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

Visitors and family

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

Information for patients, patient friends and whānau/family, and other visitors to hospitals in Te Tai o Poutini West Coast.

Visitor restrictions (including people attending outpatient appointments)

Some visitor restrictions for all Te Whatu Ora Te Tai o Poutini West Coast health care facilities remain in place, but we have relaxed others.

There is still a heightened risk to vulnerable people in hospital and so we recommend all people wear a mask when visiting any of our facilities and follow other advice designed to keep patients, staff and 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 may have more than one visitor, except in some situations such as multi-bed rooms where it can cause overcrowding.
  • Surgical/medical masks are recommended to be worn at all sites. Masks will be provided if you don’t have one.
  • For Specialist Mental Health Services everyone is strongly encouraged to wear a face mask in all inpatient areas and areas where consumers are receiving care (i.e.) community appointments, home-visits, transporting people. Discretion may be applied in cases where masks impair your ability to communicate effectively.
  • Visitors must not eat or drink in multibed rooms because of the increased risk when multiple people remove their face 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.

Visiting patients with COVID-19

  • People can 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.

All of our facilities

Visiting hours for Te Nīkau Hospital and Buller Health (acute care unit and maternity unit) are outlined below.

All visitors are recommended to wear a medical face mask.

Parents/caregivers are able to be with their child in hospital and visitors are now allowed.

 

Te Nīkau Hospital & Health Centre – updated 15 August 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 Ward10:00am - 12:00pm
04:00pm - 08:00pm
Manaakitanga Mental Health Unit02:00pm - 08:00pm

Buller Health Centre – updated 15 August 2022

Acute services
10:00am - 02:00pm
03:30pm - 08:00pm
Maternity10:00am - 02:00pm
04:00pm - 08:00pm

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: 31 March 2023

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