All hospital visitors are recommended to wear a medical face mask. Expand this message for information about visiting hospital.

Last updated:
13 March 2023


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.

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

Intermittent server issue delays discharge summaries being sent to GPs

Wednesday 8 July 2015Media release4 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.

An intermittent server issue has resulted in almost 6,000 discharge summaries not being sent to GPs.

Discharge summaries generated for some patients who attended a hospital in Canterbury, the West Coast and South Canterbury between 18 May and 26 June were delayed due to an intermittent fault in the servers which sends data from the hospitals to a patient's GP.

A discharge summary provides a written summary of a patient's hospital admission. This includes symptoms, treatment, medications and instructions on any follow up required. In Canterbury, most patients also receive a printed copy of this information to take home with them, and the usual process is that an electronic copy will be sent to their GP practice at the same time.

Due to an intermittent issue affecting three (out of five) of the Health Connect South servers, these summaries were not automatically sent.

The issue was discovered on Friday 26 June. Since then all of the un-sent discharge summaries have been identified, and have been sent to each GP to review.

A process to determine how this issue occurred and identify changes to systems and processes required to prevent a recurrence, is underway.

Spokesperson for Canterbury District Health Board, chief medical officer, Dr Nigel Millar, said the system failure was regrettable. “We are very sorry that this issue occurred and apologise to everyone impacted – particularly GPs, who are now receiving a large number of discharge summaries to review at once,” he said. “If any patients are adversely affected by this delay I will be in touch with them individually,” Dr Millar said.

“Electronic discharge summaries have been around for a number of years and have greatly improved the speed and legibility of information transfer between hospital clinicians and primary care. On this occasion an as-yet-unknown problem with a number of our servers has caused this regrettable delay.

“I would like to assure the public of Canterbury the West Coast and South Canterbury, that we are taking this issue very seriously and will be putting in place safe-guards to reduce the chance of anything similar happening in the future,” Dr Millar said.


Frequently asked questions:

What is a discharge summary?

A discharge summary provides a written summary of a patient's hospital admission. This includes symptoms, treatment, medications and instructions on any follow up required.

How was the problem identified?

Calls were received from a few GPs on Friday 26 June who hadn't received discharge summaries for their patients who had been discharged from hospital.

How did the problem occur for so long without someone noticing?

As the problem was intermittent and some discharge summaries were being sent as per usual, it took some time to identify that there was an issue over the six week period.

How many patients discharge summaries weren't sent?

In total, 5,927 discharge summaries weren't sent.

This total comprised:

4638 patients who attended hospitals in Canterbury;
218 patients who attended hospitals on the West Coast and
1071 patients who attended hospitals in South Canterbury

Is an electronic discharge summary the only way a GP can find out about what's been happening with their patients who have been in hospital?

No. In Canterbury most patients receive a printed copy of their discharge summary when they leave hospital. This can be taken to any subsequent GP visits. The electronic patient discharge summaries are also stored on the HealthOne patient record, however, GPs have to know to look there – and without knowledge of the server failure, GPs would not be expected to go looking for their patient's electronic discharge summary as they are usually sent to them directly.

​The process of providing patients with a printed discharge summary varies between DHBs, and their availability is also dependent on them being completed by the time a patient is ready to go home.


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Page last updated: 19 October 2022

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