Home Visit Service


Canterbury SCL offers a free to patient (CDHB funded) home visit service for the urban areas of Christchurch. The service extends beyond these urban boundaries to include the community of Rangiora, and other areas within a distance of 20km from a Canterbury SCL collection centre.

Between July 2016 and June 2017 we completed a total of 32,372 home visits, which is an average of 2,698 per month. A total of 16,922 of these visits were to Rest Homes, an average of 1,410 per month, or 52% of all home visits.

We are very proud of this service and the number of patients we are able to visit but we are always striving for improvement and to better serve the health needs of our community. One way in which we could better utilise our resources and increase the number of visits to eligible patients would be to decrease the number of visits which are missed as a result of patients not being home when we visit. Over the past twelve months the total number of missed home visits was 1,560, an average of 130 per month or almost 5% of all home visits. 728 of these missed visits were to patients at Rest Homes. We are trying to minimise these missed visits by enforcing the following guidelines. 

Download the PDF version of our Home Visit Guidelines or read below:  


Eligibility Criteria

  • Patients must be housebound due to ill health or have impaired mobility; be unable to manage everyday tasks such as grocery and shopping errands; and have no support person to provide transport to a collection centre to be eligible for a home visit

  • A request for a home visit must be made by the referring medical practitioner or nurse practitioner - not the patient, their caregiver or relative

  • Any changes to a home visit request must be communicated to us by the referring medical practitioner or nurse practitioner - not the patient / caregiver or relative

  • Bookings are restricted to patients living within a 20km radius of the nearest Canterbury SCL collection centre.

  • Bookings will not be accepted for patients requiring restraint unless assistance is available


Home Visit Hours of Service

  • Monday to Friday (excluding Public Holidays) 7.30am – 4.00pm

  • It is not possible to arrange a set time for home visits. As home visit patients are, by definition, housebound this should not be a cause for concern


Home Visit Requesting

  • Requests for a home visit must be made by the referring medical practitioner or nurse practitioner - not the patient, caregiver or relative

  • Requests should be made using a laboratory request form and faxed to 03 360 1494. The home visit request form must not be given to the patient to present

  • Please make requests for a home visit at least 24 hours in advance of the requested booking day (Tuesday to Friday). Requests for a Monday must be made by the 5pm on the preceding Thursday to allow for scheduling

  • We require the Home Visit Coordinator to be notified (call 03 360 0842) if there are any particular specifications with regard to the testing e.g. fasting or drug levels


All home visit requests are to be faxed

To authorise and request a home visit by Canterbury SCL please complete a request form and fax to 03 360 1494


Urgent Requests

  • Please call our Home Visit Coordinator on 03 360 0842

Note: such requests must be clinically urgent


Home Visit Management

  • If the patient is not home when we call, Canterbury SCL reserves the right to request the patient to attend one of our collection rooms in the area

  • Patients or caregivers should inform their referring medical practitioner or nurse practitioner as soon as possible if circumstances change that could affect their eligibility for a home visit e.g. patient admitted to hospital etc.

  • The medical practitioner or nurse practitioner must contact Canterbury SCL as soon as possible should there be any changes to their patient's requirements

  • Patients who are considered to no longer require home visits will be discharged from the service after consultation with the referrer


Rest Homes

  • We require a rest home staff member to be available to assist with identification as many patients are unable to self-identify. The rest home visit will not proceed if the Phlebotomist is not able to positively identify the patient


Private Homes

  • Patients must ensure that all pets are restrained and that the mobile Phlebotomist can safely gain access to the patient’s home

  • A notification letter will be sent to the referrer if a patient is not home at the time of a visit, to confirm that home visits are still required for the patient

  • The home visit will not proceed if the Phlebotomist is not able to positively identify the patient

  • Patients who are unable to effectively communicate their identification, e.g. non-English speaking, must provide photo ID or have a support person present who can provide identification


Contact Us

  • To contact us regarding anything to do with the Home Visit Service please call: 03 360 0842, fax: 03 360 1494 or email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.