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

B7 Paediatric Surgical Ward

B7 is a 24 bed ward for children needing hospitalisation for surgery and for some children requiring medical management of conditions such as cystic fibrosis. Children up to the age of 16 years are can be admitted to B7 where a parent and caregiver can stay with them in their room. We have a great team with experience taking care of children and teenagers and aim to make your child and your hospital experience as positive as possible.

All children having elective surgery will have an appointment to Children’s Surgical Admissions before being admitted to B7 Children’s Surgical Admissions is closely located to Children’s’ operating theatres and recovery.

Telephones, cell phones and patient enquiries

 NOTE//  Cell phones must not be used within one metre of medical equipment.

Patient enquiries to the ward need to be kept to a minimum due to our busy area. Please liaise with other family/whānau members to avoid disruption during the day. Patient confidentiality restricts us from giving out information over the telephone. You can phone 03 364 0640 and ask for patient enquiries. Basic information about your child’s condition will be given. Anything more will need to come from you or a family member.

Toilets/showers for parents/caregivers

Toilets and showers are located within your child’s room. You can access towels from the ward. Please ensure privacy and consideration for others. When finished with towels or linen, please place them into the appropriate coloured laundry bag  at the end of the hall.

Laundry facilities

There is a washing machine and dryer available for long stay and out of town families. They are located in the shared Parent lounge beside entrance to B7 Children’s. Washing powder is also available. Do not use these machines if your child is in isolation, please talk to your nurse.

Shared Parent Lounge

Located before the entrance to B7 is a parent only area. This is serviced by Ronald McDonald House volunteers with food available. Also located in this space is three parent emergency bedrooms, if you require emergency accommodation please discuss this with your nurse.

B7 parents lounge

B7 parents lounge

Matatiki Hub

This shared play area is for Children inpatients and their families/whanau. It is located on level 7 and has radio lollipop located within this space. This is open from 8am to 8pm.

Internet access

Free public Wi-Fi internet access is available in Christchurch Hospital for members of the public. Follow the five steps below to connect any wireless device to our free Wi-Fi.

  1. Go to settings
  2. Click Wi-Fi
  3. Click DHB Public WI-FI
  4. Click ‘I Accept’ to accept the terms and conditions
  5. Wait 10 seconds for the authentication process to finish
  6. You should now be connected to the DHB Public WI-FI 

Sites and content deemed inappropriate will be blocked when using the service. Similarly content accessed by people within Canterbury DHB facilities on their own network is subject to Canterbury DHB policy. It will not be possible to download material like movies due to file size.

Eating and drinking

  • Your child can begin eating as normal when they feel well enough, unless advised otherwise. It is normal for your child to take some time to get their appetite back.
  • Start with a light diet and fluids such as jelly, ice blocks and sandwiches etc if they have had a general anaesthetic.
  • Babies can start breast feeding, have water or formula as soon as they return from surgery.

Nausea and vomiting [General Anaesthesia Only]

  • Children will routinely be given medicine while in hospital to make them feel comfortable.
  • Sometimes children can be a little nauseated and even vomit and this is not unexpected.
  • If your child does vomit or feel nauseated, stop giving them food and offer sips of fluids. If the child has settled, you can try a light diet.
  • If your child continuously vomits, seek medical advice.


 General Anaesthetic
  • Your child will likely be sleepy and not want to do a lot, an adult will need to be at home to take care of them.
  • It is normal for your child to be unsteady on their feet for 4-6 hours after a general anaesthetic. To ensure they are safe, support them when they walk, even for short distances.
  • Follow the surgeon’s advice on restrictions to activities such as sport or school following surgery.
Local Anaesthetic or Block

Children who have had local anaesthetic usually feel well and can move as normal immediately.


Full sensation and muscle strength in the blocked area may take 6-12 hours to fully return. During this time, it is important to walk with your child to support them as needed, or if able carry your child.

When your child sits or lies down ensure they are not on any sharp, hard, hot or cold objects as they may not feel this and be injured.

Urination: It is not uncommon for children to have trouble sensing they need to urinate following the block. This can lead to your child wetting their pants. This should resolve as sensation and muscle strength returns.

Important note: Should more than 12 hours pass since surgery and your child has not urinated, seek medical advice as instructed below.

It is okay to be discharged from hospital before your child returns to normal, if by the next day sensation/movement has not fully returned seek medical advice.


  • Please only give your child medications prescribed for them. Often paracetamol and ibuprofen are enough to control the pain. Should your child appear to be in more severe pain, seek medical advice.
  • It is important to remember that if your child has had a local anaesthetic as it wears off your child may have some pain. Make sure you give pain relief regularly to manage this.

Page last updated: 16 January 2023

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