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

Healthcare for transgender people

RE Official information request WCDHB 9472

I refer to your email dated 10 September 2020 requesting the following information under the Official Information Act from West Coast DHB. Specifically:

1. Of the following list of services, which (if any) does the District Health Board provide? Does the DHB provide any services for transgender health care not listed, if so, what?
– Puberty blockers
– Hormone replacement therapy
– Fertility preservation
– Mastectomy
– Hysterectomy
– Orchiectomy
– Facial hair removal
– Breast augmentation
– Voice training
– Facial feminization surgery
– Genital reconstruction surgery
– Counselling
– Other mental health support (please specify services in response)

For services provided by the DHB:

2. What is their current status? What clinic (or clinics) provides the service? Are they accepting new patients?

3. Broken down by provided services (and initial consultation and readiness assessments or other if applicable), how long is the current wait time on appointments for transgender health? How long have these wait times been in previous years that the service was available?

4. What set(s) of transgender health guidelines are used to inform practice?

5. What requirements are there for patients accessing care? (Eg. Readiness assessment)

6. For HRT specifically, what is the standard practice regarding choice of medication and dosages? Are GPs expected to be able to provide HRT, and if so what support are they given to ensure quality of care? What measures are in place to ensure that all patients are fully informed of all medications that could meet their HRT needs besides the suggested treatment plan?

7. Does the DHB have a Transgender Health Key Worker (or similar)?

8. Are there any youth-specific service providers? How would an underage person access trans-specific healthcare in the DHB?

9. When were the available services first offered?

10. Have these services ever been unavailable, and if so, between what dates?

11. Are patients referred elsewhere for these services? If so, where are they referred to?

12. Were any of these services ever previously provided by the DHB?

13. Is there any additional support made for healthcare needs that are not particular to transgender health but are particular areas of interest for transgender health? Eg. Substance use, mental health care.

14. What plans are there, if any, to expand or improve care for transgender patients within the DHB?

15. Have there been any internal reviews of the care provided or outcomes for transgender patients? If so, what were the results of those reviews, and what action was taken based on them?

16. What measures does the DHB currently have in place to educate healthcare workers not working in transgender health areas on the needs of transgender patients they may encounter? How is their right to be treated with dignity upheld?

17. Have any actions been taken based on complaints by transgender patients? If so, what actions
have been made in response to complaints?


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Page last updated: 12 October 2020

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