Being a Patient at the Royal Hospital for Women

Preparing to Stay 

We encourage you to ask your doctor or midwife for a full explanation of your condition, proposed treatment, any alternatives and possible results of treatment.

Do not be embarrassed to ask the same question several times until you receive a clear answer. By hesitating or delaying asking a question you may cause yourself unnecessary worry.  

Often it is helpful to write a list of questions to ensure you do not forget to ask anything when you are speaking to your doctor.  

If you do not feel confident speaking or understanding English, we can arrange a free interpreter service for you. 

Please discuss the following with your midwife or obstetrician:  

• If you have a vaginal birth with no complications, you have the opportunity of going home under the Midwifery Support Program or with your Midwifery Group Practice midwife.  

• If you require a caesarean you may expect to go home five days after your baby’s birth.  

• Alternatively, if you are well and your baby is feeding well, you may prefer to go home early and have a midwife visit you at home. To be eligible for the Midwifery Support Program you would need to go home prior to 48 hours (about 2 days) after a vaginal birth or 72 hours (about 3 days) after a caesarean.  

• If you have been cared for by Midwifery Group Practice (MGP) midwives and you are well and your baby is feeding well, you will be encouraged to go home soon after your baby’s birth. Your MGP midwife will visit you at home.  

• If you have been cared for by MAPS (Antenatal/Postnatal GP Shared Care Model) you will be visited at home after discharge by the MAPS midwife if you live within our area.  

• Our postnatal services include the Breastfeeding Support Unit, which provides a half day ‘drop-in’ service for current patients, and an outpatient service through a booking system for women who need ongoing support with the establishment of lactation.  

• Each Thursday Health Education conducts a Mumsense Group for women who have birthed at the hospital and their babies for up to four months after birth. This is an information session and get together for mothers each week. 

• Your stay will depend very much on the procedure that you are having.  

• Many gynaecological procedures performed at the hospital will require a day stay admission. That is, you will be discharged on the same day as your procedure.  

• For more major surgeries performed by laparoscopic surgery, a 1–2 night stay may be required and will depend on your medical recovery.  

• For procedures that require you to have a low cut in the abdomen (a bikini line cut), a stay of 4–5 nights are often required.  

• For procedures where the cut in the abdomen is vertical, a 6–7 day stay may be needed. This is more common with cancer operations but may be required in certain other situations.  

• Your doctor will give you guidance as to the expected length of stay for your procedure.  

• Very premature babies or babies needing intensive care including surgery, will need to stay in the Newborn Care Centre for many days, and most of these babies are transferred from other hospitals across New South Wales.  

• You may be discharged home when you are well enough to be cared for at home as recommended by the obstetric team. This may occur while your baby still needs to stay in the Newborn Care Centre.  

• Your baby will be discharged home when well or transferred back to the referring or regional hospital when appropriate.  

• If you were referred due to a complication of pregnancy or your baby was transferred to us for specialised care, return transfer of your baby will take place when your baby’s condition improves and allows for a convalescence closer to home. 

• The care and needs of your baby and others is a priority to us. The above referral and transfer arrangement is to ensure your baby, as well as others, can receive optimal care. 

Consent for Treatment  

Before surgery, you will need to sign a treatment consent form. By signing the form, you give the Hospital staff permission to treat and care for you.  

Please ensure that you understand what your treatment involves and what the likely results or possible effects of this treatment are before you sign the hospital consent form.  

The treatment should be discussed with your doctor. You may also like to ask your doctor to explain the treatment to a relative or close friend. Except in extreme emergencies, any additional operations, anaesthesia or treatments during your stay will require your further written permission.  

You may withdraw your permission for treatment at any time before the procedure. If you choose to refuse treatment that your doctor considers necessary, you need to sign a form stating that you do not want to accept treatment and that you accept any consequences. This treatment consent form will release the hospital from any liability caused by your refusal. We encourage you to ask any questions you may have. Our staff will be glad to help you.  

Completing the ‘Recommendation for Admission’ paperwork prior to admission enables us to assess you pre-surgery in the PreAdmission Clinic. This means we can support your stay in hospital and prepare you for your transfer of care to your family or community support, including your general practitioner. 

Bed Allocation  

All of our rooms have one or two beds. Single rooms are available for privately insured patients who are covered for a single room. Even if you are privately insured we cannot guarantee a single room will be available. Overnight stay for partners may be possible in a single room where fold-out beds are available. There is a small charge for this facility. Please ask the Nursing/Midwifery Unit Manager or admissions staff for more information.  


Being Admitted to Your Ward  

When you are admitted to your ward you will be given an identification bracelet to wear. Please ensure that all details on the bracelet are correct. If you are having surgery, a nurse will ask you some questions about your health and record your temperature, weight, blood pressure and other observations.  

A doctor may also ask questions about your family’s medical history. Please provide our staff with any information about your health that you feel is relevant.  


You should tell our staff if:  

• You have fertility problems;  

• You have any medical conditions such as asthma, heart disease, high blood pressure or diabetes;  

• You have any problems with anaesthetics;  

• There are any medical procedures that may be against your religious or cultural beliefs;  

• You have a rare blood group;  

• You have taken any medication, including aspirin, disprin or fish oil;  

• You have travelled overseas and been admitted to a hospital overseas in the last few years;  

• You have any addictions;  

• You smoke; and/or  

• You drink alcohol 

After day surgery you will be offered refreshments when you have recovered from the effects of the anaesthetic.  

Meals and snacks are served five times each day. The meals are breakfast, morning tea, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner.  

All meals in maternity are served buffet-style in the Patient Lounge. You may eat your meal in the lounge area or return to your room. We encourage you to eat your meals in the lounge, however, please do not hesitate to eat in your room if you prefer. If you are unable to attend the lounge area, meals will be provided in your room.  

Tea and coffee making facilities are available on the wards.  

Please advise our staff of any special dietary requirements and one of our dieticians will meet with you. Dietetic outpatient services are also available. 

We will keep a confidential record of your condition and treatment. To access your medical records, simply phone the Randwick Campus Medical Records staff on (02) 9382 6550. A small administration fee will be charged.  

Your doctor will order any medication you will need during your stay at The Royal and this is provided by the hospital. The medication will be given to you and monitored by our staff. Please advise our staff of any medication you have taken at the time of your admission.  

When you leave the hospital your doctor will write a prescription for any additional medication. You may visit the chemist on the campus or one closer to your home. 

The staff on your ward will be happy to provide you with information about television hire.  

Wi-Fi access is available in the patient lounges on Levels 2, 3 and 4. Please contact the ward clerk to obtain the appropriate password. 

The hospital offers a free interpreter service. This is available 24 hours a day, 7 days per week. If you need one, please inform your nurse for their assistance with accessing this service.