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

West Coast Serious Adverse Events 2017/18

Wednesday 12 December 2018Health news2 minutes to read

Patient supported by walking frame

Inpatient falls continue to be the major serious adverse event reported by West Coast DHB for the 2017/18 financial year.

The release of a Serious Adverse Events Report by each DHB is an initiative led by the Health Quality and Safety Commission. The reports highlight events which have resulted in significant additional treatment, major loss of function, are life threatening or have led to an unexpected death.

Of the 7 adverse events identified as serious by West Coast DHB, 3 were patients who had a fall while in hospital. The other 4 events were identified as readmission to ED 8 hours after discharge, delay in the detection of medical deterioration of an inpatient, inappropriate inter-hospital transfer and delay in 5-year colonoscopy surveillance.

West Coast DHB’s Medical Director Patient Safety and Outcomes Vicki Robertson says the West Coast Health System continues to make great progress in reducing the harm caused by falls but there is more preventative work to be done in this area.

“Falls can be very serious for patients whose health is fragile. We have a number of initiatives including thorough assessment of patient mobility needs in place as part of our Falls Prevention Service. We continue to be focused on reducing patient falls both in our health facilities and in the community,” Vicki says.

Nationwide, there was an increase in reported events, with the highest reported event category related to clinical management, including falls and pressure injuries.

As noted by Health Quality and Safety Commission Chair Professor Alan Merry, “several factors are likely to have influenced this increase, including changes in reporting requirements and the Commission’s quality improvement programmes placing a spotlight on specific areas. In addition, staff have reported more events because DHBs have worked diligently to increase their ability to recognise and report adverse events.”

“Preventing adverse events relies on our continued efforts to review and learn from mistakes when they happen so that we can improve our systems and processes to make them safer,” says Vicki.


More information: West Coast DHB Serious Adverse Events Reports are available in our online Document Library.







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Page last updated: 16 July 2020

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