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

Patients in Canterbury rural health facilities to be temporarily relocated

Tuesday 1 March 2022Media 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.

Patients in Canterbury rural health facilities to be temporarily relocated

As part of its COVID-19 contingency planning and with the support of the Board, Canterbury DHB will be temporarily closing four rural facilities due to the rapidly increasing number of cases in the community.

The facilities are Waikari, Darfield, Oxford and Ellesmere Hospitals and planning is underway to move 23 residents from these facilities to alternative private facilities.

Canterbury DHB COVID-19 ECC Incident Controller for the Canterbury Health System’s Omicron response, Tracey Maisey, says the DHB is having to make this decision now due to its ability to staff these facilities through the peak of the Omicron outbreak as staffing resources become strained.

“One of our main concerns was that during the outbreak we will not be able to sustain safe staffing levels with appropriately trained staff in these facilities, and this was a major risk that could have had a serious adverse impact on our residents. 

“We are therefore moving with urgency to assess each patient and connect with residents’ families or next of kin to decide on a suitable alternative facility for each resident. We take our responsibility for their care very seriously and will do everything we can to ensure their safety and wellbeing.

“We appreciate that relocating older people is disruptive and may be upsetting for them. However, we need to ensure that they are living somewhere that is well set up and has the staff resources to make sure they will be well looked after during the pandemic, Ms Maisey says.

“Finding suitably-qualified, local staff in rural areas can be very challenging, which is why we need to look after and make the best use of our people.  As part of our whole-of-system response plan, we will be working with the staff from the facilities we have closed temporarily to identify areas they can be redeployed to, to support the sustainable delivery of services – either within Canterbury DHB or with local community providers, where their skills as nursing and care providers are needed.”

Ms Maisey says this relocation of residents is not ideal and will have its challenges, but the support and assistance of family members is being welcomed and appreciated.

“We will take care and be sensitive to the needs and concerns of patients and family to ensure a smooth transition. We will be looking to relocate them as soon as a new home for each resident is agreed. The move to their new home will be temporary. Residents should be back in these hospital facilities within six weeks of the Omicron outbreak’s peak,” says Ms Maisey. 

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Page last updated: 16 June 2022

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