VISITING HOSPITAL

Hospital visitors must wear a medical paper face mask. Fabric face coverings are not acceptable. Expand this message for more detailed information about hospital visiting guidelines.

Last updated:
16 September 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 Friday 16 September 2022

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 people must continue to 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 must 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 surgical 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 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 must wear a medical 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

Meningococcal disease is not like measles…it’s hard to ‘catch’

Monday 30 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.

Following publicity about the death of a Christchurch dance teacher from meningococcal disease, Canterbury DHB’s public health unit has been fielding calls from concerned parents

Canterbury DHB’s public health unit has been fielding calls from concerned parents following publicity about the death of a Christchurch dance teacher from meningococcal disease.

Canterbury DHB Medical Officer of Health, Dr Cheryl Brunton said unlike measles, which is highly contagious, meningococcal bacteria are hard to catch. They pass from one person to another through secretions from the nose or throat, during close or prolonged contact. Members of the same household as a person who has the disease are at the highest risk of getting it.

“We have identified all close contacts of this young woman and they have been given antibiotics as a precaution, as this can stop them developing meningococcal disease.

“Students who attended dance classes are not considered close contacts, so they do not need any treatment,” Dr Brunton said. 

“I would like to reassure parents that being in the same room as someone with meningococcal disease does not mean you will catch it,” she said.

Meningococcal disease is a fast-moving illness that can start out looking like a flu-like illness.

“It’s a bacterial infection that causes two very serious illnesses: meningitis (an infection of the membranes that cover the brain) and septicaemia (blood poisoning). It can affect anyone – but it’s more common in children under the age of 5, teenagers, and young adults.

“There are several different groups of meningococcal bacteria including groups A, B, C, Y and W. Up to 15% of people carry the bacteria that cause meningococcal disease in their nose and throat without being sick. In some people, for reasons we don’t fully understand, these bacteria sometimes go on to cause disease, spreading through the bloodstream (causing blood poisoning) or to the brain (causing meningitis). The bacteria is spread in saliva droplets and secretions by coughing, sneezing and kissing. Sharing eating and drinking utensils can also spread the bacteria,” Cheryl Brunton said.

Meningococcal vaccination is recommended for young people who are going to live in communal accommodation like hostels or boarding schools but this is not currently publicly funded.  

Several meningococcal vaccines are available in New Zealand, but they aren't free. You can pay for them privately through your General Practice team.

The Ministry of Health funds free vaccinations for groups of people with a high risk of meningococcal disease (mostly people with impaired immune system function). They also recommend but don't fund vaccinations for other groups of people.

See https://www.health.govt.nz/our-work/diseases-and-conditions/meningococcal/ 

Signs and symptoms of meningococcal disease 

Meningococcal disease symptoms typically develop very quickly over a few hours, but in some cases may develop more slowly over several days. A person with meningococcal disease may only have some of the symptoms. The symptoms don't develop in any particular order.

Common symptoms of meningococcal disease include:

  • a fever (high temperature), although their hands and feet may feel cold
  • vomiting
  • muscle and joint aches and pains.

Common symptoms of meningitis include:

  • a headache, which may be severe
  • a stiff neck
  • sensitivity to bright light
  • drowsiness and confusion (being hard to wake them).

A red or purple rash is common, but it doesn't always happen. One or two spots can appear anywhere on the body then many more appear looking like rash or bruises.

If you’re concerned that someone in your family might have meningococcal disease, call your doctor straight away or dial 111. Say what the symptoms are.

In Canterbury you can call your own general practice team 24/7 and after-hours when the practice is closed simply follow the instructions on the answer phone to be put through to a nurse who can provide free health advice.

If you have seen a doctor and gone home, but are still concerned, don't hesitate to call your doctor again or seek further medical advice. 

ENDS

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Page last updated: 11 October 2022

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