Hospital visitors don’t need a Vaccine Pass, but must wear a surgical/medical paper mask. Fabric face coverings are no longer acceptable. See our COVID-19 pages for visiting guidelines, COVID-19 tests current case numbers in regions of Canterbury and care in the community advice. See for info about vaccinations.

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

Last updated:
19 April 2022

For visitors to all facilities effective from Tuesday 19 April 2022

With the change to the ORANGE Traffic Light setting, Canterbury DHB is easing its visitor policy in recognition of the fact we have passed the peak of the current Omicron outbreak and case numbers are slowly reducing.

The following visitor restrictions are now in place for all Canterbury DHB hospitals and health facilities:

  • One adult visitor may be accompanied by no more than one child over the age of 12 per patient in the hospital at any given time, except where stated otherwise in the ‘exceptions’ section below.  No children under 12 and those 12 and over must be accompanied by an adult and wear a medical mask.
  • Visitors or support people should not visit our facilities if they are unwell.
  • Surgical/medical masks must be worn at all times at all Canterbury DHB sites and will be provided if people don’t have them.
  • Hand sanitiser stations are visible and must be used.

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

Exceptions to the ‘one visitor’ policy

  • Exceptions can apply in some circumstances (ie more than one visitor) where a trusted whānau member provides assistance, reassurance and other support for therapeutic care or on compassionate grounds – please talk to the ward’s Charge Nurse to discuss this before you come to hospital to visit. For whānau with an essential support role as a Partner in Care – please check with the ward’s Charge Nurse before you come to hospital to visit
  • People attending Christchurch ED or Ashburton AAU can have one support person with them
  • Women in labour and in the birthing suite can have two support people, and women on the Maternity Ward are allowed one support person for the duration of their stay in our facilities at Christchurch Womens 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 children are allowed to visit.
  • Parents/caregivers can be with their baby in NICU.
  • Parents/caregivers are able to be with their child in hospital (Except Children’s Haematology and Oncology Day patients where only one parent or caregiver is permitted, following a supervised negative RAT result)
  • Children who are inpatients, one other visitor (other than a parent or caregiver) is able to visit in consultation with the nurse in charge.
  • People requiring support when attending an appointment can have one support person. Please let the relevant service know if you need this so they are able to accommodate your request.

Exceptions for people with disabilities

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

Face covering exemption cards

The Exemptions Team at the Ministry of Health is now responsible for processing requests for Face Covering Communication Cards.

Updated information about mask wearing, and how to request an exemption card can now be found here. People unable to request an exemption card online can call 0800 28 29 26 and select option 2, or text 8988

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

More COVID-19 information

Brain Injury Rehabilitation

Concussion Outcome Study

In this study we are exploring factors that promote or hinder concussion recovery. You can visit the study website to see what the study is all about, and to see early results as they become available.

The Brain Injury Rehabilitation Service (BIRS) is a 12 bed inpatient ward that provides comprehensive rehabilitation for people aged 16 - 65 with the following conditions:

  • Acquired brain injury e.g. stroke, traumatic brain injury, hypoxic brain injury
  • Neurological conditions e.g. Multiple Sclerosis,
  • Huntington's Disease
  • The service also provides carer relief or respite care.

The philosophy, vision and mission statements of the Brain Injury Rehabilitation Service are aligned with the Canterbury District Health Board's values to care and respect for others, integrity in all we do and responsibility for outcomes.


Together facilitating empowered living


To be a collaborative specialist service which delivers quality neuro-rehabilitation.

Mission Statement

  • Life
  • Independence
  • Functional Ability
  • Empowerment
  • "To be the best that I can be"


The Brain Injury Rehabilitation Service team consists of:

  • Medical team: Medical Officer (MO) and Registrar
  • Neurosurgeon, Rehabilitation Consultant
  • Rehabilitation Nursing
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Social Work
  • Physiotherapy
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Speech Language Therapy
  • Recreation Officer
  • Māori Health Liaison
  • Nutrition
  • Secretarial

The Brain Injury Rehabilitation Service uses an Interdisciplinary Team approach.

The patient is the central focus of the team and is involved as a team member with goal setting, family meetings, etc. Families and carers are encouraged to participate when practical and are provided with support and education from the Interdisciplinary Team.

Collaborative practice is an important aspect of the Interdisciplinary Team function. It is facilitated by daily and weekly team meetings within office areas based in the ward and joint therapy sessions when indicated.

The weekly Interdisciplinary Team meeting ensures the communication of assessments, goal setting and the completion of patient's rehabilitation plans to provide optimal care.

By working together and with the patient optimal outcomes are achieved.

Features of the service include:

  • Quiet Room with a courtyard for high dependency patients
  • Access to therapy facilities
  • Gymnasium and pool facilities
  • Workshop amenities
  • Garden area for rehabilitation and recreation
  • Access to community facilities and organisations
  • Comfortable family lounge areas
  • Car parking space close to the ward

Outpatient Service

The Brain Injury Rehabilitation Service offers an outpatients service.

The outpatient service provides 1:1 sessions, group therapy and hydrotherapy for Ministry of Health patients and ACC Concussion Clinic.

The Concussion Clinic is an early intervention service funded by ACC providing assessment and intervention for people with Mild Traumatic Brain Injury (MTBI) including those with post Concussion Syndrome (PCS).

The Outpatient team consists of:

  • Medical Specialist
  • Neuropsychologist
  • Occupational Therapist
  • Physiotherapist
  • Social Workers
  • Rehabilitation Nursing
  • Secretarial

Useful information

Recovering from Concussion (PDF, 200KB)

Stroke Foundation ph: 03 381 8500 email:
Burwood Hospital
Allan Bean Centre
Multiple Sclerosis Society
Accident and Compensation Corporation (ACC)
Ministry of Health (MOH)

Page last updated: 23 June 2022

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