ORANGE

Hospital visiting guidelines updated 20 July 2022: Hospital visitors must wear a surgical/medical paper mask. Fabric face coverings are no longer acceptable. See our COVID-19 pages for detailed information about hospital visiting guidelines, COVID-19 tests and care in the community advice. See www.vaccinatecanterburywestcoast.nz for information about vaccinations.

We are at ORANGE according to the NZ COVID-19 Protection Framework

Last updated:
20 July 2022

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

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

For visitors to all facilities effective from Wednesday 20 July 2022

With the recent resurgence in cases in Canterbury, largely due to the Omicron BA.5 subvariant we are seeing an increase in demand right across the health system. Presentations to our Christchurch ED and Ashburton’s AAU are higher than ever and admission rates are high, which means we have a shortage of resourced beds.

Recently, we have seen too many unwell people coming to visit someone in hospital and too many that cannot or will not wear a medical mask. This increases the risk to vulnerable people in hospital. For these reasons we need to everything we can to minimise these risks.

We have therefore tightened visitor restrictions for all Te Whatu Ora Waitaha Canterbury hospitals and health facilities.

Kia whakahaumaru te whānau, me ngā iwi katoa – this is to keep everybody safe:

  • One visitor per patient in the hospital at any given time, except where stated otherwise in the ‘exceptions’ section below.
  • No visitors under 16 to any part of our facilities.
  • No visitors to COVID +ve patients other than in exceptional circumstances.
  • No eating or drinking at the bedside or anywhere other than cafes or areas designated for eating/drinking, as taking your mask off puts patients at risk.
  • Visitors or support people must not visit our facilities if they are unwell with cold or flu-like symptoms (even if they have tested negative) or have had a recent tummy bug.
  • Do not visit if you are COVID +ve or a household contact of someone who has tested positive
  • Surgical/medical masks must be worn at all times at all sites and will be provided if people don’t have them. Mask exemptions do not apply in our facilities – people who cannot tolerate a mask cannot visit at this time.
  • Hand sanitiser stations are visible and must be used.

By sticking to the rules above, you help keep our patients, staff, other visitors and yourself safe. We thank you in advance for your patience and understanding as our staff work hard to protect and care for some of the most vulnerable in our community.

Exceptions to the ‘one visitor’ policy

  • Exceptions can apply in some circumstances where trusted whānau members provide assistance, reassurance and other support for therapeutic care or on compassionate grounds – please talk to the ward’s Charge Nurse to discuss this before you come to hospital to visit. For whānau with an essential support role as a Partner in Care – again, please check with the ward’s Charge Nurse before you come to hospital to visit.
  • People attending Christchurch ED or Ashburton AAU can have one support person with them.
  • Women in labour and in the birthing suite can have two named support people + their community LMC/midwife if they have one – for the duration of the birth only. All other women on the Maternity Ward are allowed one support person for the duration of their stay in our facilities at Christchurch Women’s Hospital and other maternity units. Only one support person can be with each woman in the maternity ward, and one support person for maternity clinic appointments. No under 16s are allowed to visit or attend appointments.
  • Parents/caregivers can be with their baby in NICU.
  • Parents/caregivers are able to be with their child in hospital (Except Children’s Haematology and Oncology Day patients where only one parent or caregiver is permitted).
  • People requiring support when attending an appointment can have one support person. Please let the relevant service know if you need this so they are able to accommodate your request.

Visiting patients with COVID-19

  • To avoid them becoming infected with COVID-19 and passing it one, visitors to COVID-19 positive patients will not be allowed except in extenuating circumstances – by prior agreement with the Charge Nurse Manager only, and wearing an N95 mask.
  • Other methods of communication will be facilitated e.g. phone, facetime, zoom etc.

You must NOT visit the hospital if you

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

Exceptions for people with disabilities

An exception will be made for people with disabilities who are in hospital or have to attend an outpatient appointment – where they need a support person to access health services. For example, a sign language interpreter, support person for someone with a learning disability, or someone to assist with mobility. The support person is in addition to the one permitted visitor.

