An ambulance officer has been taken to hospital after being punched by a patient they were caring for.

He was one of two ambulance officers, a man and a woman, who were assaulted while attending a routine callout to New Brighton in Christchurch about 7pm tonight.

"It was totally unprovoked," St John Canterbury operations manager Dion Rosario said.

Ambulance staff were treating a patient when the person receiving care assaulted them.


"There was no indication to the staff where this was going."

While both staff were physically okay the male ambulance officer was being taken to Christchurch Hospital for a check-up after being punched in the chest several times, Rosario said.

Police were called Beresford St at 6.35pm, in response to a report that two ambulance staff had been assaulted by a patient at a property there.

Police were currently at the scene.

The two officers would likely be taken off shift, Rosario said.

Assaults on ambulance staff did occur from time to time.

"This is not an acceptable thing to happen given that they are there to save lives and help the public," Rosario said.

"What is important is that we put welfare processes in place so they can get back on top of things."