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

Last updated:
13 March 2023

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.

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 to 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

Celebrating the South Island’s one millionth electronic referral

Wednesday 23 March 2016Media release3 minutes to read

THIS IS AN ARCHIVED PAGE. The advice and information contained in this page may not be current and it should only be used for historical reference purposes.

With a click of the mouse and an ‘accepted' message, the one millionth successful electronic request for specialist advice and assessment in the South Island was sent and received late last week. It might not seem something to get excited about at first, but it is.

That request was a vital step in getting the right care for a child perhaps, or for someone's mother or brother. And when you consider it just happened for the millionth time, then maybe you should feel more like celebrating.

This is what Canterbury District Health Board CEO David Meates had to say about reaching this significant milestone for the South Island's Electronic Request Management System (ERMS):

“More than a million everyday successes add up to one very significant one.”

“I am pleased and proud to have been part of this achievement, together with our South Island Alliance DHB partners and other key players across our health system. I would like to acknowledge Pegasus Health especially as our development partner for ERMS – they are instrumental to its ongoing success. Support from our other two Canterbury Primary Health Organisations, Rural Canterbury PHO and Christchurch PHO, has also been vital.

“In principle it was a simple idea – to create an electronic system that ensured people didn't get lost in the system. ERMS makes sure a request gets a response, helps protect patient privacy, and cuts waste out of the system by saving everyone's time.”

“ERMS was designed by clinicians, for clinicians, which is why it is so extensively used. The referral rate has climbed dramatically over the past year since it went South Island-wide.” Mr Meates says.

ERMS was launched in Canterbury back in 2009 and since then clinicians have clocked up an astonishing 741,000+ referrals in Canterbury alone, and counting.

“ERMS has been designed to support general practice to get the right care or advice for our people. A key component in its success, putting it head and shoulders above other referral models, is that requests can go to any part of the system, whether public or private, and can incorporate community as well as hospital-based services.

Christchurch GP Martin Seers thinks ERMS is a fantastic tool that improves the quality of care General Practice teams provide. Because it is fast and easy it frees up more time for patients.

“Before ERMS, I would often put referrals to one side and do them all together at the end of the day. Now they are often completed before the patient has left the practice – before I see my next patient. It further improves the quality of care by providing patients with timely access to specialist advice or treatment as needed.”

The electronic form is easily accessed through a button in a referrer's Patient Management System or on HealthPathways, and it pre-populates with key patient information such as past medical history and test results that help the specialist receiving the request to make an accurate assessment.

“ERMS has really strengthened the link between community-based care and specialist services. I've been using it for a long time now, but still appreciate every day the difference it makes to providing timely and effective care,” Dr Seers says.


Back to Health News

Page last updated: 19 October 2022

Is this page useful?