Preparing for your visit

You can find more specific advice and information on our Child Health, Maternity, Mental Health, and Older Persons’ Health pages.

P.L.A.N. for your visit. P.L.A.N. stands for:

Prepare for your visit

  • Write down your main concerns or questions
  • Make a list of your medicines and supplements
  • Did you know you can take a support person with you and ask for a translator?

Listen and share

  • Say if you don’t understand and if a drawing could help
  • Say if you’re having problems with your medicines or treatment, or can’t afford them
  • Is there anything else you can tell your doctor or nurse about your health?

Ask questions

  • What is my health problem?
  • What happens next?
  • Why is that important?
  • Are there any other options?
  • What can I do to help with my health?

Note down what you need to do next

  • Interpreters are available if English is not your first language or you have hearing loss
  • If you have to travel to get to hospital, accommodation may be available for you and whānau members who travel with you

Send us appointment enquiries using the email address on your appointment letter or the online contact form.

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.

Postponed surgeries

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. Canterbury DHB does not accept any responsibility for any personal items that you bring into hospital.

Everybody coming to hospital, bring:

  • Comfortable day clothes
  • Shoes/trainers
  • Glasses, hearing aids and dentures. Bring the cases for your glasses and hearing aid so you can put them away safely
  • Book/eBook reader/tablet/mobile phone, charger and you can use our free patient wi-fi service.
  • If you have equipment to support your mobility such as a walking aid, please name this and bring it with you

Please don’t bring:

  • Valuable items such as jewellery or large sums of money
  • Smoking and vaping equipment as it is not allowed. We can help you be smokefree while in hospital.
  • Please note: cell phones interfere with medical equipment at close range. Please turn off your phone within 1 metre of medical equipment.

Medicines

  • Bring your medicines (including medicines bought at the supermarket and pharmacy, and natural medicine), especially if you have to come to hospital unexpectedly
  • Bring your medication list (yellow card) if you have one
  • The medications will not be used while you stay in hospital, except as a temporary measure until we can obtain a supply. We will then store your own medications in a dedicated area on the ward
  • If you have any questions, please talk to your nurse, doctor, or the ward pharmacist

Patients staying overnight (inpatients), bring:

  • We recommend you name any personal items you need to bring into hospital for your stay
  • Night-dress or pyjamas for sleeping. You can also bring your own pillow and pillowcase (we provide blue pillowcases for your head)
  • Toiletry items, such as toothbrush, toothpaste, etc.
  • Spare clothes
  • Please make arrangements for a friend or relative to do your personal laundry if you will be staying a long time
  • If you wear dentures, please bring your cleaning container
  • If you live alone, cancel services such as Meals on Wheels, home help and newspaper delivery for the time you are in hospital
  • Ask a trusted neighbour or friend to collect your mail

Please bring any documents with you that explain how you want us to care for you, including:

  • Enduring Power of Attorney (EPOA). If you have an EPOA it is important you let us know in case the need arises
  • Advance Care Plan (ACP) or Advanced Directives
  • Any Acute Plans or Personalised Care Plans you may have with your health care team
  • Health Passport

You can help your own recovery by learning about your condition on our HealthInfo Canterbury website.

Your family doctor or other health professional will refer you to a hospital specialist if needed. Referrals are also possible if patients or their family/whānau ask for a second opinion, or treatment to be provided by another health professional.

Page last updated: 14 November 2018

Is this page useful?