Wellington Intensive Care Unit

Te Rui Atawhai

Intensive Care Intercom


The Intensive Care team know that you want to be with your loved one as much as possible. We will try and give you as much time together as we can whilst also looking after their medical and nursing needs. To ensure privacy, please use the intercom phone before entering the Unit (whether the doors are open or closed). We ask that there are only two people at the bedside at any one time. There will be times that we are unable to allow you to visit (see below). Visiting times are restricted to ensure the privacy of all patients in the ICU when nursing handover & medical ward rounds are underway. There may also be other times we ask you to leave the bedside, such as during X-rays & emergencies. Staff will let you know and you will be able to come back in as soon as possible.

Please be assured that if we have any concerns about your friend or relative at any time, we will contact you immediately.

Children are allowed to visit but must be accompanied by a responsible adult at all times. Some children may find the Intensive Care Unit frightening and we ask parents or whanau to decide what is best for them. Pets are not allowed under any circumstances.

Due to COVID, restrictions on who, how many, and when people can visit may change frequently and suddenly. Please contact the ICU before travelling, particularly if coming from some distance away.


We ask you NOT to visit during the following times:

  • from 7am to 8.30am
  • from 7pm to 8pm
Wellington ICU Entrance Sign

The Intensive Care Unit is open to patients 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 52 weeks a year.


All hospital entrances are open until 9pm. After this time, visitors must enter through the After Hours entrance which is located to the right of the main atrium entrance (as you face the hospital) towards the Emergency Department. This entrance is staffed by a security orderly 24 hours-a-day. They will call ICU to confirm you are able to visit and will escort you to the unit.


If a loved one is admitted to the Intensive Care Unit, it is very important that their family and friends are kept up-to-date about their medical condition. The first few hours or days can be very difficult as things can change quite quickly. We will arrange to meet with anyone that the patient has nominated (where possible) to represent them and make sure that they are aware of their loved one's medical condition and the medical plan for the next few hours or days. We will also try to answer any questions that you may have. Sometimes it is helpful to write questions down and bring them to the meeting.

Often it may not be possible to meet with you immediately after your loved one arrives in ICU, particularly if they are very sick. Our priority is always to stabilise them before we can move away from their bedside to meet with you and we ask for your understanding at this difficult time. If your loved one remains very unwell then we may arrange to meet regularly to discuss how things are progressing. These meetings can happen at an arranged time that is convenient for both you and the hospital staff. Our Unit has quiet rooms away from the bedside where these meetings can occur.

We ask that family, friends or whanau nominate a single individual to act as a spokesperson. This person provides us with a single point of contact and can also be responsible for passing information on to the rest of the family. It is common for family members to be overseas and we are sometimes able to contact them directly to discuss things if they are unable to attend. Similarly we can provide supporting documentation to help with flights or passports that may be required at the last minute. Please ask the nursing or medical staff for help.


The Intensive Care Unit can be a strange and unfamiliar place. Let your loved one know that you are there, talk to them and touch them. If you are worried about the surrounding equipment or that you may cause them harm by touching them, please ask the nurse for guidance.

Please don't touch any of the equipment that may be attached. If you have any concerns, please talk to the bedside nurse.

Some items you may like to bring include:
  • A photo of your loved one, friends and family
  • Personal toiletries
Please do not bring:
  • Cut or fresh flowers - they may be a risk to electrical equipment and may carry infection
  • Cell phones - these may be used in the waiting room but please do NOT take them in to bed spaces as the use of personal recording devices is prohibited to maintain patient confidentiality
Wellington ICU Entrance
Monitor Alarm


Most of the equipment in the Intensive Care Unit has an alarm setting which can cause loud noises and flashing lights. The alarm is designed as a safety feature to allow the nurse or doctor to be aware of changes in the patient's condition. The staff rely on these alarms and will respond as necessary. They can however be loud and frightening for you. Most alarms are harmless so please do not be worried - if the staff are concerned, they will let you know. In the rare event that you are asked to leave in an emergency, please do so as soon as possible.


To protect your loved one, before touching them please wash your hands with soap or use the alcohol gel provided at the main entrance to the hospital, the Intensive Care Unit, and by each bedspace. If you are suffering from an infection such as the 'flu, please do NOT visit patients. People who are sick enough to need Intensive Care are more at risk of getting infections and you may pass any illness you have onto them. If you are unsure, please check with the nurse by the bedside.
Visitors must wear shoes at all times. There may be glass, blood or even needles on the floor; bare feet put you at risk of infection.
Hand Washing


Cultural advice and support is available from our Maori Health Unit and Kaumatua. If you would like to use this service, please ask a member of the ICU staff to contact them for you.


There is a waiting room for all visitors to use adjacent to the ICU. As we have admissions 24 hours a day, this room is for relatives waiting to enter the ICU. Please accommodate new visitors to this stressful environment. Tea and coffee are provided.


Information on the facilities available in Wellington Hospital for visitors, patients and the public can be found HERE.


The 'Quiet Room' is available to people of all denominations and spiritual beliefs. It is situated to the left of the main entrance in the atrium & is signposted. If you with to speak with a Hospital Chaplain, please ask a member of ICU staff to contact them for you.

Answers to some frequently asked questions in our ICU can be found by selecting the button to the right

We have produced a leaflet providing further information for visitors to our ICU.
This can be downloaded using the button to the left.

This page was last updated on Tuesday, 29 November 2022 15:57:37