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

Going home

Discharge from hospital or health facility

  • We usually aim to discharge patients around 11am
  • So we can discharge you at the right time and admit new patients, staff may ask you to wait in the Day Room until all paperwork and tests have been completed
  • Staff will make sure you are comfortable until ready to leave with your family or friend
  • Staff will give you discharge information for your own doctor advising of your condition, diagnosis and treatment, as well as details of any help arranged for you at home
  • Ask if you need a medical certificate for your employer
  • You may also be given a prescription for medicine. Let staff know if it needs faxing to a pharmacy so ready for collection on your way home
  • Staff will tell you your likely discharge time so you can contact family or friends for your transport arrangements
  • Once you are home, we suggest you contact your usual doctor if you need medical services
  • We will send a written report with detailed information to your doctor as soon as possible after you go home

Discharge summary for GP
When you are discharged from hospital, staff will give you discharge information to give to your GP on your next visit. Staff will also send a summary of your medical care to your GP.

Consider the following before you are discharged, and talk to your nurse or doctor if you feel you need more support.

  • Will you need assistance when you get home?
  • Will you need help with everyday tasks like grocery shopping and meal preparation?
  • Do you know how to take your medications and do your recovery and care tasks?
  • Is someone available to care for you?
  • Can you manage at home?

Before leaving the hospital, discuss with your nurse whether you require

  • Hospital follow-up visits
  • GP follow-up visits
  • Prescription to be filled at a Pharmacy (if you are not well enough to do this you will need to arrange a support person to do this for you).
  • Medical certificate
  • ACC injury claim form (ACC 45)
  • Work and Income (WINZ ) form
  • Transport and accommodation forms completed
  • Referral’s to community based services i.e. District Nurses, home based support services

Please arrange for a support person to accompany you home. We do not arrange or pay for transport home, including if you have transferred from another town.

You can contact Greymouth Taxis on 03 768 7078.

If you have any difficulty with transport, follow-up treatment, or help at home, please ask the nurse managing your care or ask to see a social worker.

Hospital staff will mail you the date and time of any follow-up appointment. Your health care team might ask you to return to the ward for wound treatment. Staff will arrange any community services you require, such as Meals on Wheels or a District Nurse.

A doctor or nurse will give you a prescription for any medicine you will need. Take this to your local pharmacy (unless the prescription is for hospital-only drugs – check with your nurse).

Taking your medicine safely

Please remember to take home:

  • Your medicine, herbal products and rongoā Māori
  • Any valuables including any that have been locked away
  • All belongings

If you are leaving hospital with crutches and other aids, remember they are on loan and must be returned as soon as you are finished with them.

If you are an overseas visitor and require copies of your x-rays, staff can arrange this for you.

Please do not leave the ward without telling staff.


It is important you know and understand what medications you will be taking when you get home, why you need them, what the side effects are and what to do about them. Staff should explain your medicines to you before you leave.

Please ask if you are unsure.

Before you leave, staff will return the following medications to you:

  • Correctly labelled items that you are to continue taking
  • Non-prescription items you have purchased

The following items will not usually be returned:

  • Items which have been discontinued as a result of your admission
  • Out-of-date medicines
  • Medicines with unreadable or missing labels

Taking your medicine safely

Follow-up appointments/ongoing care

You may need a follow-up appointment in an outpatient clinic, at the Physiotherapy Department or other specialist clinics. The clinic or department will send you a card with your appointment date and time.

Page last updated: 6 May 2019

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