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 DHB bringing its food services in-house from 1 October 2019

Monday 2 September 2019Media release3 minutes to read

Green balloons depicting the WellFood logoWest Coast DHB has announced that it is taking over management of all its food services from 1 October 2019.

The current provider, Spotless Services, will not be retained when its contract expires on 30 September, however the DHB is offering ongoing employment to all current food services staff. Food services operates in Grey Base Hospital, Reefton Health Centre and Buller Health and covers patient meals, Meals on Wheels, the café at Grey Hospital and staff meals.

The move follows the same step taken by Canterbury DHB in 2017 to bring its food services under the DHB’s management rather than an external provider. The service took on a new name and branding, Wellfood, and the services on the Coast will use the same branding. The operation of food services on the West Coast under the current contract has been overseen by a joint Canterbury and West Coast team for more than seven years, and this set up will continue. The same team also oversee the Wellfood service in Canterbury

The DHB’s food service enjoys high levels of customer satisfaction and the same quality of food and service will continue, with plans over time to enhance the range of healthy choices and locally sourced produce. The DHB will continue to use similar food production methods. 

The only visible change to the public will be the logo on the food service staff uniforms, which will change from Spotless to Wellfood.

West Coast DHB has let all 30 food service workers and their managers currently employed by Spotless Services know that it is seeking to employ them from 1 October. Both West Coast DHB and Spotless are committed to the wellbeing of the employees affected by this decision and have engaged with Etu, the food services union, to ensure that the staff are kept well informed and that they understand what the transition means for them individually.

The food service workers’ new contracts with West Coast DHB will contain the same terms and conditions as their current contracts, and they will enjoy additional benefits as West Coast DHB employees.

West Coast DHB’s Acting Chief Executive Mary Gordon says, “I would like to acknowledge the 11 years’ service and valued relationship we’ve had with Spotless who took over the contract back in 2008.

“Between now and 1 October there’s a lot of behind the scenes details to work through and we will continue to work cooperatively with Spotless Services, their staff, and union to ensure a smooth transition.”


For more information contact:
Canterbury and West Coast DHBs Media Advisor

027 567 5343


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Page last updated: 10 May 2021

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