Important Information for Health Professionals Regarding Services Provided by Hospice Waikato

Hospice Waikato Services and COVID-19 (novel coronavirus)

At Alert Level 1, the risk of exposure to COVID-19 and transmission in the community in New Zealand is very low. This means that generally, people can fully participate in society without any COVID-19 related restrictions. This also means that Hospice Waikato has now returned to normal service delivery.

However, we know that our vulnerable patients remain at risk of serious complications from COVID-19 and other respiratory infections, therefore, we will be maintaining important infection prevention and control practices.

Referrals should be sent as normal and these are reviewed each weekday morning unless urgent, in which case it is advisable to phone Hospice and discuss the referral with the Community SMO or Community Nursing Team Leader.

Hospice Waikato will be maintaining a telephone / telemedicine advice service.
• Main phone line (07) 859 1260 (to speak with a Registered Nurse or Palliative Medicine Doctor) – this number is answered 8:00am to 4:30pm Mon-Fri by a Receptionist, and afterhours by a Registered Nurse.
• Fax (07) 859 1266
• Palliative Care SMO on-call: via Waikato Hospital switchboard (07) 839 8899
• Hospice Community doctor phone 027 809 3186 (Mon – Fri, 08:00-17:00 hours)
• Email for clinicians: [email protected]

The In-Patient Unit (IPU) is open for admissions and visiting as normal, however we are asking that the following guidelines be followed to help protect our patients and staff.
• Visitors are not allowed in if they have:
o Cold or flu symptoms
 this includes any acute respiratory infection with at least one of the following symptoms: cough, sore throat, shortness of breath, runny nose, sneezing, post-nasal drip, loss of sense of smell; with or without fever.
 visitors should be free of cold or flu symptoms for at least 48 hours before visiting IPU.
o Been in close contact with a probable or confirmed case of COVID-19 in the last 14 days.
o Returned from overseas in the last 14 days or been in contact with anyone who has returned from overseas in the last 14 days.
• Visitors coming from Greater Auckland Area
o While Auckland is at Alert Level 2, you will be asked to wear a mask when visiting IPU.
• General visiting hours are 10am to 8pm seven days a week
o IPU doors will be locked outside of these visiting hours.
o Close family members may visit outside these hours by agreement with the senior nurse in charge.
• All visitors must sign in using their name and contact details
o This is part of our normal health and safety requirements and also provides contact tracing details should they be needed. Visitors are also encouraged to keep track of where they have been using the NZ COVID Tracer app.
• One support person may stay overnight with a patient
• Children are welcome to visit if supervised at all times
• All visitors are reminded to perform hand hygiene on entering and when departing IPU. Cough and sneeze etiquette should also be followed.
• Visitors should telephone ahead to check on visiting requirements before they arrive at IPU in case requirements have changed.

Hospice staff will be doing home visits as normal. We will also continue to provide some care by phone or video call with patients and clients where this is possible and appropriate. Your Hospice Nurse, Doctor or Family Services Team member will discuss the best way of staying in contact with you.
Our staff will still be phoning ahead of any home visit to check if there is any risk of exposure to COVID-19 or other respiratory illness. If there is a risk, the visit can still happen if essential, but staff will be required to wear special protective equipment and you may be asked to wear a mask.

Hospice Waikato’s Aged Residential Care Liaison Clinical Nurse Specialists are now working as normal. They are available for clinical advice and support on the care of residents who are palliative or in the last days of life, either by visiting where appropriate, or by telephone/video call. They can be contacted via the main Hospice Waikato number.

Hospice Waikato Outpatient Clinics are now running as normal.

These supportive groups are all now running as normal.

1. Hospice Waikato website:
Healthcare Professionals: Clinical resources, including Covid-19 resources, can be found on the Clinical Guidelines & Drug Protocols page
• Clinical guidelines and drug protocols:
• Clinical Care Resources:
o Te Ara Whakapiri: Care in the Last Days of Life guidance document and tool kit (symptom management flowcharts from page 14 on)
o Authority for subcutaneous administration of medications
2. Hospice New Zealand website:
• Covid-19 response support:
• Palliative Care Handbook (downloadable PDF):
3. Ministry of Health COVID-19 related advice:
4. COVID-19 and Palliative, End of Life and Bereavement Care in Secondary Care
This information is subject to change without notice, so please check back regularly -

This information is subject to change without notice, so please check back regularly

Last updated: 22/09/2020 at 11:46am