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

Focus on People – Quality Accounts Newsletter for 2020

Monday 21 December 2020Focus on People2 minutes to read

This edition of Focus on People is the West Coast Health System’s Quality Accounts 2020 publication which provides a picture of how well our Health System is meeting the West Coast’s health needs, and showcases our work to improve services and standards of care.

  • A quick word
  • Introducing the 5R’s Escalation Pathway helps to detect consumer deterioration earlier
  • Supporting Parents, Healthy Children programme helps strengthen parent-child relationships
  • Debriefing service introduced across the West Coast DHB
  • Addressing the inequities of access to health care for Coast Māori
  • West Coast Facilities update – Te Nīkau Hospital & Health Centre updated; Buller Health Centre and South Westland Clinic
  • ePharmacy now live across the five South Island DHBs
  • Testing for COVID-19 – an integral part of the West Coast DHB’s pandemic response
  • Infection Prevention and Control – gloved up and ready to go
  • Using telehealth for group programmes during the COVID-19 pandemic response
  • Catch up on your free vaccination to avoid catching measles
  • The grubby days before hand washing, and how something so simple can stop infectious disease in its tracks.

You can read the newsletter in two different formats:

View on Download PDF (5MB)


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Page last updated: 21 December 2020

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