VISITING HOSPITAL

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

Last updated:
13 March 2023

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

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

To keep everybody safe:

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

Thank you in advance for your patience and understanding as our staff work hard to protect and care for some of the most vulnerable in our community.

Visiting patients with COVID-19

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

All of our Hospitals

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

All visitors are recommended to wear a medical face mask.

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

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

More COVID-19 information

Health Warning lifted for Algal Bloom in Waikirikiri-Selwyn River at Whitecliffs

Health Warning lifted for Algal Bloom in Waikirikiri-Selwyn River at Whitecliffs

Health Warning lifted for Algal Bloom in Waikirikiri-Selwyn River at Whitecliffs

Health New Zealand | Te Whatu Ora has lifted its algal bloom health warning issued for the Waikirikiri-Selwyn River at Whitecliffs.

Recent cyanobacteria surveys of the Waikirikiri-Selwyn River at Whitecliffs 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.

Dr Cheryl Brunton, Medical Officer of Health for the National Public Health Service, says Environment Canterbury’s monitoring of Waikirikiri-Selwyn River at Whitecliffs will resume next summer when there is increased likelihood of cyanobacteria growth.

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

Or contact Te Mana Ora | 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/mahingakaifaq.pdf

ENDS

Health Warning lifted for Algal Bloom in Hakatere-Ashburton River at State Highway 1

Health Warning lifted for Algal Bloom in Hakatere-Ashburton River at State Highway 1

Health New Zealand – Te Whatu Ora has lifted its algal bloom health warning issued for the Hakatere-Ashburton River at State Highway 1.

Recent cyanobacteria surveys of the Hakatere-Ashburton 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.

Dr Cheryl Brunton, Medical Officer of Health for the National Public Health Service, says Environment Canterbury’s monitoring of Hakatere-Ashburton River at State Highway 1 will resume next summer when there is increased likelihood of cyanobacteria growth.

Please note that the warning for planktonic cyanobacteria in Lake Hood remains in place due to the volumes of cyanobacteria still present.

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

Or contact Te Mana Ora | 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/mahingakaifaq.pdf

ENDS

Health Warning lifted for Algal Bloom at the South Bank Tributary of the Waiau River above Waiau Bridge

Health Warning lifted for Algal Bloom at the South Bank Tributary of the Waiau River above Waiau Bridge

Health New Zealand – Te Whatu Ora has lifted its algal bloom health warning issued for the South Bank Tributary of the Waiau River above Waiau Bridge.

Recent cyanobacteria surveys of the South Bank Tributary of the Waiau River above Waiau Bridge 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.

Dr Cheryl Brunton, Medical Officer of Health for the National Public Health Service, says Environment Canterbury’s monitoring of South Bank Tributary of the Waiau River above Waiau Bridge has now ceased and will resume next summer when there is increased likelihood of cyanobacteria growth.

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

Or contact Te Mana Ora | 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

Health Warning lifted for Algal Bloom in Pegasus Lake

Health Warning lifted for Algal Bloom in Pegasus Lake

Health New Zealand | Te Whatu Ora has lifted its algal bloom health warning issued for Pegasus Lake.

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.

Waitaha | Canterbury Medical Officer of Health Dr Cheryl Brunton says sampling 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 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

 

Pressure eases at Christchurch Hospital Emergency Department

Pressure eases at Christchurch Hospital Emergency Department

Please attribute comment to Jo Gibbs, Interim Group Director of Operations for Health New Zealand | Te Whatu Ora Canterbury

Pressure eases at Christchurch Hospital Emergency Department

Christchurch Hospital’s Emergency Department (ED) is calmer this morning following an extremely busy day yesterday and last night.

The total number of attendances from midnight Monday to midnight Tuesday was 357. What made yesterday and last night particularly challenging was the large number of very unwell patients all requiring care at the same time – at its peak there were 124 people in the department, it dropped to 107 between 9 and 10pm and 87 at midnight and that is still a large number of unwell people to be looked after. The usual number of patients at midnight is 40-60. 

As at 8.30am this morning there were 34 patients being looked after in the Emergency Department.

Last night the admission rate was 32% – which means almost a third of all people coming to ED were so sick that they needed to be admitted to hospital.  There was no particular cause or common reasons for admissions or the high acuity – the only trend yesterday and last night was that there were a lot of medical, rather than surgical admissions.

We’d like to thank everyone for their patience, as some people had to wait longer than we would like. Our admission rate has reduced slightly to 30% this morning, however the wider hospital is still very busy at 104% occupancy.

Despite the busyness, we are here for anyone who needs emergency care, and people shouldn’t hesitate to call 111 if it’s an emergency.

Special thanks to our staff who coped admirably with the unexpected high numbers of patients last night and thanks too to those who sought alternative care and health advice – there are a range of options available to people, and we are grateful when people choose well, and utilise one of the many options available after hours where this is appropriate and convenient for them.

ENDS

 

Christchurch Hospital Emergency Department under significant pressure

Christchurch Hospital Emergency Department under significant pressure

Please attribute comment to Jo Gibbs, Interim Group Director of Operations for Health New Zealand | Te Whatu Ora Canterbury

Christchurch Hospital Emergency Department under significant pressure

Christchurch Hospital’s Emergency Department (ED) is currently experiencing high demand and is extremely busy. There is no single reason for high numbers of patients attending at present, but we are currently seeing patients with a range of complex conditions.

There are more than 100 people being cared for in ED at 9.15pm Tuesday. Christchurch Hospital ED is one of the busiest emergency departments in the country and at its peak has seen up to 430 people in a 24-hour period. The usual number of attendances is between 330 and 370 people every day.  To have more than 100 people being looked after at this time is a large number of unwell people to assess and care for. We expect the high rates of occupancy and presentations will continue through until tomorrow morning (Wednesday).

As always, patients are prioritised soon after arrival and seen in order of urgency.

If it’s not an emergency we encourage you to seek alternative health advice, however if you choose to wait, please be aware that you might be in for a long wait if it’s not an emergency. 

Free health advice is available from a range of providers, including free health advice over the phone by calling Healthline on 0800 611 116 – they are available 24/7 or consider a virtual telehealth consultation with a registered New Zealand health practitioner for non-urgent health issues https://healthify.nz/apps/v/virtual-consult-apps/ 

https://info.health.nz/ is a trusted source of easy to use health information.

If you live in or are visiting a rural area, you can try Ka Ora, a new telehealth service for those in rural area – including Ashburton. Call Ka Ora on 0800 252 672 – you can have a virtual appointment with a clinician the same day. Fees may apply. 

Anyone experiencing a medical emergency should still call 111 immediately.

Thank you for keeping the Emergency Department free for those who have no alternative and need life-saving emergency care. And thank you for your patience if you do have an extended wait, we know if can be stressful and frustrating if you’re not feeling well.

