of Health, says Legionnaires’ disease is a form of pneumonia.

“It’s caused by the legionella bacteria that live in moist organic material and people can catch the disease by breathing in airborne droplets or particles containing the bacteria.

“Gardeners are at particularly high risk of catching Legionnaires' disease as the bacteria thrive in potting mix and compost,” says Dr Matt Reid.

In Canterbury there is typically a spike in cases in spring that can be attributed to increased gardening activity and good weather. Now is the time for people to make sure they are taking the necessary steps to avoid catching the disease.

Dr Matt Reid says there are some simple actions gardeners should take to avoid getting Legionnaires’ disease:

  1. Work with potting mix or compost in a well-ventilated outdoor area
  2. Wear a well-fitting face mask. An N95 or respirator is best
  3. Wear gloves when handling potting mix or compost
  4. Open potting mix or compost bags carefully using scissors and open them away from your face
  5. Reduce dust by dampening down the potting mix or compost before using it
  6. Wash your hands thoroughly after handling potting mix or compost and before touching your face or removing your mask.

“Legionnaires’ disease is a very serious illness and following these simple steps can be lifesaving,” says Dr Matt Reid.

The illness may be mild but can sometimes be fatal. It is more common in older people, particularly if they smoke, have poor immunity or a chronic illness. However, even healthy young people have died from Legionella pneumonia.

Symptoms can include dry coughing, high fever, chills, shortness of breath, muscle aches, headaches and diarrhoea. If you have these symptoms, you should contact your general practice team right away for advice and let them know you if have been handling potting mix or compost.

For more information on Legionnaires’ disease visit: https://www.healthinfo.org.nz/index.htm?Legionnaires-disease-legionellosis.htm        

ENDS

Patients in Canterbury rural health facilities to be temporarily relocated

Te Whatu Ora Waitaha Canterbury has relaxed its visitor policy across all its facilities.

Key changes include:

  • Visiting hours for our facilities have returned to pre COVID-19 hours, except for Christchurch Women’s Hospital.
  • All visitors must wear a medical mask.
  • Patients may have more than one visitor, except in some situations such as multi-bed rooms where it can cause overcrowding.
  • This excludes the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit which is still parent-only visiting and Children’s Haematology and Oncology Day stay, where one parent/caregiver can attend their appointment with their child. Exceptions are by special arrangement only.

For the full visiting guidelines, go to https://www.cdhb.health.nz/your-health/hospital-services-in-canterbury/.

Senior Responsible Officer for Seasonal Pressures Becky Hickmott says with COVID-19 case numbers reducing, the decision has been made to relax restrictions for visitors to Waitaha Canterbury facilities.

“You must still wear a surgical/medical mask in our facilities and masks will be provided if you don’t have one. This helps protects us all, as we care for very unwell and vulnerable members of our community,” says Becky Hickmott.

“We know these past two years have been especially tough for patients and their families and we are pleased to be able to relax our rules for visitors.

“There are still some restrictions in place and we do ask that you don’t visit if you are unwell. Thank you in advance for your patience and understanding.”

ENDS

Save the Emergency Department for Emergencies

People in Canterbury are being reminded to save ED for emergencies, due to large numbers of people presenting with non-urgent conditions at Canterbury’s Urgent Care facilities and the Christchurch Hospital Emergency Department.

Te Whatu Ora Waitaha Canterbury Chief Medical Officer, Dr Richard French, says the additional demand is resulting in people seeking non-urgent care having to wait. 

“If you’re not sure how urgent your condition is, please call Healthline for free health advice any time of day or night by calling 0800 611 116. 

“Many colds and fevers are viral and can be treated at home. Our Stay Well This Winter booklet has been delivered to all Canterbury households and there’s also a wide range of information on self-care available on our website and on Healthinfo Waitaha.

“You can also see your local pharmacist for advice on medication and minor health concerns.

“Moorhouse Medical also has reduced hours for their Urgent Care facility again this week and will close this facility at 4pm during the week and 2pm at the weekend for the rest of September. The Riccarton Clinic or the 24-Hour Surgery are open their normal hours although also reporting high volumes of waiting patients. If it’s an emergency, please call 111.

“Please remember if you are really unwell, we want to see you. I apologise to those who are having to wait and understand that this can be particularly distressing when unwell.” says Dr Richard French.

There is no single condition causing the issue, it is a range of illnesses affecting the community.

“There is one really important action people in Canterbury can do to protect themselves and others: ensure all of their vaccinations are up to date including their second COVID-19 booster if eligible,” says Dr Richard French. 

ENDS

THIS IS AN ARCHIVED PAGE. The advice and information contained in this page may not be current and it should only be used for historical reference purposes.

Design of internal layout for Kurawaka: Waipapa

Ngāi Tūāhuriri has gifted a special name – Kurawaka: Waipapa – for Te Whatu Ora Waitaha Canterbury’s new central city community maternity unit.

The gifted name was chosen by Reriti Tau and given by Te Maire Tau, Te Ngāi Tūāhuriri hapū Ūpoko, because Kurawaka has great significance in Te Ao Māori, the Māori world, for bringing life into the world.

“Kurawaka is the place where the first human being was made by Tāne. Tāne created a figure out of the soil at Kurawaka and blew his breath into its mouth and nose. She then sneezed and came to life, creating the first woman Hine-ahu-one, also known to Ngāi Tahu as Io-wahine,” says Michelle Turrall, chair of Manawhenua Ki Waitaha.

“The various elements that came together at Kurawaka to give life to Hine-ahu-one are symbolic of the journey a woman experiences to pass on this gift of life in the birth of her child.

“Adding Waipapa to the name denotes the whenua of where this unit sits. It means surface water and signifies the many springs that were in the area.”

Executive Director of Midwifery and Maternity Services Norma Campbell says the organisation is privileged to be given such a name for this unit.

“With this name now comes the responsibility to ensure that the vitality given to Hine-ahu-one now flows through the unit to our māmā and pregnant people pēpi and whānau who come to birth there,” says Norma Campbell.

“There are exciting times ahead to have a Te Ao Māori model of care underpinning this unit – we have been gifted this taonga and therefore we are committed to honour that gift.”

Kurawaka: Waipapa is a community maternity unit which will have four birthing rooms, 20 post-natal rooms, two whānau rooms, an education room and six assessment rooms and will be located at 68 St Asaph Street.

“Our Facilities and Infrastructure Programme Office has worked extensively with user groups to complete the design of the internal layout of the unit that meets the needs of the community,” says Dr Rob Ojala, Executive Director Infrastructure.

“The building will now undergo an extensive fit-out to transform it into a welcoming, modern, fit-for-purpose facility and we are looking forward to construction getting underway before the end of the year.”

The tender for the lead contractor to carry out construction closed on 30 August and an appointment is expected shortly. Building consent has also been applied for. The unit is expected to be operational in mid-2023.

More information about our birthing options in Canterbury can be found here https://www.cdhb.health.nz/health-services/maternity-christchurch-canterbury/ 

ENDS

For further information, contact: communications@cdhb.health.nz

THIS IS AN ARCHIVED PAGE. The advice and information contained in this page may not be current and it should only be used for historical reference purposes.

Patient Deck at Waikari Hospital

Patient Deck at Waikari Hospital

Rural hospitals at Ellesmere, Waikari and Darfield are planned to reopen on 31 October 2022.

The closure of the rural hospitals, including Oxford, was a temporary measure due to the challenges in providing safe staffing during the COVID-19 Omicron outbreak. Oxford Hospital reopened in June.

Te Whatu Ora Waitaha Executive Director of Nursing Becky Hickmott says staff are delighted to be returning to their normal place of work and are looking forward to providing services again in their local rural communities

“These rural hospitals are small local facilities that provide mainly aged residential care to people, such as respite care and palliative care, allowing them to remain in their own communities,” says Becky Hickmott.

“We appreciate that relocating older people is disruptive and that the closure has been hard for some of our residents and their whānau. Importantly, we needed to ensure our residents were living somewhere that had the staff resources to make sure they were well looked after during the pandemic.” 

“Te Whatu Ora Waitaha is committed to investing in rural communities and we will continue work in partnership with them, and our staff who know their communities best, to continue to develop the service model of these facilities based on modern, evidence-based practice.”

Hurunui Mayor Marie Black says she is thrilled to see the rural hospitals reopening, allowing these facilities to continue to deliver exceptional care to the community.  Mayor Black has been a strong advocate for the Hospitals and the services they provide.

“Mayors and friends of the rural hospitals have worked in collaboration with Te Whatu Ora to get to this point and I know that our communities will be really happy to see these unique facilities reopened,” says Mayor Black.

“Our community hospitals are so important, they are truly cherished facilities. I’m grateful that our collaborative work has allowed them to reopen,’ added Selwyn Mayor Sam Broughton.

ENDS

For further information, contact: communications@cdhb.health.nz

THIS IS AN ARCHIVED PAGE. The advice and information contained in this page may not be current and it should only be used for historical reference purposes.

Te Mana Ora | Community and Public Health has lifted its algal bloom health warning issued for Te Roto o Wairewa/Lake Forsyth on 14 July 2022.

Recent water testing at Te Roto o Wairewa/Lake Forsyth has shown the quantity of potentially toxic blue-green algae (planktonic cyanobacteria) in the lake has reduced and concentrations are now below levels that are of concern to public health.

Waitaha | Canterbury Medical Officer of Health Dr Ramon Pink says Environment Canterbury’s sampling of Te Roto o Wairewa/Lake Forsyth will continue on a monthly basis.

“The public will be informed if testing shows that concentrations have increased and there is a risk to public health again,” Dr Pink says.

Facts about cyanobacteria

  • The algae occur naturally but can increase rapidly during warmer months.
  • Algal blooms are caused by a combination of nutrients in the water (such as nitrogen and phosphorus), and favourable weather conditions (e.g. increased temperature, calm days).
  • If the water is cloudy, discoloured, or has small globules suspended in it, avoid all contact.
  • Not all cyanobacterial blooms are visible to the naked eye and toxins can persist after the blooms disappear.
  • Cyanobacterial concentrations can change quickly with changing environmental conditions (e.g. wind). If a health warning is in place avoid contact with the water.
  • If a warning is in place, people and animals should not drink the water from the lake at any time, even boiled water.
  • Exposure to an algal bloom can cause skin rashes, nausea, stomach cramps, tingling and numbness around the mouth and fingertips. If you experience any of these symptoms visit your doctor immediately and please let your doctor know if you have had contact with lake water when there is a health warning in place.

For further details visit: https://www.lawa.org.nz/explore-data/canterbury-region/

Or contact Te Mana Ora on (03) 364 1777:

https://www.cph.co.nz/your-health/recreational-water/

For more information about Mahinga Kai:

https://www.cph.co.nz/wp-content/uploads/saf0112.pdf

ENDS

 

THIS IS AN ARCHIVED PAGE. The advice and information contained in this page may not be current and it should only be used for historical reference purposes.

Patients in Canterbury rural health facilities to be temporarily relocated

When every vaccination matters

As case numbers and hospitalisations begin to decline, and the warmer months approach, Te Whatu Ora Waitaha Canterbury has a timely reminder that COVID-19 doesn’t rely on cold conditions to spread.

“Being up to date with your vaccinations is as important now as ever, because we know that COVID-19 is going to become our new normal,” said Senior Responsible Officer for Winter Planning, Becky Hickmott.

“Across the Waitaha Canterbury health system, there is a concerted effort underway by community health providers to increase vaccinations, specifically in areas of the community with lower rates.”

