These restrictions are in place to prevent the risk of infection entering the DHBs’ campuses, protect vulnerable patients, enable safe physical distancing, and keep staff safe from unnecessary exposure.
Rules in the community have relaxed somewhat however, as people needing hospital care are the most vulnerable in our community, DHBs must maintain increased vigilance and protection.
Access to DHB facilities has been widened slightly to allow more visitors within restricted visiting hours. Inpatients at Wellington Regional and Hutt Hospitals can nominate two people to visit them – one at a time – in hospital.
Other rules include:
- Kenepuru Community Hospital allows inpatients one visitor only due to its high proportion of aged care patients, who are among the most vulnerable to COVID-19 infection.
- Women can have one person to support them through child birth and to visit during visiting hours
- People attending outpatient appointments cannot bring a support person – unless in exceptional circumstances – to maximise the number of appointments that can be provided while maintaining safe distancing between people in waiting rooms.
- People with disabilities or special needs can bring a support person and, if staying in hospital, can have one nominated visitor in addition to their support person.
- NICU allows two parents/caregivers to visit at once if safe distancing can be maintained between other visitors. Hutt Hospital’s SCBU allows both parents to visit, but only one at a time to maintain safe physical distancing between visitors.
- Both the Wellington and Hutt ICUs allow one nominated visitor.
- Children are allowed one parent/caregiver to accompany them for the duration of their admission, however they can swap with each other during the time their child is in hospital.
Exceptions will be considered on a case by case basis – for example allowing family to visit a dying patient – by the clinical team caring for the patient. The team will work with the family, and the infectious diseases team, to ensure the right balance between compassion and safety.
Visitors and support people also answer a set of questions to ensure they are well before they can enter, wear a visitor sticker, and ensure hands are washed and two metres of physical distancing is maintained.
Staff assigned to ask these questions will behave compassionately however, ultimately, their role is to ensure that only those who need to be in the hospital can do so.
These, and other measures, are in place for the sole purpose of keeping patients and staff safe in an unprecedented situation that requires very high levels of control to minimise spread.
Further information about visiting – including visiting hours – is publicly available on the Capital & Coast DHB and Hutt Valley DHB websites.
Media contact: Chas Te Runa – 027 230 9571