More options for people with non-urgent health problems are listed below:

ENDS

Health Warning lifted for Algal Bloom in Ashley River above Rangiora-Loburn Bridge

Health Warning lifted for Algal Bloom in Ashley River above Rangiora-Loburn Bridge

Health New Zealand |Te Whatu Ora has lifted its algal bloom health warning issued for the Ashley River above Rangiora-Loburn Bridge. This was issued on 20/12/2023.

Recent cyanobacteria surveys of the Ashley River above Rangiora-Loburn Bridge 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.

Dr Cheryl Brunton, Medical Officer of Health for National Public Health Service, says Environment Canterbury’s monitoring of Ashley River above Rangiora-Loburn Bridge will continue to the end of this summer and then will resume next summer when there is increased likelihood of cyanobacteria growth.

The warning(s) to remain out of the following waterway(s) due to ongoing algal blooms is/are still 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 details visit: https://www.lawa.org.nz/explore-data/canterbury-region/

Or contact Te Mana Ora | 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

Health Warning – Algal Bloom in Ashburton River/Hakatere SH1

Health Warning – Algal Bloom in Ashburton River/Hakatere SH1

Health New Zealand |Te Whatu Ora has issued a health warning for Ashburton River/Hakatere SH1.

The warning follows finding moderate to high cover of potentially toxic algae (benthic cyanobacteria) in the Ashburton River/Hakatere SH1.

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

There are also other access points along the Ashburton River/Hakatere SH1 that may have benthic cyanobacteria present. People are advised to treat every low-flowing river cautiously, check for the presence of benthic cyanobacteria and avoid contact.

Dr Cheryl Brunton, Medical Officer of Health for National Public Health Service, says the algae look like dark brown to black mats and can produce toxins harmful to people and animals.

“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, also let your doctor know if you’ve had contact with dark brown/black algal mats or water in this area”, Dr Brunton says.

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

People and animals should remain out of the waterways until the warnings have been lifted.

Environment Canterbury is monitoring the sites and the public will be advised of any changes in water quality.

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

Or contact Te Mana Ora | 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

Health Warning lifted for Algal Bloom in Selwyn River at the Upper Huts

Health Warning lifted for Algal Bloom in Selwyn River at the Upper Huts

Health New Zealand |Te Whatu Ora has lifted its algal bloom health warning issued for the Selwyn River at the Upper Huts. The health warning was issued on 17 January 2024 and is lifted as of 26 February 2024.

Recent cyanobacteria surveys of the Selwyn River at the Upper Huts have 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.

Dr Cheryl Brunton, Medical Officer of Health for National Public Health Service, says Environment Canterbury’s monitoring of Selwyn River at the Upper Huts will continue to the end of this summer and then will resume next summer when there is increased likelihood of cyanobacteria growth.

Facts about cyanobacteria:

  1. Appears as dark brown/black mats attached to rocks along the riverbed.
  2. 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).
  3. It often has a strong musty smell and algal toxin concentrations can vary over short periods.
  4. Although high river levels will remove the algal bloom, detached mats can accumulate along the shore and increase the risk of exposure to toxins.
  5. If a health warning is in place avoid contact with the water.
  6. 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 details visit: https://www.lawa.org.nz/explore-data/canterbury-region/

Or contact Te Mana Ora | 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

Smoke from Fire at Worsleys Road near Cracroft, Christchurch – Public Health Warning

Smoke from Fire at Worsleys Road near Cracroft, Christchurch – Public Health Warning

Te Whatu Ora has issued a public health warning for smoke from the fire located near Cracroft, Christchurch.

Air around this location is smoky and there is potential that people who are sensitive to smoke – such as those with heart or lung conditions, people who are pregnant, young children and the elderly – may experience symptoms like coughing, shortness of breath or eye, nose and throat irritation.

Dr Matt Reid, Medical Officer of Health for the National Public Health Service says exposure to smoke can worsen pre-existing health conditions such as heart and lung disease.

“People affected by the smoke should close windows and doors and reduce outdoor exercise”.

The experience of being exposed to an event like a fire can be distressing and it’s normal to feel anxious in situations like this. If you are feeling anxious or just need someone to talk to, you can call or text 1737 any time and you can speak to (or text) a trained counsellor free of charge or call Healthline on 0800 611 116.

If you see or smell smoke outside, you should stay inside if it is safe to do so.

Remember to:

  • Keep your windows and doors shut
  • Switch your air conditioning to ‘recirculate’
  • Air out your house when the smoke clears
  • Look out for children, older people, and others at risk
  • Keep pets inside with clean water and food. Keep pets’ bedding inside if possible.

ENDS

For further information, contact:

Karen Berry
Public Health Communications Lead, Te Waipounamu
National Public Health Service
Te Whatu Ora – Health New Zealand
021 139 7442
kberry@scdhb.health.nz

Waitaha Canterbury Pānui - Monday 5 February 2024In this edition of Te Whatu Ora Waitaha | Canterbury Pānui

In Pānui this week we welcome 338 new graduate nurses – the largest group of graduates to date across the Waitaha Canterbury Health System. The new nurses are employed in a range of roles across the sector, including 132 at Te Whatu Ora.

We say farewell to Regional Director Hospital and Specialist Services Te Waipounamu Dan Pallister-Coward, and acknowledge the retirement of Professor Justin Roake, vascular and transplant surgeon and Professor of Surgery at the University of Otago, Christchurch.

We also have the story of Bryan Clarke, an artist and long-term patient of Ward B6 at Christchurch Hospital who donated several of his artworks to the ward, and who sadly passed away last week. And in One minute with … we profile Team Leader Health Protection Officer Jimmy Wong.

You can read the Te Whatu Ora Waitaha | Canterbury Pānui in two different formats:

View on issuu.com Download PDF (8MB)

Stay cool and well this summer - picture of a beach and sun umbrella

Stay cool this Waitangi Day Cantabrians – Drink plenty of water, stay in cool places out of the sun, wear light, loose cotton clothing.

Cantabrians away on a long weekend and celebrating Waitangi Day are being urged to keep cool and hydrated during the anticipated spell of soaring temperatures expected to sweep through the region.

Hot weather is forecast for Monday 5 and Tuesday 6 February with temperatures predicted to get to a maximum of 33 degrees.

Dr Ramon Pink, Canterbury Medical Officer of Health, says while we may welcome a run of hot weather the heat can affect us all and overheating is a condition that can prove fatal.

“It's especially important to stay out of the sun where possible, avoid extreme physical exertion, and ensure pets and people are not left alone in stationary cars.

“While we are all vulnerable to hot temperatures, some people are particularly at risk. This includes the elderly, infants and children, women who are pregnant, people suffering from chronic, acute and severe illness,” says Dr Pink.

There are some simple steps that we can all take to reduce the risk to our health when the temperatures are high. They include:

  • Avoiding going outside during the hottest time of the day
  • Drinking plenty of water and avoiding alcohol and caffeine
  • Wearing lightweight, loose-fitting, light-coloured cotton clothes

Dr Pink says people whose work involves strenuous physical activity outdoors should be particularly vigilant to avoid overheating in hot weather.

