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

Canterbury DHB steps up hand hygiene vigilance after antibiotic resistent bug discovered

Friday 6 November 2015Media 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.

Canterbury DHB is increasing vigilance around hand hygiene after three people in Canterbury have tested positive as potential carriers of the rare bacteria Carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE).

CRE is a family of bacteria resistant to nearly all antibiotics. None of the patients had an infection, which occurs when the presence of CRE causes illness.

Carbapenems are a group of antibiotics often used to treat complex infections and when other antibiotics have been found to be ineffective. ​

Dr Nigel Millar, Canterbury DHB Medical Officer of Health, says that since the multi antibiotic-resistant form of these bacteria is extremely rare, it is likely that two of the cases were hospital-acquired. The patients are no longer in hospital.

“Although bugs like these are rare, our health system is well prepared,” Dr Millar says.

“We have systems in place to identify these types of organisms and prevent them from spreading such as isolating any patients who test positive for the bacteria. It was through routine clinical care and screening that these CRE colonisations were first identified.”

Once the bacteria are in the human gut, they are there for life. Carriers will not show any symptoms and under normal circumstances, will never know the resistant bacteria are even there.

Dr Millar says these cases serve as a timely reminder that the first line of defence against any bacteria is thorough hand washing.

“Good infection prevention practices are an essential part of health care and perhaps the single most important thing we can do to keep patients and ourselves safer,” he says.

“It is everyone's responsibility to wash their hands frequently, especially after going to the toilet and before preparing and eating food.”

Dr Millar says there is worldwide concern about the continuing development and spread of antibiotic resistance.

“No new classes of antibiotics have been discovered in the past 20 years and unless that situation changes, we will encounter more bacteria that we can't treat effectively.

“It is therefore essential that we control and curtail our use of antibiotics and use them wisely.”

Here are some of the actions Canterbury DHB has taken to date:

We are checking contacts of the three patients with confirmed colonisations to understand if there are signs of spread – none has been found at present

We are following up with all health professionals who were or will be involved in the care of these three patients

Other DHBs, the Ministry of Health and the Health Quality and Safety Commission have been informed. We are in the process of informing other health care professionals who work with vulnerable people, such as hospitals, Aged Residential Care facilities, community nursing and General Practice.

Although the level of public risk has been assessed as low, more information can be found at



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Page last updated: 19 October 2022

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