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Patients and Visitors at Central Queensland Hospital and Health Service

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Patients and Visitors

Welcome to Central Queensland Hospital and Health Service (CQ Health). We welcome you, your family and friends to our hospital or facility. While you are in our care it is our aim to make your stay as comfortable as possible.

Our vision is "Changing lives for the better", and we are committed to providing the tools to enable our staff to live this every day.

We are all here for you, the patient, and everything we do is to provide you with the best quality, safest, evidence-based, most efficient health care we can.

We follow the National Safety and Quality Healthcare Standards, focusing our resources to ensure the hospital is a safe environment for patients, staff and visitors.

We have wonderful caring health workers who do amazing things every day for our patients.

Having said that, there are times when things don't go to plan, and we may need reminding. Feedback is very important, and I welcome your thoughts, both good and bad, to enable us to grow and improve.

We have a system in place to allow us to act upon feedback, and to let our staff know when they've been appreciated. The Patient Liaison Officer is here to record feedback, and you will find details of how to contribute through the menu below.

On behalf of the whole team, I wish you a fast recovery and while you are with us we will do everything we can to make your stay as comfortable as possible.

Len Richards,
Chief Executive, Central Queensland Hospital and Health Service


Menu

Admission - When you arrive

  • Pre-admission clinic
  • Admission
  • What to bring to hospital
  • Valuables
  • Arrival in the ward
  • Bed allocations and single rooms
  • Patient identification
  • Workers’ compensation
  • Medical certificates
  • Informed consent
  • Day Surgery Admission Ward
  • Visitors

Choosing health care

  • Public health care
  • Long stay patients

Discharge from hospital

  • Discharge planning
  • Discharge at own risk
  • Patient accounts
  • Transport home

Donations, gifts and bequests

  • Donations, gifts and bequests
  • Gladstone Hospital Auxiliary Association Inc
Emergency Departments (ED)
Enquiries

General patient rights

Hospital procedures

  • Professional staff identification
  • Interpreter service
  • Cultural support worker
  • Clinical handover
  • Falls
  • Pressure injuries
  • Preventing Venous Thromboembolisms (VTE)
  • Medications and allergies
  • Medical records and privacy
  • Medical rounds
  • Quality management
  • Ryan’s Rule - patient, family and carer escalation process
  • Transfer

Infection prevention and management

  • Guidelines for patients
  • Wound care
  • Guidelines for visitors
  • How to wash your hands properly - hand hygiene
  • Isolation
  • What does the hospital do to prevent infections?
Patient Travel Subsidy Scheme (PTSS)
Providing feedback

Rockhampton Hospital shuttle bus service

Referral information
Services and facilities

Visitor information

  • Visitors
  • Visiting hours
  • Accommodation for relatives
  • Parking

Ward routine

  • Call system
  • Children in hospital
  • Chaplains and pastoral care workers
  • Fire safety and emergency procedures
  • Hairdresser
  • Laundry
  • Leaving the ward area
  • Library - Rockhampton Hospital
  • Mail
  • Mobile phones
  • Electrical appliances
  • Smoking and alcohol

Admission - When you arrive

Pre-admission clinic

Prior to surgery you may be required to attend a pre-admission clinic. The clinic is conducted for patients who are booked for surgery and for some procedures.

Clinic appointments are arranged at the time you phone to confirm your operation / procedure date.

Patients will be seen by members of the teams (nursing, anaesthetic and surgical) that will be looking after them during their operation or procedure.

Consultation with these people identifies any health problems that need treating prior to surgery, any tests you may require and allows for any discussions regarding instructions / education on the plan of your care.

Your operation date will be confirmed at this pre-admission assessment.

Admission

On arrival at the hospital, all patients should first report to the admission office. You will be issued with an identification band as part of your admission.

Please check that the details on your identification band are correct and wear it throughout your stay in hospital.

As a patient of this Hospital and Health Service, you have the choice to be treated as a private or public patient.

Private patients are asked to complete a National Private Patient Hospital Claim Form. This will be provided to your health fund detailing your treatment and your consent to utilise your private health insurance.

To minimise any inconvenience to private patients, the majority of the Medical Specialists participate in efficient billing practices including 'no gap' arrangements with major health funds. This ensures that your medical bills are handled directly by your health fund, rather than patients having to liaise with medicare and their health fund to receive rebates.

By electing to be a private patient the hospital is able to recover costs which in turn assists us to improve patient services.

If you have any questions or would like to take up this option, please ask to speak with one of our Patient Options Liaison Officers (POLO).

If you are being treated for a condition for which you may recover damages from another party, for example Third Party or Worker Compensation, you will be asked to supply all relevant details to the hospital at the time of admission or before discharge.

During your admission you will be asked a number of questions which help us understand your condition better and also help us to keep you or your family member safe whilst in hospital. We thank you for your patience with these questions.

