HOSPITAL VISITING

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 www.vaccinatecanterburywestcoast.nz 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

General ward staff care for acute and elective patients in orthopaedics, urology, plastics, gynaecology, paediatrics, dental surgery and general surgery.

Find us

Patients should report to the admission desk near the main entrance to Te Nīkau, Grey Hospital & Health Centre. The attendant will take your details and direct you to the general ward.

Our specialist Anaesthetists are involved in all types of anaesthesia, intensive care, resuscitation and treating acute pain and labour pain. They are supported by a highly-skilled Pre-assessment Nurse.

Pre-anaesthetic clinics are held in Greymouth and Westport.

The orthopaedic service has one permanent staff member supported by visiting specialists from around New Zealand and overseas.

The service provides both elective and acute surgery with the latest techniques, including hip resurfacing procedures and hip arthroscopy.

Our Obstetricians and Gynaecologist provide delivery of normal pregnancies, assisted vaginal deliveries and caesarean sections. A small proportion of high risk pregnancies are referred to Christchurch Women’s Hospital. The Gynaecology services provide general gynaecological services including the treatment of menstrual problems, urogynaecology, preliminary infertility services, endometriosis, treatment of pelvic pain, hormone replacement, contraceptive treatment, sterilisation advice and colposcopy.

To access the service a GP referral is necessary.  Patients cannot make an appointment directly for the gynaecology services offered here.

The department has close links with Christchurch Public Hospital and can refer patients there if needed.

The waiting list for surgery can be between one week and six months, depending on how urgent your need is.

If booked times of admissions don’t suit your needs, please ring the admitting office using the phone number on your letter and discuss this with the admissions staff.

We sometimes have to postpone appointments at short notice because of emergencies. We might have to postpone your surgery even after you have been admitted. Our staff will do everything possible to avoid postponing any treatment. However, if this occurs we will rebook your surgery.

See also: Appointments, bookings and cancellations

The West Coast DHB will send you a letter of notification telling you the date of your surgery and requesting confirmation you can attend. If required, we will send you information about pre-anaesthetic clinic, blood tests, x-rays and any other preparation necessary.

We will send information about when you should stop eating and drinking before your surgery, and if you need to stop taking your medication.

On the day of surgery, you will have to change into a hospital gown in the ward. You may also need to wear TED (support) stockings to help prevent blood clots.

A nurse will check that all your paperwork is correct and you have signed a consent form. Tell staff about any allergies you have.

Theatre staff will phone the ward when they are ready for you. You may have to wait longer than expected if other surgeries take longer than normal or priority changes.

The nurse will walk with you or wheel you to the theatre department.

Keeping you safe during surgery

In theatre

Once in the theatre department, staff will be with you at all times and will explain the process to you.

Medical staff will insert an IV line and give you a clear breathing mask as you fall asleep. Please inform staff if you have a fear of needles or the mask.

After surgery

Following surgery, you will wake in the recovery room. You will have an oxygen mask on and a cuff that measures blood pressure.

Nurses will monitor your vital signs and ensure they are stable. They will check your wound and observe for bleeding. They will make sure you are comfortable and offer pain relief if necessary.

You are then transferred to the ward.

The ward has four consultant General Surgeons, supported by a surgical Resident Medical Officer, surgical nurses and administration staff.

Outpatient clinics are held in Greymouth and peripheral clinics are held in Hokitika, Westport and Reefton.

See also: Perioperative services (Surgical services)

Page last updated: 17 June 2021

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