Alert Level Brings Changes to WAM

24th Aug 2021

PRESS RELEASE - Whanganui District Health Board


With Whanganui now at Alert Level 4 until Friday 27th August, primary care facilities at Whanganui Hospital are changing the way that patients are seen, including the location of patients waiting for appointments.

As part of Alert Level 4, Whanganui Accident & Medical (WAM) is implementing some changes for the safety of all patients.

If you present to WAM you will be seen by a registered triage nurse in the foyer for a quick assessment to determine your presenting problem.

You may be referred to the community testing centre for a COVID-19 swab. If you need to see a doctor or nurse, you will be booked into the system and seen at WAM.


If the number of people waiting to see a doctor or nurse rises, some people who are well enough may be asked to wait in their car until the time for their consultation. This is to facilitate the required physical distancing.

As resources allow, a kaiārahi/kaiāwhina (non-clinical) will pop out and check on anyone waiting in their cars.

They will be given an 0800 number to contact a WAM nurse if they have any concerns while they are waiting. And they will be contacted by a WAM nurse or doctor when it is time to come in.

This system ensures the waiting room has as limited numbers of people to keep everyone safe.

WAM appreciates everyone’s help and patience in maintaining these new ways of working in an Alert level 4 environment.

Whanganui District Health Board – Emergency Department (ED)

  • Whanganui Hospital is open 24/7 for acute cases and for people who need urgent care.
    • Whanganui District Health Board asks that general practices and other community health service providers only refer serious and urgent cases to Whanganui hospital’s emergency department.
    • Those with other health needs should first contact their GP or health centre or call Healthline on 0800 611 116.
    • The wearing of face masks is now compulsory within the hospital for staff and visitors.
    • Whanganui Hospital visiting is under Alert Level 4 guidance which means there is to be no visitors to DHB facilities. Exceptions to visitors are for those patients at end stage of life, in the Critical Care Unit, Maternity Unit and one parent for children in the Children’s Ward.

Image - NZ Herald