Find out how to prepare for your visit to Christchurch Hospital or another hospital in Canterbury, including a printable list of what to bring to hospital, advice on the kind of support you may need while in hospital and questions that you may want to ask staff while in hospital. You can find more specific advice and information on our Child Health, Maternity, Mental Health, and Older Persons’ Health pages.
Prepare for your visit
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If you already have an appointment confirmed with a Te Whatu Ora health service you can contact us about your appointment using the email address or telephone number on your appointment letter. If you do not have the letter available you can also contact our appointments team by selecting "Enquiry" and "Appointment Enquiries" on our contact form.
Please remember that unless stated on your appointment letter, your regular doctor is your central point of contact for all your health needs, and your GP team can contact hospital departments and specialists if something happens that affects your hospital appointment or treatment.
If you need to cancel your surgery or appointment, please call the phone number on your appointment letter as soon as possible and let the department know.
If you do not have the letter available you can also contact our appointments team by selecting “Enquiry” and “Appointment Enquiries” on our contact form.
Emergencies sometimes require us to postpone your booking at short notice. We may have to postpone your surgery even after you have been admitted. Our staff will do everything possible to avoid postponing any treatment. However if this occurs and if surgery is absolutely essential, you will be re-booked into the next available time.
Please do not bring any valuables into the hospital unless absolutely necessary (including valuable items of clothing). If necessary, we may be able to store valuables and money in a locked cupboard or deposit them in the hospital safe. Any personal belongings you bring into the hospital are at your own risk. Te Whatu Ora does not accept any responsibility for any personal items that you bring into hospital.
Please note: When using electronic devices in hospitals:
Print or download a checklist: What to bring to hospital (PDF, 150KB)
Please bring any documents with you that explain how you want us to care for you, including:
You can help your own recovery by learning about your condition on our HealthInfo Canterbury website.
Referrals are often a part of a treatment process, specifically a referral is when your family doctor (General Practice team) or another health professional such as a physiotherapist will refer you to a specialist. This is usually because your doctor wants a specialist’s help in deciding on the best way to treat your condition. This might involve referring you for tests or investigations that cannot be carried out by your general practice team.
Referrals are also possible if patients or their family/whānau ask for a second opinion, or treatment to be provided by another health professional.
Self-referrals: A few specialist health services such as the Sexual Health Clinic accept "self-referrals". A self-referral is when you either "walk-in" or book an appointment directly with the health service provider, rather than your family doctor or a health professional doing this on your behalf.
In an emergency call 111 or go to your nearest emergency department.
Your general practice team (GP) are the best people to talk to about your health.
Your regular doctor or health clinic is your central point of contact for all your health needs, including:
Your GP team can contact hospital departments and specialists if something happens that affects your hospital appointment or treatment.
Hospital staff only prescribe medication related to the condition you are in hospital for. For any other medications and regular prescriptions, talk to your GP team.
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Page last updated: 8 June 2023
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