“It’s important people exposed to hot weather for long periods of time carry water with them and sip at least half a litre an hour, allow for more breaks in the shade, reapply sunscreen every two hours, and schedule the hardest work in the coolest part of the day.

“As well as being SunSmart (Slip, Slop, Slap & Wrap) if you have to go outside, everyone is advised to keep their houses cool by closing curtains on windows getting direct sun, opening windows to get a breeze if it's cooler out than in, and consider using the cool cycle on heat pumps,” says Dr Pink.

If it’s not possible to keep your home cool, you should look to spend a few hours of the day in a cool place e.g. an air-conditioned public building, Marae, or church, all of which tend to be cool in summer.

People should keep medicines below 25 degrees Celsius or in the refrigerator (read the storage instructions on the packaging).

If you feel dizzy, weak, or have an intense thirst or headache you may be dehydrated. Drink some water and rest in a cool place. If your symptoms persist or you’re concerned about your health, or someone else's, seek medical advice.

Remember you can call Healthline  24/7 for free health advice on 0800 611 116.  If you need to be seen, they can tell you what to do and where to go if you need to be seen urgently.

ENDS

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

 

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

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

Te Whatu Ora 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.

The type of cyanobacteria that is currently present in high concentrations is Planktonic cyanobacteria in bright green paint-like blooms.

Dr Ramon Pink, Medical Officer of Health for National Public Health Service, 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 Ramon Pink.

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 them 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 Ramon Pink.

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

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

Or contact the Canterbury Public Health team 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

Smoke from fire at North Canterbury locations – Public Health Warning

Smoke from fire at North Canterbury locations – Public Health Warning

Te Whatu Ora has issued a public health warning for smoke from the fires located on Racecourse Road in Amberley and on Loburn Whiterock Road near Loburn.

Air around these locations is smoky and there is potential that people who are sensitive to smoke – such as those with heart or lung conditions, pregnant women, young children and the elderly – may experience symptoms like coughing, shortness of breath or eye, nose and throat irritation.

Dr Matt Reid, Canterbury Medical Officer of Health, National Public Health Service says exposure to smoke can worsen pre-existing health conditions such as asthma, heart disease and lung disease.

“People affected by the smoke should close windows and doors and reduce outdoor exercise.”

The experience of being exposed to an event like a fire can be distressing and it’s normal to feel anxious in situations like this. If you are feeling anxious or just need someone to talk to, you can call or text 1737 any time and you can speak to (or text) a trained counsellor free of charge or call Healthline on 0800 611 116.

If you see or smell smoke outside, you should stay inside if it is safe to do so.

Remember to:

  • Keep your windows and doors shut.
  • Switch your air conditioning to ‘recirculate’.
  • Air out your house when the smoke clears.
  • Look out for children, older people, and others at risk.
  • Keep pets inside with clean water and food. Keep pets’ bedding inside if possible.

For further information, contact:

communications@cdhb.health.nz

ENDS

Stay cool and well this summer - picture of a beach and sun umbrella

Stay cool and well this summer – Drink plenty of water, stay in cool places out of the sun, wear light, loose cotton clothing

Cantabrians are being urged to keep cool and hydrated during what looks set to be a stretch of scorching temperatures hitting the region.

Hot weather is forecast for Friday 19 January and Saturday 20 January with temperatures predicted to get to a maximum of 32 degrees.

Dr Matt Reid, Canterbury Medical Officer of Health, says while we may welcome a run of hot weather the heat can affect us all and overheating is a condition that can prove fatal.

“It's especially important to stay out of the sun where possible, avoid extreme physical exertion, and ensure pets and people are not left alone in stationary cars.

“While we are all vulnerable to hot temperatures, some people are particularly at risk. This includes the elderly, infants and children, women who are pregnant, people suffering from chronic, acute and severe illness,” says Dr Reid.

There are some simple steps that we can all take to reduce the risk to our health when the temperatures are high. They include:

  • Avoiding going outside during the hottest time of the day
  • Drinking plenty of water and avoiding alcohol and caffeine
  • Wearing lightweight, loose-fitting, light-coloured cotton clothes

Dr Matt Reid says people whose work involves strenuous physical activity outdoors should be particularly vigilant to avoid overheating in hot weather.

“It’s important people exposed to hot weather for long periods of time carry water with them and sip at least half a litre an hour, allow for more breaks in the shade, reapply sunscreen every two hours, and schedule the hardest work in the coolest part of the day.

“As well as being SunSmart (Slip, Slop, Slap & Wrap) if you have to go outside, everyone is advised to keep their houses cool by closing curtains on windows getting direct sun, opening windows to get a breeze if it's cooler out than in, and consider using the cool cycle on heat pumps,” says Dr Reid.

If it’s not possible to keep your home cool, you should look to spend a few hours of the day in a cool place e.g. an air-conditioned public building, Marae, or church, all of which tend to be cool in summer.

People should keep medicines below 25 degrees Celsius or in the refrigerator (read the storage instructions on the packaging).

If you feel dizzy, weak, or have an intense thirst or headache you may be dehydrated. Drink some water and rest in a cool place. If your symptoms persist or you’re concerned about your health, or someone else's, seek medical advice.

Remember you can call Healthline  24/7 for free health advice on 0800 611 116.  If you need to be seen, they can tell you what to do and where to go if you need to be seen urgently.

ENDS

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

 

Health Warning – Algal Bloom in Waikirikiri-Selwyn River at the Upper Huts

Health Warning – Algal Bloom in Waikirikiri-Selwyn River at the Upper Huts

Te Whatu Ora has issued a health warning for Waikirikiri-Selwyn River at the Upper Huts.

The warning follows finding moderate to high cover of potentially toxic algae (benthic cyanobacteria) in the Waikirikiri-Selwyn River.

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

There are also other access points along the Waikirikiri-Selwyn River that may have benthic cyanobacteria present. People are advised to treat every low-flowing river cautiously, check for the presence of benthic cyanobacteria and avoid contact.

Dr Ramon Pink, Medical Officer of Health, National Public Health Service, says the algae look like dark brown to black mats and can produce toxins harmful to people and animals.

“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, also let your doctor know if you’ve had contact with dark brown/black algal mats or water in this area”, Dr Pink says.

Pets that show signs of illness after coming into contact with algal mats should be taken to a vet immediately. People and animals should remain out of the waterways until the warnings have been lifted. Environment Canterbury is monitoring the sites and the public will be advised of any changes in water quality.

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

Or contact the Canterbury Public Health team 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

Stay cool and well this summer - picture of a beach and sun umbrella

Stay cool and well this summer – Drink plenty of water, stay in cool places out of the sun, wear light, loose cotton clothing

Cantabrians are being urged to keep cool and hydrated during what looks set to be a stretch of scorching temperatures hitting the region this week.

