Information for Patients
What to bring to hospital
- 4 pairs of pyjamas/nighties (labelled with your name) dressing gown and slippers (non-slip sole)
- toiletries (soap, toothpaste, toothbrush, hairbrush/comb, razor, tissues)
- small amount of money (for phone, newspaper, etc)
- comfortable day clothing
- glasses, hearing aids and non-electric walking aids (please ensure nursing staff are aware and document which of these items each patient has)
- favourite toy or cuddly item for children
What NOT to bring to hospital
- valuables (jewelry, large amounts of money)
- Radios, iPods, MP3 players without headphones
- Mobile Phones (as they interfere with medical equipment)
- electrical appliances (including electric shavers)
- pot plants
- large bags or excessive clothing
- alcohol or illegal drugs
- video games
Flowers, Balloons and Plants
For the sake of the health and comfort of all patients, there are restrictions in ward areas.
- Flowers are restricted in some wards and units. Please check with nursing staff and let friends and relatives know if this applies to your area
- Due to risk of infection, no potted plants are allowed in patient wards.
- Latex balloons are prohibited in all wards of the Hospital.
Some people are at risk of Listeriosis, an infection from food. Check with the nursing staff if you might be at risk.For this reason,
- Food supplied by the hospital cannot be reheated
- You should check with nursing staff before eating food brought in by visitors.
- ONLY food prepared by the hospital kitchen can be stored in the ward for you.
- Nursing or Nutrition Staff can provide further information and a brochure on this topic.
Give your health care provider as much information as possible about your health, including any allergies, medical conditions or disabilities. Tell them if you use other medicines or remedies and whether you smoke, use alcohol or other recreational drugs. Tell your health care provider:
- about any changes to your condition and any reactions during treatment
- if you are being treated for the same problem by someone else
- if you do not understand why you have been referred for tests or treatments
- if religious or cultural beliefs make it difficult to have treatment
- if you want to be treated as a private patient and ask for an estimate of the costs
- if you have made a decision not to follow treatment advice and not attend appointments.
You will be regularly asked to confirm your name, date of birth and other details before any procedure or surgery and whenever you are transferred to another service for care. This ensures that you are correctly booked in for the right procedure by the right person at the right time throughout your treatment.
You can have a relative, carer or other support person to help you communicate with health professionals but you must agree to that person being involved in your affairs.
NSW Health recognises that sometimes your support person may be under 18 years of age. We respect the role of younger carers. They will be included in your treatment and ongoing care and given information on where to get support.
We also recognise that people with disabilities have a range of support needs. In this case, family members, carers and other support people may be asked to assist you and the healthcare staff.
However they are not obliged to help. You will also be asked to provide the name and contact details of the person who can give consent for procedures if at any time you are too ill to give that consent yourself.
Seeking a second opinion
You have the right to seek a second opinion on treatment that has been recommended for you. Depending on the nature of your condition the health service will provide advice on the availability of an alternative medical practitioner.
You must give consent before receiving treatment. In most cases this will be verbal consent. Written consent is required for some procedures, such as surgery. You have the right to withhold consent. In this case you will not receive treatment. In a life-threatening emergency where you are too ill or unconscious, consent is not required.
Consent by others
Children under the age of 14 years must have the consent of a parent or guardian. Children between the ages of 14 to 16 years usually give their consent jointly with their parents or guardians; however they can give sole consent as long as they show that they fully understand the proposed treatment. If you are unconscious or too ill to give consent yourself, a relative, carer or other person close to you can give consent for treatment considered by qualified health professionals to be in your best interests. If this person is unavailable the Guardianship Tribunal can give consent. For more information visit: www.gt.nsw.gov.au or ring: 1800 463 928.
Research and education
You may be asked if students or health employees in training can be present while you are receiving care or treatment. This practice contributes to the development of professional skills. You may also be asked to participate in medical research. You have the right to say no to these requests. Your decision will not be put in your records and will have no bearing on your treatment or access to services in the future.
Bedside telephones are provided in the wards by an external business operator, and fees are charged. Please ask nursing staff or the telephone representative to activate the telephone for outgoing calls. All telephones can receive incoming calls at no cost.