What to bring to hospital

When presenting to a hospital for treatment please ensure that you have the following on hand:

  1. Details of your general practitioner and any other treating health professionals.
  2. Medicare card, health care card and/or PBS safety net card.
  3. Letter from the referring doctor (if any)
  4. Details of any private health cover.
  5. Copies of any current Advanced Health Directives or enduring Power of Attorney.
  6. Current address and day/night phone number of next of kin.
  7. Any medication you are currently taking, relevant private x-rays, spectacles and hearing aids
  8. Medical history.

If you are required to stay overnight, you will need to arrange the following items:

  1. Sleepwear, dressing gown and underwear (all clearly labeled).
  2. Slippers, sandals or thongs.
  3. Toiletries including soap, shampoo, toothbrush and toothpaste, hair brush, razor, tissues and deodorant etc.

Please do not bring jewellery or large amounts of money to hospital. Whilst every care is taken for security, the hospital does not accept responsibility if valuables are lost or stolen.

Valuables

For your protection, it is best that you don’t have large sums of money or valuables with you. The hospital cannot take responsibility for the safety of any property you choose to keep at your bedside. If you have valuables, we ask that these be sent home with your family.

Arrival in the ward

If you are being admitted through the Emergency Department you will be taken to your bed by nursing staff. Details of the ward layout and services will be explained at this time. Your admitting nurse will assess your needs and commence your care.

Bed allocations and single rooms

Single rooms are allocated on a clinical needs basis. Should you come into hospital as a private patient you may request a private room, however clinical need will always be our priority.

Additionally, in relation to bed allocation it is also important to understand that you may experience a shared arrangement with a blend of male and female patients. However, the dignity of the patient remains a focus for our clinical staff. Should a bed shortage occur before or during your stay, it may be necessary to transfer you to another area within your ward / unit or to a different ward within the hospital.

It may be necessary to transfer you for interim care to another hospital in the Central Queensland Hospital and Health Service.

Patient identification

Patient identification and the matching of a patient to an intended treatment is an activity that is performed routinely in all care settings. Risks to patient safety occur when there is a mismatch between a given patient and components of their care, whether these components are diagnostic, therapeutic or supportive. During your stay you will be required to wear a patient identification band and you will be asked to confirm specific patient identifiers located on this band many times throughout your stay to help keep you safe.

Workers’ compensation

If you are being treated for a condition that may be covered by Workers’ Compensation, please supply all relevant details to the hospital at the time of admission or before discharge.

Medical certificates

If a medical certificate is required for your employer, Centrelink or Workers’ Compensation, please ask the doctor or the registered nurse attending you. These certificates are issued without charge. Please ask for these certificates during the doctor’s ward round, it may not be possible to supply this if you have already left hospital.

Informed consent

Informed decision-making is a two-way conversation between you and your clinicians. This is a vital part of communicating the benefits, risks and alternatives of treatment whilst taking into account your personal circumstances, beliefs and priorities.

Prior to completing a consent form you should be provided the opportunity to consider the benefits, risks and alternatives of the treatment.

For more information on Informed Consent for clinicians, consumers and in other languages please visit the website: www.health.qld.gov.au/consent

Day Surgery Admission Ward

Patients for elective (non-emergency) surgery are admitted through the Day Surgery Admission Ward.

This is where patients are prepared for surgery and transferred to the operating theatre.

If it is necessary for patients to stay overnight (or longer) they may be transferred to another ward directly from the recovery room.

Patients who have a planned admission are admitted at the reception area of the day surgery/admission ward.

The day surgery/admission ward provides care for patients requiring surgery or procedures and who it is planned will be discharged on the same day. Patients having day surgery will return to the day surgery area to recover until discharge.

Patients discharged from the day surgery unit most often require an escort home and to have a responsible carer stay with them overnight. If the patient or carer has any concerns or questions they should ask nursing staff. We require parents/carers to remain with their children at all times.

Boarder babies are welcome but require a carer to be in the unit whilst the parent is unable to deliver care.

Limited visitors are allowed at all times.

Patients who are being admitted for other reasons will be advised of the ward to which they are to be admitted by the receptionist. The bed manager will allocate the beds to which patients are transferred.

Visitors

Your visitors are welcome and are encouraged to visit as they are important to your recovery. However, sick and medicated patients tire easily, so your visitors are asked to observe the following:

  • The visiting hours of each ward are designed to give patients the rest and treatment required.
  • Visitors are permitted to enter the ward at the discretion of the nurse in charge. In some instances restrictions on the number of visitors will apply.
  • Visitors must observe any signage on the patient’s door and check with nursing staff before entering to ensure appropriate precautions are taken when visiting.
  • Visitors must wash their hands upon entering and leaving a ward and before leaving a room of a patient who is in isolation.
  • Children must be supervised and show appropriate behaviour.
  • Persons who have been in contact with infectious diseases (e.g. measles, mumps, chicken pox) or who are suffering from colds or flu symptoms should postpone their visit until fully recovered.
  • Visitors should speak and move around quietly to reduce noise levels.
  • Visitors should strictly observe the “no smoking” policy.
  • Intoxicating liquor or illegal substances of any kind are prohibited.
  • Always check with the registered nurse before giving food, drink or sweets to any patient.
  • Do not bring sweets, chocolates, biscuits and hot drinks into the children’s ward.
  • Patients have the right to decide whether or not to accept visitors and how long visitors should stay. Staff may decide it is in a patient’s interest to limit visiting and may request a visitor to leave.

