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

Canterbury DHB makes changes to visiting hours

Wednesday 22 September 2021Media 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.
Information for visitors and patients at COVID-19 alert level 4

Updated information for visitors and patients at COVID-19 Delta Alert Level 2

Christchurch Hospital is changing its visiting hours effective from tomorrow, Thursday 23 September.

Members of the public can currently visit between 3pm and 8pm.

From tomorrow visiting hours will revert to having public visiting from 11am – 1pm, then again from 3pm to 8pm seven days a week.

This will allow whānau and friends more options when it comes to visiting loved ones in hospital.

For our staff it will mean visiting is spread over a longer time period, seven hours, instead of the current five.

Christchurch Hospital Director of Nursing, Lynne Johnson says that the hope is that this will result in calmer wards and waiting areas.

“We know that having visitors can provide a highlight in someone’s day, but it can also be draining for our sick patients, so please be mindful of that when planning your visit.

“And please, stick to the one visitor at a time rule. We need space around each patient’s bed to practice safe physical distancing when providing care for our patients.

“Under Delta Alert Level 2 we are still only allowing one visitor at a time, but we are providing the public with more flexibility to choose a time that suits them, and this change will mean our patients can have a couple of hours ‘quiet time’ between 1pm and 3pm each day,” Lynne Johnson said.

All of the current rules still apply in terms of all visitors having to scan or sign in when they enter the building. Keeping a record of who enters our facilities is mandatory – it’s not an optional extra. We need this information for potential contact tracing in the future.

A quick recap of ‘the rules’:

  • People shouldn’t come visiting our hospitals when they are sick.
  • And all visitors need to wear a mask or face-covering – please bring your own.
  • All visitors should practise good hand hygiene by using the hand gel provided when you enter and leave our facilities.
  • All visitors are expected to practice safe physical distancing. You should remain two metres away from people you don’t know.
  • One visitor at a time to visit a patient.
  • For child patients, parents/caregivers can visit at any time, and both parents/caregivers can visit at the same time.
  • Exceptions: Charge Nurse Managers can assess requests on a case by case basis. For example, exceptions will be considered on compassionate grounds including for end of life care.
  • There are also some exceptions for people with disabilities. These are set out on our website

ENDS

Tags

Related topics

Back to Health News

Page last updated: 1 November 2021

Is this page useful?