There is still a heightened risk to vulnerable people in hospital, so we recommend all people to continue wearing a mask when visiting any of our facilities and follow other advice designed to keep patients, staff and visitors safe.  See our COVID-19 page for general COVID-19 advice, detailed hospital visiting guidelines and COVID-19 tests.

See West Coast COVID-19 vaccination clinics for info on vaccinations.

Last updated:
16 September 2022

Fewer visitor restrictions now apply

For visitors to all facilities (effective from and last updated on 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

A detailed breakdown of any and all incidents relating to equipment not being properly sterilised by DHB in 2018 and 2019 YTD?

RE Official Information Act request WCDHB 9298

 I refer to your email dated 6 March 2019 to the Ministry of Health which was subsequently transferred to our office on 22 March 2019 requesting the following information under the Official Information Act from West Coast DHB.

I would like a detailed breakdown of any and all incidents relating to equipment not being properly sterilised by District Health Boards in 2018 and 2019

There have been no incidences of equipment not being properly sterilised by the West Coast Health Board during the period 1 January 2018 to 22 March 2019.

Three cases were identified as being potentially improperly sterilised during this time period; but in all three cases, this was a precautionary risk mitigation in response to sterility indicators, rather than anything at all to do with actual equipment sterilisation, or of the sterilisation safety processes. Two cases that were identified as a potential risk related to theatre instruments which showed incorrect colour on the highly chemically-sensitive sterilisation indicator tape, signalling the items as being potentially unsterile. In this event, the steriliser units were thoroughly tested and validated for sterility. The third case involved the discovery of a wet patch on the inside a wrapped instrument tray during surgical set-up. While not necessarily depicting an unsterile load in  itself, the presence of a wet patch from internal accumulated condensation from the drying of the wrapped equipment in this case was treated as if it was potentially at risk for sterility, and the equipment was exchanged.

All three potential issues were detected via the sterilisation warning indicator strips and clinical safety systems checks before use, and the items were replaced by equipment showing definitive positive markers for sterility in accordance with established protocols. Indicators and parameters for sterility for all other items sterilised by West Coast DHB have been met for all other areas and services.

Additionally, West Coast DHB maintains a tracking system for all equipment and instruments used for each patient going through our operating theatres to counter-check for sterility for any prostheses and other items used in operating room procedures that may be supplied by agencies external to our own. All indicators and parameters for sterility for such items used by West Coast DHB during this time have been met.


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Page last updated: 7 May 2019

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