Information for Visitors

Timaru Hospital, Kensington and Talbot Park are operating under GREEN in the Visitor Policy PDF, 155.73 KB.

Readiness Phase (GREEN)

Protect our vulnerable people by limiting the number of people coming into facilities (Timaru Hospital, Kensington and
Talbot Park). The following actions occur:

  • Limit visitor hours strictly to 1400 – 2000hrs (1200-1800 Watlington Wing, Talbot Park)
  • Visitors with no suspicion of COVID-19 will be able to enter, a maximum of two visitors at any one time may visit a patient
  • Visitors with known COVID-19 contact or related symptoms will not be granted access and will be directed to ring Healthline or their primary care provider
  • Visitors completing self-isolation related to returned travel, awaiting swab results or contact tracing are not to visit until the self-isolation requirement is completed
  • No visitor or staff member should enter the hospital if they have cold or flu like symptoms (either tested negative COVID-19 or unrelated), they need to stay at home
  • All visitors are required to use hand hygiene prior and after visiting patients and hospital facilities
  • All visitors to be given instructions on infection control principles
  • All patients encouraged to bring their own mobile phone, laptop, and given the details for access to wifi
  • Limit entries into the facility to ONE entrance
  • No visitors under the age of 16 years unless deemed appropriate
  • Implement floor markings indicating a 2-metre boundary at reception / administration desks, with 1.5m foot marks
    or equivalent for visitors to line up on if waiting, indicating appropriate social distancing
  • Café, chapel and whanau rooms remain open with signage and information on social distancing
  • Large family/Whanau groups are not to occur within any environment
  • No pets

Additional Service Specific instructions include:

Jean Todd Maternity

  • For maternity services where there is no suspicion of COVID-19 for either the patient or the visitors up to two
    visitors (one partner and one birthing partner) can accompany patients into the birthing suite
  • Boarders must remain in patient room, and limit movement around the hospital facility

All Outpatients Appointment (including mental health, radiology, medlab)

  • ONE support person per visit


  • One visitor at a time for ONE visit per day

Emergency Department

  • One support person ONLY to support people presenting to ED

Day Patient Services

  • One named support person per patient, those receiving chemotherapy to be placed at geographic distance from
    theatre flow


  • Parent or caregiver will be considered as ‘one with the admitted patient’

Neo-Natal Unit

  • Parent visiting only. No children under 16 years

Watlington Wing, Talbot Park

  • Closed to visitors as per national MOH guidance
Visiting Hours

Visitors are welcome between 2pm - 8pm. There are some exceptions so please confirm times with ward staff. Visiting Coronary Care, Intensive Care, and Neonatal Intensive Care is by appointment only. Please check with ward reception on arrival to ensure your family member of friend is accepting visitors.

We ask visitors not to enter the Timaru Hospital if they have any of the following symptoms:

  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Runny nose
  • Sneezing
  • Fever
  • Any cold or flu symptoms
  • Diarrhoea
  • Vomiting

Please do not visit until you have been symptom free for 48 hours.

At all times visitors must practice hand hygiene on arrival. These measures are to ensure the safety of patients and staff by minimising avoidable contact and the potential for spread.

To help our visitors keep a digital diary of where they have been, we have QR codes are available at the main entrances for visitors to scan. Visitors who do not have a smartphone are asked to keep a paper diary of where they have been.

Click here to download the NZ COVID Tracer app.

Click here to view the full visitors policy.

Work commences on front of hospital redevelopment

The South Canterbury District Health Board front of hospital redevelopment commenced at the beginning of June 2020. The redevelopment includes a new public and staff café, a new main entrance with an atrium, and an extension to the outpatient’s department.

The South Canterbury District Health Board appeals to the community for their understanding and patience when they arrive at the Timaru Hospital during the redevelopment period.

  • There is strictly no vehicle access to front of hospital for car parking or dropping off patients for the duration of this project. The main entrance is only available for ambulances and the emergency on call teams
  • There is a new drop off zone available on the roadside at front of the Timaru Hospital (See map below)
  • There are accessible car parking spaces available for people with disabilities at the back of the Timaru Hospital. Please use the back entrance on High Street to access the accessible car parking spaces which are located by the MRI Suite entrance. Or off Queen Street beside the Gardens Block. (See map below)
  • We are very lucky to have plenty of free public carparking options available on Edward Street, behind Kensington Centre, and off High Street (See map below)
  • It is important for patients to allow extra time to find parking when they arrive for appointments at the Timaru Hospital

Hospital Map

The information below is provided to answer common questions about your visit to Timaru Hospital. If you have any questions not covered below please contact the hospital on 03 687 2100.


What we can both expect


We welcome your feedback

Timaru Hospital is smokefree


Advocacy Service

Cellphones, electronic devices and public telephones

Whānau Room


Discharge from hospital

Vibe Cafe and vending machines

Hospital Chaplain and Chapel

What we can both expect

As a support person to someone in our care it can be useful to know what is expected of patients and what they can expect of us at the hospital. There are two key services for the advocacy of patients, they are the Code of Patients Rights (leaflets are available in every patient area) and the Advocacy Service. Posters describing our Policy of Care are also displayed throughout the hospital.

