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

Chatham Islands health wins

Wednesday 16 August 2017Media release3 minutes to read

Chatham Island residents are receiving greater levels of health care, which is resulting in fewer residents leaving the island to enter long term residential care, fewer hospital stays and a significant reduction in emergency life flights.

The Canterbury District Health Board took over the responsibility for the provision of health services to the Chatham Islands on 1 July 2015 – a move that has resulted in operational cost savings, increased access to health care and improved outcomes for the residents.

There has been a reduction in operational expenditure, primarily the result of decreasing transport costs following investment in a TeleHealth facility, along with upgrading radiology equipment and a server upgrade. Significant investment is required to upgrade the community dental and health clinic facilities in the very near future.

“There is a significant increase in need for both personal cares and support care being delivered in the home. This is being driven by an ageing population and improved community integrated health assessments which identify service needs early,” says Manager Rural Health Services, Win McDonald. She adds that all community needs are being met – using a combination of home support workers, Maori Community Services and registered nurses.

Specialist visits to the Chathams

In the last financial year, over 1180 specialist appointments were delivered for Chatham Island residents. These included paediatrics, orthopaedics, Well-Child, radiology, community mental health, obstetrics and gynaecology, occupational and physiotherapy, older person's needs assessment, podiatrist and diabetes nursing. Visits were coordinated with a visiting ACC team working closely with the Occupational and Physiotherapy staff with ACC sharing the cost of this service delivery.

Chatham Islands Clinical Nurse Manager, Sally Lanauze says that by fully utilising a whole system approach, they have been able to overcome some of the challenges of distance.

“The direct connection to Christchurch Hospital, both via direct flights and quick and easy access to services like visiting specialists and TeleHealth, which connects specialists in Christchurch Hospital with medical staff on the Chatham Islands via video conferencing, means the islanders now have the same access to health services as all other Cantabrians.”

Sally adds that the provision of specialist support in times of an emergency, and where staff have been on duty for long hours, only enhances patient safety. 

The orthopaedic team visited the Chatham Islands in September last year and again in May this year. During the second visit, a number of patients who had already received surgery were seen and discharged. During the two-day May clinic, 55 patients were seen and six minor surgeries performed. Following assessment, 24 patients remain under Orthopaedic care and 31 patients were discharged.

New contracts were put in place with a visiting podiatrist and on-island physiotherapist and the Lead maternity Carer contract was renewed. Dental services were provided by a private dentist in February, this was the second clinic and again the service was fully booked for 14 days.

Rural Canterbury Primary Health Organisation appointed a Primary Mental Health Nurse/Registered Counsellor to deliver independent counselling services in June.

Sixty-three of the 112 eligible Chatham Island women took part in the biennial breast screening clinics run by BreastScreen South. For those who were unable to attend planning is underway for a further clinic in May 2018.

The Health Centre and Ha O Te Ora O Wharekauri Trust are working more closely together to coordinate visits to the health centre with other needs like shopping, as well as arranging the follow-up support in the community. “This closer working relationship provides a more consistent level of health care and helps prevent injuries in the home for our elders within the community,” Sally concludes.

ENDS

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Page last updated: 3 October 2018

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