We are at ORANGE according to the NZ COVID-19 Protection Framework.  Protect yourself and our community by getting boosted, wearing a mask when out and about and reducing contact with others. Hospital visitors don’t need a Vaccine Pass, but must wear a surgical/medical paper mask. Fabric face coverings are no longer acceptable.  See our COVID-19 page for general COVID-19 advice, detailed hospital visiting guidelines and COVID-19 tests.

See for info on vaccinations.

Visitors and family

He paronga ma te hunga toro mai me te hunga tautawhi – Information for visitors and support people

Changes at all West Coast DHB health care facilities

Visitor restrictions (including people attending outpatient appointments) at all WCDHB facilities effective from Tuesday 17 May 2022

West Coast DHB is easing its visitor policy in recognition of the fact we have passed the peak of the current Omicron outbreak and case numbers are slowly reducing.

The following visitor restrictions are in place for the West Coast DHB hospital (Te Nīkau) and other health facilities:

  • Visitors or support people should not visit our facilities if they are unwell.
  • Surgical/medical masks must be worn at all times at all West Coast DHB sites and will be provided if people don’t have them.
  • Keep a safe distance from people you don’t know.
  • Hand sanitiser stations are visible and must be used.

By adhering to these conditions, you help keep our patients, staff, other visitors and yourself safe. We 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.

  • Labouring people and those on the Maternity Ward are allowed two support people for the duration of their stay in our facilities.
  • Parents/caregivers are able to be with their child in hospital.

Exceptions for people with disabilities

An exception will be made for people with disabilities who are in hospital or have to attend an outpatient appointment – where they need a support person to access health services. For example, a sign language interpreter, support person for someone with a learning disability, or someone to assist with mobility. The support person is in addition to permitted visitors.

Face covering exemption cards

The Exemptions Team at the Ministry of Health is now responsible for processing requests for Face Covering Communication Cards.

Updated information about mask wearing, and how to request an exemption card can now be found here. People unable to request an exemption card online can call 0800 28 29 26 and select option 2, or text 8988.

DHB Aged Residential Care facilities – updated 20 April 2022

Visitors are welcome at our Aged Care Residential facilities. One visitor per patient at a time – except where a child over 12 is being accompanied by an adult. All visitors will be screened for COVID-19 symptoms and must wear a surgical mask.

Hospital café restrictions – updated 27 April 2022

PeaBerry Café

Te Nīkau Hospital & Health Centre
Open: 8.00am – 4.00pm
Food and drinks are currently being served in takeaway containers only.

Visiting hours

Visiting hours remain unchanged.

Te Nīkau Hospital & Health Centre – updated 17 May 2022

Children's Ward8:00am - 8:00pm
Critical Care Unit10:00am - 01:00pm
03:00pm - 08:00pm
General Ward10:00am - 02:00pm
04:00pm - 08:00pm
Maternity WardUnder traffic light ORANGE – no visitors except for two named support people
Manaakitanga Mental Health Unit02:00pm - 08:00pm

Buller Health Centre – updated 17 May 2022

Foote Ward
Kawatiri MaternityUnder traffic light ORANGE – no visitors except for two named support people

Prevent infections if you are visiting a patient

  • Please leave infections at home – do not visit if you are feeling unwell. If you have recently had sickness and diarrhoea you must not visit until you have been free from symptoms for at least two days. Cover up any open wounds or cuts.
  • Use the alcohol hand rub freely available from the hand hygiene stations in the facility’s foyers or at the entrances to all wards and clinics
  • Do not sit on the patient’s bed – use the chairs provided
  • Do not touch patient’s wounds, bandages/dressings, or medical equipment
  • Do not clutter – help staff to keep areas clean by only bringing essential items into the facility and taking things home that are not required
  • Do not use patient toilets on the wards – use the visitor toilets located outside the wards.

Each ward has patient phones. If you want to phone a patient, call the health facility and ask to be transferred to the correct ward. Ward staff will take a portable phone to the patient if they are able to take your call.

Te Nīkau, Grey Hospital & Health Centre administration desk: 03 769 7400 extension 0

Feeling sick

Please don’t put our patients at risk. Stay away if you have an infection, a runny noses, cold or flu-like illness. Please stay away from the facility for three weeks if you have been near someone with a contagious disease such as chicken pox or measles.

Be considerate

Please show consideration and respect for all patients and staff caring for them. This will help us deliver the best patient care for everyone in a shared environment.

Leave quickly and quietly if requested by staff – you could be asked to leave for treatment or safety reasons, or if you are causing a disturbance.

Hand Hygiene

For the safety of our patients, we require all visitors and key support people to clean their hands with soap and water and dry thoroughly or use hand gel when entering or leaving the ward and patients room. Hand gel found at the facility’s entrance and at the ward door.

Hand hygene pdf

Keep it short

Fifteen minutes may feel short to you, but it can be a long time for a patient. Consider saving longer visits for when your family member or friend returns home.

Two at a time

If another visitor arrives, consider leaving. It can be overwhelming for the patient to be surrounded by visitors. We suggest two at a time.

Food and Drink

Always ask a nurse before bringing food or drink to the ward, there may be reasons why the patient cannot have it.

Many patients find it hard to eat when they have visitors. Unless they need help, consider leaving or going for a walk when the meal arrives. They may be too embarrassed or too shy to ask you to go.

Sit and Speak

Sit down so you are at eye level when you talk. Talk to, not over the patient.

Speak quietly and clearly. Lower your tone; do not raise your voice if you think you are not being heard clearly.

Supervise Children

Watch your children at all times and make sure their actions are respectful of the safety, comfort and privacy of all patients, visitors and staff. Consider bringing something to keep them occupied if you intend to stay for more than a few minutes.

Family can visit patients who are seriously ill at any time with the approval of the nurse in charge. If your friend or family member is unwell, or English is not their first language, you may be able to stay with them. However, we encourage visitors to keep to visiting hours as much as possible, to give patients time to rest.

If family members are likely to be away from home, it is important to leave contact telephone numbers with the ward staff.

Flowers are beautiful, but too many flowers at the bedside can get in the way of staff caring for a patient. Flowers are not allowed in ICU (intensive care) because they can cause infections.

Staff will deliver flowers as soon as they arrive.

All staff, patients, and visitors have the right to be in a safe environment. Visitors are asked to:

  • Respect the safety, comfort and privacy of patients, visitors and staff
  • Turn off your cell phones between 9pm and 7am so patients can rest
  • Respect the environment and do not smoke or vape in or around the facility and grounds

Please do not be offended if we ask why you are visiting the facility. Staff might question you if you are on site out of normal visiting hours, or in an area not usually used by members of the public.

You will have to leave the facility if:

  • Your behaviour creates a risk or threat to patients, staff or other visitors. This includes verbal and physical abuse, threatening and violent behaviour including obscene language or gestures
  • You are under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • You bring weapons, gang insignia, alcohol, illegal drugs or harmful substances

Consider how you can help when your family member or friend goes home. Visiting them at home is often even more appreciated and useful than visiting while receiving care at the health facility.

Business visitors, sales and charity representatives

These visitors need permission to access West Coast DHB facilities.

  • Arrange your visit in advance with the person you need to speak to
  • Register at reception and wear a visitor’s pass
  • Follow West Coast DHB rules and guidelines while on site

Media visiting West Coast DHB facilities can find information on our Media Guide page.

Page last updated: 17 May 2022

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