Do you have any special needs?

We want to understand your unique situation and how we can best meet your health needs. The following services may help you with your visit to our hospital.

“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:

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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.

Our Aboriginal Hospital Liaison Officer (AHLO) provides support to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients and their families. Services include emotional, social and cultural support; and advocacy and liaison with other staff on behalf of patients and families. The AHLO also provides information about hospital and legal services, patient rights and responsibilities, and child care protection issues; plus referrals to Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal organisations. The AHLO can help families to organise financial benefits, accommodation and care, and help at home.

You can telephone our AHLO directly on 9382 2332, or contact the hospital’s Social Work department on 9382 2355.

We also have the Barmbli room for family and friends to gather. It can be found at the High St entrance.

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.

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.