Local COVID-19 vaccination rates vary depending on eligibility. While primary vaccination rates are high, only three quarters of the community (76%) have maintained their protection through a booster, and only 10% of those eligible for a second booster have taken the opportunity. Tamariki vaccination rates vary between 26-40% across the region.

“Vaccination clinics are actually scaling up again to offer COVID-19 boosters, with additional pharmacies and general practices joining the vaccination programme each week,” said Becky Hickmott.

An equitable approach

“We are focusing our efforts to ensure that vaccinations are easily accessible by everyone. We work closely with Māori, Pasifika, migrant and disability health providers to support culturally appropriate and accessible vaccination services across the region,” Becky Hickmott said.

Some of the greatest successes of the local vaccination programme have been the mobile clinics. These targeted clinics reach small groups that might not otherwise have travelled to a vaccination centre, supporting communities to protect themselves and each other. 

“It’s about going that step further to ensure culturally appropriate accessibility to vaccinations. Taking a whanaungatanga approach, demonstrating manaakitanga, and taking teams of vaccinators to where the need is,” said Becky Hickmott.

“Recently, for instance, Ngāi Tūāhuriri teamed up with vaccinators to bring whānau and the wider community together at Tuahiwi Marae. Likewise, the Māui vaccination clinic at South City is renowned for its warm and welcoming whānau approach, while health workers across the system are ensuring that any patient who has not enrolled with a health provider is supported to do so. A recent nurse vaccinator clinic in Ashburton assisted several Pasifika people to enrol with the local general practice.”

The BookMyVaccine website has now enabled group bookings of up to 30 people, so whānau groups can attend together, with translation and accessible options available.

Many vaccination clinics also provide flu and MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccinations as well, making it easy for people to ensure they are fully up to date.

“The reality is that although we’re doing more than 10,000 vaccinations a week, rates for tamariki and for second boosters are still too low in Canterbury. Despite the downward trend for new community cases in Aotearoa, there are still high levels of COVID-19 infection in the community. 

“It’s particularly important that you have the booster dose or doses to protect you against severe disease.

“Everyone aged 50 and over is now eligible for their second booster dose six months after their first booster. If you've had COVID-19 it is recommended you wait 3 months after testing positive before getting any COVID-19 vaccination.

“We will continue to focus on these vaccinations so that our community is prepared for the inevitable next wave of COVID-19, and to raise all vaccination rates for general community health,” Becky Hickmott said.

“People can find their nearest vaccination clinic online at bookmyvaccine.nz or by calling the COVID-19 Vaccination Healthline on 0800 28 29 26.”

ENDS

THIS IS AN ARCHIVED PAGE. The advice and information contained in this page may not be current and it should only be used for historical reference purposes.
Health warning removed for algal bloom at Waiau River at Waiau Township Bridge

Health Warning for Algal Bloom at Te Roto o Wairewa/ Lake Forsyth

Te Whatu Ora – Waitaha Canterbury’s Te Mana Ora unit has issued a health warning after potentially toxic blue-green algae (planktonic cyanobacteria) was found in Te Roto o Wairewa/ Lake Forsyth.

People should avoid the lake and animals, particularly dogs, should not be allowed near the water until the health warning has been lifted. 

Dr Cheryl Brunton, Canterbury Medical Officer of Health, says the algal bloom can produce toxins harmful to humans and animals.

“People should avoid contact with the water until further notice.”

“Exposure may cause skin rashes, nausea, stomach cramps, tingling and numbness around the mouth and fingertips. If you experience any of these symptoms visit your doctor immediately and please let your doctor know if you have had contact with the lake water,” Dr Brunton says.

No one should drink the water from the lake at any time. Boiling the water does not remove the toxin.

Animals that show signs of illness after coming into contact with algal mats or scums should be taken to a vet immediately.

Fish and shellfish can concentrate toxins and their consumption should be avoided. If fish are eaten, remove the gut and liver and wash in clean water.

Further information on gathering Mahinga Kai can be obtained below.

“When a bloom of potentially toxic cyanobacteria is present in a lake, there is a possibility of cyanobacteria and toxins being transported downstream.”

“People are advised to avoid contact with the downstream water bodies,” says Dr Brunton.  

Environment Canterbury will monitor the lake weekly and the public will be advised of any changes in water quality that are of public health significance.

Facts about cyanobacteria:

  • Cyanobacteria occur naturally but can increase rapidly during warmer months.
  • Algal blooms are caused by a combination of nutrients in the water (such as nitrogen and phosphorus), and favourable weather conditions (e.g. increased temperature, calm days).
  • If the water is cloudy, discoloured, or has small globules suspended in it, avoid all contact.
  • Not all cyanobacterial blooms are visible to the naked eye and toxins can persist after the blooms disappear.
  • Cyanobacterial concentrations can change quickly with changing environmental conditions (e.g. wind). If a health warning is in place avoid contact with the water.

For further details visit: https://www.lawa.org.nz/explore-data/canterbury-region/

Or contact Te Mana Ora on (03) 364 1777: https://www.cph.co.nz/your-health/recreational-water/

For more information about Mahinga Kai: https://www.cph.co.nz/wp-content/uploads/saf0112.pdf

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THIS IS AN ARCHIVED PAGE. The advice and information contained in this page may not be current and it should only be used for historical reference purposes.

Patients in Canterbury rural health facilities to be temporarily relocated

New measures to alleviate the pressure on health services in Waitaha are being put in place, says Dr Peter Bramley, Interim District Director, Te Whatu Ora Waitaha Canterbury.

A System Wide Incident Management Team (IMT) has been stood up to manage the significant demand on the Canterbury Health System at present. There are a number of factors which are impacting on our ability to provide timely planned care.  High levels of acute respiratory illnesses, a sustained high volume of admissions to Christchurch Hospital, consistently high demand for acute care in our Emergency Department, Urgent Care facilities and general practice as well as unprecedented high levels of staff sickness due to both COVID-19 and other winter illnesses. 

COVID-19 numbers are forecast to continue to rise over the coming weeks. Today we have 111 inpatients with COVID-19. This is the highest number seen throughout the pandemic. We are experiencing higher COVID-19 rates in our 65+ population than at any other time this year, which is impacting disproportionately on hospitalisations.

“To free up staff to work in acute care areas we will be postponing most non-urgent outpatients activity, including all non-urgent outpatient procedures, until 31 August 2022. Note, this will exclude all gastroscopy and colonoscopy procedures.

“We apologise for the impact this will have on our community. This is not a decision we have made lightly but we need to redeploy staff to support acute and emergency care across the health system. Acute outpatient assessments will still continue, and we will make use of telehealth consultations wherever we can.”

“We are continuing to undertake emergency and non-deferable surgery and we are reviewing and reprioritising patients who have been waiting longer that we would like due to having their surgery deferred.”

“If your planned care (outpatient appointment or surgery) has been deferred you will be contacted. If you haven’t heard from us, please assume that it is going ahead. If you’re not sure, please phone the number on your appointment letter.”

The IMT continues to monitor the rise in numbers of COVID-19 cases, and staffing pressures throughout the Waitaha health system and will continue to work collaboratively to keep patients flowing through our system.

Updated visitor restrictions

Due to the rising number of inpatients who have COVID-19, stricter visitor restrictions have been put in place. 

Visiting patients with COVID-19

  • Visitors to COVID-19 positive patients will not be allowed except in extenuating

circumstances

  • Other methods of communication will be facilitated e.g. phone, facetime, zoom etc

You must NOT visit our facilities if you

  • are a household contact of a COVID-19 positive case
  • are COVID-19 positive
  • Have a cold or flu/COVID-19-like symptoms (and are testing negative for COVID-19

“This is a good time to remind our community that surgical masks must be worn at all times in our facilities,” says Dr Peter Bramley.

“To limit the spread of COVID-19, in some wards we have heightened infection and prevention controls in place.  Even if you have a mask exemption, in some areas you cannot enter without a mask on because patients are very sick or very vulnerable such as in NICU. On some wards, you are required to wear an N95 mask to enter. We cannot compromise on patient health and safety.”

“There is only one visitor allowed at a time and under 12s are not allowed. Please talk to the ward’s Charge Nurse to discuss any exceptions to this on compassionate grounds before you come to hospital to visit.”

“I would like to emphasise that the most important thing that Cantabrians can do is get vaccinated, including boosters if eligible, and wear their masks to protect themselves against the viruses circulating this winter. Please keep sharing this message with your friends and whanau.”

“We’ve all learnt some great healthy habits over the last two years of the COVID-19 pandemic, such as vaccination, wearing masks, physical distancing, and increasing ventilation when indoors. These measures will help protect us as we face influenza and other viral diseases,” says Dr Peter Bramley.

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THIS IS AN ARCHIVED PAGE. The advice and information contained in this page may not be current and it should only be used for historical reference purposes.

Patients in Canterbury rural health facilities to be temporarily relocated

Omicron, new COVID-19 subvariants, flu and other respiratory illnesses, are putting additional significant pressure on our health system. While this isn’t unexpected in winter, hospitals across the Canterbury region, as are other health districts around New Zealand, have been experiencing pressure.

Te Whatu Ora – Waitaha Canterbury says continued sustained pressures on the health system have delayed re-opening its rural community hospitals in Ellesmere, Darfield and Waikari.

“While these hospitals have been closed for longer than originally anticipated, communities, patients and staff can be assured that we have established planning and processes in place for coping with these types of seasonal pressures,” says Becky Hickmott, Executive Director of Nursing.

“However at this stage, we do not have a definite date yet for re-opening these rural hospitals, as it is dependent on the ongoing demands of COVID-19 and other pressures on our health system, including workforce needs which continue to be challenging.

“While we are working through when we can reopen the rural hospitals, we are also taking this opportunity to discuss with our rural communities, including our staff who are a vital part of these communities, how we might deliver in the future an improved mix of services in these rural areas that makes the best possible use of our resources and allows some services to be provided closer to home.”

“I want to reassure people that if they need care or help from health professionals, they should keep going to the places where they would usually get care, whether it’s a GP or specialist appointment in hospital. Care and delivery will continue.

“Moving forward, local health services are going to be designed around the needs and priorities of communities, with clear requirements for active engagement and consultation. Changes to the way health is delivered will mean local people and their communities, including iwi, will have a say on which health services are provided, and how they’ll be provided,” says Becky Hickmott.

“This engagement, which we are in the process of getting underway, will form the basis of a plan for our rural communities.

“We all want New Zealanders to have easier access to quality health care closer to home – no matter who they are or where they live.”

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THIS IS AN ARCHIVED PAGE. The advice and information contained in this page may not be current and it should only be used for historical reference purposes.
Health warning removed for algal bloom at Waiau River at Waiau Township Bridge

Health Warning for Algal Bloom at Mata Kopae/St Anne’s Lagoon

Te Whatu Ora – Waitaha Canterbury’s Te Mana Ora unit has issued a health warning after potentially toxic blue-green algae (planktonic cyanobacteria) was found in Mata Kopae/St Anne’s Lagoon.

People should avoid the lake and animals, particularly dogs, should not be allowed near the water until the health warning has been lifted. 

Dr Matthew Reid, Canterbury Medical Officer of Health, says the algal bloom can produce toxins harmful to humans and animals.

“People should avoid contact with the water until further notice.”

“Exposure may cause skin rashes, nausea, stomach cramps, tingling and numbness around the mouth and fingertips. If you experience any of these symptoms visit your doctor immediately and please let your doctor know if you have had contact with the lake water,” says Dr Reid.

