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.

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 to 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

New Chief Medical Officer announced

Wednesday 1 June 2016Media release3 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.

Dr Sue Nightingale is well known to many in the Canterbury Health System and it's her established credentials and networks, which have led her to the role of Chief Medical Officer (CMO).

Dr Nightingale will step into the CMO role for the Canterbury District Health Board starting September 19, 2016.

“It was departing CMO Dr Nigel Millar who really planted the seed suggesting I should go for this role. It didn't take me long to think ‘well yes, I can do this',” Dr Nightingale says.

“I have established connections across the Canterbury and National health systems. I am excited about taking on a new set of challenges.

‘I work from a strong clinical governance framework which includes promoting clinical leadership, best clinical practice and ensuring the patient voice is heard.'

A committed clinician and talented leader, Dr Nightingale has worked for the Canterbury DHB and its predecessor organisations since 1988 in a variety of clinical and leadership roles. She is currently Chief of Psychiatry and Director of Area Mental Health Services, positions she has held since 2010.

During her time as Chief of Psychiatry, Dr Nightingale has displayed deep appreciation of clinical governance and leadership, and a real passion for ensuring patients' experience of healthcare is the best it can be. Her philosophy is simply “patients really do come first”.

Dr Nightingale places huge value on the importance of involving and engaging families and also encouraging clinicians to work from the view of putting themselves in the patient's shoes.

She also believes clinicians need to maintain care and respect for each other at all times and for any bad behaviour to always be addressed immediately.

“Otherwise if you don't, you are saying you're accepting that behaviour.”

Dr Nightingale also holds high the importance of having a work-life balance.

“We all need a work-life balance. I've always said that what's most important to me is family and everything else comes after that.”

Alongside putting family first is taking charge of your own physical and mental wellbeing.

Making time to stay active and healthy is essential, Dr Nightingale says.

“I enjoy getting out on my road bike when I can and swimming. I've taken part in the swimming leg of a couple triathlons as part of a team. I really enjoy it and I think it's important to have outside interests in your life. You're not effective otherwise.”

Dr Nightingale received her medical training at the University of Otago. She went on to obtain a Diploma in Obstetrics and, more recently, a Masters in Bioethics and Health Law. She initially trained in general practice, but moved on to psychiatry and obtained her Fellowship of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists (FRANZCP). In 2015, Dr Nightingale was awarded Fellowship of the Royal Australasian College of Medical Administrators (RACMA).

She has held a variety of clinical and leadership positions within mental health services in Canterbury and is also a government appointee to the Mental Health Review Tribunal on which she has served since 2009. Dr Nightingale is currently National Chair of the Directors of Area Mental Health Services.

In partnership with clinical directors and operational leaders across mental health services, Dr Nightingale has led wide-ranging service improvements to Canterbury's mental health services that are delivering stunning results despite the significant pressures that these services have been under over the post-earthquake period.


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Page last updated: 19 October 2022

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