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

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.
Covid-19

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 www.cdhb.health.nz/covid19

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

ENDS

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Page last updated: 30 July 2020

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