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

Blessing of new Acute Admitting Unit at Ashburton Hospital

Tuesday 15 November 2016Media release3 minutes to read

THIS IS AN ARCHIVED PAGE. The advice and information contained in this page may not be current and it should only be used for historical reference purposes.

Earlier this morning a blessing service was held for the new Acute Admitting Unit at Ashburton Hospital, part of an $8.7 million upgrade and refurbishment of facilities. ​

An impressive $1.5 million of that total was raised by local community funders, Advance Ashburton Community Foundation in conjunction with the Mackenzie Charitable Trust, the Lion Foundation, the Ashburton Licensing Trust and the Trevor Wilson Charitable Trust.

With a maximum capacity of 74 beds*, Ashburton's existing hospital is Canterbury's largest rural health facility and one of only four Level 3 rural hospitals in the South Island. A Level 3 hospital provides onsite 24-hour medical cover, 24-hour access to radiology and laboratory services.

The new Acute Admitting Unit and Day Procedure Theatre is expected to open its doors to the first patients in early December 2016. Before then, a public open day is planned for Sunday November 27th to give Ashburton people a chance to walk through their new facility.

The Acute Admitting Unit replaces an older, smaller unit and is purpose-built to ensure efficient assessment, stabilisation and short-term care of acute cases.

Murray Cleverley, Chair of the Canterbury District Health Board, attended the blessing service and is pleased that the new unit will soon be commissioned.

“This facility is an important addition to Ashburton's health service capabilities, helping Canterbury DHB better align the way it provides care with rural community needs,” he says.

Greg Robertson, Canterbury DHB Chief of Surgery, says the new Acute Admitting Unit will use innovative approaches to rural health service provision.

“The unit will rely upon a new type of doctor known as a ‘rural hospital specialist'. This position is a consultant-grade multi-speciality doctor able to manage patients with a wide range of conditions and treatment needs.

“The state-of-the-art unit also allows for medical education, training and research opportunities, helping to attract and retain high-quality staff and visiting specialists.”

Two research positions associated with the unit have already been established through community funding from Advance Ashburton for the next three years.

“Together, these innovations allow Ashburton Hospital to build its status as a centre of medical excellence, to offer a wider range of procedures than at present, and to enable efficient transfer of patients to and from Christchurch Hospital.”

Alongside the Acute Assessment unit, a new theatre has been built. The day procedures that will be provided in this unit will be those that can be provided safely in a rural hospital setting.

Mr Robertson says the new unit will be highly complementary to existing DHB theatre capability.

“Ashburton Hospital will work closely with the wider Canterbury DHB theatre planning team to explore many new options for service delivery that can be provided within this state-of-the-art facility.

“The model of bringing together both services (acute care and planned procedures) into one facility enables Ashburton Hospital to use its workforce and resources in a very flexible way.”

David Meates, Canterbury DHB's CEO agrees.

“Our new facilities at Ashburton are all part of the DHB's ‘long life, loose fit' approach to healthcare service provision in Canterbury, creating flexible spaces that will keep pace with healthcare innovations, and within which our staff can provide the right care to the right person at the right time, both now and well into the future.”

* The total of 74 beds includes an off-site aged residential care unit.



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Page last updated: 19 October 2022

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