Hospital visitors must wear a medical paper face mask. Fabric face coverings are not acceptable. Expand this message for more detailed information about hospital visiting guidelines.

Last updated:
16 September 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 Friday 16 September 2022

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 people must continue to wear a mask when visiting any of our facilities and follow other advice designed to keep patients, staff and  visitors safe.

Kia whakahaumaru te whānau, me ngā iwi katoa – this is 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 must 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 surgical 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 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 must wear a medical 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

Information for media

Media releases

The latest media releases can be found in Health News.

Enquiries from media

All media enquiries are directed to the Communications team.

During normal business hours, Monday to Friday, please email any requests to in the first instance, or call 03 364 4103 for straightforward media enquiries.
After-hours Monday to Friday, for urgent media enquiries call 027 531 4796.
Over the weekend (6am-11pm, Sat to Sun and public holidays), only urgent media requests will be actioned. Please email your request to and text the on-call media advisor to draw their attention to it.

Weekends (Public Holidays)

On-call Media Advisor

Contact phone number


Imogen Squires

027 836 1528

17, 18

Sue Henderson

027 290 0961

24, 25

Imogen Squires

027 836 1528

26, 27, 28

Julia Goode

021 223 2141

29, 30

Sue Henderson

027 290 0961


Karalyn van Deursen

027 531 4796

2, 3

Ruchita Bharbhari

021 463 160


Karalyn Van Deursen Karalyn van Deursen
Executive Director Communications
027 531 4796
Julia Goode Julia Goode
Senior Media Advisor
021 223 2141
Susan Henderson

Sue Henderson
Senior Communications Advisor
027 290 0961

Imogen Squires

Imogen Squires
Senior Communications Advisor – West Coast
027 836 1528


All requests for patient conditions, staff and patient interviews, photographs or filming must be made through the Senior Media Advisor or Executive Director, Communications.​​

Under no circumstances may interviews, filming or photography be carried out on the hospital sites without permission from the Senior Media Advisor or Executive Director, Communications.

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 Senior Media Advisor or Executive Director, Communications 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 Senior Media Advisor or Executive Director, Communications 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 Senior Media Advisor or Executive Director, Communications 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 hospitals, we can obtain photo consent on your behalf in advance. This will avoid delays.

  • The Senior Media Advisor or Executive Director, Communications 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 Senior 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 intranet

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

Page last updated: 5 December 2022

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