Everyone visiting our facilities must wear a mask, no exceptions

While we appreciate that some people have legitimate reasons for being exempt from wearing a mask and may even have an official card to confirm this, people who cannot or will not wear a mask cannot visit someone in hospital or attend hospital, other than to access healthcare treatment*. This is another measure to minimise the risk to vulnerable patients.

*healthcare treatment includes: Emergency Department care, outpatient appointments, surgery or a procedure. 

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

More COVID-19 information

Glossary

AJAX progress indicator
  • When you stay at a hospital rounding or rounds are when nurses check in on you regularly to make sure you have everything you need (e.g. call bell and drink within reach, help to the toilet).
  • ACC
    The Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) is the New Zealand Crown entity providing comprehensive no-fault personal accident cover for all New Zealanders.
  • Acute
    Health care that you receive in hospital following an injury, operation or illness. It is different to any care you may receive for an ongoing health condition from your GP, community nurse or other professionals in the community where you live.
  • Acute care
    Health care that you receive in hospital following an injury, operation or illness. It is different to any care you may receive for an ongoing health condition from your GP, community nurse or other professionals in the community where you live.
  • Acute Medical Assessment Unit
    A Christchurch Hospital inpatient unit concerned with the immediate and early specialist management of patients with a wide range of medical conditions who present in hospital as emergencies.
  • after hours
    After-hours care (often just referred to as "after-hours" or "after-hours urgent care clinics") are services for urgent or acute medical needs available at times when a patient has no access to their normal general practitioner, such as when they are closed after regular daytime business(...)
  • after hours care
    After-hours care (often just referred to as "after-hours" or "after-hours urgent care clinics") are services for urgent or acute medical needs available at times when a patient has no access to their normal general practitioner, such as when they are closed after regular daytime business(...)
  • after hours clinic
    After-hours care (often just referred to as "after-hours" or "after-hours urgent care clinics") are services for urgent or acute medical needs available at times when a patient has no access to their normal general practitioner, such as when they are closed after regular daytime business(...)
  • after-hour's
    After-hours care (often just referred to as "after-hours" or "after-hours urgent care clinics") are services for urgent or acute medical needs available at times when a patient has no access to their normal general practitioner, such as when they are closed after regular daytime business(...)
  • after-hours
    After-hours care (often just referred to as "after-hours" or "after-hours urgent care clinics") are services for urgent or acute medical needs available at times when a patient has no access to their normal general practitioner, such as when they are closed after regular daytime business(...)
  • after-hours care
    After-hours care (often just referred to as "after-hours" or "after-hours urgent care clinics") are services for urgent or acute medical needs available at times when a patient has no access to their normal general practitioner, such as when they are closed after regular daytime business(...)
  • afterhours
    After-hours care (often just referred to as "after-hours" or "after-hours urgent care clinics") are services for urgent or acute medical needs available at times when a patient has no access to their normal general practitioner, such as when they are closed after regular daytime business(...)
  • AMAU
    A Christchurch Hospital inpatient unit concerned with the immediate and early specialist management of patients with a wide range of medical conditions who present in hospital as emergencies.
  • Bedside boards
    A Bedside board is a board near your bed is regularly updated to show your needs (e.g. any assistance needed with moving, hearing or sight aids, or special diet). There is space on the board for you or your family to list any questions you want answered.
  • Bedside handover
    A bedside handover usually happens at the end of the morning shift, nurses will discuss important updates with you and hand over ongoing tasks to the afternoon shift.
  • CAA
    Children's Acute Assessment (CAA) is a part of Children’s Emergency Care (CEC) and provides an assessment service for children/teenagers with acute medical and some surgical conditions.
  • Canterbury Clinical Network
