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

Outpatient department
Department: Outpatient DepartmentDivision: West Coast DHB

Your GP (family doctor or nurse) will usually arrange your outpatient appointment. For outpatient appointment enquiries, please call reception and ask for the Central Booking Unit.

Check your appointment details

We want you to be at the right place, at the right time, on the right day. Please bring your appointment letter with you so we can check you in to the right clinic.

Useful information about travelling between locations is provided below.

Travel Assistance

Travelling for health care brochure – This brochure contains information on the national travel assistance scheme (NTA)

Shuttle services

West Coast Health Shuttle – travels between Hokitika and Greymouth

Red Cross Shuttle – travels between Westport and Greymouth

Please phone the number on your letter if you are unwell or the appointment time is not suitable.

Your appointment can be offered to another patient to reduce waiting times and make the best use of our resources.

The receptionist will tell the clinical staff you have arrived, and tell you whether your child needs to have an x-ray or any other tests before the appointment. Staff will usually check your child’s height and weight.

  • Your appointment letter, please check the appointment letter carefully for the location of the clinic
  • Any medicines, herbal products, rongoā Māori, you are currently taking (or a list of them)
  • If requested in the appointment letter only: Your passport, birth certificate or New Zealand citizenship certificate to confirm that you are eligible for publicly funded health care
  • We encourage you to bring a support person. Please bring no more than two people. In some clinical areas it is only possible for one person to remain with you.

  • The receptionist will ask you to check your current details
  • You will need to tell the receptionist if you have recently changed your address, phone number or GP so we can contact you and your health care team at short notice if needed.
  • You may have to provide proof of eligibility for free health care. If so, please give the receptionist a copy of your birth certificate and passport
  • To help reduce the spread of infection, please wash your hands when you arrive and before you leave the building, or use hand sanitizer available at most reception areas and in the corridors inside the buildings
  • If you need tests or x-rays, the receptionist will tell you where to get these

The doctor will listen to you and will discuss treatment or procedures you may need, this will include risks and benefits of any procedure or surgery, and will ask for your consent (permission) in writing before procedures or surgery are planned.

We support your right to be fully informed about your health and on-going care, so please do not hesitate to ask for more information or to question anything you do not understand. You may also bring a support person with you.

You can withdraw your consent at any stage if you are unsure. We encourage you to ask questions to make sure you have the information you need.

As well as seeing the doctor, you may need to visit other parts of the health facility or clinic (i.e.: for tests such as x-rays or blood tests). Please allow extra time for this.

While we endeavour to see people on time, circumstances outside our control can cause delays. If you have registered at the reception desk and have been waiting for more than 30 minutes past your appointment time, please check back with the receptionist.

  • Be involved in your treatment
  • Cooperate with and support the agreed treatment
  • Provide information that could assist with your care and treatment
  • Inform us when your rights are not being met
  • Be sensitive to the needs of others
  • Respect other people’s privacy and keep any information about them confidential
  • Respect West Coast DHB staff and property
  • Do not smoke or vape in our buildings or on our grounds

Page last updated: 5 August 2020

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