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

Christchurch Hospital staff continue to care for 36 people injured in yesterday’s terror attack

Saturday 16 March 2019Media release4 minutes to read

Canterbury DHB Chief Executive, David Meates, addresses media earlier this afternoon.

Following yesterday’s mass-casualty terror attack the Canterbury Health System provided emergency care to 48 people.

While some people with minor injuries were discharged last night, we are still caring for 36 people in Christchurch Hospital.

There are eleven people who are critically unwell being looked after in our intensive care unit. In addition, one critically injured child has been transferred to Starship Hospital in Auckland.

Patients range in age from 2 years to late 60s. 

I want to express my sympathy to the families and friends of those who died in this horrific terror attack on our Christchurch community.

I would also like to acknowledge the way our staff stepped into emergency response mode, and the public for their cooperation yesterday afternoon when all of our Christchurch Hospitals and health facilities were in ‘lock-down’.

We cleared patients from the Emergency Department to accommodate the large numbers of incoming wounded. Our integrated health system stepped up as they have before – primary care, our private hospital colleagues and the district health board, worked together to ensure people received the care they needed.

Canterbury people have been through a lot in recent years.

We had a series of earthquakes in 2010 and 2011 – and on 22 February 2011 one earthquake resulted in the deaths of 185 people

That was a shocking toll. Our community is still recovering from that.

Yesterday’s terrorist attack took away the lives of 49 innocent people.

It’s hard to fathom the enormity of this act of terrorism.

As the reality sets in for those directly affected and for those who live in our normally peaceful community we know people will need a lot of support with their mental wellbeing.

I encourage everyone to connect with families and friends, check in on neighbours and those who live alone. 

What happened yesterday is abhorrent.  It’s a lot to take in and talking to friends and family can help.

People’s lives have been changed forever, and we as a health system are here to support everyone in our community.

A reminder that if you want to talk to someone – free counselling is available by calling or texting 1737.  Trained counsellors are available when you need them 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Editable video footage of today’s health media briefing is available here: https://vimeo.com/324459677

Coverage is also available on our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/CanterburyHealthSystem/videos/1994361214204707/

ENDS

Our AllRight? Team have some good advice to help support wellbeing

  • A lot of us are feeling on edge and upset right now – this is a completely normal reaction
  • Disasters and big shocks take a toll on all of us and coping is not always easy.
  • During scary or surprising events, our brains react by releasing adrenaline. This response is our natural alarm system – our body telling us to be alert and ready for action. It's there to help us, but afterwards we can feel shaky, queasy or on-edge, and that’s totally normal.

Looking after ourselves and each other

  • There are small things we can do to look after ourselves and others, even when times are tough.
    • Be kind to one another. Kindness is contagious, and boosts endorphins. 
    • Take a digital detox, and focus on an activity you love. Reading, games with the kids, or a short walk. 
    • Spend time with people you love – we all need each other. Talk about how your feeling
    • Focus on the things you can control

Supporting our kids and whānau

  • Children take their cues of parents — so if you’re okay, they’ll be okay too…
  • Be mindful how much ‘worry’ you’re displaying, just be as cool as you can!
  • Keep children away from the media.
  • Answer their questions pretty matter-of-factly and in very ‘general’ terms. Drama it down. You don’t have to get the answers exactly right here. Ensure you talk too about the police and how they did a really good job of keeping us safe. Keep the reassurance low key too — over-reassuring can make us think we need to be worrying more than we are!
  • Let them talk about it, but don’t let it ‘take over’ – use distraction to keep their mind off it – we’ve got the board games out!
  • Stick to your normal routines as much as you can.

Back to Health News

Page last updated: 18 March 2019

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