HOSPITAL VISITING

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

Transport, parking & travel assistance

National Travel Assistance brochure

You may qualify for assistance if you:

  • Have a Community Services Card and travel more than 80 km to a specialist appointment
  • Are under 18 years old, have a Community Services Card and travel more than 25 km to a specialist appointment
  • Attend six or more specialist visits in six months and travel more than 50 km
  • Are required to travel over 350 km for adults or more than 80 km for children, to a specialist appointment
  • You live on the West Coast but have to travel to another part of the country for treatment

Please note: Not everyone qualifies for full assistance. Your first visit for hospital care may not qualify but if you have return visits you will be eligible if you meet the above criteria. Please discuss your circumstances with the National Travel Assistance Coordinator to see what help is available.

Register and get a copy of the claim form by contacting a National Travel Assistance Coordinator:

Greymouth: 03 769 7400 , or 022 011-4945

Buller: 03 788 9262

Please register well before your appointment – it can take some time to complete registration.

All national travel assistance claims – reimbursement of expenses – are processed by the Ministry of Health.

The Ministry of Health do not yet have an electronic system for claiming at present.  Claims must be submitted on the NTA claim form which has been signed and stamped by the Hospital / treatment facility attended. This would be accompanied by any receipts and verification of your bank account if this is your first claim.

The claims can be posted to the Wellington address provided on the form, alternatively they can be handed to the Travel assistance coordinator, who will assist with the claim and send the completed claim to the Ministry.

Detailed information is available on the Ministry of Health website.

The Ministry of Health are currently working on improving the travel assistance scheme including easier access to registration and claiming.

If you are at Te Nīkau, Grey Hospital & Health Centre and need treatment at another hospital as part of your care, West Coast DHB will arrange free transport. You may have to organise your own transport back to the West Coast.

Please discuss this with the Nurse in Charge or Social Worker before you leave the Greymouth facility. You may also be eligible for travel and accommodation depending on the distance from home to the health facility. 

If you ask to transfer to another health facility, you will have to pay the transport costs.

St John Health Shuttle Service

St John volunteers run two rural shuttles on weekdays, from Hokitika and from Westport to Greymouth return.

Providing transport to health-related appointments within the wider Greymouth/Hokitika/Westport area.

The shuttle operates Monday to Friday and bookings need be made between 9am – 3pm, at least one day prior to your appointment.

We accept donations for the Health Shuttle to help cover costs as we do not charge fees.

For more information or to book call 0800 103-046.

Our Health Shuttle flyer

Buller Health Transport & Shuttle Service

Find out more about Buller Health Shuttle and transport Services

Public parking is available near the entrances from High Street and Water Walk Road.  Please do not park on the Te Nīkau, Grey Hospital & Health Centre grounds if you are likely to stay longer than four hours.  Do not park in the mobility car parks unless you have a mobility parking permit.

Shuttle and Taxi services are available.  Contact 03 768 7078 to make a book a taxi.  Greymouth Taxis also runs a shuttle service to and from Hokitika Airport.  To make a booking contact the Greymouth Taxi office: 03 768 7078

For maps showing you locations of car parks click here.

A free shuttle service is available to and from Te Nīkau, Grey Hospital & Health Centre (Please see some info a little higher up on this page).  For further information about shuttle services and parking, click here.

Page last updated: 19 January 2024

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