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

Medical Imaging Technologists to go on strike for two 24 hour periods from 7am Monday 30 September AND from 7am Wednesday 2 October

Friday 27 September 2019Media 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.

Canterbury DHB's Medical Imaging Technologists' are striking for two 24 hour periods next week

Canterbury DHB’s Medical Imaging Technologists (MITs) who are members of the APEX union will be on strike for two 24 hour periods from 7am on Monday 30 September to 7am 1 October, AND Wednesday 2 October until 7am Thursday 3 October.

MITs are the health care professionals who carry out a wide range of x-rays and scans.

Canterbury DHB Chief Medical Officer, Dr Sue Nightingale says anyone who has a pre-booked outpatient appointment that involves an x-ray or scan that has to be rebooked as a result of this industrial action, will be contacted by phone or text to reschedule their appointment. Once arranged, the new appointment will stand even if the strike doesn’t go ahead.

“As part of our contingency plans, services from some private providers will be used more extensively than usual. We may transport some hospital patients to a private provider for urgent scans or x-rays and we will be working closely with our Urgent Care and general practice partners to keep disruption to a minimum.

“This does mean that some people who are clinically stable may have to wait longer for an x-ray or scan, and we apologise in advance for that,” says Dr Nightingale.

Anyone who needs emergency care during the 24 hour period of the strike will receive it, including any x-rays or scans necessary for safe care. Canterbury DHB has an arrangement with the union that enables staff who may otherwise be on strike, to provide emergency care if needed.

It’s important to note that sonographers who provide ultrasound scans are not affected by this strike and will continue to work as normal.

Dr Nightingale stressed that anyone who needs health advice or care should continue to make their general practice team their first port of call 24/7.

After hours you can call your own practice, even when they’re closed. Simply follow the instructions on the answerphone to be put through to a nurse who will provide free health advice and tell you what to do and where to go if you need to be seen.

“Of course, if it’s an emergency you should call 111 as usual,” Dr Nightingale said. “We will have staff available to ensure you will receive the care you need.”

ENDS

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION FOR MEDIA

Canterbury DHB employs 144 MITs and the DHB is planning on the basis that they will all be on strike for both 24 hour periods.

The DHB’s Radiology Services operate from Christchurch Hospital Campus, Burwood and Ashburton Hospitals.

Who makes up the Medical Imaging Technologists (MIT) (radiographer) workforce?

Medical Imaging Technologists are health care professionals who specialise in acquiring images to assist Radiologists and Cardiologists and other medical specialists with medical diagnosis and treatment. 

The types of imaging they perform include:

  • General x-ray, including portable x-rays. This is the most common type of imaging used in medical diagnosis. It includes chest x-rays, and x-rays to diagnose broken bones.
  • Fluoroscopy is a specialised type of x-ray equipment that captures real time images. 
  • Image Intensifiers, also produce real time images. They are used in operating theatres to help guide a variety of procedures including checking the position of a hip replacement or a broken bone. Machines that do real time x-ray imaging are also used to guide a range of interventional radiology procedures including unblocking blood vessels to the legs and treating aneurysms or draining blocked kidneys. Cardiologists also use real time imaging in the catheter lab to assess and guide unblocking the arteries of the heart.
  • Bone Densitometry uses very low-dose x-rays to measures the density of bones.
  • CT – A Computerised Tomography or CT scan takes x-ray images from different angles around the body and uses a computer to create ‘slice images’ that show the detail of bones and blood vessels and soft tissues inside the body. 
  • MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging)  – scans your body using strong magnetic fields and radio frequency pulses – the result is a detailed image that shows internal organs and structures.
  • Interventional Radiology – is a medical sub-specialty of radiology which uses minimally-invasive image-guided procedures to diagnose and treat people. An example of this is the clot retrieval service for people who have had a stroke.
  • Nuclear Medicine uses small amounts of radioactive material along with x-rays from a CT scanner to make images that help detect things such as heart disease and bone tumours.

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Page last updated: 19 August 2021

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