Important information and frequently-asked questions
See below further important information and questions we are frequently asked about staying in and visiting Southern DHB hospitals. You can also search for the topic you are interested in on the search bar, and if you have any other questions, please contact us. For information about other hospitals in the district, please see their information pages.
Where can I park?
Pick-up / drop-off zones are available outside all hospital entrances where vehicles may pull up and unload/pick up passengers close to the entry. Note these are P5 parking limits.
Parking options are dependent on the location you are visiting. To avoid congestion, we encourage the use of public transport or arranging transport to the hospital with a family member or friend. If you do require car parking, the following options are available:
Dunedin – Dunedin Hospital car parking facilities are reserved for outpatients only. However, paid car parking is available in the surrounding areas. Please visit the DCC website for more information on nearby car parking for staff, patients and visitors. Disability car parks are available on the upper concourse and by the Hospital Entrances on Great King Street and Cumberland Street.
Queenstown – Free car parking is available on Douglas St for both patients and visitors
Invercargill – Free car parking is available on site and 120-minute parking spaces are located in the surrounding areas of Kew & Elles Road. Southland Hospital also has dedicated disability parking near main entrance points to the hospital buildings.
Wakari – Free car parking is available on site for both patients and visitors at Wakari Hospital, entrance off Taieri Road.
Visitor updates during COVID-19
Visitor policies are adjusted as we, and other parts of New Zealand, enter different frameworks. Please find the latest information about visiting policies at our current COVID-19 alert levels here.
Visitors are asked not to enter our hospitals if they have any of the following symptoms:
- a cough
- a sore throat
- a runny nose
To help visitors keep a track of where they have been QR codes are available in our hospitals to scan for their digital diary. Visitors who don’t have a smartphone are asked to keep a paper diary.
We’re encouraging visitors to download the governments NZ COVID Tracer app if they have a smartphone.
Patients who have appointments at our hospitals are asked not to come in if they are unwell. Please phone the department to let them know and seek advice from your GP or Healthline - 0800 611 116, or for COVID health advice - 0800 358 5453.
What are visiting hours?
Visiting hours are in place to support the provision of safe and effective health care to all patients, while also allowing visitors to spend quality time with family or friends in hospital.
Clearly there will always be exceptions to the stated visiting hours for patients who are seriously ill or who have other extenuating circumstances. Please discuss with the clinical nurse / midwife manager, midwife or nurse co-ordinator to arrange visiting at other times.
Wards and Queen Mary are open to visitors between 2:00pm – 8:00pm.
The following wards at Dunedin Hospital have special visiting guidelines:
- The Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Adult Intensive Care Unit and High Dependency Units have visiting by appointment only.
- The Adult Intensive Care Unit has a designated quiet time between 12noon – 2:00pm.
2:00pm – 8:00pm daily (please avoid meal times at 5:00pm). These hours apply to immediate family (whānau), extended family and friends of the patient.
The following wards at Southland Hospital have special visiting guidelines:
- Critical Care Unit allows immediate family only to visit at any time except between 2:00pm – 4:00pm.
- Inpatient Mental Health Unit 7:00am – 8:00pm.
- Children's Ward allows parents / caregivers to visit at all times. Visiting hours for friends and other relatives are 2:00pm – 8:00pm daily.
- Surgical and Medical Wards visiting hours are 8.00am - 8.00pm daily.
Wards 9A and 10A are by appointment only. All other mental health, intellectual disability (ISIS) visiting times are: 3:00 – 8:00pm or other times by arrangement. Long-term rehabilitation ward: 2:00 – 8:00pm with special arrangements for families, telephone: (03) 476 2191.
Returned Services Association visitors please telephone: (03) 466 4888.
Lakes District Hospital
11:00am – 12noon. 2:00pm – 8:00pm. Children are not to be left unsupervised on hospital grounds.
What accommodation/ Whare Whānau is close to the hospital?
The Maori Health Unit provides Te Whare Whānau (the Family Room) service. This is a short-term accommodation option (1-3 nights) available to your family/whānau members living outside the Invercargill boundary when you are receiving hospital care. In Dunedin, Te Whare Whānau provide accommodation for up to two whānau of critically ill patients. For enquiries to access Te Whare Whānau room, please ask the nursing staff looking after you to contact the unit or Security.
At Southland Hospital, the Ronald McDonald Family Room provides a quiet space for families to relax and recharge just moments away from their hospitalised child. There are four short-stay rooms for the caregivers of critically ill children when it‘s imperative they remain just moments away from their hospitalised child. These beds are allocated in consultation with hospital staff and are given on a greatest needs basis.
Accommodation brochures are updated regularly and available at enquiries desks and on the wards at both Dunedin and Wakari Hospitals. These pamphlets include local bed & breakfasts, motels and hotels.
Social workers are available at all hospitals to help you with finding suitable accommodation.