No one should drink the water from the lake at any time. Boiling the water does not remove the toxin.

Animals that show signs of illness after coming into contact with algal mats or scums should be taken to a vet immediately.

Fish and shellfish can concentrate toxins and their consumption should be avoided. If fish are eaten, remove the gut and liver and wash in clean water.

Further information on gathering Mahinga Kai can be obtained below.

“When a bloom of potentially toxic cyanobacteria is present in a lake, there is a possibility of cyanobacteria and toxins being transported downstream.”

“People are advised to avoid contact with downstream water bodies,” says Dr Reid.  

Environment Canterbury will monitor the lake fortnightly and the public will be advised of any changes in water quality that are of public health significance.

Facts about cyanobacteria:

  • Cyanobacteria occur naturally but can increase rapidly during warmer months.
  • Algal blooms are caused by a combination of nutrients in the water (such as nitrogen and phosphorus), and favourable weather conditions (e.g. increased temperature, calm days).
  • If the water is cloudy, discoloured, or has small globules suspended in it, avoid all contact.
  • Not all cyanobacterial blooms are visible to the naked eye and toxins can persist after the blooms disappear.
  • Cyanobacterial concentrations can change quickly with changing environmental conditions (e.g. wind). If a health warning is in place avoid contact with the water.

For further details visit: https://www.lawa.org.nz/explore-data/canterbury-region/

Or contact Te Mana Ora on (03) 364 1777:

https://www.cph.co.nz/your-health/recreational-water/

For more information about Mahinga Kai:

https://www.cph.co.nz/wp-content/uploads/saf0112.pdf

ENDS

THIS IS AN ARCHIVED PAGE. The advice and information contained in this page may not be current and it should only be used for historical reference purposes.
Health warning removed for algal bloom at Waiau River at Waiau Township Bridge

Health warning removed for algal bloom at Te Roto o Wairewa/Lake Forsyth

Te Whatu Ora – Waitaha Canterbury’s Te Mana Ora unit has lifted its algal bloom health warning issued for Te Roto o Wairewa/Lake Forsyth on 18 February 2022.

Recent water testing at Te Roto o Wairewa/Lake Forsyth has shown the quantity of potentially toxic blue-green algae (planktonic cyanobacteria) in the lake has reduced and concentrations are now below levels that are of concern to public health.

Canterbury Medical Officer of Health Dr Matthew Reid says Environment Canterbury’s routine monitoring of Te Roto o Wairewa/Lake Forsyth will continue on a monthly basis.  

“The public will be informed if testing shows that concentrations have increased and there is a risk to public health again,” Dr Reid says.

Facts about cyanobacteria:

  • The algae occur naturally but can increase rapidly during warmer months.
  •  Algal blooms are caused by a combination of nutrients in the water (such as nitrogen and phosphorus), and favourable weather conditions (e.g. increased temperature, calm days).
  • If the water is cloudy, discoloured, or has small globules suspended in it, avoid all contact.
  • Not all cyanobacterial blooms are visible to the naked eye and toxins can persist after the blooms disappear.
  • Cyanobacterial concentrations can change quickly with changing environmental conditions (e.g. wind). If a health warning is in place avoid contact with the water.
  • If a warning is in place, people and animals should not drink the water from the lake at any time, even boiled water.
  • Exposure to an algal bloom can cause skin rashes, nausea, stomach cramps, tingling and numbness around the mouth and fingertips. If you experience any of these symptoms visit your doctor immediately and please let your doctor know if you have had contact with lake water when there is a health warning in place.

For further information visit

https://www.lawa.org.nz/explore-data/canterbury-region/

Or contact Te Mana Ora on (03) 364 1777:

https://www.cph.co.nz/your-health/recreational-water/

ENDS

THIS IS AN ARCHIVED PAGE. The advice and information contained in this page may not be current and it should only be used for historical reference purposes.

Hector Matthews, System Wide Operations Centre Controller, Canterbury DHB, is urging Cantabrians to connect with whānau and friends this Matariki weekend and check in that everyone is well, including up to date with health checks and vaccinations for the winter.

“Winter is always a busy time for the health and disability sector, but this season is especially challenging with COVID-19, influenza and other respiratory illnesses circulating in our community,” says Hector Matthews.

“Please stay at home if you are unwell with a cold or any other mild illness, so you don’t give it to anyone else.

“Vaccinations help protect you and others from severe illness or hospitalisation. There are still a lot of Cantabrians who are now eligible for their COVID-19 booster or need to get their flu jab who haven’t had it, so please make time this weekend or as soon as you can to get it done.

“Make sure you are winter-ready, so that you and your whānau stay healthy and well all season. This includes making sure you get any prescribed medication you need in advance. If you are heading away, make sure you pack enough of your regular medications for the duration of your holiday. It often pays to have paracetamol or Ibuprofen in the home just in case its needed.”

Remember that the spread of COVID-19 may affect your holiday plans and be prepared should this happen.

Anyone wanting health advice can contact Healthline on 0800 611 116 anytime, 24/7, for free and get the support they need and information about what to do, including self-care advice from nurses and paramedics.

If you have a mild illness, you can also check our website for more information on what to do or where to go if you are unsure. There’s specific advice on caring for someone at home with a respiratory illness or tummy bug (gastro infection).

Emergency Departments (ED) at hospitals throughout New Zealand are often very busy over the holiday weekend. Calling Healthline for advice can help keep EDs and Urgent Care facilities free for those who need emergency care.

“If your symptoms are getting worse, please seek medical care before you get too sick, whether that is from your usual healthcare provider or from our hospitals or health centres if you are really unwell,” says Hector Matthews.

“Emergency care will always be available should you need it. We encourage everyone to continue to seek the care they need when they need it.”

After-hours information, as well as a list of pharmacies and clinics open during the Matariki holiday period, can be found on Healthpoint.

Over the long weekend, the opening hours for our COVID-19 community testing centres are:

  • Orchard Road COVID-19 Testing Centre, 174 Orchard Road, Harewood, Christchurch (near Airport), is open 9am – 4pm daily.
  • Whānau Ora Covid-19 Testing Centre, 250 Pages Road, Wainoni, Christchurch, is open 10am – 2pm Friday 24, 9am – 3.30pm daily.
  • Ashburton COVID-19 Testing Centre, 48 South Street, Ashburton (entrance off Cass Street), is open 10am – 2pm daily.

Use this link to find opening hours for RAT collection sites over the Matariki weekend. Please remember to order your RAT kits in advance through the website https://requestrats.covid19.health.nz/.

If you need to get your COVID-19 vaccination or booster, there are also a number of vaccination clinics open https://vaccinatecanterburywestcoast.nz/vaccination-clinics-over-the-public-holidays/.

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THIS IS AN ARCHIVED PAGE. The advice and information contained in this page may not be current and it should only be used for historical reference purposes.

Final Board Meeting at Canterbury DHB

Final Board Meeting at Canterbury DHB

Canterbury DHB’s board met for the last time on Thursday 16 June as the transition to Health New Zealand and the Māori Health Authority on July 1 draws closer.

Canterbury DHB Chief Executive Dr Peter Bramley says that its Board has been focused on creating a health system and community where people take greater responsibility for their own health, stay well in their homes and communities, and receive timely and appropriate care.

“I would like to thank each and every one of our board members for their service to the people of Canterbury to make sure their health needs are met, particularly Jo Kane and Andrew Dickerson who are our current longest serving board members,” says Dr Peter Bramley.

“This DHB has been through a lot in the past ten years through natural disaster and tragedy, but it has always been incredibly progressive and innovative. Our people do an amazing job in supporting the healthcare of our community every day and in times of challenge, they have gone above and beyond.”

“We operate as an integrated health system in Canterbury and I believe that the strong relationships that we have with our primary care, private, community and NGO colleagues will help us immensely in our transition to Health NZ.”

Canterbury DHB Board Chair Sir John Hansen says that the people of the Canterbury Health System have had to respond in extraordinary ways to the challenges of the past few years, particularly the Canterbury Earthquakes, the Mosque terrorist attacks and the COVID-19 pandemic of the last two years.

“I am proud of what we have achieved through our time in the Board, particularly our preparations and response for COVID-19 and our focus on infrastructure such as opening Waipapa and getting funding for the redevelopment of the Hillmorton campus and the new Central City Birthing Unit. We are leaving Canterbury DHB in a strong position as it transitions to Health New Zealand and the Māori Health Authority. I personally extended my thanks to all who made this possible at today’s meeting.”

The second biggest DHB by population, eight different boards over the years have served communities stretching from Ashburton in the south to Kekerengu (north of Kaikoura) across to Arthurs Pass in the West, along with the Chatham Islands. Canterbury DHB has over 11,000 staff, with a total of 23,500 health workers in our wider health system.

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THIS IS AN ARCHIVED PAGE. The advice and information contained in this page may not be current and it should only be used for historical reference purposes.

Patients in Canterbury rural health facilities to be temporarily relocated

Canterbury has now recorded more than 155,000 cases of COVID-19 since the pandemic began, with almost 1000 new cases recorded today. Multiple winter illnesses continue to place pressure our health system.

Vaccination and healthy habits are the best protection against the viruses circulating this winter. We’ve all learnt some great habits over the last two years of the COVID-19 pandemic, such as vaccination, wearing masks, physical distancing, and increasing ventilation when indoors. These measures will help protect us as we face influenza and other viral diseases.

“I am incredibly pleased to hear that 123,000 Cantabrians have already had their flu jab. But I am worried for our Pacific and Asian communities where uptake has been low. Please encourage your whānau and friends to get their flu jab as soon as possible, especially if they are eligible to get one for free,” says Becky Hickmott, Senior Responsible Officer for Winter Planning, COVID-19.

“With the borders now open, there is a very real possibility you may get COVID-19 and influenza within a short time period. Measles may also start circulating. By having all your vaccinations and staying well this winter, you’ll help keep health services free for those who need urgent care.

“Māmā and pāpās, we need to get our tamariki immunised. Now is a great time to get your 5-11 year olds vaccinated against COVID-19 if they are eligible and we also need to make sure that all our pēpi, tamariki and rangatahi have had both of their MMR immunisations to protect against measles.

“You can get all of these vaccinations (COVID-19, influenza and MMR) at the same time if you need them.”

Make sure you’re winter-ready, so that you and your whānau stay healthy and well all season. This includes making sure you get any prescriptions for medication you need in advance. Please stay at home if you are unwell with a cold or any other illness. 

“Our COVID-19 case numbers remain very high in Canterbury. This is impacting our primary care providers as they continue to manage high numbers of sick patients, while also grappling with staff illness,” says Becky Hickmott.

“At the DHB we still have on average 200 staff off every day with COVID-19 and we have 56 COVID-19 patients in hospital today.”

“Most people can manage cold, flu and COVID-19 illness at home, which keeps the health services for the very unwell.  Make your GP or normal healthcare provider your first port of call, but if after hours care is needed visit one of the Urgent Care centres in Canterbury.  

“Remember that you can also phone Healthline on 0800 611 116 for free health advice 24/7. If you’re caring for someone at home with flu, there are some useful practical tips here on danger signs to watch out for, especially when caring for babies and young children/tamariki.

“I would like to emphasise that if you are very unwell, we do want to see you at the Emergency Department. We want to reassure our community that you will receive the emergency and acute care you need this winter.”

