All hospital visitors are recommended to wear a medical face mask. For more information about visiting: Visitors and family. 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 link COVID-19 Vaccination • West Coast • Healthpoint

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

Tell us what you think

Your experience

We are committed to providing quality healthcare and positive patient experiences, and what you think about your care is important to us. We want to know what we are doing well and where we can improve. Patients, family/whānau and visitors can send us suggestions, compliments or complaints using a feedback form (located beside blue Customer Response boxes found in some hospitals and community services) or using the WCDHB website Patients and Visitors Feedback Form.

You may also be invited to participate in the National Patient Experience Survey. This anonymous survey is electronic: you receive an email or text message with a link to complete the survey. Please let staff know your email address if you would like to participate.


It is OK to complain.

If you are unhappy with the treatment you get, you can contact:

We will acknowledge your complaint within five working days of receiving it. We aim to investigate your complaint within 20 working days from the date of acknowledgement. You will be informed if this will take longer and why this is necessary. Where extensive investigations are required, you will be kept informed in writing at monthly or at agreed intervals until the matter is resolved. If you require independent support to assist you during the complaint process, you may wish to use the free advocacy services available.

Patient advocacy service

The Nationwide Health and Disability Advocacy Service can assist with your complaint. This service is independent of West Coast DHB. It is a free service and provides:

  • Information on Health and Disability Consumer Rights and
  • Assistance to resolve difficulties.

0800 555 050 (8am to 6pm Monday to Friday)

Health and disability commissioner

HDC website

0800 11 22 33
09 373 1061
PO BOX 1791 Auckland

Privacy commissioner

Privacy Commissioner website

0800 803 909
PO BOX 466 Auckland

Page last updated: 21 December 2022

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