ORANGE

Hospital visiting guidelines updated 20 July 2022: Hospital visitors must wear a surgical/medical paper mask. Fabric face coverings are no longer acceptable. See our COVID-19 pages for detailed information about hospital visiting guidelines, COVID-19 tests and care in the community advice. See www.vaccinatecanterburywestcoast.nz for information about vaccinations.

We are at ORANGE according to the NZ COVID-19 Protection Framework

Last updated:
20 July 2022

Mask exemptions accepted for people seeking treatment
Any member of the public with a mask exemption is welcome in all our facilities when attending to receive health care and *treatment. Please show your mask exemption card and appointment letter to staff at the entrance.

*Treatment includes: coming into the Emergency Department, outpatient appointments,  surgery or a procedure.

For visitors to all facilities effective from Wednesday 20 July 2022

With the recent resurgence in cases in Canterbury, largely due to the Omicron BA.5 subvariant we are seeing an increase in demand right across the health system. Presentations to our Christchurch ED and Ashburton’s AAU are higher than ever and admission rates are high, which means we have a shortage of resourced beds.

Recently, we have seen too many unwell people coming to visit someone in hospital and too many that cannot or will not wear a medical mask. This increases the risk to vulnerable people in hospital. For these reasons we need to everything we can to minimise these risks.

We have therefore tightened visitor restrictions for all Te Whatu Ora Waitaha Canterbury hospitals and health facilities.

Kia whakahaumaru te whānau, me ngā iwi katoa – this is to keep everybody safe:

  • One visitor per patient in the hospital at any given time, except where stated otherwise in the ‘exceptions’ section below.
  • No visitors under 16 to any part of our facilities.
  • No visitors to COVID +ve patients other than in exceptional circumstances.
  • No eating or drinking at the bedside or anywhere other than cafes or areas designated for eating/drinking, as taking your mask off puts patients at risk.
  • Visitors or support people must not visit our facilities if they are unwell with cold or flu-like symptoms (even if they have tested negative) or have had a recent tummy bug.
  • Do not visit if you are COVID +ve or a household contact of someone who has tested positive
  • Surgical/medical masks must be worn at all times at all sites and will be provided if people don’t have them. Mask exemptions do not apply in our facilities – people who cannot tolerate a mask cannot visit at this time.
  • Hand sanitiser stations are visible and must be used.

By sticking to the rules above, you help keep our patients, staff, other visitors and yourself safe. We 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.

Exceptions to the ‘one visitor’ policy

  • Exceptions can apply in some circumstances where trusted whānau members provide assistance, reassurance and other support for therapeutic care or on compassionate grounds – please talk to the ward’s Charge Nurse to discuss this before you come to hospital to visit. For whānau with an essential support role as a Partner in Care – again, please check with the ward’s Charge Nurse before you come to hospital to visit.
  • People attending Christchurch ED or Ashburton AAU can have one support person with them.
  • Women in labour and in the birthing suite can have two named support people + their community LMC/midwife if they have one – for the duration of the birth only. All other women on the Maternity Ward are allowed one support person for the duration of their stay in our facilities at Christchurch Women’s Hospital and other maternity units. Only one support person can be with each woman in the maternity ward, and one support person for maternity clinic appointments. No under 16s are allowed to visit or attend appointments.
  • Parents/caregivers can be with their baby in NICU.
  • Parents/caregivers are able to be with their child in hospital (Except Children’s Haematology and Oncology Day patients where only one parent or caregiver is permitted).
  • People requiring support when attending an appointment can have one support person. Please let the relevant service know if you need this so they are able to accommodate your request.

Visiting patients with COVID-19

  • To avoid them becoming infected with COVID-19 and passing it one, visitors to COVID-19 positive patients will not be allowed except in extenuating circumstances – by prior agreement with the Charge Nurse Manager only, and wearing an N95 mask.
  • Other methods of communication will be facilitated e.g. phone, facetime, zoom etc.

You must NOT visit the hospital if you

  • are a household contact of a COVID-19 positive case
  • are COVID-19 positive
  • Have a cold or flu/COVID-19-like symptoms (even if you are testing negative for COVID-19)

Exceptions for people with disabilities

An exception will be made for people with disabilities who are in hospital or have to attend an outpatient appointment – where they need a support person to access health services. For example, a sign language interpreter, support person for someone with a learning disability, or someone to assist with mobility. The support person is in addition to the one permitted visitor.