ENDS

THIS IS AN ARCHIVED PAGE. The advice and information contained in this page may not be current and it should only be used for historical reference purposes.
Health warning removed for algal bloom at Waiau River at Waiau Township Bridge

Health warning removed for algal bloom at Pegasus Lake

Canterbury DHB’s Community and Public Health unit has lifted its algal bloom health warning issued for Pegasus Lake on 10 December 2021.

Recent water testing at Pegasus Lake has shown the quantity of potentially toxic blue-green algae (planktonic cyanobacteria) in the lake has reduced and concentrations are now below levels that are of concern to public health.

Canterbury Medical Officer of Health Dr Cheryl Brunton says monitoring of Pegasus Lake will continue on a monthly basis.  

“The public will be informed if testing shows that concentrations have increased and there is a risk to public health again,” Dr Brunton says.

Facts about cyanobacteria:

  • The algae occur naturally but can increase rapidly during warmer months.
  • Algal blooms are caused by a combination of nutrients in the water (such as nitrogen and phosphorus), and favourable weather conditions (e.g. increased temperature, calm days).
  • If the water is cloudy, discoloured, or has small globules suspended in it, avoid all contact.
  • Not all cyanobacterial blooms are visible to the naked eye and toxins can persist after the blooms disappear.
  • Cyanobacterial concentrations can change quickly with changing environmental conditions (e.g. wind). If a health warning is in place avoid contact with the water.
  • If a warning is in place, people and animals should not drink the water from the lake at any time, even boiled water.
  • Exposure to an algal bloom can cause skin rashes, nausea, stomach cramps, tingling and numbness around the mouth and fingertips. If you experience any of these symptoms visit your doctor immediately and please let your doctor know if you have had contact with lake water when there is a health warning in place.

For further information visit

https://www.lawa.org.nz/explore-data/canterbury-region/

Or contact Community and Public Health on (03) 364 1777:

https://www.cph.co.nz/your-health/recreational-water/

For more information about Mahinga Kai:

https://www.cph.co.nz/wp-content/uploads/saf0112.pdf

ENDS

THIS IS AN ARCHIVED PAGE. The advice and information contained in this page may not be current and it should only be used for historical reference purposes.

Influenza vaccinations now available

Influenza vaccinations now available

Planned care, including some major surgery has had to be postponed today due to extremely high levels of acutely unwell people needing to be admitted to hospital.  The situation is made more difficult as Canterbury DHB is also experiencing high levels of staff sickness.

Senior Responsible Officer for COVID-19, Becky Hickmott says today Canterbury has 1200 new cases of COVID-19.  “We know the real number will be much bigger than that and the demand for care is impacting general practice teams, our urgent care practices, hospitals and health centres.

“More than 170 of our staff are off with COVID-19 today. We’ve had an average of 200 staff off with COVID-19 every day for some weeks now. This is in addition to high levels of sick leave being taken by health staff right across the system for other illnesses and to care for dependents.  With flu now circulating in Canterbury there’s another serious virus out there affecting staff and the wider community,” Becky Hickmott said. 

“It’s not too late to get your flu vaccination, COVID-19 booster or MMR immunisations. By having your vaccinations and staying well this winter, you’ll help keep health services free for those who need urgent care,” Becky Hickmott said.

Christchurch Hospital’s Chief of Surgery, Greg Robertson says surgical teams are extremely disappointed at having to defer people’s surgery, often at short notice. “We don’t take these decisions lightly, and each case is carefully considered before a decision to defer is made,” Greg Robertson said. 

“We were just starting to gear up again after our COVID-19 surgery slowdown, and this week our hospitals are full of very unwell people with a range of medical and surgical conditions. 

“We’re currently sitting at 112% occupancy which means we have more patients than resourced beds, so our focus is on increasing the flow of patients through our system. 

Christchurch Hospital ED is seeing high numbers of people (380 people in the past 24 hours) and 30% of those coming to ED are so unwell they need to be admitted to hospital.  This means our available beds are filling up fast and there’s no additional capacity to accommodate planned surgical patients. 

“Reducing the amount of planned surgery we carry out is the only way we can continue to provide safe care to those who need it,” Greg Robertson said. “To those whose surgery has been deferred today, and to those we will have to postpone this week please accept my sincere apologies on behalf of the team.  I know how disappointing and disruptive it is to hear that news.

“Once we have passed this period of intense acute demand, we will start rebooking people when we can have greater confidence that their surgery will be able to go ahead.  We are working with the private hospitals in Canterbury to increase surgical capacity wherever possible.  All we can say is sorry, as right now we need to focus our efforts of people coming through the front door needing hospital level care, while preserving some capacity for acute (unplanned) surgery,” Greg Robertson said.

ENDS

For further information, contact: communications@cdhb.health.nz

THIS IS AN ARCHIVED PAGE. The advice and information contained in this page may not be current and it should only be used for historical reference purposes.

Influenza vaccinations now available

Influenza vaccinations now available

“Keep the Emergency Department for emergencies only” is the message from clinicians as we head into winter.

Following an increase in viral respiratory illness being seen in the community, Christchurch Hospital’s Emergency Department (ED) continues to experience a high number of presentations. Over the weekend, we saw more than 700 people present at ED which led to long wait times for those with less serious illnesses and today is expected to remain busy into the evening.

ED Clinical Director Dr Mark Gilbert says it would be incredibly helpful if people make use of the various care options available to them or managed minor ailments at home if they don’t have serious emergency needs.

“This will enable our ED staff to focus on those who really need emergency care and continue to provide quality care, particularly over weekends,” says Dr Gilbert.

“I would like to emphasise though, that if you are really unwell, we want to see you at ED.”

If you’re worried about yourself, or someone in your whanau who has a respiratory illness, see the checklist here of symptoms to watch out for, and when you should seek medical advice.

Canterbury DHB’s Senior Responsible Officer for Winter Planning, Becky Hickmott says influenza is now circulating in our community and DHB and community healthcare staff are also being affected by winter illnesses.

“Please get your flu jab and if your symptoms worsen, phone Healthline or your general practice team for advice first rather than heading straight to ED. Early advice can prevent you becoming so unwell that hospital is your only option.

“It’s really important that we keep up the healthy habits that can prevent illness from spreading such as physical distancing and wearing masks. Help our clinical teams and our most vulnerable people by keeping up all the really great habits we have learnt over the past two years.

“Your general practice or healthcare provider should be your first port of call if your health issue is not an emergency.  Please plan ahead as much as possible for your routine health care, and book early. Your usual healthcare provider will offer some urgent appointments when required. It’s important to call your General Practice team if you’re concerned.

‘If after hours care is needed people are encouraged to phone Healthline on 0800 611 116 for free health advice 24/7 or visit one of the Urgent Care centres in Canterbury. If people come to ED with something that could be treated by a GP or with advice from a pharmacist they may be advised of alternative options. People with non-emergency conditions are likely to experience a long wait to be seen in ED and at Urgent Care centres as we need to triage everyone presenting to ensure those in the greatest need, with life-threatening conditions are seen first,” Becky Hickmott said.

Christchurch Hospital’s ED is the sole emergency medical facility in the city and one of the busiest in Australasia.

Trusted health advice

You can also visit our HealthInfo website or your community pharmacy for health advice.

HealthInfo is a health information website that has information specific to Canterbury. It is written and approved by local doctors, practice nurses, hospital clinicians, and other healthcare professionals and features a mix of health information, fact sheets on different topics and descriptions of local health services.

To prevent the spread of COVID-19 and other respiratory illnesses, it is important that people keep up their healthy habits:

  • Wearing masks in all indoor settings
  • Maintaining physical distancing
  • Opening  windows and doors to increase ventilation wherever possible
  • Practising good hygiene by regularly and thoroughly washing or sanitising your hands
  • Staying home if you’re unwell
  • Taking a Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) if you have COVID-19 symptoms or you are a close household contact of a positive case
  • Reporting your test results on My COVID Record (https://mycovidrecord.health.nz/)
  • Ensuring all your immunisations are up to date – including your flu immunisation and COVID-19 booster.

A reminder that visitor restrictions remain in place at DHB facilities: https://www.cdhb.health.nz/your-health/hospital-services-in-canterbury/

ENDS

For further information, contact: communications@cdhb.health.nz

THIS IS AN ARCHIVED PAGE. The advice and information contained in this page may not be current and it should only be used for historical reference purposes.

Entrance of Toka Hāpai (Selwyn Health Hub)

New Canterbury DHB facilities at Toka Hāpai (Selwyn Health Hub) to open

The Oromairaki Maternity Unit at the Toka Hāpai (Selwyn Health Hub) will open tomorrow with other services set to follow.

Canterbury DHB services in the building include the Oromairaki Maternity Unit, the Community Dental Service, Child Adolescent and Family Mental Health Service (South), Public Health Nursing, Older Person Health and Rehabilitation, along with visiting services: Vision and Hearing Service and Adult Community Therapy. 

Dr Rob Ojala, Executive Director Infrastructure, says that Canterbury DHB welcomed the opportunity to work the Selwyn District Council on this project.

“Selwyn is the fastest growing district in Canterbury and this gave us an opportunity to locate many our services together and bring new services to the region so that people can get the care they need closer to home,” says Dr Rob Ojala.

“The strategic location – just 50 metres from St John headquarters and a 15-minute ambulance ride to Christchurch Women’s Hospital along the newly completed motorway– also made it an ideal space for our new modern maternity space.

“Combining the space for multiple services is also really helpful for our young people accessing mental health services as it normalises their health journey.”

Originally proposed in 2017, the Canterbury DHB Board approved a leasing agreement with Selwyn District Council in July 2019 with design meetings beginning in September of that year. Construction commenced in 2020 and the construction cost for the fit out was $4.1m. There are other tenants in the building independent of the Canterbury DHB.

The Oromairaki Birthing Unit increases postnatal beds in the Selwyn district from six to ten. It also contains two birthing suites, two maternity assessment rooms (one of which can be used as an additional birthing room), and a whānau room.

“Our community birthing units provide a safe place where healthy pregnant people with no complications can give birth, then stay for a day or two afterwards, supported by whānau,” says Norma Campbell, Executive Director Midwifery and Maternity Services.

“We encourage all of our pregnant people with low risk pregnancies to use our community birthing units supported by their lead maternity carer (LMC). This wonderful modern space provides a relaxed homelike environment allowing for an uninterrupted birth and adjustment to parenthood.

“We have been honoured by Te Taumutu Rūnanga who have gifted us with the precious taonga Oromairaki. Meaning ‘resonating sounds of heaven’, Oromairaki celebrates the call of Hine-te-iwaiwa, the sighs of motherhood and the cries of new life.”

All staff from Lincoln Maternity Hospital are transferring to Oromairaki. No decision has yet been made on what will happen to the Lincoln Maternity Hospital site.

ENDS

For further information, contact: communications@cdhb.health.nz

THIS IS AN ARCHIVED PAGE. The advice and information contained in this page may not be current and it should only be used for historical reference purposes.

Patients in Canterbury rural health facilities to be temporarily relocated

Canterbury DHB will reopen Oxford Rural Community Hospital in mid-June.

Becky Hickmott, Executive Director of Nursing, says that the Oxford facility will reopen first because there is limited capacity in other aged care settings in Oxford. The majority of the residents are from this facility and there is staff capacity in Oxford to provide care for the seven residents who wish to return.

In the districts that surround Waikari, Ellesmere and Darfield rural community hospitals, there are beds available in other local Aged Residential Care facilities, and until we have sufficient staff to ensure the safe and appropriate care of their residents, their reopening will unfortunately be further delayed.

