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

Number of staff assaulted, harassed, injured by patients 2016-2019

RE Official Information Act request WCDHB 9284

I refer to your email dated 20 February 2019 requesting the following information under the Official Information Act from West Coast DHB regarding staff being assaulted, harassed and injured by patients between 2016 and 2019 year to date (20 February 2019). Specifically:

1.       Data/numbers/figures of all incidents involving any DHB staffer being harassed, assaulted, hurt, injured, threatened, maimed or implicated in an altercation with any patient from any ward/area under the DHB’s jurisdiction over the last three years to date (ie from February 20, 2016, to present day, February 20, 2019).

2. Could the DHB please, with the data, provide a breakdown of when each incident occurred (ie date), when it was recorded/reported and by who, a brief description of each incident including details of the assault/threat/injury/harassment, and what the outcome was of each incident ie. Whether a patient was sectioned/transferred/arrested or whether the staffer involved had

From 20 February 2016 to 20 February 2019, there were 34 incidents recorded with the mechanism of harm ‘physical assault’. For the event type, ‘verbal abuse’, 33 incidents were recorded over the same period. Note that multiple categories may be selected for one incident. These figures are based on the initial assessment of event type by the person recording the event in our centralised electronic recording system.

We encourage our people to record all incidents involving violence and aggression. Of the 34 Physical assaults that were recorded five received medical treatment and were accepted as ACC work injury claims with a mechanism of harm ‘being hit, struck or bitten by person’.

We are declining to provide this level of detail under sections 18(f) and 9(2) (a) of the Official Information Act. The West Coast DHB has not run a report for Behaviour and Safety as this requires extensive analysis that we do not have the resources to undertake and it would take a substantial amount of time. We believe to provide details on who submitted the event, or the brief factual description would provide too much detail and could identify the person and the incident.

We are declining to provide the patient outcome of each incident under section 18(g) of the Official Information Act as the West Coast DHB holds no data collection relating to this information.

I trust that this satisfies your interest in this matter.


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Page last updated: 7 May 2019

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