Guide for the media

Te Whatu Ora - Taranaki media enquiries

Te Whatu Ora - Taranaki Communications Team aims to respond to all media enquiries in an open and timely manner.

All media enquiries (Monday - Friday, business hours) can be directed to Te Whatu Ora - Taranaki Communications Team via email in the first instance.

For urgent after-hours media enquiries including patient status updates, please refer to the on-call roster here. All other general and non-urgent media enquiries, particularly those requesting data or interviews, will be handled during normal working hours.



Media visiting Te Whatu Ora - Taranaki

All media are asked to contact the Communications Team for consent before visiting either Taranaki Base Hospital, Hāwera Hospital or any other Te Whatu Ora - Taranaki healthcare facilities for patient or staff interviews, photographs or filming. Depending on our current visitor policy and whether media are welcome on campus, the Communications Team will liaise with the patient and staff to obtain consent for interviews and ensure there is a suitable location for this to be conducted.

Please let us know your needs in advance. If your plan includes photography of a patient, family or a staff member at one of our hospitals, we can obtain photo consent on your behalf in advance. This will avoid delays. In group situations, a member of the Communications Team 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 consent. Clinicians have the right to override that consent taking into consideration patient safety, privacy for other patients and other factors such as infection control risks and staff concerns.
  • The Communications Team will advise on staff commitments, treatment schedules and requirements for infection control and arrange a mutually convenient time and location for your interview.

The Communications Team will help guide media on campus, this includes interviewing a staff member off premises in a work capacity.

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


Patient status updates

To find out the status/condition of a patient please contact Te Whatu Ora Taranaki Communications Team.

We do release status 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/guardian.

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 also cannot provide information about or contact details for a patient who is no longer in hospital, or patients using community health services, including community mental health services.

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:

Patient status 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.

If a patient or their family asks us not to release any information about them to media, we are unable to provide a patient status 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 media liaison officer rather than comment ourselves.

Last updated: Thursday, December 22, 2022

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