Hot weather is forecast for Thursday 11 January with temperatures predicted to get to a maximum of 32 degrees.

Dr Matt Reid, Canterbury Medical Officer of Health, says while we may welcome a run of hot weather the heat can affect us all and overheating is a condition that can prove fatal.

“It's especially important to stay out of the sun where possible, avoid extreme physical exertion, and ensure pets and people are not left alone in stationary cars.

“While we are all vulnerable to hot temperatures, some people are particularly at risk. This includes the elderly, infants and children, women who are pregnant, people suffering from chronic, acute and severe illness,” says Dr Reid.

There are some simple steps that we can all take to reduce the risk to our health when the temperatures are high. They include:

  • Avoiding going outside during the hottest time of the day
  • Drinking plenty of water and avoiding alcohol and caffeine
  • Wearing lightweight, loose-fitting, light-coloured cotton clothes

Dr Matt Reid says people whose work involves strenuous physical activity outdoors should be particularly vigilant to avoid overheating in hot weather.

“It’s important people exposed to hot weather for long periods of time carry water with them and sip at least half a litre an hour, allow for more breaks in the shade, reapply sunscreen every two hours, and schedule the hardest work in the coolest part of the day.

“As well as being SunSmart (Slip, Slop, Slap & Wrap) if you have to go outside, everyone is advised to keep their houses cool by closing curtains on windows getting direct sun, opening windows to get a breeze if it's cooler out than in, and consider using the cool cycle on heat pumps,” says Dr Reid.

If it’s not possible to keep your home cool, you should look to spend a few hours of the day in a cool place e.g. an air-conditioned public building, Marae, or church, all of which tend to be cool in summer.

People should keep medicines below 25 degrees Celsius or in the refrigerator (read the storage instructions on the packaging).

If you feel dizzy, weak, or have an intense thirst or headache you may be dehydrated. Drink some water and rest in a cool place. If your symptoms persist or you’re concerned about your health, or someone else's, seek medical advice.

Remember you can call Healthline  24/7 for free health advice on 0800 611 116.  If you need to be seen, they can tell you what to do and where to go if you need to be seen urgently.

ENDS

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

 

Serving up a festive treat for Canterbury patients

If you thought planning and cooking a Christmas meal for the whānau was a big undertaking, spare a thought for Te Whatu Ora’s Canterbury WellFood team who are busy prepping for the more than 1000 Christmas meals they’ll be plating up for patients who find themselves in one of Canterbury’s hospitals on Christmas Day.

WellFood staff are also busy preparing ‘meals on wheels’ that will be served throughout the community on Christmas Day.

The Christmas menu across our hospitals is going to be a cracker.

For lunch at Christchurch Hospital, patients can choose from manuka smoked ham or a vegetable frittata, served with both potato and Greek salads with a dessert option of our classic pavlova with passionfruit and strawberry.

For dinner at Christchurch Hospital, patients can enjoy succulent roast chicken with stuffing and cranberry sauce served with new potatoes and steamed vegetables accompanied by steamed pudding with custard.

The Hillmorton campus Christmas lunch menu includes the options of glazed ham with mustard, roast chicken, or vegetarian strudel with baby carrots and peas and buttered potatoes and pavlova or fresh fruits for dessert. For dinner, patients can choose their own Christmas rolls with various filling options of assorted meats, falafel, and more.

“The festive season is a special time for many and it can be hard for patients and their families being in hospital and away from home on Christmas,” says Rachel Cadle, General Manager, Commercial Services.

“That’s why our teams across Canterbury work hard every year to create a very special menu for patients that will taste and feel just a little bit like home.”

Rachel Cadle says there will be around 70 staff working in the kitchens, as well as the catering assistants who take orders and serve the food in the hospital wards.

“The service we provide continues 365 days per year, without any let up in demand.”

“We haven’t forgotten the teams who will be working on Christmas Day either. Many of our hospital staff will be at work while their families are celebrating Christmas, so we have some special treats planned for them as well,” says Rachel Cadle.

ENDS

Go Well this summer

Go Well this summer Cantabrians

Now that summer’s here, it’s important to be prepared and understand how COVID- 19 and other illnesses might affect your holiday break.

“We want you to have a safe summer this year,” says Becky Hickmott, Waitaha Senior Responsible Officer for System Pressures, Te Whatu Ora.

“Please stay home if you are sick, have symptoms of COVID-19, or test positive for COVID-19.”

“If you’re going to be away from home, consider taking Rapid Antigen Tests (RATs), hand sanitiser, masks or face coverings, and your usual medications. Remember RAT tests can be ordered for free from a pharmacy. You can find a list of pharmacies at www.cdhb.health.nz/your-health/covid-19-tests/

“If you catch COVID-19 on holiday consider using antiviral medication, which is free for those of you who fit the eligibility criteria,” says Becky Hickmott. 

And remember if your summer of fun turns to a summer of glum, you can call Healthline 24/7 for free health advice around the clock.

Before you head off on holiday be sure to load Healthline’s number into your mobile phone, because when your GP’s doors are closed and the lights are out, a team of staff are ready to take your call – any time of day or night, including public holidays.

You can also call Healthline if you’re not sure where to go, they know what’s open around the motu. Phone 0800 611 116 – calls are answered 24/7 and they have translators available.

A new rural after-hours virtual telehealth service providing virtual GP consultations is now available for eligible rural communities. People can access the service by calling 0800 2 KA ORA (0800 252 672) *fees apply for some people.

If you are heading away, make sure you pack an extended supply of your regular medications.

Emergency Departments throughout New Zealand often run at capacity, especially over the festive season. Keep EDs free for those who need emergency care. In a life-threatening emergency, call 111.

You might also like to try a virtual consultation 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 virtual care providers on healthify.nz.

For wellbeing support, free call or text 1737 any time, 24 hours a day. You can also call Lifeline at 0800 543354 or text HELP at 4357. Visit the All Sorts website to find ways to boost your wellbeing this summer.

Information for visitors to Christchurch

If you get sick after arriving in Christchurch, you can seek free health advice from Healthline at 0800 611 116 .

Visitors in rural areas can also access KA ORA, a new rural after-hours virtual telehealth service providing virtual GP consultations. People can access the service by calling 0800 2 KA ORA (0800 252 672) *fees apply for some people.

There are three Urgent Care Clinics in Canterbury – please note hours may vary – check their websites for opening hours.

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.

ENDS

 

 

Health Warning – Algal Bloom in Rakahuri | Ashley River at Rangiora-Loburn Bridge

Health Warning – Algal Bloom in Rakahuri | Ashley River at Rangiora-Loburn Bridge

Te Mana Ora | Community and Public Health has issued a health warning for Rakahuri | Ashley River at Rangiora-Loburn Bridge.

The warning follows finding moderate to high cover of potentially toxic algae (benthic cyanobacteria) in the Rakahuri | Ashley River at Rangiora-Loburn Bridge.

