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

Digital workflow helps staff optimise operating theatre use

Wednesday 16 May 2018Media release3 minutes to read

Christchurch Hospital introduced new software called ScOPe in 2013, originally designed to replace paperwork for surgical staff.

Surgeon Saxon Connor says that over the past five years Canterbury DHB staff have worked with the developers to tailor the software to create a better system for patients and staff.

Staff use ScOPe to manage patient flow, update and observe their information in surgical theatres, and record operation notes.

Improved patient flow means patients aren't prepped for surgery prematurely and that the post-op team and family are in the recovery area at just the right time. All these efficiencies together ensure as little theatre downtime as possible and less time spent waiting by patients and staff.

Surgeons also use ScOPe to check on long-term outcomes, which Saxon says used to take hours of registrars' time to look up manually.

“We've got real-time visibility over what's happening in the theatre block,” he says.

Nurses, anaesthetists and surgeons previously filled out a series of paper forms, which were often incomplete or illegible.

The forms were used to create waiting lists several pages long, which surgeons had to hunt down and print out.

“Of course, as soon as I did another clinic, that list was out of date,” Saxon says.

If surgeons made extra time on their daily list, they would call and ask administration to book in more patients.

“There was no way of ranking patients or working out who should be next, it was just kind of this random process, so it wasn't particularly fair or streamlined.”

The digital forms in ScOPe are pared back to essential questions surgeons need to answer; they are quick to fill out and always legible.

ScOPe also gathers information about surgeons, and is better at predicting how long certain procedures will take.

“Surgeons are always optimistic and say it'll take an hour when it takes three,” Saxon says.

The information creates a more accurate waiting list for each surgeon, and allows them to control it themselves. Surgeons can see which patients have been waiting the longest and book them in if space appears on the list.

They can even take patients from other surgeons' lists, with their permission.

“It's fair and transparent,” Saxon says.

An operation note is now available for other staff to see before the patient hits recovery. Previously this was dictated, transcribed and published – a process which often took several days.

Clinical Nurse Specialist Kirsten Walsh says ScOPe lets nurses plan recovery beds and surgery preparation that depends on knowing accurately how long active surgeries are going to take.

Much of this information was difficult to get before ScOPe, and clinical staff would phone between wards and the surgical block to update each other – all taking up valuable time and increasing the likelihood of confusion.

“It has certainly reduced the number of phone calls back and forth,” she says.

“Discussion around surgeries can happen a lot sooner because we can see our capacity, we can see our demand. It's all there on a large display screen and is updated regularly.”

Canterbury DHB uses ScOPe as part of its focus on using technology to improve healthcare for patients and staff.

ENDS

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Page last updated: 3 October 2018

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