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

A fresh approach to food at Canterbury hospitals

Monday 3 July 2017Media release3 minutes to read

Canterbury DHB has brought a range of services in-house, including all food services, and at Ashburton Hospital our orderly, cleaning and laundry services.

The move is the first time in 13 years that the DHB has managed these services itself. In March, Canterbury DHB announced it would take over management of all food services from existing provider Medirest, a subsidiary of Compass Group, after the contract expired on 30 June. This followed the decision in September last year not to sign up to the national food service contract.

Acting Chief Executive, Mary Gordon, says over 99 percent of staff had transferred from the previous Compass Group contract, and that food services would continue as usual.

“It's exciting to be welcoming around 300 new staff as a result of the transfer of services in-house. Our intention was that all staff were retained by Canterbury DHB and we are proud that almost all have opted to transfer to become Canterbury DHB employees.

“We are fortunate to have our own well-established, proven and fully-owned, Cook-Chill production unit so we will continue to use the same food production methods. This means we can make savings and deliver more than we could have on the national contract. As a result of the transfer of services any profits from café sales will now be funnelled back into the Canterbury health system.

“We're very thankful for the great service Compass Medirest has provided over the last 13 years. I would also like to thank them, their union, and all the staff who have worked cooperatively behind the scenes on the details to ensure the smooth transition for launch day.”

Food services at Canterbury DHB covers all the meals and beverages for patients, including those with a wide range of dietary requirements, Meals on Wheels, and the provision of food in cafés which are open to staff and the public at Christchurch Women's Hospital, Christchurch Hospital, Burwood Hospital, Ashburton Hospital and Hillmorton Hospital. The DHB prepares and serves more than one million patient meals each year and delivers more than 120,000 meals on wheels.

While there are no immediate changes planned for current menus, which enjoy high levels of customer satisfaction, over time there will be some enhancements to the range of healthy choices available, says Mary Gordon.

The DHB has also developed a new brand for the transferring services to recognise that it will be a separate ‘business unit' within the DHB. The new brand name for this branch of services – ‘WellFood – A fresh approach to food'– is a further signal of the desire to gradually “freshen” up the food options, says Mary Gordon.

“Entering this next phase is very exciting for Canterbury DHB – welcoming our new staff and continuing to enhance our food services for patients, staff and visitors – and to those receiving Meals on Wheels at home.”

ENDS

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Page last updated: 3 October 2018

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