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.

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

Christchurch Hospital power outage – staff reverted to tried and true ‘hands on’ care

Saturday 4 February 2023Media 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.

Christchurch Hospital power outage – staff reverted to tried and true ‘hands on’ care

From 8.24pm – 9.19pm on Friday 3 February a network power outage caused a power cut to Christchurch Hospital. The hospital has a system of generators that usually start automatically when there is a power outage. The generators worked as they should for Christchurch Women’s Hospital, but they didn’t automatically connect to Christchurch Hospital systems last night. This is an extremely rare occurrence and why this didn’t occur is what our teams are currently looking into.

During the 55 minute outage there was a total of 478 patients in Christchurch Hospital, including 96 in ED. All were well supported and cared for.

All systems were back up and running on mains power before midnight last night.

During the power cut there was no access to phones, computers and some electronic patient monitoring and support equipment. Some staff reverted back to basics to do patient observations, such as taking a patient’s pulse manually; patient notes were written on paper and the hospital tannoy system was used to broadcast updates within the hospital, along with many senior staff becoming ‘runners’ between wards conveying information.

Whiteboards and pen and paper were also used to record patient information during the outage, and this information was transferred onto the electronic systems when the power was restored.

Interim Hospital and Specialist Services Lead for Waitaha, Lisa Blacker said staff clocked up some significant ‘steps’ during the course of the outage, as face to face communication became the main communication channel between departments.

“I am so proud and impressed with the way staff took things in their stride, and remained calm throughout the outage,” Lisa said. “We were well prepared and have systems in place for a power outage.” 

As the patient call bell system was impacted, clinical staff were walking through the wards checking in on patients. Essential equipment such as ventilators, ECG machines, cardiac defibrillators all have a battery back-up and continued working as they should.  In addition there’s mobile battery powered equipment to record blood pressure and pulse.

“There was one patient whose surgery was safely completed just as the power cut hit. In addition, another patient was about to have a procedure which was deferred until after the power came back on.  Critical clinical areas had battery-powered emergency lighting, while some non-clinical areas used torches. Thankfully there was still some natural light when the power first went out.

“We had alternative operating theatres in Christchurch Women’s and Parkside that could have been used if needed for an emergency.

The Christchurch hospital team is grateful to St John who cared for patients in ambulances outside ED and to St John staff who helped triage people arriving at ED. Across town, our partners at the 24 Hour Surgery assisted by bringing in additional staff to provide care for those with urgent health care needs.

“Our staff did a magnificent job of keeping patients updated and wards and patients were calm during the outage. Everyone was well supported, continued to receive care and most importantly were kept safe,” Lisa Blackler said.

Back to Health News

Page last updated: 22 February 2023

Is this page useful?