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

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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