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 wins international healthcare award

Tuesday 24 November 2020Media release3 minutes to read

Top row, from left: Emergency/Cardiology Research Scientist Joanna Young, Cardiologist Alison Nankivel, Ward 12 Charge Nurse Manager Margaret Cumming, Cardiologist Sally Aldous, Cardiologist John Lainchbury, Data Scientist John Pickering, Project Manager Alieke Dierckx. Front row, from left: Information Analyst Melanie Browne, Management Accountant Harue Akimoto, Consultant Physician Martin Than, Senior Research Nurse Felicity Turner, Consultant Physician Jacques Loubser, Canterbury Health Laboratories Patient and Client Service Manager Vanessa Buchan, Canterbury Health Laboratories Clinical Biochemist Professor Chris Florkowski

Canterbury health teams have been recognised in the prestigious international UNIVANTS of Healthcare Excellence Awards that recognise teams “who have achieved measurably better healthcare performance through unity and avant-garde thinking”.

UNIVANTS, which stands for ‘unity’ and ‘avant-garde’ is a healthcare industry award that annually recognises teams who collaborate across disciplines and transform healthcare delivery, and ultimately patient lives.

Canterbury DHB won the UNIVANTS of Healthcare Excellence 2020 Asia Pacific area award for a project called ‘Reducing Patient Risk and Enhancing Care through the Development and Implementation of a new chest pain pathway expedited by and for the COVID-19 era’.

There were 180 applications from 141 countries and the Canterbury project was unique in being the only application to receive seven stars of distinction from all judges.

The project included contributions from right across the Canterbury Health System including primary care and the Acute Demand Nursing Service; hospital and community laboratories; corporate services; researchers; and administration and clinical staff from the Cardiology and Emergency departments at Christchurch Hospital.

The project leaders were: Canterbury DHB Emergency Medicine Specialist Dr Martin Than, Emergency Department (ED) Specialist Dr Jacques Loubser, Associate Professor of the University of Otago John Pickering, Clinical Biochemist Chris Florkowski, and Cardiologist Dr Sally Aldous.

Dr Martin Than says the initiative was a rapid response to redesign Canterbury DHB’s processes for people who have suffered possible heart attacks being investigated at Christchurch Hospital.

“It was in response to the COVID-19 pandemic where we were trying to reduce admissions to hospital and reduce the amount of time people spend in ED, where they had the potential to pass on any infection.

“I’m very proud of the team for what they have done. But I am most proud of the collaborative history that sits behind the team that allowed us to make an effective, necessary and agile change,” says Dr Than.

Dr Jacques Loubser says for clinicians it is nice to be able to offer this service and do it confidently.

“It’s good for the hospital system too, the capacity that it opens up is massive, especially if we are expecting an influx of patients,” Dr Loubser says.

The judging organisations were: International Federation of Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine (IFCC), American Association for Clinical Chemistry (AACC), European Health Management Association (EHMA), Modern Healthcare, Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS), National Association for Healthcare Quality (NAHQ), Institute of Health Economics (IHE).

A statement from UNIVANTS says: “It is with great honour that we congratulate all participating teams while celebrating strategic activation and insights from clinical and laboratory medicine to achieve measurably better outcomes for patients, payors, clinicians and health systems.”

You can view a video of the team speaking about their work here.

The full list of winners and projects is available here.

ENDS

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Page last updated: 24 November 2020

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