Unable to visit someone in hospital? We can help you stay connected.
Email your message/pictures to email@example.com stating who it is from, who it is for and which hospital/ward they are in. Our volunteers will make sure your message gets to them.
An Interpreter Service is available if you do not speak English as your first language or have hearing loss and use NZ Sign Language. Please discuss this with a member of your healthcare team (e.g. nurse, doctor) to arrange an interpreter.
For areas outside Christchurch City (such as for Ashburton Hospital, Kaikōura Health, and other rural hospitals), ask staff about interpreters.
The interpreter service is:
If no interpreter is available, staff will contact a community provider or the Interpreting NZ Telephone Service.
Language interpreters do not translate papers or documents.
If you have health documents in another language, you can arrange to translate them through credentialed translation provider MLT Translation Centre, or ask a member of your health care team to arrange this.
If you or your family need accommodation during your treatment period, you should discuss this with your regular health care team in your home town. A social worker or the person in charge of your care can give you accommodation information.
Hauora Māori Māori Health Services also runs a low-cost whānau accommodation service for those eligible.
The hospital chaplains have been theologically and clinically trained and licenced to work in a hospital.
The chaplaincy team offers confidential compassionate support, prayer, and a listening ear in times of stress or loneliness; before and after surgery; for people experiencing loss and bereavement and around matters of faith and illness; and in celebrating the joys of life. They are available for prayer and church sacraments.
Many hospitals have an interfaith chapel, or a quiet place for prayer and reflection.
The chaplains are available to people of all faiths and no faith, and are here to support people of all religions and cultures. They can also contact your own religious or spiritual advisor and ask them to visit (Jewish, Hindu, Muslim, Buddhist, etc.).
Your nurse, social worker, ward clerk or doctor can arrange for a chaplain to visit you, or you can ask to speak with a chaplain when you see them in the ward.
Hospital chaplains provide appropriate blessing rituals for patients, their families and staff. This includes blessing rooms after death, equipment, wards, and workplaces.
Hauora Māori - Māori health services in Canterbury give patients and whānau culturally appropriate advice and support.
Specially trained staff give āwhina/help and tautoko/support with cultural issues and education on tikanga (values and beliefs). The service can also help you find organisations and resources to support your recovery.
The services available are:
Staff can sometimes arrange video conferences with your GP or practice nurse and family.
A video consultation uses a video link to allow you and your health care professional (clinician) to see and hear each other, even though you are not in the same place. They can save you time, money and may be preferred if you can’t travel far.
Things to remember for a video conference:
For more service contact details see service listings on our hospital pages.
The Princess Margaret Hospital
If you have concerns about your care, you can talk to staff, managers, customer support, or the Consumer Advocacy Service.
Staff and support services are available to help you when you have a bereavement.
Visit the Healthinfo website for advice on what to do when someone dies.
You may qualify for funded short term counselling sessions through your GP.
Many funeral homes offer grief support and information.
National organisation offering support services, information, counselling and support groups.
Phone: 0800 299 100
Bereavement support and grief counselling services.
Phone: 03 375 4274
24-hour community helpline.
Phone: 0800 543 354
24-hour support for people affected by crime or trauma
Phone: 0800 842 846
At some of our hospitals there may be volunteers who help patients, visitors and staff in a variety of ways including:
There are many ways you can make a difference through a role that matches your skills, interests and availability.
Enquiries for volunteering at Burwood Hospital:
Phone: 03 383 9499
Enquiries for volunteering at Christchurch Hospital:
Facebook: Christchurch Hospital Volunteers
If you would like to volunteer at one of our other sites or services, please contact that site or service directly.
Free public Wi-Fi internet access is available in most hospital areas.
Please be respectful when using your electronic devices in hospitals – turn the volume down or use headphones.
For more information read our Wi-Fi FAQs below or view more information about Connecting to Public Wi-Fi Mobile devices.
Which Te Whatu Ora sites provide free public Wi-Fi?
Christchurch Hospital, Christchurch Women's and outpatient areas have the free service. Some areas of Burwood and Hillmorton Hospitals also have free public Wi-Fi.
Exclusions include the Great Escape Cafe in Christchurch Hospital and the University of Otago, Christchurch School of Medicine.
How will people know exactly where it is available?
There are signs, posters and other promotional materials to make it clear where the Wi-Fi service is available.
How easy is it to use and how reliable is the service?
The service is delivered over high-speed fibre infrastructure and is reliable. Priority is given to clinical data.
Who is paying for the service?
Te Whatu Ora provides the infrastructure and 2degrees provides the internet feed.
What restrictions are there?
TVs are available for patients and visitors to watch in patient lounges, waiting areas, and some wards and patient rooms. TVs brought from home will not work in our hospitals.
Patients and visitors are welcome to watch streaming videos on their phones, tablets or notebook computers as long as they do not disturb other patients or staff. There is a free Wi-Fi service available in most areas of our hospitals.
TIP// To avoid disturbing fellow patients, please use headphones if you are watching something in a ward.
Cafe opening hours are listed below, our hospital pages have additional details about shops and other facilities available at each site.
The Princess Margaret Hospital
ALL hospitals and health facilities
|Great Escape Café||9am - 7.30pm, 7 days.|
|Willow Lane, Waipapa||8am - 8pm, 7 days.|
|Kanuka, Outpatients||7am - 3.30pm, Monday - Friday.|
|PeaBerry, Waipapa||7am - 3.30pm, Monday - Friday.|
|Parkside Café||7am - 3pm, Monday - Friday.|
|Christchurch Women's Hospital Café||8am - 2pm, Monday - Friday.|
|Ashburton Hospital Café||8am - 3:30pm, Monday - Friday.|
|Burwood Travis Courtyard Café||8am - 4pm, 7 days.
Reduced hours: 8am - 3.30pm, 24 December to 15 January
|Hillmorton Hospital Avon Café||8am - 3pm, Monday - Friday.|
You can help your own recovery by learning about your condition on our HealthInfo Canterbury website.
You have the right to see your health record and other information Te Whatu Ora Waitaha Canterbury holds about you.
There are three ways to request a copy of your medical record and patient info from the Patient Information Office:
Te Hā - Waitaha Stop Smoking Canterbury offers free tailored stop smoking support to anyone in Canterbury. Free nicotine replacement patches, gum and lozenges are
Studies have shown better outcomes when patients stop smoking before surgery, including much lower rates of wound infection, cardiovascular complications, reduced hospital stay and lowered need for repeat surgery.
You should aim to be smoke and vape free for as long as possible prior to your
The earlier you stop the better, but shorter periods of smokefree time can still help.
Here are some of the benefits of quitting smoking:
Remember to tell your surgeon and anaesthetist if you are currently smoking or vaping.
Contact Te Hā - Waitaha if you wish to quit: 0800 425 700 or www.stopsmokingcanterbury.org.nz
Crutches and other Physiotherapy (physio) and Occupational Therapy (OT) equipment can be returned to Christchurch Hospital and Burwood Hospital.
Return equipment to the Occupational Therapy Department located in the Physical Medicine Building, Gate 3, Burwood Hospital, Mairehau Road, Burwood.
Please label the equipment with the borrower’s name. Equipment includes (but is not limited to):
If you lose personal property while in hospital, please call the hospital concerned, and ask for “lost property”.
Please provide the following details:
Page last updated: 17 April 2023
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