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

New toolkit to help schools support student wellbeing

Wednesday 21 June 2017Media release3 minutes to read

All Right? has launched a free wellbeing toolkit to support young people with their mental health and wellbeing.

Sparklers consists of 36 activities that teachers can use to help their year 1-8 students become calmer, happier, and more ready to learn. The activities take between 10 minutes and 1 hour, are aligned with the school curriculum, and cover a wide range of wellbeing topics including managing emotions, living in the moment, being grateful and showing kindness.

Research associate at AUT University's Human Potential Centre and All Right? Advisory Committee member Dr Lucy Hone, says Sparklers will help young people learn the skills they need to build positive mental health.

“Sparklers enables young people to learn strategies that improve wellbeing and build resilience. The activities are designed to help students feel good and function well, and improve their ability to cope with change and navigate the challenges life throws at them,” says Lucy.

Dr Hone says student wellbeing is strongly linked to learning.

“Students with high levels of wellbeing make better learners, find it easier to focus in the classroom and are able to build stronger and meaningful relationships,” says Lucy.

Canterbury DHB's clinical director for Child Adolescent and Family Dr Harith Swadi, says Sparklers has been developed in response to requests from schools for more support to meet the wellbeing needs of Canterbury students post-quake.

“Schools are crying out for more support so they can meet their students' wellbeing needs,” says Harith. “There's a tremendous desire amongst schools to do more in the wellbeing area but up until now there hasn't been a lot of practical guidance on how to go about it.

“Sparklers pulls together evidence based wellbeing activities in a way that's easy to implement in the classroom. The activities are simple, easy, and proven to work,” says Harith.

“We've piloted Sparklers in several Canterbury schools and the response has been amazing. Schools are incredibility enthusiastic about Sparklers and the activities are making a real difference,” says Harith

All Right? manager Sue Turner says that while Sparklers had its genesis in recovery from the greater Christchurch earthquakes, its content is relevant to tamariki throughout New Zealand.

“We think of Sparklers as a kind of gift to the nation. It's a really positive thing that's come out of the earthquakes, and its benefits will extend far beyond Canterbury,” says Sue.

Sue says in addition to the 36 activities for teachers, All Right? has created six parenting guides.

“The parenting guides provide handy tips and tricks on the key areas parents often ask about, including how to help your child be calm, be grateful and manage worries.

“Raising a resilient and happy child isn't always easy but there are things parents and carers can do that can make a big difference. Just like us, tamariki face daily demands and worries. Knowing what these are and the best ways to address them can prevent little things turning into really big things,” says Sue.   

Sparklers has been made possible thanks to funding from the Canterbury Earthquake Appeal Trust and Canterbury District Health Board and support from the Canterbury DHB's Community and Public Health and School Based Mental Health Team.

Find out more about Sparklers.

Download the parenting guides and information on on nearly 70 Canterbury parenting courses.

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Page last updated: 3 October 2018

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