All hospital visitors are recommended to wear a medical face mask. For more information about visiting: Visitors and family. 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 link COVID-19 Vaccination • West Coast • Healthpoint

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

Day surgery

Day surgery is the service where patients have their operation or procedure and are discharged to go home on the same day.

Patients should report to the facility’s main reception desk. Staff will direct you to the general ward where you will be looked after.

If you get sick with a cold, fever or infection, or you cannot attend for personal reasons, we recommend you call the Day Surgery Unit directly. The number is: (03) 769 7400 EXTN 5327. Simply ring that number between 8am and 4:30pm to cancel your appointment.

  • Check your confirmation letter to see what medications and food you can have before surgery. You are usually not allowed to eat before surgery
  • Bring all your medicines to the health facility. If unsure which medications you can take, ask the anaesthetist to write down instructions
  • Have a shower or bath before coming to the facility.
  • Wear loose-fitting clothes and cotton underwear
  • Do not use talcum powder, deodorant, nail polish, perfume, aftershave, etc.

  • All medicines and tablets you are currently taking
  • Glasses and hearing aids
  • A book to read (optional)
  • Do not bring valuables, jewellery or cash. The facility is not responsible for patients’ valuables

Please tell staff if you will need a medical certificate for your employer.

If you want to claim medical insurance for surgery, please bring a claim form with you to the facility.

Before surgery a doctor might check you are still fit for surgery. You will then change into a gown and go to the lounge before the operation or examination.

Staff might give you medication before or during an operation for post-operative pain relief. This may be in the form of a suppository.

In the unlikely event there is a complication with your surgery, you may have to stay in the facility overnight.

You must stay a minimum of two hours after your surgery. When you have recovered, and staff are happy with your condition, they will allow you to go home with an escort.

You should organise someone to go home with you and make sure you arrive safely. Patients are expected to make their own arrangements to be picked up, but staff can contact your escort to let them know when you will be ready to leave.

Check you have these things before you leave:

  • A copy of a letter for use in an emergency
  • An outpatient appointment, if necessary
  • Discharge information
  • Any other instructions from your health care team

The first 24 hours after surgery

A responsible adult should stay with you for at least 24 hours after surgery. All children under 16 must be accompanied by a responsible adult.

A Brian Waterson Unit nurse will call you the next day to check how you are.

In the 24 hours after anaesthetic or an operation, DO NOT:

  • Drive yourself
  • Use any machinery
  • Do any activities that require skill or judgement for safety
  • Drink alcohol
  • Sign legal documents
  • Go home alone

Problems after discharge

If you have an increase in pain or feel sicker after you leave the facility, call your GP clinic or family doctor. In the first 24 hours after your surgery, you can call Te Nīkau, Grey Hospital & Health Centre and ask to talk to the Duty House Surgeon for advice.

Page last updated: 7 August 2020

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