COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

Information about changes at West Coast DHB Grey Base Hospital and health centres can be found on our dedicated COVID-19 Information page

Temporary changes to limit visitor numbers at West Coast DHB facilities have been implemented

Wednesday 25 March 2020Health news3 minutes to read

West Coast DHB Medical Director Dr Graham Roper today announced significant temporary changes to the DHB’s visitor policy in response to COVID-19 (coronavirus).

“As part of our efforts to reduce the chances of COVID-19 or any other infection spreading to our vulnerable patients, a number of temporary changes have been introduced to our visitor policy.

Anyone who is sick should not be coming to visit anyone in hospital; while this is advisable at any time it is incredibly important now, says Dr Roper.

“We are now limiting the numbers of people coming into our facilities. These changes are being put in place to minimise the risk of visitors who are unwell spreading illness to patients. Access is being controlled and everyone can expect to be asked screening questions at the door and will be asked to sign a register.

Visiting hours will remain the same for services (as publicised on our website for each service) but what is changing is the number of visitors coming in and the number of support people accompanying people coming in for appointments.

The following changes now apply:

Grey Base Hospital

  • Emergency Department – one support person only to accompany people presenting to ED
  • All remaining inpatient wards and services – no more than one visitor per patient at any one time.
  • No children under 16 to come hospital visiting.
  • Exceptions: Clinical Nurse Managers can assess requests on a case-by-case basis. For example, exceptions will be considered on compassionate grounds for end of life care.
  • Visitors will not be allowed to visit any COVID-19 patients.

Visiting hours at Buller Health have been restricted from 2pm – 4pm with a limit of one family visitor per patient for 15 minutes.

“We have also implemented access restrictions into all other health facilities including general practices across the Coast. Face-to-face GP appointments will not be accepted unless the patient has first had a remote consultation via telephone, video, email or text,” Dr Roper says.

For people with outpatient appointments, we are implementing the same restrictions. Please call the phone number on your appointment letter to confirm your appointment and staff will arrange a phone or video consultation as an alternative to a face-to-face appointment.

It’s vital that we reduce the numbers of people coming into our facilities to reduce the opportunity for any infections to spread. I would like to thank people in advance for their cooperation and playing their part to keep our patients safe.

We also advise anyone who has returned from a country or territory of concern, or who has been in close contact with a confirmed COVID-19 case in the past 14 days, or who is experiencing symptoms – including cough, sore throat, or fever or shortness of breath – or who is generally unwell to avoid visiting people in our hospitals.

Only people with symptoms should call Healthline’s COVID-19 line on 0800 358 5453.

ENDS

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Page last updated: 16 July 2020

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