Hospital visiting guidelines updated 16 September 2022: Hospital visitors must wear a surgical/medical paper mask. Fabric face coverings are not acceptable.  See our COVID-19 page for general COVID-19 advice, detailed hospital visiting guidelines and COVID-19 tests.

See for info on vaccinations.

Last updated:
16 September 2022

Fewer visitor restrictions now apply

For visitors to all facilities effective from 16 September 2022

Some visitor restrictions for all Te Whatu Ora Te Tai o Poutini West Coast health facilities remain in place, but we have relaxed others.

There is still a heightened risk to vulnerable people in hospital and so people must continue to wear a mask when visiting any of our facilities and follow other advice designed to keep patients, staff and other visitors safe.

Kia whakahaumaru te whānau, me ngā iwi katoa – this is to keep everybody safe:

  • Visitors or support people must not visit our facilities if they are unwell. Do not visit if you have recently tested positive for COVID-19 and haven’t completed your isolation period.
  • Patients in single rooms may have more than one visitor while patients in multi-bed rooms can have one visitor only per patient to ensure there is no overcrowding.
  • People can have one or two support people to accompany them to outpatients appointments.
  • Women in labour in a birthing suite, in Te Nīkau Hospital’s Maternity Ward and in Buller’s Kawatiri Maternity Unit can have the usual support people, subject to space, for the duration of their stay in our facilities.
  • Eating or drinking at the bedside is at the discretion of the Clinical Nurse Manager. Visitors must not eat or drink in multibed rooms because of the increased risk when multiple people remove their mask in the same space.
  • Hand sanitiser is available and must be used.

Thank you in advance for your patience and understanding as our staff work hard to protect and care for some of the most vulnerable in our community.

Mask wearing

  • Surgical/medical masks must be worn at all sites, except in counselling, mental health and addiction services where it’s on a case-by-case agreement with patients. Masks will be provided if you don’t have one. In higher-risk environments, people, including young children, may not be able to visit if they cannot wear a mask.
  • Any member of the public with a mask exemption is welcome in all our facilities when attending to receive health care and *treatment. Please show your mask exemption card and appointment letter to staff at the entrance. *Treatment includes coming into the Emergency Department, outpatient appointments, surgery or a procedure.

Visiting patients with COVID-19

  • People are able to visit patients who have COVID-19 but they must wear an N95 mask – this will be provided if you don’t have one.
  • Other methods of communication will be facilitated e.g. phone, Facetime, Zoom, WhatsApp etc where visits aren’t possible.

You must NOT visit our facilities if you

  • are COVID-19 positive
  • are unwell. Please stay home if you have a tummy bug or cold or flu/COVID-19-like symptoms (even if you’ve tested negative for COVID-19).

Te Whatu Ora West Coast Aged Residential Care facilities

Visitors are welcome at our Aged Care Residential facilities, subject to the space available. All visitors must wear a surgical mask.

More COVID-19 information

All reportable event briefs for the last three years for mental health

1.       Can I please request under the OIA all the Reportable Event Briefs for the last 3 years for mental health for all the DHBs?

 Reviews of Mental Health Serious Adverse Events at the West Coast DHB for the past 3 years (excluding falls with fracture) have identified the following themes impacting service provision.

Patient Factors:

  • Extensive period in the correction environments
  • Polysubstance dependence e.g., alcohol, illicit substances
  • Recent attempts of suicide
  • Recurrent relatively severe but short-lived episodes of
  • Lack of engagement with Mental Health Services

Organisation Factors:

  • Crisis responsiveness lacked guidelines for psychiatric emergency
  • No evaluation of the effectiveness of crisis

Staff Factors:

  • High engagement with locum psychiatrists
  • Staffing level fluctuation over public holiday
  • DHB discharge policies and procedures not implemented affecting the transition of care process
  • Risk assessments and management plans lacked rigour, identification of risk management strategies, review or follow
  • Lack of post assessment follow up with relevant
  • Differing clinical opinions leading to differing clinical management
  • Missed opportunities for face to face engagement or assessment by Mental Health Service
  • Failure to respond to the deteriorating Mental Health Patient and admit to acute inpatient services or
  • Lack of follow up 23 hours post discharge from Mental Health Services to assess ongoing
  • When a patient contacted the service there was no process in place to refer calls to another staff

Communication Factors:

  • Missed opportunities for meaningful engagement with families/whanau
  • Lack of communication/referral between service providers
  • Failure to respond to communication from primary service
  • Gaps in electronic clinical records and patient risk
  • Low compliance of appropriate standard of clinical documentation across
  • Timely transfer of documentation and communication between DHBs’, also affected by staff behaviours

Environmental Factors:

Isolated locations with limited public transportation services

  • Isolated locations with limited access to social environments/entertainment


  • The management of firearms in the presence of suicidal
  • Re-education of staff to the Transition of care
  • Education of staff on Involving Families Guidance
  • Establishing a Quality Improvement project Connecting Care
  • A robust audit tool that is specific to the transition of care between service providers and key stakeholders.
  • A detailed operational manual is developed to provide guidelines on psychiatric emergency responses. To include the role of the Consultant psychiatrist in high risk presentations in and out of
  • That high risk patients are allocated a case manager
  • To enhance the triage and referral process with follow up after 10 days where there is no personal response by the patient to attend/decline and assessment. The referrer or GP to be advised of the lack of
  • A risk Factor ‘aide de memoir’ is developed to assist phone triage and a Triage code is developed.
  • A process of assertive engagement with high risk
  • That alternative means of facilitating patient entry to the MHS service before closing a referral.

2. Can I also please request under the OIA what information from DHBs are sent to HQSC? (This is in case the previously question doesn’t hit the sweet spot)

3. Then I would like to request under OIA the information that DHBs usually send to HQSC and I would like that to cover the last 3 years

The information points provided in answer to Question 1 above is a summary of the matters raised with and provided to the HQSC in regard to reportable mental health events for West Coast DHB over the past three year period. HQSC requires a case event summary in REB part A and recommendations in REB Part B, these are what is usually sent for each case, and contains quite specific information around each case. Given the relatively small number of cases involved for the West Coast DHB each year, release of further, more specific detailed information than this could well lead, and in some cases easily lead, to the identification of individual patients concerned. We therefore decline to provide additional information in respect of Question 2 and Question 3 under Section 9(2)(a) of the Official Information Act i.e. “…to protect the privacy of natural persons, including that of deceased natural persons.”


Download pdf (390 KB)

Back to Document Library

Page last updated: 7 May 2019

Is this page useful?