New security doors have been installed to all wards at Whangarei Hospital to ensure patient privacy and safety outside of normal visiting hours.
Northland District Health Board service manage for emergency and medical services Peter Wood said the security doors had recently been installed to all hospital wards that did not have them, with the new system implemented from Tuesday.
Dr Wood said all wards at the hospital (wards 1, 3, 4, 14, 16, maternity, ICU, coronary care and ED) have had security doors installed to help ensure that patients are safe and get the rest they need to get well.
He said there had been no specific incidents that sparked the installation, but a few patients had commented that people walking around the wards outside of visiting hours could be disruptive. It also brought the hospital up to best practice in terms of patient safety.
Visiting hours at Whangarei Hospital are between 11am to 1pm and 3pm to 8pm on most wards and anybody wanting to visit outside those hours should call the hospital and check if it is convenient to visit, Dr Wood said.
"There are a lot of visitors going into and out of the hospital all the time and we had to ensure that patients are getting the rest that they need," he said.
"Closing the doors outside of visiting hours will give staff more control, and give more safety and support for patients."
Dr Wood said the DHB wanted to encourage people to visit the hospital but advised them to do so during normal hours.