COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

Information about changes at West Coast DHB Grey Base Hospital and health centres can be found on our dedicated COVID-19 Information page

Visitors and family

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

COVID-19 Alert Level 2 – Access to healthcare and visitor restrictions on the Coast

Visitor restrictions effective from Wednesday 8 September 2021 until further notice

Under COVID-19 Alert Level 2, visitor access to all West Coast DHB facilities will continue to be restricted.

Please remember, limiting our interactions with others is one of our best defences against COVID-19. For this reason, a no visitor policy continues to apply across all West Coast DHB facilities, unless you are the nominated person as per the exceptions below.

The following restrictions are in place for all West Coast DHB facilities:

  • All visitors need to scan in or sign in on arrival and provide their contact details.
  • If you’re using the government’s COVID-19 Tracer App please ensure Bluetooth tracing is turned on – this means you’ll receive alerts if you’ve been exposed to a case.
  • All visitors should wear a mask or fabric face covering at all times, unless they have a physical or mental condition that makes them exempt.
  • All visitors are expected to practice safe physical distancing. You should remain two metres away from people you don’t know.
  • Everyone entering any DHB facility will be screened.
  • Visitors who are unwell should not be entering our facilities.
  • Everyone, including visitors should practise good hand hygiene.

Under Alert Level 2, the following visitor exceptions apply and a person may enter our facilities:

  • to visit a person receiving end-of-life care.
  • to provide support to a person with a disability.
  • GP or outpatient appointments – a support person will only be permitted under specific criteria – e.g. a person’s carer/support person is required to be with them due to complex needs/diagnosis/or clinical procedures.
  • Children’s Ward – one parent/caregiver to visit a child who is in hospital.
    • Children under 16 who are unwell with cold or flu-like symptoms (unless they are seeking health care) are not allowed as visitors under any circumstances.
  • General Ward and Critical Care Unit – one nominated person may visit once per day during visiting hours and be the only visitor for the duration of the patient’s stay.
  • Maternity
    • all visitors to our maternity facilities must scan or sign in each time they visit.
    • one support person only to accompany someone presenting for acute assessment.
    • women in labour in a maternity facility are allowed two support partners for the duration of the labour and birth.
    • for the duration of their postnatal stay a woman can have one named support person who will be able to visit. Siblings of the new baby may accompany this person as long as they are well.

Additional exceptions may be made on compassionate grounds at the discretion of the Duty Nurse Manager for the ward or service. Visitors will not be allowed in wards caring for patients in isolation.

DHB Aged Residential Care facilities – updated on 8 September 2021

To ensure the safety of patients, all of whom are aged over 65, visits to these facilities is by appointment.

Please contact the facility to discuss with the manager. There may be a separate entrance for visitors, please check with staff.

Exceptions for people with disabilities

Under any Alert Levels where visitor restrictions are in place, 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 ensure equitable access to health services. For example, a sign language interpreter, support person for someone with a learning disability, or someone to assist with mobility is allowed in addition to that person’s permitted visitor/s.

Exception card for face coverings

We know that some people who have a disability or health condition may not be able to wear a face covering safely or comfortably. If you cannot wear one, you can get an exemption card. You can show your exemption card when needed, for example to a taxi driver. 

You can request a card from the Disabled Persons Assembly NZ by contacting them on 04 801 9100 or at info@dpa.org.nz

COVID-19 testing – updated 8 September 2021

You can be tested for COVID-19 at your General Practice. If you need a test, please call ahead to your general practice team or ring Healthline on 0800 358-5453 to arrange a suitable time.

If you develop any COVID-19 symptoms, please arrange to get tested immediately and remain isolated at home or in the accommodation you are staying in. This advice extends to anyone even if they haven’t visited any of the locations of interest.

No on-demand or walk-in COVID-19 testing is being carried out on the Coast.

Visiting hours

Visiting hours remain unchanged.

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.

Alert Level 2 visitor restrictions now in place – Please see the info at the top of this page for more…


Visitor restrictions effective from Wednesday 8 September 2021 until further notice

Under COVID-19 Alert Level 2, visitor access to all West Coast DHB facilities will continue to be restricted.

Please remember, limiting our interactions with others is one of our best defences against COVID-19. For this reason, a no visitor policy continues to apply across all West Coast DHB facilities, unless you are the nominated person as per the exceptions below.

