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Temporary changes to limit visitor numbers at Canterbury DHB facilities

Friday 20 March 2020Media release5 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THIS IS AN ARCHIVED PAGE. The advice and information contained in this page may not be current and it should only be used for historical reference purposes.

Temporary changes to limit visitor numbers at Canterbury DHB facilities

From 25 March 2020 the visitor limitations below (from 21 March) will change and there will be further restrictions on visiting hospitals.

In line with the Government’s directive that we are to escalate to COVID-19 alert level 4 protocol from midnight on 25 March, all Canterbury DHB facilities will be adopting a no-visitors policy, with only a few notable exceptions.

The exceptions include a nominated person who is supporting a terminal patient through end of life care, and a parent/guardian who is supporting a child.

The decision about whether exceptional circumstances apply is at the Charge Nurse Manager’s or another lead clinician’s discretion.

In all exceptions where a visitor is allowed to access any DHB facility, appropriate screening will take place before they are allowed to enter the care environment to ensure they are well. This measure, as with all current COVID-19-related measures, is to ensure the safety of patients and staff by minimising avoidable contact and the potential for spread.

For the latest information see

Canterbury DHB Chief Medical Officer Dr Sue Nightingale today announced significant temporary changes to the DHB’s visitor policy in response to COVID-19 (coronavirus).

“As part of our efforts to reduce the chances of COVID-19 or any other infection spreading to our vulnerable patients, a number of temporary changes are being introduced to our visitor policy.

Anyone who is sick should not be coming to visit anyone in hospital; while this is advisable at any time it is incredibly important now, says Dr Nightingale.

“We are limiting the numbers of people coming into our facilities from tomorrow, Saturday 21 March 2020. These changes are being put in place to minimise the risk of visitors who are unwell spreading illness to patients.

Visiting hours will remain the same for services (as publicised on our website for each service) but what is changing is the number of visitors coming in and the number of support people accompanying people coming in for appointments.

From Saturday 21 March the following changes will apply:

Christchurch Hospital

  • Emergency Department – one support person only to accompany people presenting to ED
  • Outpatient Appointments, including Bone Shop – one support person per patient.
  • Neonatal Intensive Care (NICU) – parents only visiting
  • CHOC – (Child Haematology Oncology Centre) – no visitors and one parent to accompany/stay with each patient
  • Paediatric wards – one caregiver allowed with child patient at any one time.
  • All remaining inpatient wards and services – no more than one visitor per patient at any one time.
  • No children under 16 to come hospital visiting.
  • Exceptions: Clinical Nurse Managers can assess requests on a case by case basis. For example, exceptions will be considered on compassionate grounds for end of life care.
  • Visitors will not be allowed to visit any COVID-19 patients

Christchurch Women’s Hospital/Rangiora Health Hub maternity/Lincoln Maternity/Ashburton Maternity

  • One named support person per woman.  Each woman will be asked to nominate one named individual who can visit for the duration of her stay.
  • All visitors to our maternity facilities must sign each time they visit.

Burwood Hospital

  • No more than one visitor at any time per patient.
  • One support person per outpatient.

Specialist Mental Health Services at Hillmorton campus & The Princess Margaret Hospital site

  • No more than one visitor at any time per patient.
  • One support person per outpatient.

Ashburton Hospital, Kaikōura Health (Te Hā o Te Ora), Oxford Hospital, Darfield Hospital, Ellesmere Hospital, Waikari Hospital, Chatham Islands Health Centre

  • No more than one visitor at any time per patient.
  • One support person per outpatient.

“It’s vital that we reduce the numbers of people coming into our facilities to reduce the opportunity for any infections to spread.  I would like to thank people in advance for their cooperation and playing their part to keep our patients safe,” Dr Nightingale says.

For people with outpatient appointments, if you are unwell or have potentially been exposed to anyone with COVID-19 symptoms, please do not come in. Call the phone the number on your appointment letter and staff can make a new appointment for you. They may be able to arrange a phone or video consultation as an alternative to a face to face appointment.

We also advise anyone who has returned from a country or territory of concern, or who has been in close contact with a confirmed COVID-19 case in the past 14 days, or who is experiencing symptoms – including cough, sore throat, or fever or shortness of breath – or who is generally unwell to avoid visiting people in our hospitals.

Only people with symptoms should call Healthline’s COVID-19 line on 0800 358 5453



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Page last updated: 30 July 2020

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