Your stay in hospital

​​​​Our approach to your care

Please find below some useful information about your stay in our hospitals, what happens when you are admitted, what to bring with you and our approach to your care.

We recognise that you know best how your body responds to illness and other life experiences and what is right and acceptable for you. We would like you to continue making decisions regarding your health and caring for yourself with our assistance and support.

There will be some things that you will be able to do for yourself and others that you will need help with. We will support your right to be fully informed about your health situation and care. Please don't hesitate to ask for more information or to question anything you don't understand. 

We encourage the support of a close relative or friend and would be happy to discuss how you might like them involved in your care. If your child is a patient, you are welcome to stay with your child.​​​

Arriving at the ward

When you arrive at the ward, you will be met by the ward clerk or the nurse assigned to provide your cares for that shift. The nurses primarily concerned with your cares on each shift will introduce themselves to you when they come on duty and work in partnership with you during your stay. You will generally remain on this ward for the time of your hospital stay but may be transferred to a different room.

Keep safe from infections while you are in hospital

If you are ill, injured, have a wound drain or other tube or device placed in the body, you're more at 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. Infections aren't fussy about who spreads them, so we all need to be careful.​

Here are some simple things you can do to help prevent the spread of 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 very effective at killing germs but they are not a cure for all. Please try to wash your hands regularly using soap and water, but feel free to use the alcohol hand rub you will see freely available around the ward.

    • For more information about hand hygiene and how to clean your hands, visit the He​althInfo website and search for 'Hand Hygiene'​.

  • Bring your own toiletries – please do not borrow or share from other patients.

  • Prevent an infection after surgery - read the patient information leafletPreventing infection afte​r surgery (PDF 1.3MB) to find out more​.

Infection prevention is taken very seriously.

It's ok to ask – if you have any worries or concerns during your time in hospital, please speak to the nurse looking after you or the nurse in charge who will do their best to help you.

They can also contact a member of the Infection Prevention & Control team for further information and advice.​

Who will be looking after you

You will always have a nurse assigned to your care. If you need help, ring your nurse by using the call button located on a panel behind your bed head. Please do not leave the ward without letting your nurse know.

Other health professionals providing your care and treatments during your stay may include doctors, dieticians, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, speech language therapists, social workers and others.

Nurse aides assist on the wards and each ward has a ward clerk who works Monday to Friday. This person makes patient appointments and takes calls about patients.

Your treatments will be managed by members of the medical team under which you are admitted. This medical team includes the consultant, registrar, house surgeon and trainee intern.  If you have any particular questions, please feel free to ask the doctors on the ward round.

If you have concerns about your care

There are a number of people you can talk to including medical and nursing staff. If you or your relatives have a personal, domestic or financial problem associated with your illness, ask to see a social worker.

Social Workers are available to patients of Christchurch Hospital and their family/whānau​ to assist with issues relating to your hospital stay and discharge.

Enquiries from relatives

Relatives and friends can telephone the patient enquiries desk at the hospital. ​

Ashburton Hospital
Telephone 03 307 8450

Burwood Hospital
Telephone 03 383 6836

Christchurch Hospital
Telephone 03 364 0600

Christchurch Women's Hospital
Telephone 03 346 4309

Hillmorton Hospital
Telephone 03 337 7969

Kaikoura Hospital
Telephone 03 319 7660

The Princess Margaret Hospital
Telephone 03 337 7800

Community and Rural Facilities

Electrical appliances

Please use earphones for radios, tablet computers and televisions, if possible, in consideration of other patients. Televisions are not allowed in some areas, so please ask your nurse for advice about this. 

Identification bracelet

Always keep your identification bracelet on while in hospital. If it is removed for any reason, please tell your nurse immediately.

If you are seriously ill

All patients who are seriously ill, may be visited by their family at any time with the approval of the nurse in charge. If family members are likely to be away from home, it is important to leave a contact telephone number(s) with the ward staff.

However, visitors are encouraged to keep to visiting hours (see the  respective hospital page for details of visiting hours) whenever possible in the interests of the patient's well-being, and in consideration for other patients.

Interpreter services for patients

An Interpreter Service is available for people who are deaf or do not speak English as their first language. Please discuss this with the nurse in charge of your care or you can contact the interpreter / translator service directly.

Canterbury DHB's interpreter service is available 24 hours a day and should be used whenever a lack of ability in the English language could restrict understanding of a patient's needs, rights and obligations.

The translation/interpreter service is provided FREE at no charge to patients and there are a large number of languages available, including NZ sign language.

Notify the interpreting service of your admission to hospital

If you wish to notify the interpreting service of your impending admission to hospital please email the service at or phone 03 364 0669. 


While you are in hospital please arrange for a friend or relative to do your personal laundry.

Leaving the ward

Please do not leave the ward, other than for things like medical tests, without first checking with your nurse. To ensure you get proper care, we need to know where you are at all times.

Meal service

A menu is provided each day for you to select your meals for the day ahead.

  • Breakfast is between 7.25 and 8.15am

  • Lunch is between 12.10 and 1.15pm

  • Dinner is between 5.15 and 6.15pm

A choice of tea, coffee and milo is available for morning and afternoon tea and supper.

Meals on Wheels and home help

If you have been using Meals on Wheels or other home help services please ask a nurse to cancel them while you are in hospital.

Out of town accommodation

You and your family may require accommodation during your treatment period, and this should be discussed with your regular health care team in your hometown. Accommodation information is available at the hospital's reception desk.

At the time of your discharge, you will be given a note for your own doctor advising of your condition, the diagnosis and treatment, as well as details of any help arranged for you at home. This may take some time to arrange and you will be advised of the anticipated time when you will be able to leave the hospital. This will give you time to contact family or friends for your transport arrangements.

To ensure continuity of care, once you are home, we suggest you contact your doctor's surgery if medical services are required. More detailed information about your on-going care by way of a written report will be sent to your doctor as soon as possible after you are discharged.

If you have any difficulty with transport, follow-up treatment, or help at home, please ask the nurse managing your care or ask to see a social worker.


Canterbury DHB grounds and premises are smokefree at all times. Because smoking is considered both a health and fire hazard, Canterbury District Health Board does not permit smoking in its hospitals or grounds. Smoking cessation advice is also available from a number of trained staff in many areas, and who are able to assist you to become smoke free.

More information

Children staying in hospital

You can find specific information about children staying at hospital on our Child Health pages Preparing for a stay in hospital and What to expect when you arrive at hospital (see our videos)

Maternity care in hospital

Find specific information about Christchurch Women's Hospital maternity services for women.


Your stay in hospital
rounded corners top

Related Documents

Patient Information: Reducing Your Risk of Falls While in Hospital


All Canterbury District Health Board
facilities are smokefree.


Smoking cessation advice is available from a number of trained staff in many areas, and who are able to assist you to become smoke free


Patient Surveys 

Patient Experience Surveys

The Canterbury District Health Board is committed to providing quality healthcare and positive patient experiences. What you think about the care you receive is important to us. To help us to better understand your experience you may be invited to participate in a survey.

You may be invited to participate in a survey via a link in a text message, an email or given a hard copy of the survey. We appreciate you taking the time to tell us about your experience.

rounded corners bottom
Page last reviewed: 24 October 2017