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

International health leaders visit Christchurch for The Lab Meeting

Wednesday 9 May 2018Media release3 minutes to read

International leaders in health laboratories and the wider health field are attending a conference in Christchurch this week.

The annual conference, organised by Canterbury Health Laboratories, will focus on topics across the health and technology disciplines.

Speakers include Canterbury and New Zealand health leaders as well as special international guests:

Dr Jacqui Lunday Johnstone – Chief Health Professions Officer in Scottish Government

Dr Jacqui Lunday Johnstone represents the 64 allied health and healthcare science disciplines, advising government ministers of professional, regulatory, educational, and service issues the disciplines face.

“Within a government department, the people who lead on policy creation are often civil servants, so they don’t always come with subject matter expertise, they come with policy-making skills,” she says.

“So I would help to give them a steer, help connect them with people with subject matter expertise, or I would help them shape the policy in partnership in terms of informing their thinking.”

Jacqui has served in Scottish Government for 16 years, in which time there have been three administration changes and five Cabinet Secretaries for Health and Wellbeing.

She is speaking at The LAB Meeting about policy developed in Scotland to increase the visibility of healthcare scientists.

“The healthcare scientists themselves in Scotland only make up 5 percent of the clinical workforce, but they contribute to 80 percent of the diagnosis. So they punch significantly above their weight,” Jacqui says.

“We have hopefully helped workforce planners, decision makers and professional leaders outside of healthcare science to have a better understanding of the value that they bring.”

Margo Ward – Founder and CEO at KidsXpress

Margo Ward pioneered play therapy in Australia at the Sydney Children’s Hospital.

For the last 14 years, she has helmed KidsXpress, a Sydney-based not-for-profit organisation treating childhood trauma with play therapy and other expressive therapy practices.

External reviews of KidsXpress show it has a significant psychological impact on the children it works with, and that for every dollar invested in the organisation, it returns $2.76 in benefit to society.

“I don’t want a feel-good programme, I want a programme that has impact,” Margo says.

KidsXpress has recently expanded is operations and acquired a training programme, with the intention of working with caregivers as well as children.

The organisation still has fewer than 25 employees, but Margo says she had to adapt to changes to the company’s culture.

She is presenting at The LAB Meeting on the subject of culture development and talent retention.

ENDS

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Page last updated: 20 December 2018

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