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

New Christchurch Outpatients to open on Monday 29 October

Friday 26 October 2018Media release3 minutes to read

Registered nurses Sheela Marjoshi and Joy Fabic take one of the crates to the big job of packing up the Eye Clinic.

Registered nurses Sheela Marjoshi and Joy Fabic take one of the crates to the big job of packing up the Eye Clinic.

The first three of 27 services will move into the new $72 million Christchurch Outpatient facility this weekend. From early this morning, Friday 26 October, staff from the Eye Clinic, Haematology and Pre Admission have been packing boxes even as Crown Relocation movers started dismantling the computer equipment and workstations around them.

Teams from Canterbury DHB’s Information Services Group will have a demanding weekend restoring and testing services to computers, phones, and equipment to ensure everything is up and running before the first patients arrive at the Eye Clinic on the afternoon of Monday 29.

The rest of the staged migration takes place from 2-5 November when Hagley Outpatients moves, and 9 -12 November when the Diabetes team leaves the Diabetes Centre.

The new Outpatients facility will be busy. Just over 300 staff will be working there and on average around 800 people per day will come in for appointments with the various specialist services that will soon be based there.

Volunteers will be available in the main reception to help patients navigate the building.

Canterbury DHB CEO David Meates says the amazing efforts by all involved need to be acknowledged.

“These moves to new state-of-the-art facilities are the culmination of years of work by teams of people, from users to architects, right through to construction contractors and our own project teams. We have a beautiful facility that is designed to be fit for purpose and deliver world leading health care services to our community.”

He also praised the tolerance and patience of health care consumers and staff alike. “It’s not easy to live in a city recovering from a major disaster and then to have so many obstacles in your way when you try and access services.

“We have continued to deliver high standards of care, while acknowledging that access to services in the health precinct has been and will be challenging for some time. People have been amazingly tolerant and patient, and it’s good to see that patience rewarded with the opening of the new Outpatients.”

“We want to acknowledge the amazing efforts by everyone who helped get this facility ready.”

The Christchurch Outpatients building is five storeys high and provides 10,500m2 of state-of-the-art facilities for 27 different services that have been brought back under one roof after being dispersed widely across the hospital campus and the city since the 2011 earthquakes.

Dr Rob Ojala, Canterbury DHB clinical lead for facilities redevelopment, says the emphasis for the new facility is to support integrated specialist community care.

“This will help patients gain access to the specialist care they need outside of the more traditional hospital-based care environment,” Dr Ojala says.

“It’s been a long journey to get here and I’d like to acknowledge and thank the Board and Hospital Redevelopment Partnership Group for their ongoing support. We are really pleased with what we have achieved and look forward to being able to deliver even higher standards of care, with the patient at the centre as always.”

Additional Information

Outpatient services to be based in the new Christchurch Outpatients building include: Diabetes, Endrocrine, the Blood Test Centre; Hospital Dental, Canterbury Eye Services (Ophthalmology), Haematology, General Medicine, Gastroenterology, General Surgery, Infectious Diseases, Dermatology, Respiratory, Cardiothoracic, Cardiology, Neurology, and Urology.

The new Christchurch Outpatients building is on land that was formerly the site of the Presbyterian St Andrews Church, first opened in 1857. The church was relocated to Rangi Ruru School in 1987.

Back to Health News

Page last updated: 26 November 2018

Is this page useful?