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

There are also other access points along the Rakahuri | Ashley River that may have benthic cyanobacteria present. People are advised to treat every low-flowing river cautiously, check for the presence of benthic cyanobacteria and avoid contact.

Dr Matt Reid, Medical Officer of Health for Te Mana Ora, National Public Health Service, says the algae look like dark brown to black mats and can produce toxins harmful to people and animals.

“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, also let your doctor know if you’ve had contact with dark brown/black algal mats or water in this area”, Dr Matt Reid says.

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

People and animals should remain out of the waterways until the warnings have been lifted.

Environment Canterbury is monitoring the sites and the public will be advised of any changes in water quality.

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 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

Media contact: communications@cdhb.health.nz

 

 

Health Warning – Algal Bloom in the Waikirikiri-Selwyn River at Glentunnel

Health Warning – Algal Bloom in the Waikirikiri-Selwyn River at Glentunnel

Health Warning – Algal Bloom in the Waikirikiri-Selwyn River at Glentunnel

Te Mana Ora | Community and Public Health has issued a health warning for the Waikirikiri-Selwyn River at Glentunnel.

The warning follows finding moderate to high cover of potentially toxic algae (benthic cyanobacteria) in the Waikirikiri-Selwyn River at Glentunnel.

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

There are also other access points along the Waikirikiri-Selwyn River at Glentunnel that may have benthic cyanobacteria present. People are advised to treat every low-flowing river cautiously, check for the presence of benthic cyanobacteria, and avoid contact.

Dr Cheryl Brunton, Medical Officer of Health for Te Mana Ora, National Public Health Service, says the algae look like dark brown to black mats and can produce toxins harmful to people and animals.

“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, also let your doctor know if you’ve had contact with dark brown/black algal mats or water in this area”, Dr Brunton says.

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

People and animals should remain out of the waterways until the warnings have been lifted.

Environment Canterbury is monitoring the sites and the public will be advised of any changes in water quality.

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 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

 

 

Health Warning – Algal Bloom in Rakahuri/Ashley River at SH1

Health Warning – Algal Bloom in Rakahuri/Ashley River at SH1

Health Warning – Algal Bloom in Rakahuri/Ashley River at SH1

Te Mana Ora | Community and Public Health has issued a health warning for Rakahuri/Ashley River at SH1.

The warning follows finding moderate to high cover of potentially toxic algae (benthic cyanobacteria) in the Rakahuri/Ashley River at SH1.

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

There are also other access points along the Rakahuri/Ashley River that may have benthic cyanobacteria present. People are advised to treat every low-flowing river cautiously, check for the presence of benthic cyanobacteria, and avoid contact.

Dr Cheryl Brunton, Medical Officer of Health for Te Mana Ora, National Public Health Service, says the algae look like dark brown to black mats and can produce toxins harmful to people and animals.

“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, also let your doctor know if you’ve had contact with dark brown/black algal mats or water in this area”, Dr Brunton says.

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

People and animals should remain out of the waterways until the warnings have been lifted.

Environment Canterbury is monitoring the sites and the public will be advised of any changes in water quality.

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 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

 

In this edition of Te Whatu Ora Waitaha | Canterbury Pānui

Today we celebrate our pharmacists on World Pharmacists Day. Pharmacists in Aotearoa New Zealand play a crucial role in strengthening our health system and we greatly appreciate them for their expert advice and knowledge. 

We also learn about the Women’s and Children’s leadership team's visit to Kaikōura where they met with the community to understand more about their needs and what we can do better. There was heavy sweating and lots of fun at South Hagley Park last Saturday where kaimahi of Ward B7 danced, ran, cycled, skated, and walked laps to raise money for children with cystic fibrosis (CF), and Enrolled Nurse Wendy Winter celebrates 45 years in nursing.

Also, in this edition, there is information about voting in the general elections for patients and consumers. We share some more spring images, and the quiz tests your knowledge of some classic New Zealand movies.

You can read the Te Whatu Ora Waitaha | Canterbury Pānui in two different formats:

View on issuu.com Download PDF (8MB)

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 Whatu Ora Waitaha is asking people to urgently return walking frames and any items of medical equipment they have borrowed but no longer need.

“Anyone who borrowed equipment and has forgotten to return it – no matter how long ago – is asked to give it back, no questions asked,” says Jacqui Lunday Johnstone, Canterbury Executive Director of Allied Health, Scientific and Technical.

“We are running low on walking frames that we issue to patients from Christchurch Hospital and Burwood Hospital.

“Sometimes people unintentionally overlook returning borrowed equipment or store it away and forget about it. However, this can deprive another patient in need of the equipment or result in delays in their discharge from the hospital.

“If we don’t get some of this equipment back there will be an impact on discharges over the busy winter months. If anyone has any equipment that’s sitting unused and unneeded in their home or garage, please return it to Christchurch or Burwood Hospitals.”

If you run an op shop or a second-hand store and are donated any of our equipment (which will be clearly labelled as either Te Whatu Ora or Canterbury DHB property), please also bring it back to one of the drop off locations.

To drop off at Christchurch Hospital:

Come in through the main entrance off Riccarton Avenue. Drive past the Emergency Department entrance (on your left) and down the ramp in the lower ground car park. Drive around the carpark back towards the exit. There is a trolley on the left near the double doors where you can leave the equipment.

To drop off at Burwood Hospital:

Occupational therapy department, Physical Medicine Building, Gate 3, Mairehau Road, Burwood.

Please label the equipment with the borrower’s name.

Equipment includes (but is not limited to):

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.

Christchurch Hospital’s Emergency Department under significant pressure.

The Emergency Department at Christchurch Hospital is currently under significant pressure.

Yesterday the ED team saw 412 people in a 24-hour period – this is a record number of presentations.

“As is always the case in ED, people who need care more urgently will be seen sooner and will get the care they need – those with less urgent conditions will have to wait, and currently the waiting times are longer than usual,” says Richard French, Canterbury’s Chief Medical Officer.

“If you don’t need emergency care, 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.  You can also call your usual general practice or speak to your local pharmacist for health advice.”

“There is no single condition causing the high demand, it is a range of illnesses affecting the community.”

“Although we are asking for your help in reducing demand, if you are really unwell we do still want to see you. I apologise to those who are having to wait and understand that this can be particularly distressing when you are unwell,” Dr French says.

There are a number of options available if you have a non-urgent health problem and can't get in to see your general practice team.

A reminder, if you have a life-threatening emergency, do not hesitate, call 111.

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.

Artist’s impression of the postnatal room featuring Three Kings Vine (Tecomanthe Speciosa) design.

Artist’s impression of the postnatal room featuring Three Kings Vine (Tecomanthe Speciosa) design.

Kurawaka Waipapa, Canterbury’s new central city birthing unit, will boast a unique and purposeful interior design that reflects the values of our community.

The interior design of Kurawaka is inspired by natural birthing practices, cultural awareness, whānau/family experience, and inclusiveness. The themes also include New Zealand flora and fauna, regional landmarks, and sustainability.

