COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

Information about changes at Canterbury DHB hospitals and health centres can be found at


No visitors are allowed, except under exceptional circumstancesFurther details...

Last updated:
27 March 2020

  • No visitors are allowed, except under exceptional circumstances. The exceptions to the no visitor policy include:
    • A nominated person supporting a terminally ill patient through their end of life care
    • A parent/guardian who is supporting a child
    • The chosen support person of a woman who is giving birth. This does not apply to the woman’s postnatal stay however, and no visitors will be permitted during this stage of the woman’s care
  • The decision about whether exceptional circumstances apply outside of these exemptions is at the discretion of the Charge Nurse/Midwife Manager or another lead clinician.
  • Children under the age of 16 are not allowed to visit at any time.
  • All visitors will be assessed at the entry to ensure they meet the exception criteria and will be required to register their details.
  • Visitors who are unwell will not be allowed entry.

These restrictions apply to all wards and services at all times, including the Emergency Department and Intensive Care Unit.

Information for media

Media enquiries

The latest media releases can be found in Health News. All media enquiries are directed to the Canterbury DHB Communications team.

  • In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Canterbury and West Coast DHBs’ TransAlpine communications team now has staff working from various locations.
  • Due to the large volume of media enquiries and communications and emergency response requests we are receiving for both DHBs, media are asked to email all requests for both DHBs to, rather than calling.
  • The TransAlpine communications team will continue to be available via this email address from 8.30am to 5pm weekdays.
  • Over the weekend, only urgent requests will be actioned. Please email your request and text the on-call media advisor – contact details can be found below under ‘On-call roster for media enquiries on weekends and public holidays’.



29, 1 

Karalyn Van Deursen - 027 531 4796


7, 8

Jess Stewart - 027 212 7476


14, 15

Renee Parsons - 027 561 6253


21, 22

Jeanie Watson - 027 290 0961


28, 29

Alex Taylor - 027 567 5343


4, 5

Karalyn Van Deursen - 027 531 4796

Good Friday & Easter Saturday

10, 11

Renee Parsons - 027 561 6253

Easter Sunday & Monday

12, 13

Mick O’Donnell - 027 261 4824


18, 19

Imogen Squires - 027 836 1528


25, 26, 27

Alex Taylor - 027 567 5343


2, 3

Jeanie Watson - 027 290 0961


8, 10

Jess Stewart - 027 212 7476


16, 17

Mick O’Donnell - 027 261 4824


23, 24

Renee Parsons - 027 561 6253


30, 31, 1

Imogen Squires - 027 836 1528


6, 7

Karalyn Van Deursen - 027 531 4796


Karalyn Van Deursen Karalyn van Deursen
Executive Director Communications
027 531 4796
Mick O'Donnell Mick O'Donnell
Senior Communications Advisor
027 261 4824
Alex Taylor Alex Taylor
Senior Media Advisor
027 567 5343​​
Jeanie Watson Jeanie Watson
Senior Communications Advisor
027 290 0961
Renee Parsons Renee Parsons
Senior Communications Advisor
027 561 6253 
Imogen Squires

Imogen Squires
Senior Communications Advisor – West Coast
027 836 1528

Jess Stewart Jess Stewart
Communications Advisor
027 212 7476

All requests for patient conditions, staff and patient interviews, photographs or filming must be made through the media advisor or strategic communications manager.​​

Under no circumstances may interviews, filming or photography be carried out on the hospital sites without permission from the media advisor or strategic communications manager.

If you carry out filming or photography without permission, our hospital security teams will ask you to leave the site immediately. For more information see information for media visiting hospitals below.

The media advisor or strategic communications manager can save you time and trouble trying to track down medical staff and researchers who specialise in the subject you are covering. Often we can put you in contact with a busy practitioner who may not otherwise understand the demands of your deadlines.

We can provide you with images of our hospitals, staff and board members suitable for publication and are happy to take high resolution photographs on request.

We do not release any personal information regarding a patient without consent of the adult patient or, where the patient is a child, the consent of the parent or guardian.

Patient status terminology and definitions

  • Stable: condition unchanged

  • Serious, but stable: vital signs stable, within normal limits, patient conscious and comfortable, indicators favourable.

  • Serious: vital signs stable and within normal limits, patient conscious but may be uncomfortable, indicators questionable.

  • Critical: Vital signs unstable, not within normal limits, patient may not be conscious, indicators unfavourable.

While we respect that some families may want to share information with the media, we respect and support other families' right to decide whether or not to engage with the media.

Often patients/parents will agree to pass on additional details to the media advisor or nursing staff. We will obtain consent for this release of information as quickly as possible and report these additional facts.

When patients or their family members decline consent for release of information and request that all information about them or their child remains confidential, we are unable to comment on such patients.

Confirmation of a patient's death occurs only with family consent and after notifying next of kin. Sometimes we will refer you to the police media liaison officer rather than comment ourselves.

  • The media advisor or strategic communications manager must approve access by the media to any of our hospitals for professional duties.

  • In consideration of the rights to confidentiality of our patients, their families and our staff, the media advisor or strategic communications manager will confirm all recording and interviews on hospital property before they occur.

  • Patient or parental permission alone is insufficient consent as we need to consider patient safety, privacy for other patients and other factors such as infection control risks and staff concerns.

  • Please let us know your needs in advance. If your plan includes photography of a patient, family or a staff member at our Canterbury DHB hospitals, we can obtain photo consent on your behalf in advance. This will avoid delays.

  • The media advisor or strategic communications manager will liaise with our clinicians and the patient to arrange a mutually convenient time and location for your interview and will set up where to meet you.

  • The media advisor/a member of the communications team, or security will escort you to the patient or staff member you wish to interview.

Information for staff using social media is available on the Canterbury DHB intranet

Specific social media queries should be addressed to the Corporate Communications team at

Page last updated: 24 March 2020

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