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

Information regarding West Coast patient movements.

RE Official Information Act request WCDHB 9353

I refer to your email dated 3 October 2019 requesting the following information under the Official Information Act from West Coast DHB regarding West Coast patient movements. I note your request was clarified on 4 October 2019 as below:

1. In the 2018/2019 year to June, how many patients were sent back to their GP after their first specialist appointment?

Having attended and been seen at their First Specialist Appointment (FSA) with a Specialist at West Coast DHB publicly funded medical and surgical outpatient clinics during 2018-19, a total of 1,429 patients had the outcome for their presenting referral completed with no further need for ongoing specialist care or other treatment, and were appropriately discharged and returned back to their general practice as a result.

Only one patient was referred back to their general practitioner because they were below threshold for service following their FSA.

There were no patients where it was decided that treatment was not the best option however, one patient who was seen, declined further treatment for follow-up at their own request.

Outcomes for the remainder of patients seen at their FSA were either acceptance onto the waiting list, arranged admission, and referral for further additional investigative and follow-up services.

In all, 4,462 people attended and were seen at their First Specialist Appointment with a Specialist at West Coast DHB medical, surgical or first appointment minor operations outpatient clinics during 2018-19 as measured through National Patient Flow.

2. How many patients were sent to ChCh for orthopaedic surgery in the year to June (2018/2019)?

West Coast residents ‘admitted’ (acute and elective) * to Orthopaedics (Canterbury DHB)
2017/18 272
2018/19 286
West Coast residents ‘sent’ (acute and elective) * to Orthopaedics (Canterbury DHB)
2017/18 182
2018/19 180
*The figures above include admissions to any hospital in Canterbury DHB.

The figures for ‘sent’ to orthopaedics include elective admissions and acute patients transferred from the West Coast. The difference between those figures and the total admissions is due to West Coast residents already in the Canterbury region.

3. How many orthopaedic surgery procedures were done in Greymouth in the year to June (2018/2019)?
• How many orthopaedic surgeons are on the roster?

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 operation procedures undertaken.

During this period there were five orthopaedic surgeons on the roster, and increasing to six on the roster from the start of May 2019.

4. How many patients had elective surgery in Greymouth in the year to June (2018/2019)?

A total of 1,558 elective surgery procedures (all types) were conducted in the operating theatres at Grey Base Hospital in the financial year to 30 June 2019.

5. How many patients from the Coast were admitted to ChCh hospital and-or had surgery in ChCh in the year to June (2018/2019)?

West Coast residents admitted (acute and elective) to Canterbury DHB/Facilities
2017/18 1806
2018/19 1919
West Coast residents admitted (acute and elective) to Christchurch Hospital
2017/18 1474
2018/19 1562


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Page last updated: 15 November 2019

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