    Canterbury Clinical Network is an alliance of Canterbury health professionals, including GPs, secondary care specialists, practice nurses, community nurses, physiotherapists, community pharmacists, Māori and Pacific health providers, PHOs, IPAs and the DHB. The CCN was established with the(...)
  • Canterbury Community Pharmacy Group
    Canterbury Community Pharmacy Group (CCPG) is an organisation representing pharmacists in Canterbury, New Zealand.
  • Catering Assistant
    Catering Assistants/Kaiāwhina Whakatutuki provide a personal meal service with food and drinks according to your dietary needs.
  • CCN
    Canterbury Clinical Network is an alliance of Canterbury health professionals, including GPs, secondary care specialists, practice nurses, community nurses, physiotherapists, community pharmacists, Māori and Pacific health providers, PHOs, IPAs and the DHB. The CCN was established with the(...)
  • CCPG
    Canterbury Community Pharmacy Group (CCPG) is an organisation representing pharmacists in Canterbury, New Zealand.
  • Consent
    When you give your permission to someone to do something to you or for you.
  • Consultant
    A senior hospital doctor or surgeon who is a specialist in their field.
  • Dietitian
    Dietitians/Pūkenga Whakaita Kai give advice and counselling about diet, food and nutrition to individuals and communities. They also design nutrition programmes to support health and wellbeing.
  • Eligibility
    When your needs fit the criteria that allow you to receive a service.
  • Health New Zealand
    Te Whatu Ora - Health New Zealand leads the day-to-day running of the health system and unites the former 20 District Health Boards, shared services agencies and Te Hiringa Hauora - Health Promotion Agency under one national organisation. It leads and coordinates delivery of health services,(...)
  • Health Care Assistant
    Health Care Assistants/Tiaki hauora kaiāwhina provide basic care, observe patients under the direction of a Registered Nurse and ensure patients have the best experience possible.
  • House Officer
    Qualified doctor who has not begun specialist training. Also known as a House Surgeon or an Intern.
  • House Surgeon
    Qualified doctor who has not begun specialist training. Also known as a House Officer or and Intern.
  • ICU Outreach Team
    Intensive Care Outreach is a service provided by the intensive care team to assist with ward patients who have become progressively more unwell. They provide assistance with patient care in the Ward, and assess the requirement for admission to the intensive care unit.
  • Intensive Care Outreach Team
    Intensive Care Outreach is a service provided by the intensive care team to assist with ward patients who have become progressively more unwell. They provide assistance with patient care in the Ward, and assess the requirement for admission to the intensive care unit.
  • Intensive Care Outreach
    Intensive Care Outreach is a service provided by the intensive care team to assist with ward patients who have become progressively more unwell. They provide assistance with patient care in the Ward, and assess the requirement for admission to the intensive care unit.
  • Kaiāwhina Whakatutuki
    Catering Assistants/Kaiāwhina Whakatutuki provide a personal meal service with food and drinks according to your dietary needs.
  • Kaihaumanu Reo ā-Waha
    Speech Language Therapists/Kaihaumanu Reo ā-Waha (SLTs) assess and treat people who have problems with communication or swallowing. This may include difficulties with speech, language, thought processes or moving their bodies.
  • Kaimahi Toko i te Ora
    Social Workers/Kaimahi Toko i te Ora provide care, advice and support to people with personal or social problems, and help with community and social issues.
  • Kaimahi Hauora Māori
    A Māori Health worker/Kaimahi Hauora Māori provides tautoko (cultural support and advice) to tūroro (patients) and their whānau (family members) while they are in the hospital. They may also advocate for patients and provide them with information and resources to help your recovery if needed.
  • Kairomiromi
    Physiotherapists/Kairomiromi (Physios) help patients recover from disability or problems caused by physical, brain, and nervous system disorders to restore function and independence.
  • Kaiwhakaora Ngangahau
    Occupational Therapists/Kaiwhakaora Ngangahau (OTs) assess and treat people who have trouble with everyday activities because of illness, injury or circumstance.
  • Maori Health worker
    A Māori Health worker/Kaimahi Hauora Māori provides tautoko (cultural support and advice) to tūroro (patients) and their whānau (family members) while they are in the hospital. They may also advocate for patients and provide them with information and resources to help your recovery if needed.
  • Māori Health worker
