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 referrals to FSA from FPs for elective orthopaedic surgery? Number accepted onto waiting list? Number referred back to GP below or above threshold? Number of elective orthopaedic surgeries performed at Grey Base Hospital; number referred to Canterbury DHB? Number of Orthopaedic surgeons on roster?

RE Official Information Act request WCDHB 9347

I refer to your email dated 13 September 2019 requesting information under the Official Information Act from West Coast DHB. We note in your request that your questions below refer to the 2018-2019 financial year and to West Coast based residents.

1. How many referrals to First Specialist Appointments from GPs for elective orthopaedic surgery?

During the period 1 July 2018 to the 30 June 2019, a total of 678 people were referred to the Orthopaedic Department on the West Coast. This excludes multiple referrals for the same patient.

2. How many accepted onto waiting list?

During the period 1 July 2018 to the 30 June 2019, a total of 194 people were accepted on to the Orthopaedic Department outpatient waiting list on the West Coast for a First Specialist Assessment (FSA).

3. How many referred back to GP because considered below the threshold for service?

Of those referred during 2018/19, 484 referrals were returned as they were either below threshold, or had insufficient information to make a clinical decision, were not eligible for New Zealand healthcare, were inappropriate referrals, or were for service that was not required, or for a referral query that could be met by written advice from the Specialist back to the referring General Practice.

Among the 484 total, the number returned back to their GP because they were below clinical threshold was 359. During this period, 308 people attended their FSA appointment on the West Coast, with a further 477 local attendances made for an orthopaedic follow up appointment.

4. How many referred back to GP even though on or above the threshold for service?

None. 100% of referrals that met the threshold in the year were accepted.

5. How many elective orthopaedic surgeries performed at Grey Base Hospital?

During the 2018/19 financial year, there have been 487 orthopaedic public (non-ACC) patients discharged from Grey Base Hospital, including 242 acute patients and 245 elective (arranged and waiting list) patients. Of these, 80 acute patients and 186 elective cases had surgical procedures undertaken.

6. How many elective orthopaedic surgeries for West Coast based residents performed at Christchurch Hospital?

There were 89 elective orthopaedic surgical discharges from Christchurch for West Coast residents in the 2018/19 financial year.

7. How many orthopaedic surgeons on the WCDHB roster?

At the start of May 2019, we had a new orthopaedic surgeon join the roster, thus increasing the number of orthopaedic surgeons on the West Coast DHB roster to six.


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Page last updated: 15 November 2019

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