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Emergency Department (ED)
Department: Emergency DepartmentDivision: West Coast DHB


The Emergency Department (also known as ED or A&E) entrance is at Te Nīkau, Grey Hospital & Health Centre, accessible via the High Street overbridge (near New World and the service station) in Greymouth.

In an emergency, call 111.

For most other injuries and illnesses, call your GP or family doctor first. They will refer you to ED if needed. You can also call Healthline on 0800 611 116 for free health advice.

ED is here to provide care to patients with serious or life-threatening illnesses that require urgent attention.

Examples of conditions treated in ED:

  • Injuries from car crashes
  • Heart attacks
  • Severe bleeding
  • Serious burns
  • Head injuries
  • Acute abdominal pain
  • Broken bones
  • Eye injuries
  • Trouble breathing
  • Acute psychiatric needs
  • Paediatric (child health) problems

Staff will see people with life-threatening conditions first.

ED is not for long-standing or minor illnesses which can be treated at your GP clinic. The department does not do physical check-ups, or write medical certificates or prescriptions. It should not be used to treat colds and sore throats, or remove stitches.

For most follow up treatment you should see your family doctor. Occasionally, patients with severe wounds are asked to return to see the ED doctor for review.

If you have not arrived in an ambulance, please understand you might have to wait while we treat people with life-threatening conditions. Waiting to be seen in ED can sometimes take hours.

  • We will try to keep you informed, but please remember wait times can change unexpectedly
  • Nurses will continue to observe your condition to ensure you are safe and answer any questions
  • People who arrive after you might be seen before you. This is because their health condition needs immediate attention
  • While our waiting room may look quiet, ED is often very busy in other areas you cannot see
  • Patients arrive at ED via two entrances. Critically ill patients usually arrive at the ambulance entrance and are moved directly to the resuscitation areas. The waiting room can sometimes appear misleadingly quiet when the rest of the department is full of critically ill patients
  • The total time of your visit could be between three and six hours

  • When you first arrive we will take your name and a brief reason for your visit
  • The Triage Nurse will greet you as soon as possible. This is a senior registered nurse who sees all patients and assesses their condition. You can ask the Triage Nurse any questions you have while in the waiting room
  • You may need to wait again after the doctor or emergency nurse has seen you
  • You may need blood tests, x-rays or scans before treatment. We try to start these tests as soon as possible, but they take time to complete
  • You might need to wait for a specialist who is busy in other wards or operating rooms
  • Our hard-working staff members are here to take the best possible care of you, they will strive to minimise your waiting time
  • The staff in the Emergency Department work closely with other professionals throughout the facility to ensure you receive appropri­ate care. If you need to be admitted, you may be transferred to a ward

  • Let us know right away if your pain or condition gets worse
  • Clean your hands with hand gel and cover your mouth when you cough
  • Do not drink or eat before being seen unless absolutely necessary. Please tell the nurse before you eat or drink
  • Ask a friend or relative to look after your valuables or leave them at home
  • Please be patient and courteous to other patients and staff
  • Talk to one of our staff if you have any questions or concerns during your visit

Clinical staff

The department is staffed 24/7 with nurses and doctors. Senior medical officers and specialists are available on-call at this facility.

Communication with other health professionals

Clinicians can contact specialists and other health professionals form other wards and hospitals to help with your treatment if needed.

It is normal practice for Emergency Department to supply information to your family doctor. Please tell our staff if you do not want them to do this.


We do not tolerate violent behaviour (verbal or physical) towards other patients or staff. Staff will call police if there is any threat to patient or staff safety.

Page last updated: 4 August 2020

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