We continue to see widespread and elevated COVID-19 infection rates among our staff and our Canterbury community, including in the areas affected by these temporary closures. Residents were relocated to other facilities because Canterbury DHB could not guarantee staffing levels that would enable these rural community hospitals and local aged care facilities to provide safe and appropriate care.

“The current circumstances require a discussion with our rural communities on how we might deliver an improved mix of services in these rural areas that makes the best possible use of our resources and allows some services to be provided closer to home,” says Becky.

Canterbury District Health Board is committed to investing in rural communities and wants to work in partnership with them, and our staff who know their communities best, to develop a future service model based on modern, evidence-based practice.

A working group comprising clinical and operational staff, together with community representation will be convened to develop a proposal on a possible future model of care in these communities.

“We are aiming to share the proposal in four to six weeks’ time. We will then be looking for feedback, initially from staff. There also will be a process for listening to the views of the current residents and their families and later, the wider community,” says Becky.

“In the meantime, our focus will be on ensuring a smooth and welcoming return home for the seven residents coming back to the Oxford Community Hospital.”

See links below for more information on:

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THIS IS AN ARCHIVED PAGE. The advice and information contained in this page may not be current and it should only be used for historical reference purposes.
Some Canterbury health services are being deferred as DHB staffing impacted by COVID-19

COVID-19 in Canterbury – case numbers continue to top more than 1000 a day

Cantabrians are asked to remain vigilant and continue to keep up their healthy habits as new COVID-19 cases in the region continue to top more than 1000 per day.

Canterbury Health System Emergency Coordination Centre (ECC) Incident Controller, Jo Domigan, says that ongoing demand for health services, along with the sustained high number of active COVID-19 cases in the region and a continued high rate of staff absence due to illness and COVID-19 are putting huge demand on the system. We currently have 67 people in in our hospitals with COVID-19.

“The move to the Orange traffic light setting and the relaxation of some COVID-19 rules, along with Canterbury’s case numbers peaking some weeks ago, may have created a false sense of complacency.

“COVID-19 remains prevalent in our community and the Omicron outbreak is not over.

“We were planning to begin a gradual increase in planned care such as elective surgery next week. However, we regret that we are once again having to defer more surgeries and appointments as the long tail of COVID-19 continues to place pressure on our services. We apologise to those affected that we are having to take this step.”

“We will review the situation again next week and hope to resume more planned care the following week (commencing 23 May).

“These decisions aren’t taken lightly, and our teams are hugely disappointed and dismayed to still be in this situation of not being able to resume planned care. 

“We work as an integrated health system in Canterbury, and plan to utilise any spare private sector theatre capacity to allow more surgery and procedures to be provided over the coming months.”

From next week Canterbury DHB will swap from an ECC to operate a System Wide Operations Centre (SWOC) which will be led by a small team who will continue to link in daily with partners from throughout the health system to support our integrated response.

As we get closer to winter, we expect to see an increase in acute demand due to respiratory illnesses, including the flu and RSV.

“There’s no doubt winter this year will be a challenging time for our people and our wider health system. When we experience sustained high levels of acute demand and need to admit more people to our hospitals this has a direct impact on the amount of planned care such as surgery and procedures we can provide.

“Unfortunately for our community the cumulative impact of COVID-19, including lock-downs and high levels of staff illness as well as industrial action all impact on our ability to provide the level of planned care we would like to.”

Your general practice or healthcare provider should be your first port of call if your health issue is not an emergency.  Please plan ahead as much as possible for your routine health care, and book early. Your usual healthcare provider will offer some urgent appointments when required.

If after hours care is needed people are encouraged to phone Healthline on 0800 611 116 for free health advice 24/7 or visit one of the Urgent Care centres in Canterbury.  If people come to ED with something that could be treated by a GP or with advice from a pharmacist they may be advised of alternative options. People with non-emergency conditions are likely to experience a long wait to be seen in ED as we need to triage everyone presenting to ensure those in the greatest need, with life-threatening conditions are seen first.

“We need to keep the Emergency Department for emergencies,” says Jo.

To prevent the spread of COVID-19, it is important that people keep up the healthy habits:

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Canterbury DHB updates its visitor policy

Please attribute comment to Tracey Maisey, Incident Controller, Canterbury DHB Emergency Coordination Centre

Canterbury DHB is updating its visitor policy across all facilities from Tuesday 19 April, to be consistent with the recent change to the Orange traffic light setting and in recognition that Canterbury has passed the peak of this Omicron outbreak.

In summary:

  • 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 Canterbury DHB sites, unless eating or drinking or medically exempt, and will be provided if people don’t have them.
  • Hand sanitiser stations are visible and must be used.

Visitors are no longer required to scan or sign in, but they can if they want. Visitor passes are no longer needed, nor is proof of your COVID-19 vaccination status (it was never required). For areas where patients are particularly vulnerable, you may be asked to take a supervised RAT that shows a negative result before you may visit.

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 Women’s Hospital. 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.  

Details by site

Canterbury DHB-operated Aged Residential Care facilities

Visitors are welcome at our Tuarangi facility in Ashburton and at our Aged Care Facility within Kaikoura Health, One visitor per patient at a time – except where a child over 12 is being accompanied by an adult. All visitors will be screened for COVID-19 symptoms and must wear a medical mask.

Christchurch Hospital

Most entrances to Christchurch Hospital will be closed and the only entrances open will be ED and Waipapa Main Entrance, Christchurch Women’s Entrance and the main Christchurch Hospital entrance (under the canopies).

Visiting hours are from 11am – 8pm daily.

One visitor per patient at a time – except where a child over 12 is being accompanied by an adult. Everyone must wear a medical mask unless exempt on medical grounds. Visitor passes are no longer required at Christchurch Hospital.

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 at a time, following a supervised negative RAT result).

Children who are inpatients can have one other visitor (other than a parent or caregiver) who is able to visit with permission from the nurse in charge.

Christchurch Hospital Shuttle Bus from the Deans Avenue Car Park

You need to comply with the rules for public transport under the COVID-19 Protection Framework which in the case of shuttle use are:

  • If you are unwell, please don’t use the shuttle
  • Shuttle passengers are asked to use the hand sanitiser upon entry to the shuttle
  • The front passenger seat must remain empty
  • It is mandatory for all passengers over the age of 12 to wear surgical/medical masks on the shuttle, unless you have an exemption.

Christchurch Outpatients 

If you need a support person with you at your appointment, please call the number on your outpatient appointment letter to arrange this.

Note: some outpatient appointments will continue to be carried out ‘virtually’ either over the phone, or by a video/Zoom call.

Ashburton Hospital

All usual entrances are now open.

One visitor per patient at a time – except where a child over 12 is being accompanied by an adult. Children must be aged 12 and over and must wear a medical mask.
Visitor passes are no longer required at Ashburton Hospital.

Ashburton Hospital Visiting Hours are 11am – 2pm and 4pm – 8pm daily.

If you need a support person with you at your appointment, please call the number on your outpatient appointment letter to arrange this.

Burwood Hospital

One visitor per patient at a time – except where a child over 12 is being accompanied by an adult. Children must be aged 12 or over and wear a medical mask.
Visitor passes are no longer required at Burwood Hospital.

If you need a support person with you at your appointment, please call the number on your outpatient appointment letter to arrange this.

Specialist Mental Health Services at Hillmorton campus & The Princess Margaret Hospital site

One visitor per patient at a time – except where a child over 12 is being accompanied by an adult. Visitor passes are no longer required for either the Hillmorton or Princess Margaret hospital sites.

One support person by pre-arrangement for community appointments (contact the team or case manager prior to confirm)

Parents/caregivers are able to visit in support of a child.

Additional people will be considered by the Clinical/Charge Nurse Manager or Duty Nurse Manager (after hours). This must be by prior arrangement to ensure that we can meet physical distancing requirements.

Kaikoura Health Te Ha o te Ora

In the Acute and inpatient ward:

One visitor per patient at a time – except where a child over 12 is being accompanied by an adult. Medical masks are compulsory unless you are medically exempt.
Visitor passes are no longer required at Kaikoura Health

People attending for urgent care can have one support person with them

For whānau with an essential support role as a partner in care

Women in labour are allowed one support person for the duration of their stay in our facilities

Parents/caregivers are able to be with their child in hospital

People with disabilities can have one support person in addition to their one visitor.

Hospital Café and shop restrictions

Café opening hours and access requirements:

 

Opening hours

Pass/ID

Access

Great Escape Café

Mon-Fri: 07.00am to 19.30pm
Sat-Sun: 09.00am to 19.30pm

Not required

No restrictions – staff, patients, visitors welcome

Willow Lane, Waipapa

Daily 08.00am to 08.00pm

Not required

No restrictions

Kanuka, Outpatients

Mon-Fri 07.00am to 15.30pm

Not required

No restrictions

PeaBerry, Waipapa

Mon-Fri 07.00am to 15.30pm

Not required

No restrictions

Parkside Café

Mon-Fri 07.30am to 15.00pm

Not required

No restrictions

Christchurch Women's Hospital Café

Mon-Fri 07.30am to 15.00pm

Not required

No restrictions

Ashburton Hospital Café

08:00am to 15:30pm

Not required

No restrictions

Burwood Travis Courtyard Café

Open 08.00am to 16.00pm

Not required

No restrictions

Hillmorton Hospital Avon Café

08.00am to 15.00pm

Not required

No restrictions

THIS IS AN ARCHIVED PAGE. The advice and information contained in this page may not be current and it should only be used for historical reference purposes.

Some Canterbury health services are being deferred as DHB staffing impacted by COVID-19

Healthcare information for the Easter weekend

Dr Helen Skinner, ECC Incident Controller, Canterbury DHB, is urging people to continue to test themselves for COVID-19 over the weekend if they have symptoms.

“Our case numbers often drop at the weekend and pop back up on Tuesdays. Our COVID-19 community testing centres are open over the long weekend and it is really important that people with any cold and flu-like symptoms, and household contacts, take a COVID-19 test and isolate as they are required to if it is positive,” says Dr Skinner.

“Logging your test result on the My Covid Record website or by calling 0800 222 478 means that you will be provided with the support you need while isolating.”

Over the long weekend, the opening hours for our COVID-19 community testing centres are:

Check https://www.healthpoint.co.nz/covid-19/canterbury/?covidTesting=rats  for RAT collection sites’ opening hours over the Easter weekend. Please remember to order your RAT kits in advance through the website https://requestrats.covid19.health.nz/.

If you need to get your COVID-19 vaccination or booster, there are also a number of vaccination clinics open https://vaccinatecanterburywestcoast.nz/vaccination-clinics-over-the-public-holidays/.

“Boosters help to protect you and others from severe illness or hospitalisation. There are still a lot of Cantabrians who are eligible for their booster who haven’t had it, so make the time this weekend to get it done,” says Dr Skinner.

“People can still get vaccinated against COVID-19 if they’ve previously tested positive, providing they wait three months before getting a COVID-19 vaccination.”

“Those of us who can get vaccinated should do it now. Vaccination is your best protection against Omicron.”

If you are heading away, make sure you pack enough of your regular medications for the duration of your holiday. If you’re going to need a repeat prescription while away, get it sorted before you leave town.

Make sure you are aware of the risk that the spread of COVID-19 might affect your holiday plans and be prepared should this happen.

If you get ill over the long weekend, you can call your own general practice team 24/7 for care around the clock.

Emergency Departments (ED) at hospitals throughout New Zealand often run at capacity over the holiday weekend. Making your regular general practice team your first port of call, wherever you are, will help keep EDs free for those who need emergency care.

