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

New endoscopy tower improves view

Wednesday 20 July 2016Media release2 minutes to read

A new endoscopy tower at the Grey Base Hospital means surgeons can see more clearly when they need to carry out gastroscopies and colonoscopies.

The equipment replaces technology that was about eight years old.  It is used to visualise areas of the stomach and bowel to look for potential health problems

Grey Base Hospital Clinical Nurse Manager Wendy Stuart says along with the new endoscopy tower, a new gastroscope and colonoscope have been obtained, and further scopes will be ordered annually, as older technology is retired.

“On an average day, we would do maybe four colonoscopies in the morning and four in the afternoon.  On a day when we are just doing gastroscopes we can do between 10 and 12. These special scopes are rotated through a complex cleaning cycle after each use.  We have been incredibly efficient at looking after our equipment, so the most recent scope that became unrepairable is 13 years old.  Generally they have a lifespan of between five and eight years,” Wendy says.

The new  tower, gastroscope and colonoscope will assist in detecting illnesses such as bowel cancer, which is the most commonly reported cancer in New Zealand, with approximately 3000 cases and 1200 deaths each year.

On the days when these colonoscopy and gastroscopy procedures are arranged, it is important that people attend their appointments.  If patients cannot attend, it is preferable that they let the hospital know (03 769 7400) several days beforehand, so another patient might be able to use that appointment time.  As much notice as possible is helpful as our patients are required to prepare for procedures with a special diet and medication in advance.

People who are diagnosed with bowel cancer, and receive treatment when it is at an early stage, have a 90 percent chance of long term survival. If there is a delay in diagnosis and treatment, and the cancer may become more advanced, it is harder to cure. This is where the new DHB equipment comes in as it provides better tools to detect the likes of bowel cancer early on.
Common signs and symptoms of bowel cancer include:

  • a change in your normal pattern of going to the toilet that continues for several weeks (such as diarrhoea, constipation, or feeling that your bowel doesn't empty completely)
  • blood in your bowel motion.

Although these symptoms are often caused by other conditions, it is important to get them checked by your doctor.


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Page last updated: 17 April 2019

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