Do you have any special needs?

We want to understand your unique situation and how we can best meet your health needs. We have services available to support you.

“Good communication and understanding is really important. We need to understand what patients and carers are saying and they need to understand us to ensure that we are providing the best care we can.” Staff member, aged care

Professional interpreters are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week if you need help understanding or speaking English. Interpreter services are free and confidential. Please ask our staff to organise an interpreter if you need one.

A face-to-face interpreter can take time to organise. When a service is required immediately staff may use a telephone interpreter.

Carers and family members may be used by hospital staff to interpret in emergencies or for non-essential day-to-day care. But in most cases professional interpreters are preferred because they are trained in medical language and ensure accurate interpretation. Interpreters are bound by a code of ethics which ensures the privacy of patients and their carers is respected.

If you need to speak to one of our staff and need an interpreter to do this you can also telephone the hospital using a telephone interpreter by telephoning 131 450.

For more information about interpreters:



English Greek Chinese
Russian Spanish  


Contact us through the National Relay Service (NRS). For more information, visit the NRS website to choose your preferred access point or call the NRS Helpdesk on 1800 555 660.

We also have AUSLAN interpreters available. Please ask our staff to organise one for you.

If you help someone with their meals, health, shopping, house work or personal care you may need support yourself.

Carer Gateway services can help you as a carer with:

  • Advice and information
  • Plans for emergencies
  • Connecting with other carers
  • Financial support.

You can phone the Carer Gateway on 180 422 737 Monday - Friday 8.00am - 5.00 pm or visit:

For emergency respite care you can phone 1800 422 737 24 hours/7 days a week.

Keeping yourself healthy will help you to look after those you care for.

Chaplains are available to all patients and their families, whatever their religious background or spiritual beliefs.

The Chaplaincy and Pastoral Care Service can arrange for pastoral care from most religious faiths, traditions or denominations, during the day and after hours in an emergency.

Chaplains offer support, comfort, prayers, and rites or rituals depending on your needs. They regularly visit the wards or you can ask the ward clerk, a nurse, your social worker or the switchboard operator to contact a Chaplain for you.

The hospital Chapel is near the Barker Street entrance. It is a place of prayer and reflection for all people, and is open 24 hours a day. There is also a ‘quiet room’ with a lounge near the entrance of the Royal Hospital for Women at Barker Street.

Everyone is welcome.

For more information go to Spiritual and Pastoral Care Services

If you have any special dietary needs, for example, if you are diabetic, coeliac, vegetarian or have specific religious needs, please inform nursing staff or the person who delivers the menus. Your family or friends may bring in food or drinks for you, but please check with your doctor, nurse or dietitian in case you need a special diet as part of your treatment.

Dietitians are available to provide nutrition advice while you are in hospital.  Please ask the nursing staff or ward clerk to contact a dietitian if you have any concerns.

If you are not from our local area and travelling to our Hospital for care, this guide can help you. 

IPTAAS is a subsidy program which provides financial assistance to help with travel and accommodation costs for people (and eligible escorts) who need to travel long distances to access specialist treatment not available locally. Patients travelling at least 100km each way, or at least 200km per week, may be eligible to apply for IPTAAS subsidies. Please speak with your social worker.