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

Most services returning to Christchurch Outpatients building from Monday 15 April

Friday 12 April 2019Media release3 minutes to read

The Christchurch Outpatients building will be back in action next week with most services back in their normal locations from the building on Monday next week

Please attribute comment to David Meates, Chief Executive, Canterbury District Health Board

I am pleased to report that due to extraordinary efforts from a large team who have worked to dry-out and fix the damage caused by flooding inside the new Outpatients building, most of the building will reopen to the public on Monday 15 April. 

The necessary repairs and testing have been carried out to ensure it will be safe for staff and patients to reoccupy most of the building.

Unfortunately some areas of the building that were worst-affected on the ground floor and parts of the 2nd floor are still being remediated. Work will continue in those isolated areas next week.

All services apart from Diabetes and Endocrine services and Ophthalmology [the Eye service] will be back in their usual locations in the Outpatients building next week. 

  • People who have appointments with the Diabetes service are being seen in a different location. 
  • Some people with essential eye appointments are being seen in alternative locations, with a only a small number being seen in the Outpatients building from Monday. However, some eye appointments for next week have had to be rescheduled. 

People who have appointment letters or texts should continue to turn up to the location on the letter unless you have been contacted and advised otherwise.  If you’re not sure where to go please call the phone number on your appointment letter.

Since the flooding occurred we have had to postpone and reschedule around 700 outpatient appointments a day. During this time arrangements have also be made for some urgent appointments for acutely unwell people to go ahead in alternative locations. 

Contacting patients and rescheduling so many appointments has been a massive undertaking for our administrative staff, and I’d like to thank all of our teams who have worked extremely hard to contact the thousands of people affected.

I would also like to thank the public for their patience as we know having your appointment postponed and rescheduled has been disappointing and inconvenient and we apologise for this unexpected disruption.

Background Information

Early in the morning on Friday 29 March, steam from a burst heating pipe activated the fire sprinkler system which flooded the new Christchurch Outpatients building. There was significant damage to some walls, floors and ceilings.

*Please note that existing appointments at Christchurch Women’s, Christchurch Hospital or Burwood Hospital have not been affected.

ENDS

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Page last updated: 12 April 2019

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