We ask that our patients please:
  • Be open and honest about their health, so we can work together to plan their care.
  • Don't smoke, drink alcohol or use illicit drugs.
  • Always wear their identification bracelet unless otherwise instructed by staff.
  • Don’t leave the ward without checking with a nurse, as we need to know where they are at all times.
  • Label all clothing and don’t bring any valuables to hospital. While we make every effort, we can’t be responsible for possessions.
  • Follow staff instructions in the event of an emergency.
  • Don’t use cell phones within one metre of any medical equipment or anywhere in ICU/CCU.
  • Prepare for medical procedures according to the instructions given to them. if in doubt, ring the department or ask a staff member.
  • Respect the rights of other patients and staff.
  • Respect hospital property and return loaned items.
  • Tell us if they feel their rights are not being met to their satisfaction, or if they are unsure about any aspect of their care.
  • Tell us if they have any spiritual or cultural needs that are not being met.

We support patient's right to be fully informed about their 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/whānau or friend and are happy to discuss how support people can be involved in patient care. If your child/tamariki is a patient and you want to stay with them, please discuss this with ward staff.

We welcome your feedback
Timaru Hospital staff want to improve the services we provide. We welcome your suggestions and comments, positive or negative, as part of our efforts to identify what we do well and what we could do better. Please let staff know immediately if you are unhappy with any part of the care we have provided so issues can be resolved. Learn more about how to action concerns about care and providing feedback.
Timaru Hospital is smokefree

South Canterbury DHB is a smokefree environment and workplace. This means smoking is not allowed in any building or surrounding grounds. Help, advice and nicotine replacement therapy is available if you experience difficulties regarding smoking — just ask ward staff. Learn more about becoming Smokefree today.

Discharge from hospital

Our aim is to discharge patients by 11.00 am. As a support person you can help ease this process by ensuring travel or pick up arrangements have been made.

Keeping infection out of the hospital

It is important to practice good hygiene while in hospital and stay safe from common infections.

Visitors should stay away if you have experienced diarrhoea, vomiting or flu symptoms in the past 48 hours. Patients can borrow a telephone in the ward to speak to people who may be infectious without seeing them face-to-face. You are also encouraged to wash your hands or use hand gel at the beginning of every visit, and as you leave the bedside.If an infection is suspected or identified, sometimes a patient will be cared for in isolation. There are special precautions to be taken when visiting an isolated patient. Please talk to staff if you have any questions.

Cellphones, electronic devices and public telephones

Cellphones and electronic devices can interfere with medical equipment. Please do not use these items within one metre of medical equipment or anywhere in ICU/CCU. If in doubt, check with your nurse. We ask that you comply with any staff request to turn off these items.

Public telephones are available at the hospital’s main entrance, in the stairwells on levels 2 and 3 of the Clinical Services Block, and opposite Surgical Ward reception on level 5.

Please refrain from taking photos and videos within the hospital. If you do take a photo or video please ensure you have permission from all persons (including staff) before taking the image.


120-minute parking is available in the car park near the main hospital entrance, which has six disabled spaces, and along Queen Street. There are also two car park areas off Edward Street. Parking on High Street has no time limit. Car parks are unsupervised. Vehicles are left at the owner’s risk.

Advocacy service

A free, independent Advocacy Service is available to ensure patient rights are respected. The service can be contacted on 03 687 2291.

Hospital Chaplain and chapel

An ecumenical chaplain is on call to offer support, counsel, or sacramental ministry. Your personal beliefs, culture and privacy will always be respected. The hospital chaplain or your own religious or spiritual leader can be contacted at any time through your ward staff. The Hospital Chapel, located between the Clinical Services Block and the Gardens Block, is open 24 hours for anyone to use.


The hospital’s Kaumatua Liaison Officer can be contacted on 03 687 2385

Whānau Room

A Whānau Room, located on level 2 near the Chapel, is available for patients and their relatives.

Vibe Café and vending machines

The Vibe Café is located on level 3. It's open weekdays 7.00 am – 7.00 pm, weekends and public holidays 8.00 am – 2.00 pm. Vending machines are available in the hospital’s main entrance foyer. Drinks facilities are available in waiting areas throughout the hospital. If you are waiting for tests or a procedure, please check with a nurse before you eat or drink.


Inward mail is delivered twice daily on weekdays. For outward mail, stamped envelopes may be given to your nurse or placed in the post box outside the hospital’s main entrance. Flowers and parcels are delivered as they arrive.


Free Wifi for patients and visitors is available. Look for "Hospital Free wifi" in your wifi settings.

Television, radio and newspapers

Televisions are available in the patient lounge of each ward. You may bring your own radio, headphones, and TV by prior arrangement. Please note that any personal electrical items (i.e. TV, radio, hairdryer, shaver, etc) must be checked by hospital electricians before they can be used.

Hospital FM 88.1 is on air 24/7 with local broadcasts on evenings and weekends. Outside these times the station carries “The Sound” programming. Requests can be made by phoning 687 2299 within the hospital.