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.

Kia whakahaumaru te whānau, me ngā iwi katoa – this is 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 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

Surgery deferred as Christchurch Hospital tops 112% occupancy

Tuesday 31 May 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.

Influenza vaccinations now available

Influenza vaccinations now available

Planned care, including some major surgery has had to be postponed today due to extremely high levels of acutely unwell people needing to be admitted to hospital.  The situation is made more difficult as Canterbury DHB is also experiencing high levels of staff sickness.

Senior Responsible Officer for COVID-19, Becky Hickmott says today Canterbury has 1200 new cases of COVID-19.  “We know the real number will be much bigger than that and the demand for care is impacting general practice teams, our urgent care practices, hospitals and health centres.

“More than 170 of our staff are off with COVID-19 today. We’ve had an average of 200 staff off with COVID-19 every day for some weeks now. This is in addition to high levels of sick leave being taken by health staff right across the system for other illnesses and to care for dependents.  With flu now circulating in Canterbury there’s another serious virus out there affecting staff and the wider community,” Becky Hickmott said. 

“It’s not too late to get your flu vaccination, COVID-19 booster or MMR immunisations. By having your vaccinations and staying well this winter, you’ll help keep health services free for those who need urgent care,” Becky Hickmott said.

Christchurch Hospital’s Chief of Surgery, Greg Robertson says surgical teams are extremely disappointed at having to defer people’s surgery, often at short notice. “We don’t take these decisions lightly, and each case is carefully considered before a decision to defer is made,” Greg Robertson said. 

“We were just starting to gear up again after our COVID-19 surgery slowdown, and this week our hospitals are full of very unwell people with a range of medical and surgical conditions. 

“We’re currently sitting at 112% occupancy which means we have more patients than resourced beds, so our focus is on increasing the flow of patients through our system. 

Christchurch Hospital ED is seeing high numbers of people (380 people in the past 24 hours) and 30% of those coming to ED are so unwell they need to be admitted to hospital.  This means our available beds are filling up fast and there’s no additional capacity to accommodate planned surgical patients. 

“Reducing the amount of planned surgery we carry out is the only way we can continue to provide safe care to those who need it,” Greg Robertson said. “To those whose surgery has been deferred today, and to those we will have to postpone this week please accept my sincere apologies on behalf of the team.  I know how disappointing and disruptive it is to hear that news.

“Once we have passed this period of intense acute demand, we will start rebooking people when we can have greater confidence that their surgery will be able to go ahead.  We are working with the private hospitals in Canterbury to increase surgical capacity wherever possible.  All we can say is sorry, as right now we need to focus our efforts of people coming through the front door needing hospital level care, while preserving some capacity for acute (unplanned) surgery,” Greg Robertson said.


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Page last updated: 18 July 2022

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