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

Why electronic referrals are good news for the region

Thursday 16 April 2015Media 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.

Canterbury District Health Board welcomes the Minister of Health's recent announcement that the Electronic Request Management System (ERMS) South Island DHBs.

ERMS is an electronic referral tool developed in Canterbury six years ago to improve the way general practices make requests for specialist advice and referred services across both public and private sectors. It handles around 22,600 requests a month at the moment, every one of whom has a faster, smoother patient experience.

General Manager Planning and Funding, Carolyn Gullery says the roll out of ERMS to the rest of the South Island is great news for South Islanders.

“The old method meant you didn't really know whether the referral had been received. And only when the referrer received a ‘sorry, can't help' reply could they take the next step, which was simply to try somewhere else,” Carolyn says.

“Through ERMS, General Practice teams and community nurses make a referral using an electronic form, which is then is submitted directly to a secure referrals database. From there, requests are delivered automatically to anyone of 800 community and hospital services, both public and private.”

ERMS, now South Island wide, means:

Precious time saved for patients and clinicians
Delivery of a request is guaranteed and the quality of information is consistently high and always legible in an electronic format
People can take the best possible next step in their health journey as soon as possible.
Simon Wynn-Thomas, a General Practitioner at Mount Pleasant Medical Centre and Senior Clinical Leader at Pegasus, says ERMS has received positive endorsement from many of the Canterbury General Practitioners who have used it.

“Most say it's easy to use, saves time and because referrals are sent electronically it's more secure as, unlike posted mail or faxes, they always arrive at their intended destination,” he says.

“The real beauty of ERMS from a general practice perspective is that it ensures that the patient has had the appropriate management in the community before referral to secondary care.”

The next phase, scheduled to be piloted late this year, will enable those receiving referrals to respond electronically (electronic triage) and provide electronic advice back to support general practice in managing patients in the community.

Importantly, ERMS also analyses demand and supports a management process that can change service provision to better meet demand. Referral data allows General Practice to compare themselves to other practices – an important step in ensuring consistency of care.


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Page last updated: 19 October 2022

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