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 Serious Adverse Events 2019/20

Monday 14 December 2020Health news3 minutes to read

Inpatient falls continue to be the major serious adverse event reported by West Coast DHB for the 2019/20 financial year.

The release of a Serious Adverse Events Report by each DHB is an initiative led by the Health Quality and Safety Commission. The reports highlight events which have resulted in significant additional treatment, major loss of function, are life threatening or have led to an unexpected death.

Of the 5 adverse events identified as serious by West Coast DHB, 2 were patients who had a fall while in hospital.

West Coast DHB’s Chief Medical Officer Dr Graham Roper says a lot of work is happening across the West Coast Health System to ensure that there are continuous improvements made to the DHB’s systems and processes to reduce the harm caused by falls.

“Falls can be very serious for patients whose health is fragile. We have made good headway over the past few years with the implementation of a number of initiatives including thorough assessment of patient mobility as part of our falls prevention strategy. It’s really important that we continue to build on this work by remaining focused on reducing patient falls both in health facilities and in the community,” Dr Roper says.

Nationwide, there was a total of 975 reported events, with the highest reported event category related to clinical management.

As noted by Health Quality & Safety Commission clinical lead for adverse events Dr David Hughes, “event numbers are closely linked to reporting rates, and an increase doesn't necessarily mean more adverse events have occurred. What it may in fact demonstrate is organisations continuing to develop an open culture where events are reported and learnt from, rather than an increase in preventable harm.”

Dr Roper agrees and says “West Coast DHB has robust incident reporting systems that allow staff to report adverse events.”

“While we aim for zero harm, having a strong incident reporting culture where staff are encouraged and supported to report adverse events enables timely review of the factors that contributed to these events.

“Preventing adverse events relies on our continued efforts to review and learn from mistakes when they happen. Its important staff feel supported to speak up so that we can improve what we're doing, or learn from what went wrong as enables us to identify how we can improve our systems and processes to ensure the quality and safety of patient treatment and care is constantly improving,” says Dr Roper.


More information: West Coast DHB Serious Adverse Events Reports are available in our online Document Library.


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Page last updated: 14 December 2020

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