“Everything that whānau see while walking through the centre has been carefully selected to contribute meaningfully to the narrative of Kurawaka, including colour, fabric, texture, design, and artwork,” says Norma Campbell, Executive Director of Midwifery and Maternity Services.

“The driving dynamic was to create a ‘safe’ place, where those giving birth and their whānau could share a special experience in a special place.”

The centre's home-like finishes and features, such as welcoming lounges and kitchens, comfortable furniture, timber floors, sound-absorbing carpets and wall panelling, and hand-printed NZ wallpapers, create a warm and distinctly non-clinical atmosphere. The centre will also feature a collection of upbeat art prints from well-known New Zealand artists.

Other inspirations include the Three Kings Vine (Tecomanthe Speciosa) design used for curtains in the postnatal bedrooms, based on a very rare New Zealand plant species which was saved from extinction and tells a story of new life.

The custom wallpaper mural in the reception area called ‘Constellations of the Skies Over the Southern Hemisphere’ captures the positions, shapes, and names of significant constellations over New Zealand. The Ripeka wallpaper in the whānau room is a contemporary twist on traditional Māori designs and patterns which enables a sense of whanaungatanga (everyone belongs).

“For whānau expecting the arrival of a baby in Canterbury, Kurawaka will be an amazing birthing option for our healthy māmā and a place where special memories are made,” says Norma.

The contractors have now completed the drainage and waterproofing works. They are starting to construct the walls, with the installation of cabling, and pipework to follow.

The estimated completion date for the facility is late 2023. The unit will be located at 238 Antigua Street, a few minutes away from Christchurch Women’s Hospital. 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.

Te Whatu Ora in Waitaha is asking people to urgently return walking frames and any items of medical equipment they have borrowed but no longer need.

“Anyone who borrowed equipment and has forgotten to return it – no matter how long ago – is asked to give it back, no questions asked,” says Jacqui Lunday Johnstone, Executive Director of Allied Health, Scientific and Technical.

“We are running low on walking frames that we issue to patients from Christchurch Hospital and Burwood Hospital.

“Sometimes people unintentionally overlook returning borrowed equipment or store it away and forget about it. However, this can deprive another patient in need of the equipment or result in delays in their discharge from the hospital.

“If we don’t get some of this equipment back there will be an impact on discharges over the busy winter months. If anyone has any equipment that’s sitting unused and unneeded in their home or garage, please return it to Christchurch or Burwood Hospitals.”

To drop off at Christchurch Hospital:

Come in the main entrance off Riccarton Avenue. Drive past the Emergency Department entrance (on your left) and down the ramp in the lower ground car park. Drive around the carpark back towards the exit. There is a trolley on the left near the double doors where you can leave the equipment.

To drop off at Burwood Hospital:

Occupational therapy department, Physical Medicine Building, Gate 3, Mairehau Road, Burwood.

Please label the equipment with the borrower’s name.

Equipment includes (but is not limited to):

 

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 lifted for Algal Bloom in Lake Hood

Health Warning lifted for Algal Bloom in Lake Hood

Health Warning lifted for Algal Bloom in Lake Hood

Te Mana Ora | Community and Public Health has lifted its algal bloom health warning issued for Lake Hood and its canals on 16 March 2023.

Recent water testing at Lake Hood 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 Cheryl Brunton, Medical Officer of Health for Te Mana Ora, National Public Health Service, says Environment Canterbury’s monitoring of Lake Hood will continue on a monthly basis.

“The public will be informed if monitoring 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 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

 

 

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 lifted for Algal Bloom in the Waikirikiri-Selwyn River at the Whitecliffs Picnic Area

Health Warning lifted for Algal Bloom in the Waikirikiri-Selwyn River at the Whitecliffs Picnic Area

Health Warning lifted for Algal Bloom in the Waikirikiri-Selwyn River at the Whitecliffs Picnic Area

Te Mana Ora | Community and Public Health has lifted its algal bloom health warning issued for the Waikirikiri-Selwyn River at the Whitecliffs Picnic Area

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.

Dr Ramon Pink, Medical Officer of Health for Te Mana Ora, National Public Health Service, says Environment Canterbury’s monitoring of the Waikirikiri-Selwyn River will resume next summer when there is increased likelihood of cyanobacteria growth.

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 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

 

 

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 lifted for Algal Bloom in Pegasus Lake

Health Warning lifted for Algal Bloom in Pegasus Lake

Health Warning lifted for Algal Bloom in Pegasus Lake

Te Mana Ora | Community and Public Health has lifted its algal bloom health warning issued for Pegasus Lake

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.

Waitaha | Canterbury Medical Officer of Health Dr Cheryl Brunton says sampling 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 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

 

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 News

Maternity services contract with St George’s Hospital to end

Fionnagh Dougan, National Director, Hospital and Specialist Services has confirmed an agreement has been reached between St George’s Hospital and Te Whatu Ora that its maternity services contract will end on June 30, 2023.

“We would like to thank St George’s Hospital maternity service for their dedication to our community over the years. I know many people in Christchurch have given birth, had a post-natal stay or were born at St Georges themselves and that it has a fond place in the hearts of many,” says Fionnagh Dougan.

“We want to reassure whānau expecting the arrival of a baby in Christchurch that they will always receive the care and support that they need at this special time in their lives, whether that is through our primary birthing units in Rolleston and Rangiora or Christchurch Women’s Hospital. Additionally, our new central city birthing unit in Christchurch, Kurawaka: Waipapa, is due to open in late 2023.”

The new Oromairaki Maternity Unit at the Toka Hāpai (Selwyn Health Hub) opened last year, and construction is well underway on Kurawaka: Waipapa, our new central city birthing unit which will have four birthing rooms, 20 post-natal rooms, two whānau rooms, an education room and six assessment rooms.

“If you are currently hapū and have any concerns, please reach out to your lead maternity carer.”

“While it had been intended that Kurawaka: Waipapa would reduce demand on Christchurch Women’s hospital and that the arrangement with St George’s would continue as a part of the broad offering to whānau in Christchurch, it has become clear through our ongoing discussions that safe staffing and workforce constraints due to the national midwifery shortage mean the service at St George’s is not sustainable.”

“Our maternity service has already picked up care for many of the births and postnatal stays that have traditionally taken place at St George’s and only 10 births and 34 postnatal transfers on average each month have been taking place there recently. To put that in context, over 6000 babies are born in Canterbury each year.” 

More information about our birthing options in Canterbury can be found here

“We hold a strong and valued relationship with the team at St George’s Hospital and we look forward to continuing our partnership through their provision of some hospital and specialist services in the Canterbury region.”

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.

