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

Care around the clock to continue throughout junior doctors’ strike

Monday 25 February 2019Media release3 minutes to read

Care around the clock will continue to be available for Cantabrians throughout the junior doctors' strike

Care around the clock will continue to be available for Cantabrians throughout the junior doctors' strike

To be attributed to: Michael Frampton, Chief People Officer, Canterbury DHB

With the New Zealand Resident Doctors’ Association 48-hour strike action starting tomorrow at 8am, Canterbury District Health Board is reminding people that they can help take the pressure off emergency services by always making their General Practice team the first port of call for their healthcare needs.

The 48 hour junior doctors’ strike runs from 8am tomorrow, Tuesday 26 February until 8am on Thursday 28 February.

The Emergency Department at Christchurch Hospital will continue to provide emergency care during the strike, and you shouldn’t hesitate to dial 111 in a life-threatening emergency. However, for most other healthcare you should always call your own general practice team first. Save their phone number in your mobile phone so you can easily access free health advice after hours.

When you call your general practice after hours, follow the instructions on their voicemail and a team of registered nurses will be ready to take your call – any time of day or night. They provide free health advice. If you need to be seen urgently, they can tell you what to do and where to go.

You can meet some of the #carearoundtheclock nursing team and learn more about the service they provide here.

If you need to visit a general practice after hours, you can visit one of these Urgent Care practices:

  • The 24 Hour Surgery – 401 Madras Street. Phone (+64) 3 365 7777
  • Moorhouse Medical – 3 Pilgrim Place, open 8am – 8pm daily. Phone (+64) 3 365 7900
  • Riccarton Clinic – 6 Yaldhurst Road, open 8am – 8pm daily. Phone (+64) 3 343 3661

For trusted health advice, you can also visit our HealthInfo website or visit your community pharmacy for health advice.

HealthInfo is a health information website that has information specific to Canterbury. It is written and approved by local doctors, practice nurses, hospital clinicians, and other healthcare professionals, and features a mix of health information, fact sheets on different topics and descriptions of local health services.

People shouldn’t delay seeking medical treatment if they need urgent medical assistance at any time. Always dial 111 if it’s a life-threatening emergency.

People whose surgery or outpatient appointment has been postponed due to the strikes have been contacted directly.  If you want to check if your appointment or surgery is still on, please call 0800 778 226 – after hours you can leave a message and someone will return your call the following day.

ENDS

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Page last updated: 4 March 2019

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