General media enquiries
Please contact the communications unit if you have a media enquiry.
You can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
After hours media enquiries
Capital, Coast and Hutt Valley have a shared after hours media service that operates outside of business hours and during weekends. The after-hours media service does not operate between the hours of 10pm and 7am.
Please email email@example.com if you have a request for a patient condition update or urgent media query after-hours. If you do not receive an acknowledgement within two hours, please follow-up with a phone call on (04) 806 2790.
General media enquiries, particularly those requesting data, will be handled during normal working hours.
Patient condition updates
To find out the condition of a patient please contact the 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:
- Undergoing treatment
- Being assessed in the emergency department
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. (PDF)
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.
Other interviews and filming
The Communications Unit can save you time by finding the right person to comment on the subject you are covering. All requests for staff and patient interviews, photographs or filming must be made through the Communications Unit. Under no circumstances may interviews, filming or photography be carried out on the hospital sites without permission from the Communications Unit.
If you carry out interviews filming or photography without permission, our hospital security teams will ask you to leave the site immediately.
We are happy to provide you with images of our hospitals, staff, and Board members.
Visiting Hutt Hospital and other sites
You must get approval from the communications unit before you visit the hospital or other Hutt Valley 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.
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 (PDF)
Please email the Communications Unit at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions about this.
Where a patient and/or their family members decline interviews and do not consent to the release of information, we are unable to release information on them.
These belong to our patients and include medical reports and things like test results, scans and X-rays.
If a patient wants us to give a copy of any of their records to media, they must sign a consent form and be specific about what they want to release and how it is to be used. Please speak to the Communications Unit about this by emailing email@example.com.