Guide for the media

Taranaki DHB media enquiries

Taranaki DHB’s 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 the Taranaki DHB Communications Team via email in the first instance.

For urgent after-hours media enquiries including patient status updates please call 021 665 017. All other general and non-urgent media enquiries, particularly those requesting data or interviews, will be handled during normal working hours.


Christmas holidays

The Communications office is CLOSED from 12.00pm Thursday 24 December 2020 until 9.00am Monday 11 January 2021

During this time we will not be answering any requests for data or staff interviews, but can be reached by mobile phone to respond to urgent media enquiries only, e.g. patient status updates. Please direct these queries to Beth Findlay-Heath on 021 665 017.


Patient status updates

To find out the status/condition of a patient please contact Taranaki DHB’s 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.

Media visiting Taranaki DHB

All media are asked to contact the communications team for consent before visiting either Taranaki Base or Hawera Hospital for patient or staff interviews, photographs or filming. 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. We can also help to escort you to where you need to go while on either campus.

This also includes interviewing a staff member off premises in a work capacity.

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

Last updated: Monday, December 21, 2020

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