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General media enquiries

Please contact Capital & Coast District Health Board (CCDHB)’s communications unit if you have a media enquiry.

You can email us at news@ccdhb.org.nz

After hours media enquiries

CCDHB and Hutt Valley DHB have a shared after hours media line which operates between 7am and 10pm. The number is 04 806 2790.

This is for patient condition updates and urgent media enquiries.

General media enquiries, particularly those requesting data, will be handled during normal working hours. Please email news@ccdhb.org.nz if you have a general media enquiry.

Patient condition updates

To find out the condition of a patient please contact CCDHB’s communications unit.

We are able to release the following conditions of patients as long as staff are able to identify them from the information given to us by the media:

  • Critical
  • Serious
  • Stable
  • Being assessed in the emergency department
  • Discharged

We cannot confirm or release names, age, gender, prognosis or any other personal details. We also cannot provide information about a patient who is no longer in hospital or patients using community health services, including community mental health services.

If a patient or their family ask us not to release any information about them to media, we are unable to give you a patient condition update.

Confirmation of a patient's death occurs only with family consent and after notifying next of kin.

Sometimes we will refer you to the police for comment if the incident you are enquiring about is thought to be under police investigation.

For more information about how we respond to patient related media requests, refer to our external communications policy.

Requests for patient interviews

We will check with the patient’s clinical team that they are well enough to be interviewed. If the clinical team believe it is appropriate, we will pass on your interview request to the patient or their parent or guardian.

It is up to the patient or their parent or guardian to decide whether they want to be interviewed and to give their consent for any photos or videos taken.

Visiting CCDHB hospitals and sites

You must get approval from the communications unit before you visit the hospital or other CCDHB sites for patient or staff interviews, photographs or filming.

It is not enough to only get consent from the patient, their parents or guardian or other organisations. We need to think of the safety and privacy of other patients and staff. There may also be other factors which could affect your visit such as infection control risks.

If you carry out interviews, filming or photography without permission from the communications unit, our security staff will ask you to leave the site immediately.

We are happy to provide you with images of our hospitals, staff and board members which are a suitable resolution for publication.

For more information refer to our filming by external organisations on CCDHB premises policy.

Information about patients

We have a responsibility under the Health Information Privacy Code and Privacy Act to protect our patient’s privacy. This means we cannot speak publicly about specific patients without their consent. This applies to all patients, including mental health service clients.

Written consent from a patient, their legal guardian, or their legal representative must be obtained before we can consider whether to provide any patient information to the media. If written consent is not provided, we may only confirm if the patient is in hospital and release a one-word condition on the patient’s medical status.

Even if written consent is provided, clinicians have the right to override any consent if they believe it is in the best interests of the patient – taking into consideration patient wellbeing and safety, privacy for other patients and other factors.

Download consent form as a PDF

Please email the Communications Unit at news@ccdhb.org.nz if you have questions about this.


 

Last updated 2 May 2017.