Information for patients

NSW Health has created a useful guide to prepare you for your stay in hospital. Read here for more information.

If you or your loved ones have any concerns or questions about your care contact the ward at any time.

What to bring to hospital

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  • Four pairs of pyjamas/nightgowns (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)
  • Current medications/list (these will be returned to you before or when you go home)
  • Glasses, hearing aids and non-electric walking aids
  • Any correspondence from your doctor
  • Relevant Xrays and scans
  • Medicare card
  • Private Hospital fund card/book, Veterans Affairs Repat Card, details of workers compensation, public liability or third party case (if applicable)

What not to bring to hospital

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  • Valuables (jewellery, large amounts of money)
  • Radios, iPods, MP3 players without headphones
  • Electrical appliances (including electric shavers)
  • Pot plants
  • Large bags or excessive clothing
  • Alcohol or illegal drugs
  • Video games


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.

Flowers, balloons and plants

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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

Need an interpreter?

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You can have an interpreter if you speak another language, including AUSLAN. This is a free service and is available seven days per week. Translation services can be provided in person or by phone. The Health Care Interpreter Service is available 24/7 and can be contacted on 1800 24 72 72.

Meal Times

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Breakfast 7:00 - 7:30 am
Morning Tea 10:00 am
Lunch 11:40 - 12:30 am
Afternoon Tea 2:00 pm
Dinner 4:45 - 5:30 pm
Supper 6:45 pm

Meal menus offer choices to cater for a range of patient requirements and cultural needs.

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.

The nutrition department works with our Food Services team to provide alternative meal choices for patients with special dietary requirements.

Providing information

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Give your healthcare 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 healthcare 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.


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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.

Support people

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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

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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.


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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.

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, 1800 463 928.

Research and education

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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.

Smoking and alcohol

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All Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District 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, 13 7848 (13 QUIT).  

Patients and visitors are reminded that drinking alcohol is not allowed on Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District premises. For more information speak to your nurse or doctor.

My Care Board

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My Care Boards are located near patient beds. They are a tool we use on hospital wards to support communication and shared decision-making between staff, patients, their families and carers.

Information about how to use your My Care Board is in the brochure and the video below.

Note: the video is also available in the languages Arabic, Cantonese, Italian, Macedonian, Polish, Portuguese, Serbian, Spanish, Turkish and Vietnamese.