Guide for the media

All requests for staff and patient interviews, photographs or filming must be made through the communications team.

On weekdays, you can reach the Te Whatu Ora Tairāwhiti communications team on (06) 869 0500 ext 8115.

For emergency inquiries after hours and at weekends, please call (06) 869 0500 and ask to be put through to the duty nurse manager.

Under no circumstances may interviews, filming or photography be carried out on the hospital site without permission from the communications team. If you carry out filming or photography without permission, hospital security will ask you to leave the site immediately.

The communications team 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 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. This consent requirement includes confirmation of admission.

We do release condition updates but will not confirm other details unless we have consent from the patient or their parent or guardian.

While we encourage families to allow the media to share information, we respect their right to decide whether to release details.

After obtaining consent, we can confirm admission and provide a condition report for the patient, limited to one of the following:

  • Stable: condition unchanged
  • Good: vital signs stable, within normal limits, patient conscious and comfortable, indicators favourable
  • Fair: 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.

Often patients/parents will agree to pass on additional details. 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.


Visiting Gisborne Hospital

  • The communications team must approve access by the media to any of our hospitals for professional duties.
  • Please let us know your needs in advance. If your plan includes photography of a patient, family or a staff member at our hospital, we can obtain photo consent on your behalf in advance. This will avoid delays. In group situations, a staff member will be on hand to let you know which patients you can photograph.
  • In consideration of the rights to confidentiality of our patients, their families and our staff, the communications team will confirm all recording and interviews on hospital property.
  • Patient or parental permission alone is insufficient.
  • Communications consultants can also advise on staff commitments, treatment schedules and requirements for infection control and arrange a mutually convenient time and location for your interview.


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