    A Māori Health worker/Kaimahi Hauora Māori provides tautoko (cultural support and advice) to tūroro (patients) and their whānau (family members) while they are in the hospital. They may also advocate for patients and provide them with information and resources to help your recovery if needed.
  • Midwife
    Midwives/Tapuhi ā-Whare provide care and support to women, their partners and family/whānau during pregnancy, labour and birth, and for six weeks following the birth. They also provide wellness and parenting advice to mothers and families.
  • Morbidity
    Illness, sickness.
  • Mortality
    Death.
  • National Immunisation Register
    The National Immunisation Register (NIR) is a computerised information system that has been developed to hold immunisation details of New Zealand children.
  • NIR
    The National Immunisation Register (NIR) is a computerised information system that has been developed to hold immunisation details of New Zealand children.
  • NP
    Nurse Practitioners (NP) are highly-trained and experienced nurses who assess, diagnose, treat, prescribe and manage care across different healthcare services.
  • Nurse Practitioner
    Nurse Practitioners (NP) are highly-trained and experienced nurses who assess, diagnose, treat, prescribe and manage care across different healthcare services.
  • Occupational Therapist
    Occupational Therapists/Kaiwhakaora Ngangahau (OTs) assess and treat people who have trouble with everyday activities because of illness, injury or circumstance.
  • Orderly
    Orderlies/Tika help clinical staff take care of patients’ needs by transporting patients; delivering samples, oxygen, and clinical documents; maintaining and cleaning equipment; and other tasks.
  • OT
    Occupational Therapists/Kaiwhakaora Ngangahau (OTs) assess and treat people who have trouble with everyday activities because of illness, injury or circumstance.
  • Outpatient Administrator
    Outpatient Administrators/Kaiwhakahaere arrive and depart patients attending appointments and manage bookings to ensure patients receive treatment within the required guidelines.
  • Palliative care
    Care that you receive if you have an advanced, progressive illness for which there is no cure. The aim is to manage pain and other symptoms and to help you have best quality of life you can. It may be provided in your home or in a hospital or hospice.
  • Pharmacy staff
    Pharmacy staff/kaimahi rongoā work with the medical teams to ensure we have an up-to-date list of your medicines, record any allergies you have and provide information on new medicines started.
  • PHO
    Primary health organisations (PHOs) ensure the provision of essential primary health care services, mostly through general practices, to people who are enrolled with the PHO/General Practice. PHOs are funded by district health boards (DHBs), who focus on the health of their population.
  • Physio
    Physiotherapists/Kairomiromi (Physios) help patients recover from disability or problems caused by physical, brain, and nervous system disorders to restore function and independence.
  • Physiotherapist
    Physiotherapists/Kairomiromi (Physios) help patients recover from disability or problems caused by physical, brain, and nervous system disorders to restore function and independence.
  • Primary health care
    The first point of contact in the health system, usually your general practice doctor (GP), practice nurse, local pharmacist, dentist or urgent care clinic. Primary care doctors deal with a wide range of health problems. They treat common illnesses, help you manage long-term conditions and(...)
  • Primary care
    The first point of contact in the health system, usually your general practice doctor (GP), practice nurse, local pharmacist, dentist or urgent care clinic. Primary care doctors deal with a wide range of health problems. They treat common illnesses, help you manage long-term conditions and(...)
  • Primary health organisations
    Primary health organisations (PHOs) ensure the provision of essential primary health care services, mostly through general practices, to people who are enrolled with the PHO/General Practice. PHOs are funded by district health boards (DHBs), who focus on the health of their population.
  • Protocol
    A set of rules or instructions about how something should be done.
  • Pūkenga Whakaita Kai
    Dietitians/Pūkenga Whakaita Kai give advice and counselling about diet, food and nutrition to individuals and communities. They also design nutrition programmes to support health and wellbeing.
  • Referral
    A referral is when your family doctor (GP) or another health professional will pass a matter to a specialist for a decision or treatment. Usually, because your doctor wants a specialist’s help to treat a condition that cannot be done by your general practice team.
  • Registered Nurse
