All hospital visitors are recommended to wear a medical face mask. Expand this message for information about visiting hospital.

Last updated:
13 March 2023


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.

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.

Kia whakahaumaru te whānau, me ngā iwi katoa – this is 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 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 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.


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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