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

Eye Outpatients

Please note...

  • There can be delays in seeing patients so we advise not to schedule another appointment within two hours of your eye appointment time.
  • You may be required to see more than one health professional at an appointment visit. There is often more than one clinic running simultaneously, so the waiting times for each of the clinics may be different.
  • Remember, if you’re not sure about anything, don’t be afraid to ask questions.

The Eye Outpatients Department treat people with a serious eye problems, who have been referred by an optometrist or a doctor. Please see an after-hours GP if you need urgent treatment.

  • The Eye Outpatients services are now on Level 2 of the Christchurch Outpatients building at 245 Antigua Street/2 Oxford Terrace, Christchurch. 
  • There is a drop-off and pick-up zone outside the Outpatients building, parking is very limited, so you are likely to need to park further away. We recommend use of the Deans Avenue cap park and hospital shuttle bus.
  • Hospital volunteers are usually on hand in the Christchurch Outpatients building foyer to help any patients who need assistance.

  • The eye nurse or orthoptist will check your vision.
  • They may also put eye drops into your eyes which helps us see your eyes better. These eye drops can last more than 24 hours. They make your eyes blurry and make you sensitive to light for that time.
  • You may have an appointment with the orthoptist and with the doctor as well who will ask questions about your vision, medical history and look into your eyes and may ask you to look up or down.
  • They will put a patch over one eye at a time and play matching games with you to test your vision.
  • The consultation with doctor will be much the same as the orthoptist.

  • Receptionist
  • Orthoptists (specialised staff member working with children with eye problems)
  • Eye Nurses
  • Eye Doctors

  • If you wear glasses please bring these with you.
  • Sunglasses or a hat will protect you from being light sensitive after you have dilating eye drops.
  • Also bring snacks, drinks and games or books to amuse you for what may be a long wait.
  • If you have a baby: Having a spare change of nappies for your baby is a good idea due to wait times.


If you would like to know more about the following topics, please see to our partner website

Page last updated: 13 February 2024

Is this page useful?