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

Expect delays and changes to DHB services during tomorrow’s planned strike by PSA members

Thursday 3 March 2022Media 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.
Expect delays and changes to DHB services during tomorrow’s planned strike by PSA members

Expect delays and changes to DHB services during tomorrow’s planned strike by PSA members

Patients of Canterbury and West Coast DHBs can expect to see delays and changes to services during this week’s strike by Allied, Public Health, Scientific and Technical Staff who are covered by the PSA union bargaining.

The nationwide action involves a full withdrawal of labour for 24 hours from 6am on Friday 4th March to 6am on Saturday 5th March.

Across the Canterbury DHB, 39 professions and over 1500 staff will be affected. On the West Coast, 23 professions and more than 120 staff are affected. Our therapeutic, rehabilitation, laboratory and diagnostic services as well as other clinical support services and Hauora Māori will be severely impacted during the time of the strike.

If this industrial action goes ahead as planned, it will cause significant disruption to all of our health services in Canterbury, similar to the disruptions we experienced during the last nurses’ strike. This will also impact some services in the days following the strike.

Canterbury and West Coast DHBs Chief Executive Peter Bramley says services such as the Emergency Department at Christchurch Hospital are likely to be impacted by significant delays and elective surgeries have been postponed.

“The strike will affect the time it takes for patients to be seen, assessed and discharged. In particular some discharges back to community where physio, social work, pharmacists, occupational therapy and dietitians are normally involved.

“Where it is appropriate and safe to do so we are discharging patients home ahead of the strike to reduce the pressure on those staff who are working,”.

Many routine outpatient clinics involving allied health staff, community clinics and elective procedures will be deferred. People will be re-booked to the next available time. If they are not contacted, they can expect their procedure or appointment to go ahead as normal. Hospital laboratory staff will only be processing urgent inpatient blood tests.

The strike won’t affect COVID-19 testing services and it is important that people who need to get tested on the day of the strike make sure they still do. Vaccination sites will also still be operating as usual.

Some of the professions affected in Canterbury and the West Coast are:

  • Anaesthetic Technicians
  • Audiologists
  • Biomedical Technicians
  • Dental Therapists
  • Dietitians
  • Hauora Māori
  • Health Promotion Officers
  • Kaiāwhina (Allied Health Assistants and support workers)
  • Laboratory staff
  • Medical Imaging Technologists
  • Newborn Hearing Screeners
  • Occupational Therapists
  • Pharmacists and Technicians
  • Phlebotomists
  • Physiotherapists
  • Play Specialists
  • Podiatrists 
  • Psychologists
  • Social Workers
  • and Speech-language Therapists

“We respect the right of staff to take industrial action and acknowledge the important role that health workers play in delivering high quality care,” says Peter.

“Our priority, as always, is the safety of patients and we want to reassure our community that you will still receive emergency and urgent care during the strike.” 

ENDS

 

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Page last updated: 29 March 2022

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