“If your symptoms are getting worse, please seek medical care before you get too sick, whether that is from your normal healthcare provider or from our healthcare facilities if you are really unwell,” says Dr Skinner.

“Treatment and health advice for people who have tested positive for COVID-19 is free.

“Acute and emergency care will always be available. Our hospitals have the highest level of infection prevention and control measures in place and we encourage everyone to continue to seek the care they need when they need it.”

After-hours information, as well as a list of pharmacies and clinics open during the Easter holiday period can be found on Healthpoint at https://www.healthpoint.co.nz/search?q=canterbury.

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THIS IS AN ARCHIVED PAGE. The advice and information contained in this page may not be current and it should only be used for historical reference purposes.

Influenza vaccinations now available

There may be higher rates of influenza in New Zealand this winter with our borders reopening.

Influenza can cause serious illness and it is important that in the lead up to winter, people get their flu vaccination. Getting immunised against influenza protects our vulnerable communities, especially young children, older adults and people with chronic health problems, but anyone can become seriously ill from the flu virus. 

If you haven’t had your COVID-19 vaccination or booster, you can get it at the same time as your flu immunisation. There is no need to leave a gap between these vaccinations.

Canterbury Medical Officer of Health, Dr Ramon Pink says that people who have been vaccinated against flu and double vaccinated or boosted against COVID-19 are at significantly lower risk of becoming seriously ill.

“We know that people might feel they’ve had a lot of vaccinations lately but please get the flu vaccination as it provides the best protection against influenza, especially if you’re one of the people at greater risk of serious illness if you get the flu,” says Dr Pink.

Who is eligible for funded influenza vaccinations this year?

Free influenza vaccinations are available for those who meet these eligibility criteria:

  • pregnant people
  • people aged 65 years and older
  • Māori and Pacific peoples aged 55 to 64 years
  • people aged 6 months to under 65 years with eligible health conditions.
  • tamariki aged 4 years or under who have been hospitalised for respiratory illness (including measles) or have a history of significant respiratory illness.

Flu vaccinations are available from your general practice team and many pharmacies. Please call your general practice team, local pharmacy or healthcare provider first to check availability and book an appointment, as some have reduced staffing due to the Omicron outbreak.

Dr Justin Fletcher, GP at Kaiapoi Medical Centre and member of the Canterbury Health System’s Technical Advisory Group, says you can get your flu vaccination any time.

“There doesn’t need to be a gap after your COVID-19 booster or after you have recovered from COVID-19 – just as long as you are feeling well on the day of your flu vaccination,” Dr Fletcher says.

“Flu vaccination can be hugely beneficial even if you aren’t eligible for a free vaccination. The cost is typically just $35-60 and is well worth it to avoid a miserable time with flu. It could also prevent sickness spreading to friends and family, and possibly having to take more time off work.”

Many workplaces also either hold vaccination clinics or give staff vouchers to get their flu vaccination.

You can get more information about the vaccine on the following webpages: 

You can also call Healthline for advice on 0800 611 116 anytime or visit www.healthline.govt.nz

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THIS IS AN ARCHIVED PAGE. The advice and information contained in this page may not be current and it should only be used for historical reference purposes.
Health warning removed for algal bloom at Waiau River at Waiau Township Bridge

Health warning removed for algal bloom in Waikirikiri/Selwyn River at Whitecliffs Domain

Canterbury DHB’s Community and Public Health unit has lifted its algal bloom health warning issued along the Waikirikiri/Selwyn River at Whitecliffs Domain.

Recent cyanobacteria surveys of the Waikirikiri/Selwyn River has shown the cover of potentially toxic algae (benthic cyanobacteria) in the river has reduced and is now below levels that are of concern to public health.

Canterbury Medical Officer of Health Dr Cheryl Brunton says Environment Canterbury’s monitoring of Waikirikiri/Selwyn River will resume next summer when there is increased likelihood of cyanobacteria growth.

The health warning for the Waikirikiri/Selwyn River at Glentunnel remains in place.

Facts about cyanobacteria:

  • Appears as dark brown/black mats attached to rocks along the riverbed.
  • A low cover of the algae can occur naturally but can increase rapidly during warmer months. Algal blooms are influenced by a combination of available nutrients in the water and sediments (such as nitrogen and phosphorus), a sustained period of low and stable flows, and favourable weather conditions (e.g. increased temperature, calm days).
  • It often has a strong musty smell and algal toxin concentrations can vary over short periods.
  • Although high river levels will remove the algal bloom, detached mats can accumulate along the shore and increase the risk of exposure to toxins.
  • If a health warning is in place avoid contact with the water.
  • Although district or city councils may place warning signs, these may not be seen at the numerous river access points, hence the need for people/ dog-walkers to treat every low-flowing river cautiously.

For further information visit: https://www.lawa.org.nz/explore-data/canterbury-region/   

Or contact Community and Public Health on (03) 364 1777: https://www.cph.co.nz/your-health/recreational-water/ 

For more information about Mahinga Kai: https://www.cph.co.nz/wp-content/uploads/saf0112.pdf

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THIS IS AN ARCHIVED PAGE. The advice and information contained in this page may not be current and it should only be used for historical reference purposes.

Additional Novavax COVID-19 vaccine bookings now available in Canterbury

Additional bookings for the Novavax COVID-19 vaccine are now available through the Book My Vaccine website.

Novavax is currently available at the Barrington Vaccination Hub at Barrington Mall, Unichem Medical Corner in Rangiora, and the Māui Clinic at South City Mall (from March 20) to people aged 18 and older as a primary vaccination course. 

The Canterbury District Health Board is reviewing demand for Novavax as vaccinations progress. If the demand remains high, we will add capacity across the region to ensure more people have access to Novavax.

“We are pleased to have a third COVID-19 vaccine option and would like to thank the team at the Barrington Vaccination Hub for their hard work delivering Novavax in Canterbury,” says Tracey Maisey, ECC Incident Controller for the Omicron response for Canterbury and the West Coast DHBs.

“It is great to see two more pharmacies offering the vaccine. Our primary care teams are working really hard to ensure that everyone gets vaccinated.”

Novavax requires two doses to be considered fully vaccinated. A three-week gap is recommended between the first and second dose. Novavax is not currently available as a booster dose. It can be given to people as a second dose, as long as it is at least 28 days since they received their first dose of another COVID-19 vaccine. However, a prescription is required from a GP if a person’s first dose was not Novavax – it’s free to get a Novavax vaccine prescription.

“I encourage anyone who hasn’t yet been vaccinated to consider Novavax, to protect themselves and our community,” says Ms Maisey.

As more clinics gear up to offer Novavax, their details will be added to https://vaccinatecanterburywestcoast.nz/.

Further information:

There is a waitlist for appointments which is managed through CANVAX. If you cannot find a suitable appointment, please contact 0800 226 829.

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THIS IS AN ARCHIVED PAGE. The advice and information contained in this page may not be current and it should only be used for historical reference purposes.

Nine additional RAT collection sites for Canterbury

Today nine additional RAT collection sites will open at pharmacies across Canterbury.

These pharmacies will be only be fulfilling orders so please remember to place your order for RATs before heading to a collection site – and have your order number ready when you arrive.

Please wear a mask when attending the pharmacy and advise staff if you are symptomatic.

Orders can be made via the online system at https://requestrats.covid19.health.nz/ by free calling 0800 222 478 to request your RAT tests.

RATs are free for:

  • people with COVID-19 symptoms or who are a household contact or who have been instructed to get tested by a health official.
  • Critical workers who are household contacts
  • Border workers who are required to be tested under the Required Testing Order

“It’s great to see these pharmacies coming on board and expanding the ranges of locations RAT tests are available to our communities,” says Tracey Maisey, ECC Incident Controller, Canterbury DHB.

“This will also help ease pressure on our community testing centres. Please, only request RATs if you have symptoms, you are a household contact or have been directed to take a test by a health official. There’s no need to get a RAT just in case.

“Additional pharmacies are gearing up to become RAT collections sites in the coming days.

“It’s really important that you log the result of your RAT test so that you get the support that you may need if you have tested positive.

“You can do this online through My Covid Record or over the phone by free calling 0800 222 478 and choose option 3. You can also report a RAT result for someone else using these methods. To make a report on behalf of someone else you will need their NHI number, full name and date of birth.”

New RAT Collection Sites:

Pharmacy/Medical CentreSuburb/TownAddress
Addington PharmacyAddington348 Lincoln Road, Addington, Christchurch
Akaroa PharmacyAkaroa55 Beach Road, Akaroa
Allenton PharmacyAshburton67 Harrison Street, Allenton, Ashburton, Canterbury
Amberley PharmacyAmberley127A Carters Road, Amberley
Bastins Pharmacy St Albans219 Innes Road, Saint Albans, Christchurch
Beckford Health PharmacySt Martins14 Beckford Road, Saint Martins, Christchurch
Burwood PharmacyBurwood11 Parnwell Street, Burwood, Christchurch
Cheviot Community Health CentreCheviot6 Robinson Street, Cheviot
Cranford PharmacySt Albans115 Sherborne Street, St Albans, Christchurch
Darfield PharmacyDarfield58 South Terrace, Darfield
Ewart Douglas PharmacyBryndwr403 Ilam Road, Bryndwr, Christchurch
Hammersley PharmacyEdgeware202 Hills Road, Edgeware, Christchurch
HealthWorks Pharmacy - Hanmer SpringsHanmer Springs7/24 Conical Hill Road, Hanmer Springs
Hei Hei PharmacyHei Hei34 Wycola Avenue, Hei Hei, Christchurch
Hillmorton PharmacyHoon Hay9 Halswell Road, Hoon Hay, Christchurch
Hoon Hay Pharmacy LtdHoon Hay120 Sparks Road, Hoon Hay, Christchurch
Ilam PharmacyIlam209 Waimairi Rd, Ilam, Christchurch
Kaiapoi Crossing PharmacyKaiapoi7/77 Hilton Street, Kaiapoi
Kaiapoi North PharmacyKaiapoi40 Charles Street, Kaiapoi
Kaikōura Health (Te Hā o Te Ora)Kaikōura25 Deal Street, Kaikōura
Kaikōura Pharmacy Kaikōura37 West End, Kaikōura
Kendal PharmacyBurnside64 Kendal Avenue, Burnside, Christchurch
Kiwi Pharmacy - HighstedCasebrook2/118A Claridges Road, Casebrook, Christchurch
Kiwi Pharmacy - YaldhurstYaldhurst3 Filly Place, Yaldhurst, Christchurch
Leeston PharmacyLeeston76 High Street, Leeston
Life Pharmacy BarringtonSpreydonShop 54, Barrington Shopping Centre, 256 Barrington Street, Spreydon, Christchurch
Life Pharmacy HornbyHornbyShop 104, 418 Main South Road, Hornby, Christchurch
Life Pharmacy Merivale (Please use Papanui Rd entrance)Merivale193 Papanui Road, Merivale, Christchurch
Life Pharmacy The PalmsShirleyThe Palms Shopping Centre, 19-21 Marshland Road, Shirley, Christchurch
Lincoln PharmacyLincoln8 Gerald Street, Lincoln
Linwood Village PharmacyChristchurch Central2/384 Worcester Street, Christchurch
Lyttelton PharmacyLyttelton19 London Street, Lyttelton
Marshlands Family PharmacyMarshland427 Marshland Road, Marshland, Christchurch
Methven PharmacyMethven101 Main Street, Methven
Oxford PharmacyOxford49B Main Street, Oxford
Papanui PharmacyStrowan438 Papanui Road, Strowan, Christchurch
Pegasus PharmacyPegasus52 Pegasus Main Street, Pegasus
Pharmacy XtraChristchurch CentralCorner Madras St & Moorhouse Ave, 3/347 Moorhouse Avenue, Christchurch Central
Prebbleton PharmacyPrebbleton 3/563 Springs Road, Prebbleton
QEII PharmacyNorth New Brighton1/251 Travis Road, North New Brighton, Christchurch
Rakaia Health Post and PhotoRakaia68 Elizabeth Avenue, Rakaia
Redcliffs PharmacyRedcliffs87 Main Road, Redcliffs, Christchurch
Redwood PharmacyRedwood282 Main North Road, Redwood, Christchurch
Remedy Pharmacy - RiccartonRiccarton107 Wainui Street, Riccarton, Christchurch
Remedy Pharmacy St Albans (formerly McIntosh Pharmacy)St Albans250 Springfield Road, St Albans. Christchurch
Selwyn Community PharmacyLincoln5B Gerald Street, Lincoln
Selwyn Village PharmacySpreydon316 Selwyn Street, Spreydon, Christchurch
Shields PharmacyPapanui95 Main North Road, Papanui, Christchurch
Shirley DispensaryShirley13 Marshland Road, Shirley, Christchurch
Silverstream Kaiapoi PharmacyKaiapoi10/42 Silverstream Boulevard, Kaiapoi
St Albans PharmacySt Albans1073 Colombo Street, Saint Albans, Christchurch
St Martins PharmacySt MartinsShop 2, 92 Wilsons Road, Saint Martins, Christchurch
Stans 7 Day Pharmacy (Rangiora)Rangiora15 Ashley Street, Rangiora
Tancred Street DispensaryAshburton135 Tancred Street, Ashburton
The Pharmacy @ PhillipstownWaltham270 Ferry Road, Waltham, Christchurch
Unichem Belfast PharmacyBelfast8/812 Main North Road, Belfast, Christchurch
Unichem Cashel PharmacyChristchurch Central111 Cashel Street, Christchurch Central
Unichem Elmwood Pharmacy Strowan3 Normans Road, Strowan, Christchurch
Unichem Ilam Healthworks PharmacyIlam110 Memorial Avenue, Ilam, Christchurch
Unichem Lincoln Road PharmacySpreydon30D Lincoln Road, Spreydon, Christchurch
Unichem Medical Corner PharmacyRangiora237A High Street Rangiora
Unichem Parklands Medical PharmacyParklands345 Mairehau Road, Parklands, Christchurch
Unichem Rolleston Village PharmacyRolleston8/92 Rolleston Drive, Rolleston
Unichem Wigram PharmacyWigramThe Landing, 102 The Runway, Wigram, Christchurch
Union Street Pharmacy, New BrightonNew Brighton18 Union Street, New Brighton, Christchurch
University PharmacyIlamJames Hight Building, University Drive, Ilam, Christchurch
Waikari Health CentreWaikari100 Princes Street, Waikari
Wilson's Barrington PharmacySpreydon256 Barrington Street, Spreydon, Christchurch
Wises PharmacyAshburtonShop 4/155 Wills Street, Ashburton
Woodham Road PharmacyLinwood1/23 Woodham Road, Linwood, Christchurch

Up-to-date information on opening hours is available on https://www.healthpoint.co.nz/covid-19/canterbury/?covidTesting=rats.

Please be patient and kind if you need to wait if it is busy. Staff are doing their very best to provide RATs to everyone who needs them as quickly as possible.

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THIS IS AN ARCHIVED PAGE. The advice and information contained in this page may not be current and it should only be used for historical reference purposes.

Reporting your RAT result important to get the support you need

With Omicron case numbers rising in the community, we’re reminding Cantabrians of the importance of registering rapid antigen test (RAT) results so they can be connected to the support they need while isolating.

Canterbury DHB’s COVID-19 Incident Controller Dr Helen Skinner says that for people who test positive in particular, registering a RAT result is the best way to ensure they can access the support they need during their isolation period.

“Not only is registering a result the best way to give public health officials an overview of case numbers in our region and help us determine the best use of resources, it’s also important if your condition worsens and you require additional healthcare.

“When you register a positive result, the Ministry of Health will send you a text message from 2328 confirming your positive test result. The text will provide information about self-isolation and support options.

“If your symptoms are worsening and you need medical care, please call your normal healthcare provider. If you need urgent medical help or cannot breathe properly, call 111 immediately. Tell them you have COVID-19 when you ring.

“You can call the free COVID-19 Welfare line on 0800 512 337 for welfare support. Calls are answered 8am – 8pm daily and they may be able to help with kai or money for essentials if your household is isolating and you don’t have any other support.

“If you are older or have other health problems you may be contacted by your general practice team, the Canterbury Hauora Community Hub or a Māori or Pacific provider to check whether you need extra health monitoring or support. Registering your result is incredibly important to ensure you are well supported while isolating,” says Dr Skinner.

You should report the results of your rapid antigen test (RAT) if you test positive or negative. You can do this online through My Covid Record. Log in to the site, click ‘Report a test result', and follow the steps.

If you are having trouble using My Covid Record, you can report the results of your RAT over the phone by calling  0800 222 478 and choose option 3.

If you get a positive rapid antigen test (RAT) result:

  • this does not need to be confirmed with a PCR test unless advised otherwise
  • you do not need another test before you end your isolation period

You can also report a RAT result for someone else through your own My Covid Record account. To make a report on behalf of someone else you will need their NHI number, full name and date of birth.

If the person you're reporting for doesn't have an NHI number call 0800 222 478 and press 3.

Information and resources to help with managing COVID-19 illness and isolating at home can be found on our website https://www.cdhb.health.nz/your-health/covid-19-care-in-the-community/.

RAT testing instructions in Te Reo Māori can be found here https://covid19.govt.nz/assets/resources/translated-resources/Maori/RATs-guide-v3-Maori.pdf and in other languages here https://covid19.govt.nz/languages-and-resources/translations/.

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Some Canterbury health services are being deferred as DHB staffing impacted by COVID-19

Vaccination programme re-prioritisation implemented in Canterbury

The impact of Omicron has led to re-prioritisation of the COVID-19 vaccination programme according to Canterbury DHB’s Emergency Coordination Centre Incident Controller, Dr Helen Skinner.

“We need to maximise limited staffing resources and focus our resource on reaching priority areas and at-risk populations where booster uptake and children immunisation is lagging behind,” says Dr Skinner.

“Planning for mobile or outreach vaccination events over the next three to four weeks has started.  

“We will also continue to work closely with our primary care, Pasifika and Māori providers to support their resourcing needs so they can continue to deliver vaccinations.”

As a result two DHB-run vaccination sites will close: Christchurch Arena Drive-Through from tomorrow, 15 March, and Orchard Road Vaccination Centre which will likely close in three weeks.

“The few people booked at the drive through have been rebooked. For Orchard Road, over the next few weeks we will only be vaccinating those already booked or supporting them to re-book at other vaccination sites,” says Dr Skinner.

She says it is expected that the closing of the Orchard Road Vaccination Centre and the Christchurch Arena Drive-Through will have minimal impact on the delivery of COVID-19 vaccinations as there will still be more than 140 primary care clinics continuing to deliver vaccinations across Canterbury. 

“We are also looking at establishing a smaller drive through vaccination site and our mobile vaccination events will consider outdoor locations as a priority to ensure we have good ventilation, especially in the current environment where Omicron is widespread.”

The existing RAT collection site at the Christchurch Arena will continue to operate.

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Expect delays and changes to DHB services during tomorrow’s planned strike by PSA members

Tomorrow’s industrial action called off – services starting to be reinstated at Canterbury and West Coast DHBs

An Employment Court ruling has called a stop to tomorrow’s planned strike by Allied, Public Health, Scientific and Technical staff who are covered by the PSA (Public Services Association) union. All health services across Canterbury and the West Coast are making plans to reinstate as many services as possible, however, it will take some time to rebook elective /planned outpatient appointments and surgery which has already been postponed.

Everyone whose appointment or surgery had to be deferred will be contacted directly.  Unfortunately we can’t turn everything back on overnight. Canterbury and West Coast District Health Boards (DHBs) would like to thank patients for their understanding as staff work as fast as they can to rebook people.

“If anyone is unsure about what to do, they can call the number on their appointment letter,” says Canterbury and West Coast DHB Chief Executive Dr Peter Bramley.

“We’re asking patients to continue being kind, as it may take a few days to reschedule appointments and surgery.  

“We respect the right of our staff to take industrial action and acknowledge the important role that all health workers play in delivering high quality care, but I am pleased we’re able to continue to provide treatment and care without further disruptions for our community at this time,” Peter says. 

“People in the health sector are working hard under extreme pressure, and they have been for some time, as COVID-19 continues to affect the way we live.

“As partners in the fight against COVID-19, we greatly appreciate the mahi that each and every person in our health sector is doing,” he says. 

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Note to editors:

The nationwide strike was set to involve a full withdrawal of labour for 24-hours from Friday 4 March to Saturday 5 March. 

Across the Canterbury DHB, 39 professions and over 1500 staff, and on the West Coast, 23 professional and more than 120 staff members, were set to be affected by the PSA strike.

THIS IS AN ARCHIVED PAGE. The advice and information contained in this page may not be current and it should only be used for historical reference purposes.

Patients in Canterbury rural health facilities to be temporarily relocated

As part of its COVID-19 contingency planning and with the support of the Board, Canterbury DHB will be temporarily closing four rural facilities due to the rapidly increasing number of cases in the community.

The facilities are Waikari, Darfield, Oxford and Ellesmere Hospitals and planning is underway to move 23 residents from these facilities to alternative private facilities.

Canterbury DHB COVID-19 ECC Incident Controller for the Canterbury Health System’s Omicron response, Tracey Maisey, says the DHB is having to make this decision now due to its ability to staff these facilities through the peak of the Omicron outbreak as staffing resources become strained.

“One of our main concerns was that during the outbreak we will not be able to sustain safe staffing levels with appropriately trained staff in these facilities, and this was a major risk that could have had a serious adverse impact on our residents. 

“We are therefore moving with urgency to assess each patient and connect with residents’ families or next of kin to decide on a suitable alternative facility for each resident. We take our responsibility for their care very seriously and will do everything we can to ensure their safety and wellbeing.

“We appreciate that relocating older people is disruptive and may be upsetting for them. However, we need to ensure that they are living somewhere that is well set up and has the staff resources to make sure they will be well looked after during the pandemic, Ms Maisey says.

“Finding suitably-qualified, local staff in rural areas can be very challenging, which is why we need to look after and make the best use of our people.  As part of our whole-of-system response plan, we will be working with the staff from the facilities we have closed temporarily to identify areas they can be redeployed to, to support the sustainable delivery of services – either within Canterbury DHB or with local community providers, where their skills as nursing and care providers are needed.”

Ms Maisey says this relocation of residents is not ideal and will have its challenges, but the support and assistance of family members is being welcomed and appreciated.

“We will take care and be sensitive to the needs and concerns of patients and family to ensure a smooth transition. We will be looking to relocate them as soon as a new home for each resident is agreed. The move to their new home will be temporary. Residents should be back in these hospital facilities within six weeks of the Omicron outbreak’s peak,” says Ms Maisey. 