The following restrictions are in place for all West Coast DHB facilities:

  • All visitors need to scan in or sign in on arrival and provide their contact details.
  • If you’re using the government’s COVID-19 Tracer App please ensure Bluetooth tracing is turned on – this means you’ll receive alerts if you’ve been exposed to a case.
  • All visitors should wear a mask or fabric face covering at all times, unless they have a physical or mental condition that makes them exempt.
  • All visitors are expected to practice safe physical distancing. You should remain two metres away from people you don’t know.
  • Everyone entering any DHB facility will be screened.
  • Visitors who are unwell should not be entering our facilities.
  • Everyone, including visitors should practise good hand hygiene.

Under Alert Level 2, the following visitor exceptions apply and a person may enter our facilities:

  • to visit a person receiving end-of-life care.
  • to provide support to a person with a disability.
  • GP or outpatient appointments – a support person will only be permitted under specific criteria – e.g. a person’s carer/support person is required to be with them due to complex needs/diagnosis/or clinical procedures.
  • Children’s Ward – one parent/caregiver to visit a child who is in hospital.
    • Children under 16 who are unwell with cold or flu-like symptoms (unless they are seeking health care) are not allowed as visitors under any circumstances.
  • General Ward and Critical Care Unit – one nominated person may visit once per day during visiting hours and be the only visitor for the duration of the patient’s stay.
  • Maternity
    • all visitors to our maternity facilities must scan or sign in each time they visit.
    • one support person only to accompany someone presenting for acute assessment.
    • women in labour in a maternity facility are allowed two support partners for the duration of the labour and birth.
    • for the duration of their postnatal stay a woman can have one named support person who will be able to visit. Siblings of the new baby may accompany this person as long as they are well.

Additional exceptions may be made on compassionate grounds at the discretion of the Duty Nurse Manager for the ward or service. Visitors will not be allowed in wards caring for patients in isolation.

DHB Aged Residential Care facilities – updated on 8 September 2021

To ensure the safety of patients, all of whom are aged over 65, visits to these facilities is by appointment.

Please contact the facility to discuss with the manager. There may be a separate entrance for visitors, please check with staff.

Exceptions for people with disabilities

Under any Alert Levels where visitor restrictions are in place, 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 ensure equitable access to health services. For example, a sign language interpreter, support person for someone with a learning disability, or someone to assist with mobility is allowed in addition to that person’s permitted visitor/s.

Exception card for face coverings

We know that some people who have a disability or health condition may not be able to wear a face covering safely or comfortably. If you cannot wear one, you can get an exemption card. You can show your exemption card when needed, for example to a taxi driver. 

You can request a card from the Disabled Persons Assembly NZ by contacting them on 04 801 9100 or at info@dpa.org.nz

COVID-19 testing – updated 8 September 2021

You can be tested for COVID-19 at your General Practice. If you need a test, please call ahead to your general practice team or ring Healthline on 0800 358-5453 to arrange a suitable time.

If you develop any COVID-19 symptoms, please arrange to get tested immediately and remain isolated at home or in the accommodation you are staying in. This advice extends to anyone even if they haven’t visited any of the locations of interest.

No on-demand or walk-in COVID-19 testing is being carried out on the Coast.

Visiting hours

Visiting hours remain unchanged.

Te Nīkau Hospital & Health Centre – updated 8 September 2021

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 Ward10:00am – 12:00pm
04:00pm – 08:00pm

Buller Health Centre – updated 8 September 2021

Foote Ward
10:00am-02:00pm
03:30pm-08:00pm
Kawatiri Maternity10:00am-02:00pm
03:30pm-08:00pm

Flu vaccinations

  • The flu vaccine is available for people most at-risk of developing a serious illness from influenza. This is to help protect the more vulnerable members of our community, given the additional current health risks from COVID-19.
  • A free flu shot is available from your GP team if you have certain chronic conditions, or for your child aged 4 or under if they have a history of severe respiratory illness.
  • A free flu shot is available from many pharmacies or your GP team if you are over 65 or pregnant.
  • The flu vaccine does not protect you against COVID-19, however, it can help you prevent a serious illness from flu and help reduce demand on our health system.
  • Ask your GP or pharmacy staff for more information.

Infection prevention and control

  • Our Infection Prevention and Control team continues to advise staff across the system on ways to control the potential spread of infection, including enhanced cleaning protocols, isolation procedures and the correct use of personal protective equipment.

 

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: 8 September 2021

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