Information for visitors and support people

Te Whatu Ora South Canterbury has adopted the below visitor restrictions for our facilities (Timaru Hospital and Kensington) to keep patients, staff, and other visitors safe.

Visitors and support people over the age of 12 are recommended to wear medical masks. Visitors under the age of 12 are encouraged to wear medical masks. Masks and hand sanitiser will be available for visitors at the main entrances.

Visiting hours are strictly 2 - 8pm only

  • Two visitors per patient at one time
  • Masks are recommended for the duration of the visit
  • No eating or drinking while in patients’ room.

NOTE: in multi-bed rooms, the number of visitors may be restricted due to the space available.

Jean Todd Maternity Unit

  • A support person may be present at any time during the inpatient stay and known as a boarder. Boarders must remain in the room and are recommended to wear a medical mask, limit movement through the facility and comply with screening process
  • Siblings are permitted within visiting hours.

Maternity Unit Birth Suite:

  • One birthing partner and one support person may accompany women in the Birthing Suite
  • Partners (or nominated support person) are welcome to support the induction process in its entirety as a boarder. Boarders must remain in the room and are recommended to wear a medical mask, limit movement through the facility and comply with screening process
  • The Partner is considered part of the mother/pepi unit and entitled to be present as parent of the child once birthed.

All Outpatients Appointments (including Mental Health, Radiology and Medlab)

  • ONE support person if required
  • Children who accompany a parent, caregiver or sibling to an outpatient appointment are permitted if there are no alternatives to childcare available.

Emergency Department (ED)

  • TWO support persons ONLY to support people presenting to ED if required.

Oncology Medical Unit, Day Patient Services, Pre-Admission Clinic and Endoscopy Unit

  • ONE support person per episode of care enabled where physical distancing can be maintained.

Neo-Natal Unit –

  • Immediate family only.

Click here to view the full COVID-19 Visitors Policy.

General Information

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. Click here to view the Health & Disability Advocacy Service brochure.

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

Te Whatu Ora South Canterbury 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

The Whānau / Family Room is situated at the rear of the hospital, on Level 2, just past the Chapel. Please follow the signage from Level 1 to the Whānau/ Family Room. It is situated directly opposite the Orderlies Office. Drinks facilities are available in waiting areas throughout the hospital.

Hospital café and vending machines

The hospital cafe is located at the main entrance of the Timaru Hospital. It's open weekdays 7.30 am – 6.00 pm, weekends and public holidays 8.00 am – 4.00 pm. Vending machines are available in the hospital’s main entrance foyer. Drinks facilities are available in waiting areas throughout the hospital.


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.