See links below for more information on:

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New COVID-19 testing facility in Christchurch

Additional screening for patients being admitted to Canterbury DHB hospital and maternity facilities

With Aotearoa New Zealand moving to Phase 3 of the Omicron response and rapid antigen tests (RATs) being rolled out across Canterbury, we have the opportunity to put in place additional screening measures to further protect our vulnerable patients.

From today, Friday 25 February 2022 patients being admitted to Canterbury DHB hospital and maternity facilities will be tested for COVID-19.

Canterbury DHB’s COVID-19 ECC Incident Controller Dr Helen Skinner, says dependent on the result of the test, patients will be accommodated in different areas of the hospital, as we have dedicated spaces to support those with COVID-19.

“This allows us to reduce the chance of COVID-19 spread within our hospitals and helps us determine which PPE should be worn by staff when treating patients,” says Dr Skinner.

Recently we have noticed a decrease in the number of people attending our hospitals.

“We want to reassure our community that the Canterbury Health System has appropriate protocols and procedures in place to manage respiratory infections– including cases of COVID-19.

“Our hospitals have the highest level of infection, prevention and control measures in place and we encourage everyone to continue to seek the care they need when they need it,” Dr Skinner says.

The DHB’s current visitor policy can be viewed here. This includes the requirement for a visitor card and surgical/medical masks being worn at all times at all Canterbury DHB sites by approved visitors.

There are masks available in reception areas.

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Primary care clinics encouraging Cantabrians to get their boosters

As the number of community cases is rapidly rises in Canterbury, some primary care clinics (general practices/pharmacies/Māori and Pacific health providers) are extending hours and adding extra capacity this weekend to make it as easy as possible to get your booster.

“Thank you to all of the general practices, pharmacies and Māori and Pacific health providers who have supported the vaccination roll out in Canterbury,” says Dr Helen Skinner, ECC Incident Controller, Canterbury DHB.  

“On top of their usual services and hours, they continue to play a significant role in vaccinating Cantabrians against COVID-19,” says Dr Skinner.

“I encourage everyone who is due for their booster to take advantage of this opportunity and find a  clinic that is open. With Omicron, the booster dose really lifts your protection – if you are due for a booster and haven’t had yours, please get it straight away.

“It’s also important that we keep up all the healthy habits: remain vigilant about mask use, physical distancing, ensuring good ventilation when indoors with others, scanning in and hand hygiene.”

Ting, Dispensary Manager at Hardings Chemist & Post on Colombo Street, understands that there is hesitation within the Asian community to get their booster because of misinformation.

“We have Mandarin and Korean speaking staff who can answer your questions about boosters and the vaccine,” says Ting.

Drop-ins are welcome on Saturday from 9.30am to 2pm at the pharmacy for those 18 years and over to get their booster. They are offering a free hot drink to those who get their booster dose.

At Village Health Lincoln Road, Dr Miriam Martin, General Practitioner encourages families to get vaccinated.

“We are accepting bookings and drop-ins for boosters. We are also immunising children aged 5 to 11 years old. We have created child-friendly spaces and have vaccinators who are trained at providing vaccines to children,” says Dr Martin.

The clinic is open on Saturday from 9am to 4.30pm and is giving away coffee vouchers.

A full list of clinics that are open this weekend is available on the VaccinateCanterburyWestCoast.nz website

https://vaccinatecanterburywestcoast.nz/canterbury-pop-up-covid-vaccination-events/ 

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Cantabrians urged to make bookings to get their boosters

Cantabrians are being urged to make bookings to get their boosters as soon as they become eligible, says Tracey Maisey, Incident Controller, Canterbury DHB Emergency Coordination Centre.

“There are plenty of appointments available for vaccinations but it is busy at our vaccination sites,” says Tracey. 

“You can make a booking now for the day you are due your booster – three months from the day you received your second dose. Two shots were great protection against Delta, but boosters are the best way to fight Omicron.

“We are increasing capacity at our Orchard Road vaccination centre but it is now only taking bookings. However other sites such as the vaccination clinic at Ngā Hau e Whā Marae, Barrington Hub and Maui @ South City have capacity to accept walk-ins.

“Other vaccination clinics accepting walk-ins are listed on the VaccinateCanterburyWestCoast.nz website. Please check the opening times before venturing out.

“I would also like to remind people to continue to get tested if they have any symptoms of COVID-19, and to regularly check the Ministry of Health website for locations of interest in Canterbury.”

Bookings are also still highly recommended for 5-11-year old immunisation at the over 70 clinics providing this service. 

“Please continue to be patient if there are wait times and be prepared by bringing drinks, snacks and activities for your children,” says Tracey., 

There are 87,274 appointments available in Book My Vaccine between now and the end of March. 35,267 are appointments that 5-11-year-olds can be booked into.

Parents can also make an appointment for their child directly with their general practice if their GP is vaccinating their enrolled patients. A list of these GPs can be found at VaccinateCanterburyWestCoast.nz.

Selecting the option to book your child’s first dose only will show the earliest available appointments.

The sites with the highest bookable capacity are

  • Barrington Hub (Barrington Mall)
  • Ngā Hau e Whā Marae Vaccination Clinic
  • Orchard Rd
  • Rangiora Durham Health
  • Māui Clinic @ The Hub Hornby
  • Christchurch Arena Drive Through Site
  • Ki te Tihi Hapori Hauora – Eastgate

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THIS IS AN ARCHIVED PAGE. The advice and information contained in this page may not be current and it should only be used for historical reference purposes.

Canterbury DHB updates its visitor policy

Please attribute comment to Tracey Maisey, Incident Controller, Canterbury DHB Emergency Coordination Centre

Canterbury DHB is applying a limited-visitor policy across all facilities from Tuesday 22 February, in response to the ongoing transmission of the COVID-19 Omicron variant in the community.

Unless you have been contacted by phone to advise that your planned (elective) surgery or appointment is postponed, please assume it is going ahead and turn up at the scheduled time.

Surgical/medical masks must be worn at all times at all Canterbury DHB sites and will be provided if people don’t have them. 

Please scan in using the COVID-19 Tracer App or sign in on arrival and provide your contact details. Hand sanitiser stations are visible and must also be used. Approved visitors or support people should not visit our facilities if they are unwell.

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.

Visitors to Canterbury DHB facilities

Only approved visitors under the following categories are permitted as follows:

  • Exceptions can apply in some circumstances (such as for end of life care) – please check with the ward’s Charge Nurse before you come to hospital to visit.
  • People attending ED can have one support person with them.
  • Women in labour and on the Maternity Ward are allowed one support person for the duration of their stay in our facilities.
  • Parents/caregivers are able to be with their child in hospital.
  • For whānau with an essential support role as a Partner in Care (kaitiaki).
  • People with disabilities attending an appointment can have one support person.

Visitor Cards

Anyone who is an approved visitor to our Christchurch (including Christchurch Women’s and Waipapa), Burwood and Ashburton Hospitals will be issued with a ‘visitor card’ to present to hospital staff at the entrance on arrival:

  • When an approved visitor visits for the first time, they should inform the staff member at the entrance that this is their first visit and they don’t have a card.
  • The staff member will direct the person to the hospital’s reception, who will confirm with the ward that the person is able to visit.
  • Once in the ward, the person will be given a ‘visitor card’ to use from then on.
  • The visitor card is to be shown to hospital security on arrival from the second visit onwards, to gain access.

Canterbury DHB-operated Aged Residential Care facilities

Visitors must show their MyVaccine Pass and wear a medical mask.

Christchurch Hospital

Most entrances to Christchurch Hospital will be closed and the only entrances open will be ED & Waipapa Main Entrance, Christchurch Women’s Entrance and the main Christchurch Hospital entrance (under the canopies).

Christchurch Hospital Shuttle Bus from the Deans Avenue Car Park

While we encourage everyone eligible to get fully vaccinated and boosted to protect themselves and others, you are not required to show your My Vaccine Pass when you use the shuttle. You do, however, need to comply with the rules for public transport under the COVID-19 Protection Framework which in the case of shuttle use are:

  • If you are unwell, please don’t use the shuttle
  • Shuttle passengers are asked to use the hand sanitiser upon entry to the shuttle
  • Please scan the QR code if you have the NZ COVID Tracer App on your phone
  • The front passenger seat must remain empty
  • It is mandatory for all passengers over the age of 12 to wear surgical/medical masks on the shuttle, unless you have an exemption.

Christchurch Outpatients

If you need a support person with you at your appointment, please call the number on your outpatient appointment letter to arrange this.

Note: some outpatient appointments will continue to be carried out ‘virtually’ either over the phone, or by a video/Zoom call.

Burwood and Ashburton Hospitals

The only entrance to these hospitals will be via the main entrances.

Specialist Mental Health Services on the Hillmorton campus & The Princess Margaret Hospital site

A no visitor policy applies, except in the following circumstances:

  • One support person by pre-arrangement for community appointments (contact the team or case manager prior to confirm)
  • One support person by pre-arrangement for an inpatient visit (contact the ward prior to visiting to confirm)
  • For whānau with an essential support role as a partner in care (contact the relevant team)
  • Parents/caregivers in support of a child.

Kaikōura Health Te Ha o te Ora

In the Acute and inpatient ward, there will be no visitors. The only exemptions to this that are to be approved by Clinical Nurse Specialist or Nurse Manager prior to visiting are

  • On compassionate grounds – please check with the ward’s nurse before you come to hospital to visit
  •  People attending for urgent care can have one support person with them
  •  For whānau with an essential support role as a partner in care
  • Women in labour are allowed one support person for the duration of their stay in our facilities
  •  Parents/caregivers are able to be with their child in hospital
  •  People with disabilities can have one support person.

No visitors are permitted in the Aged Residential Care facility, except on compassionate grounds by arrangement with the Senior Nurse on duty.

Hospital Café and shop restrictions

Here is a summary of who can use which cafés and when staff ID or other proof of vaccination will be needed.

Café opening hours, ID, and access requirements from Tuesday 22 February onwards:

Christchurch Hospital Campus:

Opening hours

Pass/ID

Access

Great Escape Café

Mon-Fri: 07.00am to 19.30pm

Sat-Sun: 09.00am to 19.30pm

Staff ID

Staff only

Willow Lane, Waipapa

Daily 08.00am to 08.00pm *Take-away only

No My Vaccine Pass checks

Contactless pick-up only – no seating

Kanuka, Outpatients

Mon-Fri 07.00am to 15.30pm

My Vaccine Pass required

Only staff wearing ID badges and members of the public who show their My Vaccine Pass as evidence of full vaccination can be served.

PeaBerry, Waipapa

Mon-Fri 07.00am to 15.30pm

My Vaccine Pass required

Only staff wearing ID badges and members of the public who show their My Vaccine Pass as evidence of full vaccination can be served.

Parkside Café

Mon-Fri 07.30am to 15.00pm

My Vaccine Pass required

Only staff wearing ID badges and members of the public who show their My Vaccine Pass as evidence of full vaccination can be served.

Christchurch Women’s Hospital Café

Mon-Fri 07.30am to 15.00pm *Take-away only

No My Vaccine Pass checks

Contactless pick-up only – no seating

Ashburton Hospital Café

Open 08.00am to 15.30pm

No My Vaccine Pass checks

Staff only

Hillmorton Avon Café

Open 08.00am to 15.00pm

Vaccine Pass checks

Staff + consumers who are accompanied by a staff member

Burwood Travis Courtyard Café

Open 08.00am to 15.30pm

My Vaccine Pass Required

Only inpatients, staff wearing ID badges and approved visitors with a visitor card

Page last updated: 17 March 2022

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