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 Serious Adverse Events 2019/20

Thursday 10 December 2020Media release3 minutes to read

Inpatient falls and pressure injuries continue to be the two major serious adverse events reported by Canterbury DHB for the 2019/20 financial year.

The release of a Serious Adverse Events Report by each DHB is an initiative led by the Health Quality and Safety Commission. The reports highlight events which have resulted in significant additional treatment, major loss of function, are life threatening or have led to an unexpected death.

Of the 77 adverse events identified as serious by Canterbury DHB, 31 were health care associated pressure injuries.

Canterbury DHB’s Chief Medical Officer Dr Sue Nightingale says the Canterbury Health System is continuously implementing improvements to reduce the harm caused by healthcare associated pressure injuries.

“The DHB continues to focus on identifying risk factors and tailoring pressure injury prevention strategies to ensure the safety of patients within our hospital and in the community.

In the past year, we have established a Transalpine Pressure Injury Prevention Community of Practice to strengthen best practice across the Canterbury and West Coast health systems, upskilled nurses as Pressure Injury Prevention Link Nurses to better equip them to prevent, assess and manage pressure injuries and, in partnership with ACC, produced an education video on preventing pressure injuries in a community and hospital setting.

“We have also upgraded our mattresses to dual purpose ones specifically designed to reduce and relieve pressure, implemented a high protein diet and teaching tools for patients who have pressure injuries to aid their recovery, developed online training for nurses and upgraded our policies,” Dr Nightingale says.

Nationwide, there was a total of 975 reported events, with the highest reported event category related to clinical management.

As noted by Health Quality & Safety Commission clinical lead for adverse events Dr David Hughes, “event numbers are closely linked to reporting rates, and an increase doesn't necessarily mean more adverse events have occurred. What it may in fact demonstrate is organisations continuing to develop an open culture where events are reported and learnt from, rather than an increase in preventable harm.”

Dr Sue Nightingale agrees and says “Canterbury DHB has robust incident reporting systems that encourage staff to report adverse events.”

“By looking into the factors that contributed to these events and reviewing what happened we can learn and improve our systems and processes to make them safer.

“While we aim for zero harm, having a strong incident reporting culture where staff are encouraged and supported to report adverse events is vital to ensure the quality and safety of our treatment and care is constantly improving,” says Dr Nightingale.

ENDS

More information: Canterbury DHB Serious Adverse Events Reports are available in our online Document Library.

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Page last updated: 10 December 2020

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