Are there cafes at Southern DHB hospitals?
Dunedin Public Hospital
The Dispensary (ground floor main ward block): Hours: Mon-Fri 6:45am – 6:00pm Weekends: 8:30am – 3:30pm.
Wishbone (ground floor main ward block): Hours: Mon-Fri 7:30am – 6:30pm Weekends: 10:30am – 5:30pm.
Snowline Cafeteria is open to patients, visitors and staff. Hours: Mon-Fri 8.30am - 3pm.
A cafeteria is available for patients and their visitors. It is located on the ground floor of the main corridor.
Monday-Friday: 7:30am – 6:30pm
Weekends: 8:30am – 6:30pm
* Note times may change on public holidays.
How can I access the Māori Health Liaison Service – Te Ara Hauora?
The Māori Health Unit provides nursing and social support services to Maori and non-Maori patients and their whānau/family. We aim to:
- Connect you and your whānau / family with resources and services.
- Ensure that your transition from hospital care to home is achieved successfully.
We are committed to providing you a holistic health service.
In Dunedin, the kaiawhina (cultural support workers) can be contacted on (03) 474 0999 extn 58649. The Dunedin office is located in the Whānau Room, ground floor. Whānau accommodation is provided at Flat 3, Helensburgh Flats, Wakari Hospital, Helensburgh Rd. Contact the kaiawhina for further information.
At Southland Hospital, Te Huinga Tahi is situated in the Community Services Building. Telephone: (03) 218 1949 extn 48309 or extn 48509.
Ki te kore ngā pūtake e mākūkūngia, e kore te rākau e tupu
If the roots of the tree are not watered, the tree will never grow.
How can I have the support of a chaplain?
Hospital chaplains, ministers and lay church visitors are available to visit you, and can be contacted 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, either through your nurse or the hospital telephone operator.
In Southland Hospital, the Chapel / Quiet Room is located next to the Medical Ward entrance on Level 1 and is always open for prayer or meditation. Everyone is welcome to use the chapel at any time.
In Dunedin Hospital, the Hospital Chapel on the ground floor is always open. Short worship services are on Sunday mornings at 10:30am – morning worship and holy communion.
How do I find out where a patient is?
The main enquiries desk can provide you with detail on what ward or room a patient is in and whether the patient has been transferred or discharged. They will also advise you of any visitation and ward restrictions.
Southland Hospital – 03 218 1949
Dunedin Hospital – 03 474 0999
Wakari Hospital – 03 474 0999
Lakes District Hospital – 03 441 0015
Oamaru Hospital – 03 433 0290
Gore Hospital – 03 209 3030
Dunstan Hospital – 03 440 4300
Please note that a patient may wish to restrict what information can be disclosed and in these cases, no information will be provided.
Can I bring fresh flowers in to the hospital?
Unfortunately, due to the risk that fresh flowers pose to patients with respiratory disorders, a number of wards will not allow them. Wards that do not allow fresh flowers include ICU, HDU, Oncology Ward, Cardiovascular Ward, Respiratory Ward, Surgical and Medical Wards. Please be mindful that flowers in multi-bed rooms are also restricted.
If you are bringing flowers in or using florist delivery services we ask that you please check with the ward reception to be certain. If you still wish to bring a gift, you might want to consider balloons, a balloon bouquet, fruit or goodie baskets. All good florists will offer alternative options. There are plenty of shops near Dunedin Hospital, and Southland Hospital has a gift shop on site.
How do I provide feedback or make a complaint?
We welcome all feedback whether it be in the form of a compliment, complaint, concern or suggestion. Find out more here
How do I access my records?
The Patients Affairs and Enquiries office handles all information requests. To access your records you can make an information request online by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or in person at the Patient Affairs and Enquiries office.
You will need to fill out an information request form specifying what information you require. If the information is not pertaining to yourself, you will need the consent of the person concerned. You will need to provide photo identification (18+ Card, Drivers License or Passport) and proof of signature for the information to be released.
Please note it can take up to 28 days to complete your information request.
How long are my records kept?
All records are retained for a minimum of 10 years past the last date of interaction with a patient. For children, medical records are retained for a minimum of 20 years.
What is my blood group?
You can make an information request online by sending an email to email@example.com or in person at the Patient Affairs and Enquiries office. It can take up to 28 days to complete your information request.
Please note that unless you have had a blood transfusion your blood type may not be on file.
The test to determine your blood group is called ABO typing and is not a standard test. If you would like to take an ABO type test please contact your GP.
What was my time of birth?
You can make an information request online by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or in person at the Patient Affairs and Enquiries office.
Please note information regarding your birth (birth time, weight and length) is listed on your mother’s record. As this information pertains to you, you will not need her consent. If you would like to know additional information surrounding your birth you will need your mother's consent.
Please note it can take up to 28 days to complete your information request.