Frequently Asked Questions


Who can use the facilities?

Any family whose child (up to and including the age of 21) is traveling to Christchurch to receive medical treatment at any Christchurch hospital can stay at Ronald McDonald House South Island. The Ronald McDonald Family Room, Southland Hostpital, is available as a day room to all families with children on the Children’s and Neo Natal wards at Southland Hospital. The Family Room accommodation is allocated daily by greatest need. If you are unsure of your eligibility please phone the House on 03 377 3311 or email admin@rmhsi.org.nz or phone the Family Room on 03 2148910 or email familyroom@rmhsi.org.nz

What will it cost us to stay?

There is no charge for families staying at the House or Family Room. We rely on the generous support of the public, businesses and volunteers to operate our facilities and we undertake our own internal fundraising to meet costs. We receive no direct Government funding, although we can receive some support from the Ministry of Health’s Travel and Accommodation Scheme for eligible families.

How do I book accommodation?

Your Patient Travel Administrator or Social Worker will generally arrange your first visit, but subsequent visits may be booked directly At the House in Christchurch or At the Family Room in Invercargill. Please note, completion of this form does not guarantee your booking. All requests for accommodation will be confirmed by staff pending availability.

What do I need to bring?

Ronald McDonald House South Island and the Family Room offer bedrooms complete with bed and bath linen. There are also free shared laundry facilities and fully equipped kitchens stocked with basic food items. Bassinets, port-a-cots, strollers, car seats and other baby items are available for use at the House in Christchurch, as well as an extensive range of books, toys, games and DVDs.

Dinner is served several evenings a week at the House, free of charge, from 6pm. For any additional food requirements there is a supermarket nearby in Christchurch. You will only need to bring your personal items such as toiletries, clothing, communication devices etc.

Dinner is provided in the Family Room by the local SuperValue Supermarket from Tuesday to Friday.

Can people with disabilities stay?

Yes. Shared areas in the House and Family Room are fully accessible. A number of bedrooms are also fully accessible at the House, including purpose-designed wet floor showers. Please inform us at the time of your booking if you require an accessible bedroom.

Two of the rooms at the Family Room are wheelchair accessible.

Is childcare provided?

The care and behaviour of children at our facilities is the responsibility of their parent or guardian. Children up to the age of 18 years must be supervised by a responsible adult at all times and must not be left unattended in the House or Family Room.

Can I receive visitors?

At the House, yes, but out of respect for the other families we do ask that you limit the number of visitors.

Visitors to the Family Room are permitted only with approval of the Family Room Supervisor.

Visiting hours are from 9.00am – 9.30pm daily. Visitors are not permitted in guest rooms but are welcome in the shared areas.

As the shared facilities are for House and Family Room families only, we ask that your visitors do not use the food or stay for meals.

What if I, or one of my visitors, is sick?

The House and Family Room often accommodate outpatients receiving treatment for serious illnesses, so all guests and their visitors must be infection free. Under no circumstances can guests who have been in contact or diagnosed with chicken pox or shingles, or who have had an episode of vomiting or diarrhoea in the last 48 hours, be allowed to enter our facilities. People with flu-like symptoms are also not permitted to enter our facilities.

Can I be reached by phone?

Every room in the House and Family Room has its own telephone. The House phones are equipped with voicemail. You will be given your extension number on arrival. All telephones have toll bars, but toll calls can be made with calling cards.

Can all of my family stay at the House?

We provide accommodation to the patient’s primary care givers and to the patient’s siblings. The only children allowed to stay with Ronald McDonald House South Island are the patient and siblings of the patient child.

How many people can stay in a room?

A family staying in the House is entitled to one bedroom. There are limits on the number of people who can stay in each bedroom, which vary depending on the size of the room. Your family will be allocated a bedroom accordingly. Two people maximum can stay in a room at the Family Room.

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