Guide for the media

​​​​​​In the event of a trauma or an emergency, the media plays a vital role by providing the community with the latest news and public service announcements. Our disaster response plan includes operation of an on-site media centre to make sure media needs are met.

Canterbury DHB media enquiries

All media enquiries can be directed to the Canterbury District Health Board media advisor on 027 502 75 23 or 03 364 4122 in the first instance. 

For patient status updates media can phone the media advisor during weekdays, or the on-call media advisor on weekends, between 6am-11pm.​​​

Canterbury DHB and West Coast DHB ​Media Advisor 
weekend on-call roster

MonthWeekendAdvisor on-call
January 201702/03 Jan 17Lee Harris
 04/05/06 JanMick  O'Donnell
 07/08 JanLee Harris
 14/15 JanKaralyn van Deursen
 21/22 JanAmy Milne
 28/29 JanLee Harris
Waitangi Day04/05 /06 FebAmy Milne
February11/12 FebMick O'Donnell
 18/19 FebAmy Milne
 25/26 FebKaralyn van Deursen
March04/05 MarAmy Milne
 11/12 MarLee Harris
 18/19 MarAmy Milne
 25 /26 MarMick O'Donnell
April01/02 AprAmy Milne
 08/09 AprKaralyn van Deursen
​Easter - Fri /Sat14/15 Apr​​Lee Harris
Easter - Sun / Mon16 /17 AprAmy Milne
​22/23 Apr​Lee Harris
​Anzac Day​25 April​Amy Milne
​29/30 Apr​Mick O’Donnell
​May​06/07 May​Amy Milne

Canterbury DHB Media Team


Karalyn van Deursen

Strategic Communications Manager
027 531 4796

Amy Milne

Media Advisor
027 502 75 23

Mick O'Donnell

Senior Communications Advisor
027 261 4824  

Lee Harris

Senior Communications Advisor​
027 836 1528 or 03 789 6522  

Our role with the media

All requests for patient conditions, staff and patient interviews, photographs or filming must be made through the media advisor or strategic communications manager.

Under no circumstances may interviews, filming or photography be carried out on the hospital sites without permission from the media advisor or strategic communications manager.

If you carry out filming or photography without permission, our hospital security teams will ask you to leave the site immediately. For more information see guidelines for media visiting CDHB hospitals below.

The media advisor or strategic communications manager can save you time and trouble trying to track down medical staff and researchers who specialise in the subject you are covering. Often we can put you in contact with a busy practitioner who may not otherwise understand the demands of your deadlines.

We can provide you with images of our hospitals, staff and board members suitable for publication and are happy to take high resolution photographs on request.

Patient status updates

We do not release any personal information regarding a patient without consent of the adult patient or, where the patient is a child, the consent of the parent or guardian.

We do release condition updates along with age bands, gender and city/town of residence but will not confirm other details unless we have consent from the patient or their parent or guardian.

Patient status terminology and definitions

  • Stable: condition unchanged

  • Serious, but stable: vital signs stable, within normal limits, patient conscious and comfortable, indicators favourable.

  • Serious: vital signs stable and within normal limits, patient conscious but may be uncomfortable, indicators questionable.

  • Critical: Vital signs unstable, not within normal limits, patient may not be conscious, indicators unfavourable.

While we respect that some families may want to share information with the media, we respect and support other families' right to decide whether or not to engage with the media.

Often patients/parents will agree to pass on additional details to the media advisor or nursing staff. We will obtain consent for this release of information as quickly as possible and report these additional facts.

When patients or their family members decline consent for release of information and request that all information about them or their child remains confidential, we are unable to comment on such patients.

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 media liaison officer rather than comment ourselves.

Guidelines for media visiting Canterbury DHB hospitals

  • The media advisor or strategic communications manager must approve access by the media to any of our hospitals for professional duties.

  • In consideration of the rights to confidentiality of our patients, their families and our staff, the media advisor or strategic communications manager will confirm all recording and interviews on hospital property before they occur.

  • Patient or parental permission alone is insufficient consent as we need to consider patient safety, privacy for other patients and other factors such as infection control risks and staff concerns.

  • Please let us know your needs in advance. If your plan includes photography of a patient, family or a staff member at our Canterbury DHB hospitals, we can obtain photo consent on your behalf in advance. This will avoid delays.

  • The media advisor or strategic communications manager will liaise with our clinicians and the patient to arrange a mutually convenient time and location for your interview and will set up where to meet you.

  • The media advisor/a member of the communications team, or security will escort you to the patient or staff member you wish to interview.

Social Media Guides for Canterbury DHB staff

The following social media guidelines are for staff reference.

More information about the use of social media can be found on the Canterbury DHB intranet. Specific social media queries should be addressed to the Corporate Communications team.

A social media guide for District health Boards - Canterbury DHB

Social media in government - high level guidance

A social media guide for medical practitioners

A nurses guide to social media and electronic communication

Social media and the nursing profession

​Official Information Act

Please see our guide to Official
Information Act requests to Canterbury

​Social Media Guides for
DHB staff

Find helpful guidelines for using
social media in the workplace.

Page last reviewed: 06 April 2017
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