Before You Arrive
Consent for Treatment
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 while in hospital.
Operations, anaesthetics and various other medical and 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 must 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.
Other relative or friend.
If none of the above are available, the Guardianship Tribunal may be contacted.
Information We Need to Know
It is very important to tell us about yourself so that we can provide the right care.
You should tell us:
About your health including allergies, medical conditions or disabilities.
Any changes to your condition.
Any reactions during treatment.
If another health care worker is treating you for the same problem.
If you do not understand why you are having tests or treatments.
If religious or cultural beliefs mean the way we treat or care for you is not right.
If you want to be treated as a private patient.
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 your nurse.
Disabilities or Special Requirements
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.
Infection Prevention and Hand Hygiene
- Patients can assist in preventing the spread of infections by washing hands or using the hand rubs available.
- We ask that all patients with signs or symptoms of the cold or flu, to cover their nose/mouth with a tissue when coughing or sneezing.
- Hand hygiene must be performed after discarding dirty tissues.
- If you have any symptoms of diarrhoea or vomiting, please inform staff immediately.
The hospital offers a free patient interpreter and sign language service. This is available 24 hours a day, 7 days per week. If you need and interpreter, please inform your nurse for their assistance with accessing this.
Organ and Tissue Donation
There are almost 2,000 people in Australia on organ transplant waiting lists at any given time. By registering to become an organ donor you could be making the greatest gift one human being can give another – the gift of life. The Australian Organ Donor Register is Australia's only national organ and tissue donor register and serves as a lifeline to the people on those waiting lists.
Anyone can choose to donate their organs and tissue. While your age and medical history may need to be considered, you should not assume that you are not healthy enough or that you are too old.
Your registration with the Australian Organ Donor Register is a legally valid consent (or objection) for organ and tissue donation. For further information and registration, visit www.donatelife.gov.au. Alternatively, you can call the Australian Organ Donor Registry on 1800 777 203, or visit your local Medicare office.
Remember, the most important thing to do is to tell your next of kin of your decision.
Privacy and Confidentiality
South Eastern Sydney Local Health District takes privacy and confidentiality very seriously. Please do not take photographs, video or audio recordings of patients or staff.
Your personal health information is securely held in paper and electronic format.
We may disclose this information outside the health service to enable appropriate health services to be provided to you. For example:
- Your nominated General Practitioner;
- Ambulance Service.
We may disclose this information as a requirement by law. For example:
- To comply with a subpoena or search warrant if personal information is required as evidence in court.
- You may also access your health record for a fee through the Clinical Information Department. There are special circumstances where this may be declined.
If you need more information about Privacy, please request a copy of the Privacy brochure from your Nurse.
Power of Attorney
You may wish to consider authorising someone else to make decisions for you in the event of illness preventing you making decisions for yourself. This is achieved by going through the process of assigning a Power of Attorney to a carer or friend. Please ask the ward staff to contact a Social Worker if you would like to discuss this further.
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.
Valuables and Personal Belongings
- Please do not bring valuables to hospital as we are unable to accept responsibility for their security and safety.
- Please leave your wallet, personal belongings or laptop and other valuables at home.
- If you must bring them with you, ensure they remain in the keeping of a trusted person at all times. Alternatively, you may have some valuables locked in the hospital safe, please see ward staff for more information.
- If you have dentures, ensure you ask ward staff for a dentures cup for safe keeping. Do not wrap them in a tissue.
If you have been admitted to hospital and you permanently reside overseas, you will need to speak to the Patient Liaison Officer to clarify your health cover. This will not affect the level of care or the treatment provided.