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

West Coast DHB Annual Plan 2019/2020

This document is our Annual Plan which has been prepared to meet the requirements of the New Zealand Public Health and Disability Act, Crown Entities Act, Public Finance Act, and the expectations of the Minister of Health.
Linking with our Statement of Intent, this document sets out our strategic goals and objectives and describes what we aim to achieve in terms of improving the health of our population and ensuring the sustainability of our health system. It also contains our Statement of Performance Expectations for the coming year and actions we will take in response to national priorities and expectations in 2019/20.

The Statement of Performance Expectation is presented to Parliament and used at the end of the year to compare planned and actual performance. Audited results are presented in our Annual Report.
The West Coast DHB has made a strong commitment to ‘whole of system’ service planning. We work collaboratively and in partnership with other service providers, agencies and community organisations to meet the needs of our population and support a number of clinically-led Alliances as key vehicles for implementing system improvement and change.

Our alliance framework means we share a joint vision for the future of our health system with our alliance partners and agree to work together to improve health outcomes for our shared population. This includes our local West Coast Alliance with the West Coast PHO, the South Island Regional Alliance with our four partner South Island DHBs and our transalpine partnership with the Canterbury DHB.
The DHB recognises its role in actively addressing disparities in health outcomes for Māori and we are committed to making a difference. We work closely with Tatau Pounamu and Poutini Waiora, directly and through the West Coast Alliance, to improve outcomes for Māori in a spirit of communication and co-design that encompasses the principles of Te Tiriti o Waitangi.
In signing this document, we are satisfied that it fairly represents our joint intentions and activity, and is in line with Government expectations for 2019/20.


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Page last updated: 27 February 2020

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