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 focuses on falls prevention in community

Tuesday 30 May 2017Media release2 minutes to read

In an effort to reduce the number of falls experienced by people on the West Coast, a programme of community awareness events is being produced for “April Falls Month”.

A Health Quality & Safety Commission (HQSC) New Zealand report showed eight incidents on the West Coast in the year to the end of June 2016, five of which were falls-related. 

The West Coast health system has traditionally marked April Falls month with posters and information around the DHB's hospital and general practices.  This year Falls Prevention Advisor Celia Smith is working with community representatives and businesses in Buller to highlight what people can do to prevent falls.

Libraries and Mitre 10 outlets across the Coast, along with retail store “Headspace” in Westport will have displays and information people can pick up; a series of tai chi “flashmobs” will take place in Buller; and the DHB website and WCDHB Careers Facebook page will feature a short patient story about preventing falls.

“We want to highlight the things people can do in their own lives and homes to try and stay safe,” Celia says.

Tai Chi tutor Sylvia James says her team of tai chi enthusiasts are looking forward to supporting this awareness-raising month.

“We will appear when least expected,” she says.  “People might have been a bit shy when I first mooted the idea, but now they're looking forward to showing how beneficial low impact physical activities like tai chi can be, and how much fun,” Sylvia says.

Maori health provider Poutini Waiora Buller Kaitakawaenga/Team Leader Rehia McDonald says she is very keen for kaumatua to hear about how important it is to stay physically active and to ensure their homes are trip-safe.

“Our kaumatua are very precious to us.  We know that once people have a fall, their health can be compromised in other ways too – and if they're stuck at home they are in danger of becoming socially isolated.  These are things we can all do to look after ourselves and our families.  It's important that we inform ourselves,” Rehia says.


ACC's How safe is your home? Fall Prevention checklist (Click here to download).

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Page last updated: 17 April 2019

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