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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 Hospital, 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 or phone the Family Room on 03 2148910 or email

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.

How do I book accommodation?

Your Patient Travel Administrator or Social Worker will generally arrange your visit.

What do I need to bring?

Ronald McDonald House 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 most weeknights at the Christchurch House, free of charge, from 6 pm. You will only need to bring your personal items such as toiletries, clothing, communication devices etc.

For any additional food requirements, there is a New World Supermarket nearby on Durham Street, just a 2-minute drive away, or Fresh Choice on Lichfield Street, a 9-minute walk from the Christchurch House.

For those staying in the Ronald McDonald Family Room at Southland Hospital, cooking facilities and some food is provided.

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 – 9.00pm 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?

Ronald McDonald House and Family Rooms often accommodate outpatients receiving treatment for serious illnesses, therefore it is vitally important that all guests and their visitors must be infection free.

Special information regarding Novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV)

All families and team members will be screened prior to entering a facility to minimise the opportunity of inadvertently spreading the virus.

All in-house family members will undergo a daily temperature and wellness check, and additional temperature checks every time they enter the House

Prior to admission, the following wellness questions will be asked:

  • Do you currently have an elevated temperature of 37.5C or higher, cough, sore throat, shortness of breath or other flu-like symptoms, such as nausea, vomiting or diarrhoea?
  • Have you been diagnosed with COVID-19 by a medical professional?
  • In the past 14 days, have you had close contact with a person who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 by a medical professional? (Close contact is defined as being within 1 metre for 15 minutes or more or living within the same household).
  • Have you been told by a healthcare provider or public health official that you should self-quarantine due to potential COVID-19 exposure(s) or that you are suspected of having COVID-19?

Registered families staying at an RMHC House/Family Room may not return home or alternate days/weeks with other family members.


People with flu-like symptoms will not be permitted to enter our facilities.

Many of the children staying at Ronald McDonald House have suppressed immune systems, making even a slight infection possibly very serious.  Please check your immunisations are up to date and let us know if you have:-

  1. Had any exposure to a confirmed case of the following over the past 3 weeks:-
  • Chicken pox
  • Measles
  • Rubella (German measles)
  • Mumps
  • Whooping Cough
  • Head Lice

2. If you have had any of the following over the past 2 days:-

  • Fever (higher than 38 degrees C)
  • Vomiting or diarrhoea
  • Flu symptoms (stiff neck, headache with a fever)
  • Cold symptoms (runny nose, cough, congestion, sore throat, watery eyes)
  • Skin rash or skin lesions that are ‘weepy’


Special Information regarding Measles

In respect to the measles outbreak in New Zealand, all persons entering Ronald McDonald House, or the Ronald McDonald Family Rooms should either:-

  • Be fully immunised (received two doses of MMR vaccine – typically given at 15 months and 4 years)
  • Had one immunisation, we recommend you contact your health professional to receive your booster(s)
  • Had previously had measles (but not recently)
  • Been born before 1969

If you have not been immunised or are not sure, you should contact your GP to test your immunity and have this confirmed prior to coming to the House or Family Room.

Under no circumstances can guests who have been in contact or diagnosed with measles, 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.

Can all of my family stay at the House?

We provide accommodation to the patient’s primary caregivers 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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