To keep everybody safe from COVID-19 and other infections, a general ‘no-visitors’ policy applies in all Canterbury DHB facilities
This means that patients who know in advance they are going to have to stay overnight must bring all items they will need for the duration of their stay. They will need to bring appropriate sleepwear, suitable indoor footwear, and items that would usually be brought by visitors, such as books, magazines, puzzles and packaged snacks that don’t need to be kept in the fridge.
Because they can’t have visitors, people should also bring mobile phones and/or tablets if they can, to enable them to connect with family/whānau and friends remotely – free WiFi is available for patients to use.
To those whanau members who would normally visit their family member in hospital
We are sorry that we have to restrict visiting, but this necessary measure is to protect you and the vulnerable people already in hospital from the spread of COVID-19.
We understand it will be difficult for you to be unable to provide the support you normally would, but please be assured people are being well cared for and we will do our best to help you keep up-to-date and in touch.
For those who don’t have their own phone or device, each ward has a simple portable phone (not a smartphone) they will be able to use. If you want to know how a patient is, please call our patient enquiry phone line.
Bring remote contact details (eg: phone number, Facebook messenger, Zoom/Skype, WhatsApp) to be able to connect with family/whanau or friends for support, which can include during consultation with staff
Staff will introduce themselves, explain their role and work with you and your family to understand what matters to you with your health care
If you have to travel to get to hospital, accommodation may be available for you and whānau members who travel with you
If you already have an appointment confirmed with a Canterbury DHB 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.
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
Supportive well-fitting footwear with closed back, low heel and non-slip sole
Glasses, hearing aids and dentures. Bring the cases for your glasses and hearing aid so you can put them away safely
If you have equipment to support your mobility such as a walking aid, please name this and bring it with you
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:
Before you come to hospital
While you are having treatment involving regular hospital visits
After you leave hospital
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.
Watch our two-minute safety video
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