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 takes constructive first steps towards financial sustainability

Thursday 26 September 2019Media release4 minutes to read

The DHB is taking the first steps to improve its financial sustainability

Canterbury DHB is starting to implement its operational plan towards a sustainable financial pathway, with continued support from the Ministry of Health and the Crown-appointed Monitor.

There is momentum at Canterbury DHB to start making the changes needed to improve their financial sustainability, says Michelle Arrowsmith, Deputy Director General, DHB Performance, Support and Infrastructure.

“We know Canterbury DHB has faced some unique health challenges, particularly the capital redevelopment needs following the earthquakes. Like all DHBs, Canterbury is also responding to increased demand and workforce issues.

“The Ministry has continued to work closely with the DHB, with support from Crown Monitor Dr Lester Levy, to agree a sustainable financial path forward.

“It’s important the DHB is prepared for the future so it can continue to deliver high quality services and equitable health outcomes for Cantabrians.

“Given the size and nature of their deficit, this is the start of a longer term plan. It’s important the DHB builds on the current momentum to ensure they are well placed to deliver on the benefits of the new Christchurch Hospital Hagley, as well as future redevelopment work.”

Canterbury DHB Chair, Dr John Wood, says the DHB and the Ministry have made good progress to come to a mutual understanding of some of the unique issues facing Canterbury DHB. “We have certainly moved on in terms of collegiality and agreement on a pathway forward.

“It’s widely acknowledged that the DHB’s financial situation is complex. The Board is focused on ensuring maximum value is achieved for every dollar spent and that costs are reduced as much as possible.

“Internally we have set up five task forces which are charged with closely examining how and where our current health system resources are invested to ensure we are well placed to continue to provide the healthcare our population requires.

“Teams are focusing on leave care; continuous quality improvement; revenue and resource optimisation; ensuring all of our current contracts are optimal; and that we are well set up with the right people in the right places to provide the right care to benefit the health and wellbeing of the people of our community.

“The current Board have worked hard to reach the point where the focus is firmly on the future and the opportunities available to us.

“I have valued the input Crown Monitor Dr Lester Levy has been able to provide. He has brought a fresh set of eyes on our financial situation, our performance and the establishment and progress of the Task Forces as we work towards achieving financial sustainability.”

In June, the Minister of Health appointed Dr Levy to assist and support the DHB to improve its financial performance. Canterbury DHB has a realistic and achievable plan to start addressing its deficit position, says Dr Levy.

“In my role as Crown Monitor, I’ve been engaging closely with the Chair, Deputy Chair, Chair of the Finance and Audit Committee, the Chief Executive and the senior management team to support the DHB to develop specific areas of focus which I believe will soon start to make a real difference.

“The DHB and the Ministry have been working more constructively together to strengthen the DHB’s operational plan, annual plan, as well as future planning. The DHB will be able to scale up the volume of this work in the near future.

“I will continue to support Canterbury DHB and offer my advice as they progress a number of initiatives to deliver the financial sustainability changes needed.

“I’ve been pleased to see the positive engagement and determination by the Board, Chief Executive and management team to deliver this work so the DHB is well placed to sustainably continue to deliver high quality services to its community.”

ENDS

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Page last updated: 26 September 2019

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