Health Warning lifted for Algal Blooms in Te Roto o Wairewa-Lake Forsyth, Waikirikiri-Selwyn River at Glentunnel and Whitecliffs Domain

Health Warning lifted for Algal Blooms in Te Roto o Wairewa-Lake Forsyth, Waikirikiri-Selwyn River at Glentunnel and Whitecliffs Domain

Health Warning lifted for Algal Blooms in Te Roto o Wairewa-Lake Forsyth, Waikirikiri-Selwyn River at Glentunnel and Whitecliffs Domain

Te Mana Ora | Community and Public Health has lifted its algal bloom health warning issued for Te Roto o Wairewa-Lake Forsyth and the Waikirikiri-Selwyn River at Glentunnel and Whitecliffs Domain.

Recent cyanobacteria surveys of the Waikirikiri-Selwyn River and testing of water in Te Roto o Wairewa-Lake Forsyth has shown the cover of potentially toxic algae (benthic cyanobacteria) in the river and concentrations of potentially toxic algae (planktonic cyanobacteria) in the lake have both reduced and are now below levels that are of concern to public health.

Dr Matthew Reid Medical Officer of Health for Te Mana Ora, National Public Health Service, says Environment Canterbury’s monitoring of Waikirikiri-Selwyn River will resume next summer when there is increased likelihood of cyanobacteria growth.

Te Roto o Wairewa-Lake Forsyth will be monitored monthly through the year.

A health warning remains in place for the Waikirikiri- Selwyn River directly upstream of Whitecliffs Road (at the picnic area).

Benthic Cyanobacteria in Rivers

  • 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.

Planktonic Cyanobacteria in Lakes

  • 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

 

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.

A render of the new third tower to be constructed on the east end of the Waipapa building

Construction has begun on new inpatient wards at Christchurch Hospital, a key milestone for the Waipapa Building project.

“Handing the site over to contractors to begin building work is an exciting stage for any infrastructure project,” says Dr Rob Ojala, Canterbury Executive Director of Infrastructure.

“The new tower signals a firm commitment to the provision of modern, fit-for-purpose inpatient wards for the region. It will provide 160 beds in total, with 64 available as soon as it opens. Fit-out of the remaining floors of shelled space, with a capacity of 96 beds, will be the next stage of the development.”

The tower is a continuation of the campus redevelopment works which saw the completion of the Waipapa Acute Services Building, comprising two towers, in 2020. The budget for this stage of the development is $184 million, which includes almost $30 million for enabling works that have been underway since 2022.

At 62,000 square metres in total, the Waipapa Acute Services Building is currently the South Island’s largest hospital building, and the additional tower will add a further 16,000 square metres.

The construction of the six storeys on the eastern end of the existing Waipapa building will match the footprint, façade, and internal design of the current towers.

Seismic strengthening and resilience to withstand earthquakes and provide health services immediately post-disaster is an integral part of the design, along with features such as increased airflow and the ability to separate wards if needed for a future pandemic.

“Ensuring new hospital buildings are fit-for-purpose and future-proofed is always an essential part of the design process,” says Dr Ojala.

It is anticipated that the third tower will be completed by quarter 3, 2025.

Work is also progressing well on the redevelopment of the Parkside building wards on the Christchurch Hospital campus. These wards are some of the few remaining in the country to have six beds. Each of the four wards being refurbished are being reconfigured to have four multi-bed rooms, with a separate toilet and shower.

 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.

Health Warning – Algal Bloom in Waikirikiri/ Selwyn River at Whitecliffs Picnic Area

Health Warning – Algal Bloom in Waikirikiri/ Selwyn River at Whitecliffs Picnic Area

Health Warning – Algal Bloom in Waikirikiri/ Selwyn River at Whitecliffs Picnic Area

Te Mana Ora | Community and Public Health has issued a health warning for Waikirikiri/ Selwyn River at Whitecliffs Picnic Area.

The warning follows finding moderate to high cover of potentially toxic algae (benthic cyanobacteria) in the Waikirikiri/ Selwyn River.

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

There are also other access points along the Waikirikiri/ Selwyn River that may have benthic cyanobacteria present. People are advised to treat every low-flowing river cautiously, check for the presence of benthic cyanobacteria and avoid contact.

Dr Cheryl Brunton, Medical Officer of Health for Te Mana Ora, National Public Health Service, says the algae look like dark brown to black mats and can produce toxins harmful to people and animals.

“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, also let your doctor know if you’ve had contact with dark brown/black algal mats or water in this area”, Dr Brunton says.

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

People and animals should remain out of the waterways until the warnings have been lifted.

Environment Canterbury is monitoring the sites and the public will be advised of any changes in water quality.

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 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

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.

Christchurch Hospital power outage – staff reverted to tried and true ‘hands on’ care

From 8.24pm – 9.19pm on Friday 3 February a network power outage caused a power cut to Christchurch Hospital. The hospital has a system of generators that usually start automatically when there is a power outage. The generators worked as they should for Christchurch Women’s Hospital, but they didn’t automatically connect to Christchurch Hospital systems last night. This is an extremely rare occurrence and why this didn’t occur is what our teams are currently looking into.

During the 55 minute outage there was a total of 478 patients in Christchurch Hospital, including 96 in ED. All were well supported and cared for.

All systems were back up and running on mains power before midnight last night.

During the power cut there was no access to phones, computers and some electronic patient monitoring and support equipment. Some staff reverted back to basics to do patient observations, such as taking a patient’s pulse manually; patient notes were written on paper and the hospital tannoy system was used to broadcast updates within the hospital, along with many senior staff becoming ‘runners’ between wards conveying information.

Whiteboards and pen and paper were also used to record patient information during the outage, and this information was transferred onto the electronic systems when the power was restored.

Interim Hospital and Specialist Services Lead for Waitaha, Lisa Blacker said staff clocked up some significant ‘steps’ during the course of the outage, as face to face communication became the main communication channel between departments.

“I am so proud and impressed with the way staff took things in their stride, and remained calm throughout the outage,” Lisa said. “We were well prepared and have systems in place for a power outage.” 

As the patient call bell system was impacted, clinical staff were walking through the wards checking in on patients. Essential equipment such as ventilators, ECG machines, cardiac defibrillators all have a battery back-up and continued working as they should.  In addition there’s mobile battery powered equipment to record blood pressure and pulse.

“There was one patient whose surgery was safely completed just as the power cut hit. In addition, another patient was about to have a procedure which was deferred until after the power came back on.  Critical clinical areas had battery-powered emergency lighting, while some non-clinical areas used torches. Thankfully there was still some natural light when the power first went out.

“We had alternative operating theatres in Christchurch Women’s and Parkside that could have been used if needed for an emergency.

The Christchurch hospital team is grateful to St John who cared for patients in ambulances outside ED and to St John staff who helped triage people arriving at ED. Across town, our partners at the 24 Hour Surgery assisted by bringing in additional staff to provide care for those with urgent health care needs.

“Our staff did a magnificent job of keeping patients updated and wards and patients were calm during the outage. Everyone was well supported, continued to receive care and most importantly were kept safe,” Lisa Blackler said.

