Rotorua Hospital is stepping up plans to introduce a special policy around patients and visitors taking photos in the hospital grounds - starting with a ban on filming women having babies via caesarean section.

Many district health boards are now imposing restrictions on people shooting videos and taking photographs within hospitals as social media sharing becomes more widespread.

Lakes District Health Board is looking at following the lead of several other health boards around the country and imposing restrictions on people shooting videos and taking photographs within the hospital.

Chief medical officer Dr Martin Thomas said the only formal policy at the moment was around taking photos and videos in theatre caesarean section procedures, with is not being allowed.


However, the hospital was working to finalise a policy around guidelines to patients and family who wished to digitally record staff and patients on Lakes District Health Board sites, Dr Thomas said. "The policy outlines the process around digital recording of patients, with the consents required. The policy outlines the responsibility that staff have to their patient, with a duty to take reasonable steps to ensure the patient's private information is protected as much as possible."

The prior permission of those involved is required.

"Staff have been quite clear that they do not want to be caught in the camera lens, and the health board is keen to protect the privacy of other patients as well who could get caught up in filming."

Dr Thomas said staff discussion with the patient and patient's family would outline that any recording needed to be agreed upon by the patient and the clinician. If a clinician is aware that he or she is being recorded and the clinician considers it inappropriate then that will be made clear, stating that staff consent for the recording is not provided.