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

Keeping well

  • Ask questions
  • Discuss your options with your health care team and learn the pros and cons
  • Agree to the treatment you want (give informed consent)
  • Bring a support person to ask questions for you and help you understand your choices

Welcome to our Smokefree District Health Board

You can’t smoke or vape on any of our hospital grounds, but we can help you take the opportunity to be smokefree. Staying smokefree when you leave hospital is one of the best things you can do for your health.

  • Experienced health staff are here to help you and your family stop smoking
  • Ask a doctor or nurse for a free Quit Pack for you or your family
  • Nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) is available, including patches, lozenges and gum which supply nicotine to your body and reduce cravings, irritability and restlessness
  • If you don’t want to stop smoking, we can help you manage your nicotine needs while you are in hospital
  • Visit or for free support

Falling hurts, and it often causes injuries. Injuries from falls can make people stay in hospital longer or need to move to aged residential care.

Find out how to protect yourself or a loved one from falling with the following resources:


Restorative care means helping you live independently and participate in your community for longer. Focus on staying healthy instead of thinking about your health when you get sick.

It also includes helping you recover quickly from injury or illness and be involved with decisions about your care.

Read this restorative care brochure to learn what you can do in hospital and at home to stay independent and see our Keeping healthy & well pages for tips to improve your quality of life.

Note: If you are using an older browser and cannot see the video above, it can be viewed on instead.

Keep safe from infections while you are in hospital

If you are ill, injured, have a wound drain or other tube or device in your body, you have more risk of developing an infection. Infections can increase the time it takes you to recover and lead to a longer stay in hospital or worse.

Here are some simple things you can do to help prevent spreading infections:

  • Please wash and clean your hands thoroughly and regularly
    • Clean your hands with the alcohol hand rub or wash your hands with soap and water every time you enter and leave a ward or clinic.
    • Wash your hands with soap and water after visiting the toilet.
    • Alcohol-based hand rubs are freely available around the ward, they are very effective at killing germs.
    • You may wish to thank staff for cleaning their hands before and after touching you and don’t be afraid to give a gentle reminder if needed.

For more information about hand hygiene and how to clean your hands, visit the HealthInfo website .

  • Bring your own toiletries – please do not borrow or share from other patients.
  • Prevent an infection after surgery - read the patient information leaflet Preventing infection after surgery to find out more.

We take infection prevention very seriously.

It's ok to ask. If you have any worries or concerns about infection in hospital, speak to the nurse looking after you or the nurse in charge who can help you. You can also contact a member of the Infection Prevention & Control Team for further advice.

Page last updated: 26 October 2022

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