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

Access to abortion services now more accessible for West Coasters

Tuesday 26 April 2022Health news2 minutes to read

West Coast DHB has recently implemented abortion services on the West Coast for pregnancies less than 12 weeks. This means that West Coasters can now access these services locally and, in some cases, abortions can take place at home if the necessary clinical criteria have been met.

Executive Director – Midwifery and Maternity Services Norma Campbell says that these services have been implemented to increase accessibility and address inequities in service provision by removing barriers and delays while also offering several choices.

“These changes are a major development for pregnant West Coasters who previously had to travel to Christchurch for these services. It’s important for anyone considering their options to have easy access to the required support including pre-decision and post-procedure counselling.

We know it can be hard to make a decision about what to do and we are here to provide support. Counselling is available should you wish to explore feelings and issues related to an unplanned pregnancy and the options available.”

Counselling services are focused on supporting pregnant people with their decision. Our Qualified Pregnancy Counsellor/Social Workers based in Greymouth, Westport and Hokitika provide pregnancy counselling to everyone from Karamea to Haast. This is a professional, confidential and free service.

Clinical Director Transalpine and Rural Dr Brendan Marshall says that anyone wanting to access abortion services can self-refer to the Christchurch Women’s Hospital’s Gynaecology Procedure Unit or ask their GP or family planning for a referral.

“While you no longer need a GP referral to have an abortion, we still recommend making an appointment with your GP – there is no cost associated with this visit – to discuss your options, confirm how many weeks pregnant you are and to make a referral if you decide to proceed.”

Available options include early medical abortion via telehealth, early medical abortion outpatients and surgical abortion. If your pregnancy is over 12 weeks and 1 day, you will be referred to the Gynaecology Procedure Unit.

“We have a strong working relationship with Canterbury DHB who have created an interim telehealth abortion service for both DHBs until the National Abortion Service is rolled out in November 2022. This ensures that anyone wishing to use this service is provided with the necessary care and support as close to home as possible.

More information is available on the West Coast DHB website – here.



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Page last updated: 26 April 2022

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