HOSPITAL VISITING

There is still a heightened risk to vulnerable people in hospital, so we recommend all people to continue wearing a mask when visiting any of our facilities and follow other advice designed to keep patients, staff and visitors safe.  See our COVID-19 page for general COVID-19 advice, detailed hospital visiting guidelines and COVID-19 tests.

See West Coast COVID-19 vaccination clinics for info on vaccinations.

Last updated:
16 September 2022

Fewer visitor restrictions now apply

For visitors to all facilities (effective from and last updated on 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 flu campaign underway

Monday 23 March 2020Health news2 minutes to read

This year’s influenza immunisation programme has started early on the West Coast with flu vaccines initially available for front-line healthcare workers and eligible Coasters who are at greatest risk of serious illness from influenza.

West Coast Medical Officer of Health, Dr Cheryl Brunton, says West Coast DHB staff who come in close contact with patients are being encouraged to get vaccinated now. It is important that we do all we can to reduce the impact of flu on our health system and the more people who get vaccinated the better.

Influenza vaccine does not protect against COVID-19, however it will help prevent a serious illness which causes hundreds of deaths each winter in New Zealand.

If you are in one of the following priority groups, it is strongly recommended that you contact your general practice team to discuss getting vaccinated:

  • people 65 and over
  • pregnant women (any stage of pregnancy)
  • those with long-term health conditions such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes respiratory disease (including asthma that requires regular preventive therapy), kidney disease and most cancers
  • children aged four years and under who have been hospitalised for respiratory illness or have a history of significant respiratory illness.

Our flu vaccination programme will be available to the wider community on or shortly after Monday, 13 April 2020.

If you get the flu, the best way to help prevent spreading it is to stay home from school or work if you are sick. It’s also important to try and keep your home as warm and dry as possible, says Dr Brunton.

Proper coughing and sneezing etiquette is also key – cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or use your elbow if you’re caught short, and wash your hands often with soap and water or use hand sanitiser.

You should call your general practice team 24/7 for advice rather than visiting in person. After hours, follow the instructions to be put through to a nurse for free health advice, says Dr Brunton.

ENDS

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Page last updated: 9 June 2021

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