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

Last updated:
13 March 2023

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

Let it be just leaves that fall in Canterbury this autumn

Friday 7 April 2017Media release4 minutes to read

The Canterbury Health System has made great progress in reducing the harm caused by falls but it's still a major cause of harm, both in hospitals and in the community. So what are we doing about it?

Along with other District Health Boards and with the backing of the Health Quality and Safety Commission, Canterbury DHB is promoting a number of April Falls initiatives.

Canterbury DHB Director Quality and Safety Susan Wood says staff have been challenged to come up with clever ways to raise awareness about how to reduce the risk of a vulnerable person having a fall.

“We want staff to come up with clever and creative ways of highlighting falls as an issue, and raising awareness of how to make them less likely to happen. So far we have displays and videos. In the past we have received poems, and even songs,” Susan says.

Canterbury DHB has recreated new graphics to support the falls prevention message, thanks to Waikato DHB, who shared their idea for an autumn leaves theme. 

The key message is that our ultimate aim is that nothing but leaves should fall this autumn,” Susan says.

“We have also put huge effort into communicating what needs to be done to prevent harm to at-risk adults through our Releasing Time to Care bedside ‘Patient Status at a Glance' Mobility Plans. Handover at the bedside and frequent checks by nurses are a really effective strategy for helping keep patients safe in our hospitals.”

Clinical lead for Falls Prevention in Canterbury Ken Stewart agrees but also stresses the importance of falls prevention initiatives in the community as part of a whole health system approach.

“We have an internationally acclaimed Community Falls Programme that makes use of referrals mainly from General Practice and the hospital to identify those most at risk in the community and connects them with a Falls Champion,” Ken says.

“Many of those most at risk are frail elderly, and they aren't just more likely to fall, the consequences can be devastating to their independence – broken hips are all too common and sometimes fatal.”

A Falls Champion visits a person's home to assess and help minimise home-based hazards: things like trailing cables, checking footwear has grip, securing mats or carpets, moving furniture that might be blocking where people walk most often, and increasing lighting levels.

There are other simple but less obvious actions that can help someone avoid a fall, such as placing the phone where it can be reached easily so older people don't fall hurrying to answer it, and making sure there is a light by the bed so that a person can go to the toilet safely during the night.

A Falls Champion – often a physiotherapist – will usually recommend an individually-tailored exercise routine to help build strength, balance and confidence. Over the past five years, Falls Champions have helped keep more than 6000 older Cantabrians living independently in their own homes.

“Other health professionals can help too: a pharmacist or GP team can help review medications to make sure they are taken at the right time and don't cause dizzy spells, and an optometrist can review a person's glasses prescription to make sure poor vision doesn't contribute to a fall.”

Since the programme began five years ago and compared with the figures expected for people 75 and older, Canterbury has had:

  • 2253 fewer ED attendances
  • 590 fewer broken hips
  • 37,683 more hospital beds days available for the care of others, due to reducing the number of older people needing hospital care due to a fall.

Since Canterbury DHB's Older Persons Health moved to Burwood, our data shows there has also been a 22 percent reduction in falls in just the first six months, which equates to 121 fewer falls compared to the same period in previous years.

“All of our work in preventing falls, whether in hospital or at home, is part of our health system's integrated approach to reducing the risk of harm to some of our community's most vulnerable people. When combined with other initiatives to prevent avoidable injuries and manage people's health in the community  our overall strategy of helping keep people well and at home is really working,” Ken says.



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Page last updated: 27 September 2018

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