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.

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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 DHB introduces Patientrack across the Coast

Friday 22 February 2019Health news2 minutes to read

West Coast District Health Board (West Coast DHB) has started implementing Patientrack, a new digital patient observation and alert response system, aimed at helping clinicians identify deteriorating patients earlier. This system will enable clinicians to apply clinical judgement and to take appropriate, potentially life-saving action sooner.
Patientrack is being introduced from mid-February and has been designed to capture patient observations electronically and make them available to a patient’s care team anywhere they have access to the network.
Rosalie Waghorn, Quality and Patient Safety Manager for West Coast DHB, said Patientrack records a patient’s vital signs to calculate the early warning score (EWS) which is used to predict the risk of deterioration for the patient and acts as a prompt to clinicians to provide follow-up treatment if the results are abnormal.
“Patientrack will eventually record all patient observations that are currently handwritten on charts across the West Coast health care system. Replacing paper-based charts with a comprehensive suite of electronic automated assessment and communications tools will reduce errors and improve work flow, allowing clinicians to dedicate more quality time to our patients,” says Rosalie.
Patientrack, which originates from the UK, is already in use in a number of New Zealand hospitals including Christchurch, Hillmorton and Burwood hospitals.
It will initially be rolled out in Foote Ward (Buller) and in Grey Base Hospital’s Manaakitanga (Mental Health inpatient unit) and Medical Surgery services before being introduced to other services across the Coast.

About Patientrack
Patientrack was developed in conjunction with health professionals to help hospitals deliver safer care – by ensuring observation and assessment protocols are carried out correctly and consistently, and by automatically calculating early warning scores and alerting clinicians when interventions are needed.
Through early identification of deteriorating patients, and promoting necessary assessments, Patientrack helps hospitals meet national and local targets for improvements in patient safety, improving patient outcomes and supporting clinical staff and reducing paper waste.
For further information please visit or follow @Patientrack on Twitter.


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Page last updated: 16 July 2020

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