Televisions are provided in the wards by an external business operator, and fees are charged. You are not permitted to bring your own TV into the hospital due to space and safety considerations.
If you wish to have a TV, please contact HTR on 1800 063 829.
Smoking & Alcohol
All ISLHD hospitals and health facilities are smoke free, this means that patients, visitors and staff are not allowed to smoke inside any buildings or within the surrounding hospital grounds and car parks.
If you smoke your doctor or nurse can give you nicotine replacement products to keep you more comfortable while you are in hospital.
If you want to know more about quitting or reducing your smoking ask your GP or call the Quitline.
Patients and visitors are reminded that drinking alcohol is not allowed on ISLHD Health premises. For more information speak to your nurse or doctor.
Theft does occur in hospitals
The Hospital cannot accept responsibility for your possessions if they are lost or stolen. For your own protection please leave them at home, or 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.
Absence from your ward
It is important to inform the nursing staff if you wish to leave the ward area. Depending on your clinical condition, it could be dangerous to your health and treatment to leave the ward area. You should always check with staff if this applies to you. Absences from the ward should not be longer than 30 minutes as this may interfere with your care and treatment.
Transfer to another ward or hospital
Sometimes during the period of your hospitalisation, you might be transferred to another ward or one of our other networked hospitals. This decision will be based on your clinical condition and will be discussed with you and your carer. When it is decided which of our hospitals will best suit your needs the following considerations are made:
- Special roles of each hospital
- Hours of operation of services at each hospital
- Bed availability
- Suburb where you live or where your family/carers live
If you need to be transferred to another hospital, you and your next of kin will be informed prior to transfer.
Principal Aboriginal Health Workers (PAHW)
PAHWs provide emotional, social and cultural support to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients and their families admitted to hospitals within the Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District. If you require further information or you would like to speak with the Principal Aboriginal Health Worker, please let your nurse know.
During your hospital stay, the hospital pharmacy will supply you with medications. When you come to hospital please bring your medications or a list from your General Practitioner or Pharmacist of your current medications.
To avoid complications, once your doctor or the nurses have given you medications please do not take your own medications. It’s important that you tell the staff everything you are taking. If you are already taking other things such as non-prescription drugs, vitamins or natural therapies when you come to hospital, make sure you tell the staff.
Meals are served at the following times:
Breakfast: 7:45 – 8am
Lunch: 11:45am – 12:15pm
Dinner: 4:45pm – 5:15pm
Morning tea, afternoon tea and supper are served at appropriate times.
Unfortunately there will be times when your food and liquid intake will be restricted because of medical conditions. Please understand that this is important. It may sometimes mean having 'nil by mouth' or alternatively ice only or clear fluids. As soon as your medical condition allows, you will be able to progress to full menu.
Special Dietary Needs
The nutrition department works with our Food Services team to provide alternative meal choices for patients with special dietary requirements.
Infection Control and Hand Hygiene
You can help reduce infection risk in hospital by:
- Maintaining your own personal hygiene
- Washing your hands regularly
- Telling staff about previous infections you may have had
- Asking staff caring for you to wash their hands before treating you
The children’s ward encourages parents to stay with their children. There is no dedicated parent accommodation. Foldout beds are available.
Out of Town Visitors
It can be hard if you need to travel a long way from home for medical treatment, especially if you or your child has to stay at or close to the hospital for some time. It can also be very lonely if your family or your partner cannot be with you.
We understand that this can be a stressful time and that staying in a strange city can be a bit overwhelming.
Our Social Workers are available to help you and your family with:
- Patient Assistance Transport Scheme (PATS)
- counselling and financial issues
- liaison with support services
For assistance, please contact our Social Workers on 02 4423 9317.
Advice about PATS, accommodation and support services is also available from the Health Consumer Support Service, freecall 1800 188 115 (office hours).
Additionally, you may like some more general information on the Shoalhaven City Area.
If your next of kin have any concerns or questions about your care they contact the ward at any time.
The hospital does not have a laundry service for personal items. There is a limited laundry service provided by our wonderful volunteers for those patients who may not have immediate access to family or carers. Patients should send their washing home with their relatives/carer wherever possible.