Everyone visiting our facilities must wear a mask, no exceptions

While we appreciate that some people have legitimate reasons for being exempt from wearing a mask and may even have an official card to confirm this, people who cannot or will not wear a mask cannot visit someone in hospital or attend hospital, other than to access healthcare treatment*. This is another measure to minimise the risk to vulnerable patients.

*healthcare treatment includes: Emergency Department care, outpatient appointments, surgery or a procedure. 

Patients and visitors should also read the additional more detailed visiting guidelines for each specific hospital.

More COVID-19 information

Canterbury and West Coast DHBs planning for 19 August NZNO and MERAS strikes well underway

Friday 13 August 2021Te Whatu Ora Waitaha Canterbury News4 minutes to read

Update 18 August 2021: Please note that this strike notice has been withdrawn.

Canterbury and the West Coast DHBs are implementing contingency plans for the NZNO and MERAS strike action next week

Canterbury and the West Coast DHBs are implementing contingency plans for the strike action planned by New Zealand Nurses’ Organisation (NZNO) and Midwifery Employee Representation & Advisory Service (MERAS) members on Thursday 19 August.

  • NZNO members are striking for eight hours between 11am and 7pm.
  • MERAS midwives are striking for 12 hours between 8am and 8pm.

NZNO and MERAS members include many of the nurses, midwives and healthcare assistants working for DHBs as well as some working elsewhere in health.

Dr Peter Bramley, Chief Executive for both DHBs, says the number one priority is patient safety, closely followed by minimising the impact on patients.

“Our contingency plans are about rescheduling what isn’t urgent and reducing the demand on the staff who will be working on those days.

“111 calls will be responded to as usual and people should access urgent and emergency care as they normally would – but you can expect staff to be stretched and wait times to be longer,” says Dr Bramley.

Women who are pregnant should contact their Lead Maternity Carer as they would normally if they have concerns or suspect they are in labour.

Acute services will also remain available throughout the period of the planned strike, such as unplanned or emergency surgery, all intensive care units, Oncology and the Renal Dialysis unit and all maternity units. We have agreed plans with the local union representatives to provide life-preserving services (LPS) to ensure patients receive safe and appropriate care during the strike period in all of our areas.

“There are close to 5000 nurses, midwives and healthcare assistants at Canterbury DHB and an estimated 250 or so on the West Coast who may strike. The strikes are expected to cause significant disruption to non-urgent services in both DHB areas and could mean longer waits for acute or emergency care with fewer staff working.

“We apologise in advance for any inconvenience and distress the strike action may cause, while respecting our staff’s right to take industrial action and acknowledging the valued role they play in our health system,” Dr Bramley says.

We have begun contacting people with surgery or outpatient appointments scheduled for just before or during the strike period, and we’re rebooking these appointments to ensure there is sufficient capacity to continue to provide emergency care during the strikes, and to reduce the demand on staff.

Similarly, emergency caesareans will continue to be available to women who need them, but elective (planned) caesareans and inductions of labour will not go ahead unless clinically indicated.

“Our advice to women due on or near the day of the strikes is to stick to the plan you have with your LMC midwife or the hospital clinic. If a maternity-related booking or appointment with us needs to change, we will let you know. If you go into labour, contact your LMC to come in to be assessed.

“Urgent procedures and non-deferrable surgery, such as cancer surgery will be prioritised to go ahead during the planned strike period on a case-by-case basis,” Dr Bramley says.

“We will also be discharging as many patients as is safe ahead of the strike period, reducing the number of people in our care in anticipation of our reduced workforce for the period of the strike.

“We need to ensure those working during that period are available to care for patients with high and complex needs, as well as those needing emergency care,” he says.

Useful numbers for contacting the appropriate service on the West Coast can be found here: http://www.cdhb.health.nz/Hospitals-Services/hospitals/Pages/default.aspx

Phone numbers for individual Canterbury Hospital sites can be found here:http://www.cdhb.health.nz/Hospitals-Services/hospitals/Pages/default.aspx

We’d like to thank our Canterbury and West Coast communities in advance, for their understanding and support during this period of strike action.

ENDS

Tags

Back to Health News

Page last updated: 18 August 2021

Is this page useful?