    Registered Nurses/Tapuhi Whai Rēhitatanga assess, treat, care for and support patients in hospitals, clinics, residential care facilities and their homes.
  • Registrar
    An experienced doctor training in a specialty
  • Resident Medical Officer
    A House Surgeon or Registrar
  • RMO
    A House Surgeon or Registrar
  • RN
    Registered Nurses/Tapuhi Whai Rēhitatanga assess, treat, care for and support patients in hospitals, clinics, residential care facilities and their homes.
  • Round
    When you stay at a hospital rounding or rounds are when nurses check in on you regularly to make sure you have everything you need (e.g. call bell and drink within reach, help to the toilet).
  • Rounding
    When you stay at a hospital rounding or rounds are when nurses check in on you regularly to make sure you have everything you need (e.g. call bell and drink within reach, help to the toilet).
  • Secondary care
    Care that you receive in hospital, either as an inpatient or an outpatient. This may be planned or emergency care. It is more specialist than primary care.
  • self refer
    A service that that offers self-referral essentially means that people do not need to be referred by their doctor, or another health professional, but can contact a health service directly. However, once people self-refer, they are usually assessed, like everyone else.
  • self referring
    A service that that offers self-referral essentially means that people do not need to be referred by their doctor, or another health professional, but can contact a health service directly. However, once people self-refer, they are usually assessed, like everyone else.
  • self-refer
    A service that that offers self-referral essentially means that people do not need to be referred by their doctor, or another health professional, but can contact a health service directly. However, once people self-refer, they are usually assessed, like everyone else.
  • Self-referral
    A service that that offers self-referral essentially means that people do not need to be referred by their doctor, or another health professional, but can contact a health service directly. However, once people self-refer, they are usually assessed, like everyone else.
  • self-referring
    A service that that offers self-referral essentially means that people do not need to be referred by their doctor, or another health professional, but can contact a health service directly. However, once people self-refer, they are usually assessed, like everyone else.
  • SLT
    Speech Language Therapists/Kaihaumanu Reo ā-Waha (SLTs) assess and treat people who have problems with communication or swallowing. This may include difficulties with speech, language, thought processes or moving their bodies.
  • SMO
    A senior doctor or surgeon who has specialised in a certain field. Also known as an SMO or a Specialist.
  • Social Worker
    Social Workers/Kaimahi Toko i te Ora provide care, advice and support to people with personal or social problems, and help with community and social issues.
  • Specialist Medical Officer
    A senior doctor or surgeon who has specialised in a certain field. Also known as an SMO or a Specialist.
  • Speech Language Therapist
    Speech Language Therapists/Kaihaumanu Reo ā-Waha (SLTs) assess and treat people who have problems with communication or swallowing. This may include difficulties with speech, language, thought processes or moving their bodies.
  • Tapuhi ā-Whare
    Midwives/Tapuhi ā-Whare provide care and support to women, their partners and family/whānau during pregnancy, labour and birth, and for six weeks following the birth. They also provide wellness and parenting advice to mothers and families.
  • Te Whatu Ora
    Te Whatu Ora - Health New Zealand leads the day-to-day running of the health system and unites the former 20 District Health Boards, shared services agencies and Te Hiringa Hauora - Health Promotion Agency under one national organisation. It leads and coordinates delivery of health services,(...)
  • Tika
    Orderlies/Tika help clinical staff take care of patients’ needs by transporting patients; delivering samples, oxygen, and clinical documents; maintaining and cleaning equipment; and other tasks.
  • Triage
    The process of deciding whether you need urgent medical attention, and how long you are able to wait. When you go to the hospital Emergency Department or to an urgent care clinic, you will be asked questions about your symptoms. A decision will then be taken about how quickly you need to be(...)
  • Ward Clerk
    Ward Clerks welcome patients and their visitors to the ward, ensure patient records are updated and liaise with other departments e.g. to make follow-up appointments.
  • Ward round
    Ward rounds are when members of your health care team visit each bed and give you an opportunity to ask questions.

Page last updated: 11 February 2020

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