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

Reopening Waitaha’s rural hospitals

Friday 2 September 2022Media release2 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.

Patient Deck at Waikari Hospital

Patient Deck at Waikari Hospital

Rural hospitals at Ellesmere, Waikari and Darfield are planned to reopen on 31 October 2022.

The closure of the rural hospitals, including Oxford, was a temporary measure due to the challenges in providing safe staffing during the COVID-19 Omicron outbreak. Oxford Hospital reopened in June.

Te Whatu Ora Waitaha Executive Director of Nursing Becky Hickmott says staff are delighted to be returning to their normal place of work and are looking forward to providing services again in their local rural communities

“These rural hospitals are small local facilities that provide mainly aged residential care to people, such as respite care and palliative care, allowing them to remain in their own communities,” says Becky Hickmott.

“We appreciate that relocating older people is disruptive and that the closure has been hard for some of our residents and their whānau. Importantly, we needed to ensure our residents were living somewhere that had the staff resources to make sure they were well looked after during the pandemic.” 

“Te Whatu Ora Waitaha is committed to investing in rural communities and we will continue work in partnership with them, and our staff who know their communities best, to continue to develop the service model of these facilities based on modern, evidence-based practice.”

Hurunui Mayor Marie Black says she is thrilled to see the rural hospitals reopening, allowing these facilities to continue to deliver exceptional care to the community.  Mayor Black has been a strong advocate for the Hospitals and the services they provide.

“Mayors and friends of the rural hospitals have worked in collaboration with Te Whatu Ora to get to this point and I know that our communities will be really happy to see these unique facilities reopened,” says Mayor Black.

“Our community hospitals are so important, they are truly cherished facilities. I’m grateful that our collaborative work has allowed them to reopen,’ added Selwyn Mayor Sam Broughton.


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Page last updated: 26 February 2024

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