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 Whatu Ora’s Canterbury WellFood team who are busy prepping for the more than 1000 Christmas meals.

WellFood staff getting ready for Christmas at Burwood Hospital.

If you thought planning and cooking a Christmas meal for the whānau was a big undertaking, spare a thought for Te Whatu Ora’s Canterbury WellFood team who are busy prepping for the more than 1000 Christmas meals they’ll be plating up for patients who find themselves in one of Canterbury’s hospitals on Christmas Day.

WellFood staff are also busy preparing ‘meals on wheels’ that will be served throughout the community on Christmas Day.

The Christmas menu across our hospitals is going to be a cracker.

For lunch, patients can choose from succulent chicken, roast beef or vegetarian lasagne, accompanied by roast vegetables with a dessert option of our classic pavlova or delicious Christmas pudding.

For dinner a picnic tea, including yummy Christmas ham, will be served and accompanied by mini Christmas mince pies, rum balls and fruit.

Christmas cake and mini mince pies will be served for morning and afternoon tea.

“The festive season is a special time for many and it can be hard for patients and their families being in hospital and away from home on Christmas,” says Rachel Cadle, General Manager, Commercial Services.

“That’s why our teams across Canterbury work hard every year to create a very special menu for patients that will taste and feel just a little bit like home.”

Rachel Cadle says there will be around 120 staff working in the kitchens, as well as the catering assistants who take orders and serve the food on the hospital wards.

“The service we provide continues 365 days per year, without any let up in demand.”

“We haven’t forgotten the teams who will be working on Christmas Day either. Many of our hospital staff will be at work while their families are celebrating Christmas, so we have some special treats planned for them as well,” says Rachel Cadle.

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.

Some things aren't welcome in this pool. Please stay out of water if you've had a tummy bug.

Te Mana Ora l Community and Public Health are urging swimmers to do their bit to stop bugs and infections from getting into pools.

Did you know germs can spread through the water in pools and spas and cause swimming-related illnesses? Swimming pools are an ideal breeding ground for serious gastro bugs. Although chlorine works by killing off most bacteria, and viruses, Cryptosporidium (commonly known simply as crypto) and Giardia are particularly resistant to the standard chlorine dosages you find in most pools.

Most people who contract crypto and other gastro infections experience symptoms such as watery diarrhoea, stomach cramps, nausea, vomiting, and fever. Others, who have weakened immune systems, can develop a serious, chronic, and sometimes fatal illness.

“We all share the water we swim and play in, so it is important to maintain swimming hygiene for the health and safety of you, your tamariki, and whānau,” says Dr Matthew Reid, Canterbury Medical Officer of Health, Te Whatu Ora, National Public Health Service.

“You can get sick if you swallow or have contact with contaminated pool water. So if you have had a recent gastro infection and haven’t fully recovered from the illness, please stay away from pools and spas for at least two weeks after you feel better.

“These symptoms can occur on and off for weeks – which is why we are asking people to respect a stand-down period of two weeks after their symptoms subside, during which they should avoid swimming in pools or sharing a spa. This is to ensure they have fully recovered and are no longer infectious.

“We want to raise awareness on how these bugs are transmitted in community pools so that people can follow some simple advice to help limit the spread,” said Dr Reid.

The key things to remember if you have had a serious gastro bug are:

  • Stay away from pools and spas for at least two weeks after you feel better
  • You wouldn’t want to get into a dirty pool so even if you haven’t been ill – always shower before entering the pool
  • Remember to go to the toilet before you swim, to avoid unwanted accidents in the pool. Take children for regular toilet breaks as needed. 
  • Report any ‘code browns’ immediately – community pool operators can clean as needed and apply a stronger dose of chlorine to the area to make it safer.

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.

Call Healthline on 0800 611 116 for free health advice 24/7.

Now that summer’s here, it’s important to be prepared and understand how COVID- 19 might affect your holiday break.

“We want you to have a a safe as summer this year,” says Becky Hickmott, Waitaha Senior Responsible Officer for System Pressures, Te Whatu Ora.

“Please do not travel or take part in events or activities if you are sick, have symptoms of COVID-19 or test positive for COVID-19.”

“If you’re going to be away from home, consider taking a kit that contains Rapid Antigen Tests (RATs), hand sanitiser, masks or face coverings, and your usual medications. Remember RAT tests can be ordered for FREE.”

“It's also really important to have a plan in place if you or any members of your family become infected with COVID-19, including how to get home safely to isolate.”

Current face mask mandates for visitors in healthcare settings remain in place. You can collect face masks for free when collecting RATs. You can also order them with your RATs through this website: requestrats.covid19.health.nz.

“If you catch COVID-19 on holiday consider using antiviral medication, which is free for those of you who fit the eligibility criteria,” says Becky Hickmott. 

“Antiviral COVID-19 medications help your body fight the virus thereby preventing you from becoming very unwell. They reduce the amount of the virus in your body, so you don’t get as sick and you’re less likely to have to go to hospital.”

Many pharmacies provide antivirals without a prescription, or your usual healthcare provider can write you a prescription for a pharmacy to fill. COVID-19 antiviral medicines are free for eligible people. Find out more at COVID19.govt.nz

And remember if your summer of fun turns to a summer of glum, you can call Healthline 24/7 for care around the clock.

Before you head off on holiday be sure to load Healthline’s number into your mobile phone, because when your GP’s doors are closed and the lights are out a team of staff are ready to take your call – any time of day or night, including public holidays.

You can also call Healthline if you’re not sure where to go, they know what’s open around the motu. Phone 0800 611 116 – calls are answered 24/7 and they have translators available.

If you are heading away, make sure you pack an extended supply of your regular medications. If you’re going to need a repeat prescription while away, get it sorted before the practice closes for the break and you leave town.

Emergency Departments (ED) at hospitals throughout New Zealand often run at capacity, especially over the festive season. Keep EDs free for those who need emergency care. In a life-threatening emergency, call 111.

You might also like to try a virtual consultation 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 virtual care providers here.

Our resources about caring for COVID-19 positive people in the community will help you make a plan for what to do if you test positive, including if you are on holiday. If you are isolating at home or away, you will have a dedicated contact person check up on you and make sure that you and your whānau are safe.

People with disabilities can find further information about COVID-19 and useful services on the Unite against COVID-19 website

For wellbeing support, free call or text 1737 any time, 24 hours a day. You can also call Lifeline at 0800 543354 or text HELP at 4357. Visit the All Sorts website to find ways to boost your wellbeing this summer.

If you aren’t already enrolled with a general practice team use our handy general practice finder map.

Information for visitors to Christchurch

If you get sick after arriving in Christchurch, it is important to seek health advice by calling Healthline for free at 0800 611 116. This is available at any time and you can ask for a translator.

If you need to see a doctor, you can visit one of the urgent care practices:

Learn more about Urgent Care clinics on the Te Whatu Ora Waitaha Canterbury website.

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.

ENDS

Page last updated: 14 February 2023

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