General Information

PATIENTS’ RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES

As a patient, you have certain rights and responsibilities within the healthcare system.

Your rights – you have the right to:

  • Access – You have a right to health care.
  • Safety – You have a right to receive safe and high quality care.
  • Respect – You have a right to be shown respect, dignity and consideration.
  • Communication – You have a right to be informed about services, treatment options and costs in a clear and open way.
  • Participation – You have a right to be included in decisions and choices about your care.
  • Privacy – You have a right to privacy and confidentiality of your personal information.
  • Comment – You have a right to comment on your care and to have your concerns addressed.

Your responsibilities – at all times you must:

  • Answer questions about your health frankly and honestly, including information which may place staff at risk.
  • Be considerate towards other patients and staff.
  • Not harass, abuse, assault or threaten staff.
  • Cooperate with safe manual handling procedures.
  • Let health workers know if you are not going to follow the treatment prescribed and accept responsibility for this action.
  • Keep appointments and inform health workers if you can’t attend or are running late.
  • Adhere to all signs to ensure the safety of staff, patients and visitors.

For further information please refer to our patient's rights and responsibilities booklets and videos.

 

CONSENT FOR TREATMENT

Your consent is needed before any treatment begins. By coming into hospital you have given general agreement for the treatment needed for your condition. You may, however, change your mind at any time whilst in hospital.

Operations, anaesthetics and certain diagnostic procedures require your specific consent. You will be asked to sign a consent form after the need for the procedure has been explained to you. If you do not understand English, a professional interpreter should be used to ensure you fully understand the operation or procedure for which you are giving consent.

If you are unable to give consent and require major or specialist treatment, your doctor will seek consent from the “person responsible” for you. This will be in the order of priority, your:

  • Guardian if you are under Guardianship
  • Spouse, de facto, same-sex partner with whom you have had a close, continuing relationship
  • Unpaid carer
  • Other relative or friend

If none of the above are available, the Guardianship Tribunal may be contacted.

 

COMMUNICATING WITH STAFF

Good communication between you and the staff will ensure that appropriate services are provided to you. If you do not understand, are unsure or have any questions about your medical treatment or stay in hospital, please ask one of the health care team looking after you. You also have the right to request an interpreter. Please notify staff if you require the services of an interpreter and it will be arranged.

 

STAFF IDENTIFICATION

All staff are required to wear photographic identity badges including name, photograph and job title and are also required to display an additional badge which is to be worn on the right hand side at chest height with their name and position title. Do not hesitate to ask the identity of anyone not wearing a badge. If a person without an identity badge approaches you and you are concerned, please alert a member of the nursing staff.

 

CONFIDENTIALITY AND ACCESS TO MEDICAL RECORDS

We are committed to treating your personal information in accordance with privacy law.

We collect information directly from you wherever possible. If this is not possible, or in an emergency, we may also need to collect information from a family member, friend, carer or other person who can help us to provide you with appropriate health care.

Your information may be held in a variety of ways. Most commonly, your information may be held as a paper medical record, and/ or an electronic medical record forming part of a secure computerised database. Some information may also be held in the form of an image including x-ray or photograph, or as an audio or video recording. We follow strict rules and policies regarding the secure storage of personal information in all formats in order to protect your information from unauthorised access, loss or other misuse.

You are entitled to request access to all personal health information including your medical record held by the hospital. Normally, you will be asked to apply for access in writing and provide adequate identification. You are entitled to view your personal health information within your medical record whilst admitted or after discharge in the presence of a health professional. You may be charged a fee if you request copies of your personal information or medical record.

Requests for access to your medical record should be addressed to the Clinical Information Department.

 

HELPING OUR RESEARCH AND TEACHING

As we are a teaching and research hospital, you may be asked to participate in research projects or student education. You can choose not to do this and your decision will not affect your care. However, any participation you can offer will help improve health services provided to other patients in the future.

 

MEDICAL, NURSING AND ALLIED HEALTH STUDENTS

Medical, Nursing and/or Allied Health students may approach you during your hospital stay. This assists the students in their education so your co-operation is greatly appreciated. Please be aware that you can decline their request to talk to you about your condition.

 

DO YOU HAVE SPECIAL NEEDS?

Please let the nursing staff know if you have special needs, for example, if you are hearing or sight impaired or have special dietary needs. We will do all we can to ensure that your needs are met.
Interpreters are available to help staff communicate with patients, families and carers. This service is confidential and provided free of charge.

 

KEEPING US INFORMED

On admission, you would have been seen by many people and asked many questions. These questions were to make sure we had all the information we needed to give you the best possible health care. If you feel there is any other information we need to know, please tell your doctor or nurse.