ORANGE

Hospital visiting guidelines updated 20 July 2022: Hospital visitors must wear a surgical/medical paper mask. Fabric face coverings are no longer acceptable. See our COVID-19 pages for detailed information about hospital visiting guidelines, COVID-19 tests and care in the community advice. See www.vaccinatecanterburywestcoast.nz for information about vaccinations.

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

Last updated:
20 July 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 Wednesday 20 July 2022

With the recent resurgence in cases in Canterbury, largely due to the Omicron BA.5 subvariant we are seeing an increase in demand right across the health system. Presentations to our Christchurch ED and Ashburton’s AAU are higher than ever and admission rates are high, which means we have a shortage of resourced beds.

Recently, we have seen too many unwell people coming to visit someone in hospital and too many that cannot or will not wear a medical mask. This increases the risk to vulnerable people in hospital. For these reasons we need to everything we can to minimise these risks.

We have therefore tightened visitor restrictions for all Te Whatu Ora Waitaha Canterbury hospitals and health facilities.

Kia whakahaumaru te whānau, me ngā iwi katoa – this is to keep everybody safe:

  • One visitor per patient in the hospital at any given time, except where stated otherwise in the ‘exceptions’ section below.
  • No visitors under 16 to any part of our facilities.
  • No visitors to COVID +ve patients other than in exceptional circumstances.
  • No eating or drinking at the bedside or anywhere other than cafes or areas designated for eating/drinking, as taking your mask off puts patients at risk.
  • Visitors or support people must not visit our facilities if they are unwell with cold or flu-like symptoms (even if they have tested negative) or have had a recent tummy bug.
  • Do not visit if you are COVID +ve or a household contact of someone who has tested positive
  • Surgical/medical masks must be worn at all times at all sites and will be provided if people don’t have them. Mask exemptions do not apply in our facilities – people who cannot tolerate a mask cannot visit at this time.
  • Hand sanitiser stations are visible and must be used.

By sticking to the rules above, 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 where trusted whānau members provide 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 – again, 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 named support people + their community LMC/midwife if they have one – for the duration of the birth only. All other women on the Maternity Ward are allowed one support person for the duration of their stay in our facilities at Christchurch Women’s 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 under 16s are allowed to visit or attend appointments.
  • 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).
  • 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.

Visiting patients with COVID-19

  • To avoid them becoming infected with COVID-19 and passing it one, visitors to COVID-19 positive patients will not be allowed except in extenuating circumstances – by prior agreement with the Charge Nurse Manager only, and wearing an N95 mask.
  • Other methods of communication will be facilitated e.g. phone, facetime, zoom etc.

You must NOT visit the hospital if you

  • are a household contact of a COVID-19 positive case
  • are COVID-19 positive
  • Have a cold or flu/COVID-19-like symptoms (even if you are testing negative for COVID-19)

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.

Everyone visiting our facilities must wear a mask, no exceptions

While we appreciate that some people have legitimate reasons for being exempt from wearing a mask and may even have an official card to confirm this, people who cannot or will not wear a mask cannot visit someone in hospital or attend hospital, other than to access healthcare treatment*. This is another measure to minimise the risk to vulnerable patients.

*healthcare treatment includes: Emergency Department care, outpatient appointments, surgery or a procedure. 

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

More COVID-19 information

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.

  • During normal business hours, Monday to Friday, please email all requests to communications@cdhb.health.nz in the first instance, or call 03 364 4103 for more straightforward media enquiries.
  • After-hours Monday to Friday, for urgent media enquiries call 027 531 4796 or 027 261 4824.
  • Over the weekend (6am – 11pm, Sat to Sun and public holidays), only urgent requests will be actioned. Please email your request to communications@cdhb.health.nz and text the on-call media advisor to draw their attention to it.

To find out who is on-call, see ‘On-call roster for media enquiries on weekends and public holidays

Weekends (Public Holidays)

On-call Media Advisor

Contact phone number

MAY 7, 8

Karalyn van Deursen

027 531 4796

14, 15

Julia Goode

021 223 2141

21, 22

Mick O’Donnell

027 261 4824

28, 29

Imogen Squires

027 836 1528

JUNE 4, 5, 6 (Queen's Birthday)

Sue Henderson

027 290 0961

11, 12

Karalyn van Deursen

027 531 4796

18, 19

Julia Goode

021 223 2141

24, 25, 26 (Matariki)

Mick O’Donnell

027 261 4824

JULY 2, 3

Imogen Squires

027 836 1528

9, 10

Sue Henderson

027 290 0961

16, 17

Karalyn van Deursen

027 531 4796

23, 24

Imogen Squires

027 836 1528

30, 31

Sue Henderson

027 290 0961

AUGUST 6, 7

Karalyn van Deursen

027 531 4796

13, 14

Julia Goode

021 223 2141

20, 21

Mick O’Donnell

027 261 4824

27, 28

Imogen Squires

027 836 1528

SEPTEMBER 3, 4

Sue Henderson

027 290 0961

10, 11

Karalyn van Deursen

027 531 4796

17, 18

Julia Goode

021 223 2141

24, 25

Mick O’Donnell

027 261 4824

OCTOBER 1, 2

Imogen Squires

027 836 1528

8, 9

Sue Henderson

027 290 0961

15, 16

Karalyn van Deursen

027 531 4796

 

Karalyn Van Deursen Karalyn van Deursen
Executive Director Communications
027 531 4796
karalyn.vandeursen@cdhb.health.nz
Mick O'Donnell Mick O'Donnell
Communications Team Leader
027 261 4824
mick.odonnell@cdhb.health.nz
Julia Goode Julia Goode
Senior Media Advisor
021 223 2141
julia.goode@cdhb.health.nz
Susan Henderson

Sue Henderson
Senior Communications Advisor
027 290 0961
susan.henderson@cdhb.health.nz

Imogen Squires

Imogen Squires
Senior Communications Advisor – West Coast DHB
027 836 1528
Imogen.Squires@wcdhb.health.nz

 

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.

  • In the ORANGE setting, visitors are restricted which means that media visits are not permitted inside our facilities. This applies to both interviews with patients and with our staff. These restrictions are made on the advice of the DHB’s infection prevention to reduce the risk of exposure to our vulnerable patients and staff.

  • 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 Canterbury DHB 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 Canterbury DHB intranet

Specific social media queries should be addressed to the Corporate Communications team at communications@cdhb.health.nz

Page last updated: 11 August 2022

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