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Choosing health care

Eligible Australian residents may choose to receive private or public hospital services that can both be delivered from a public hospital.

Overseas visitors from countries that have signed special agreements with Australia are entitled to emergency public hospital services, free of charge.

Phone Medicare on 132011 to find out if this applies to you, or visit the website: www.humanservices.gov.au/customer/dhs/medicare.

Public health care

If you choose to be a public patient, generally hospital services will be given free of charge. You may have to pay a nominal fee for some services. If costs apply, they will be explained to you.

Once you have elected to be seen as a private patient you may change your mind at any time and become a public patient, particularly if there are unforeseen complications.

Private health care

Choosing to use your private hospital insurance has benefits for the patient (no out of pocket expenses for admissions of one or more nights), the hospital and clinical staff by retaining revenue locally to enhance services.

If you are admitted as a private patient you will need to give details of your health insurance during the admission process and will be asked to sign a health fund claim form.

Single/private rooms are allocated on a clinical basis, however if a single room is available, the patient’s request can be honoured. If you choose to be a private patient and don’t have private health insurance, you will be provided an estimate of the costs, which will need to paid before admission.

Long stay patients

Patients, both private and public, who are still in hospital after 35 days and no longer require acute hospital care may be assessed to see if they qualify as a Nursing Home Type Patient (NHTP).

If you qualify as a Nursing Home Type Patient (NHTP), you will be charged a set accommodation fee. If this applies to you or your relatives, ask the administration office or social worker about the fees that will apply.

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Discharge from hospital

Discharge planning

Discharge planning commences early in your admission process to ensure the return to your home environment is well organised.

Your Estimated Day of Discharge (EDD) should be identified to you and your family on the day you are admitted. Therefore your plans need to be made accordingly for around this date.

On the day that we plan to discharge you from hospital we will aim to achieve this by 10.00am. While this will not always be possible, you should plan to have your transport home available for a morning discharge.

If this is not possible then you may be transferred to the transit lounge on the day of discharge while you wait for your transport’s arrival.

When applicable, home care for patients can be organised for those patients who require assistance after discharge.

Please discuss any concerns you may have with the staff looking after you. Please remember to collect private x-rays and medications that you brought into hospital.

If you are unsure of your current discharge medications or any other details regarding your discharge please ask the nursing / medical or pharmacy staff prior to leaving.

Please be aware of any follow-up appointments you need to make, or that have been made for you. On your way home, you may be asked to present to the hospital transit lounge to ensure all discharge requirements have been completed.

Discharge at own risk

Except in certain cases (e.g. serious infectious disease or those who are detained under the Mental Health Act) every patient has the right to leave hospital when he/she chooses. This may be a serious step when taken against the advice of your doctor and requires great caution. Should you decide to discharge yourself against the advice of your doctor, you will be asked to sign a form disclaiming the hospital’s responsibility for your action. However, if your condition does not improve or if it causes you concern, you should not hesitate to seek further medical advice or return to the hospital’s emergency department.

There are multiple community services available and your nurse or doctor will be able to assist you to be referred to an appropriate agency if required. Please discuss your needs with a member of staff.

Patient accounts

Private patients (cash paying) and Medicare ineligible patients (overseas) are requested to finalise accounts with the Revenue Office Phone: (07) 4920 6232 / (07) 4920 6322 prior to discharge. The office operates Monday to Friday from 8.30 am to 4.30 pm and has EFTPOS facilities for savings accounts, as well as MasterCard, Visa and American Express.

Transport home

It is your responsibility to organise your transport home from hospital. If you were brought into hospital by ambulance, rescue helicopter or Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS), or were transferred to the hospital from another facility, you can only return home by ambulance/RFDS if it is medically recommended.

Please plan ahead and make private arrangements for your trip home if you are well enough to travel by car or public transport.

If you have any difficulties discuss your problem with medical or nursing staff, preferably before your admission.

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Donations, gifts and bequests

Donations and bequests can be made to specific services, departments, hospitals or to the Central Queensland Hospital and Health Service (CQ Health).

Every donation, whether large or small, is an investment in the health and wellbeing of Central Queenslanders, both now and in the future.

A bequest is a gift that is made through a person's last Will and Testament. It can be relatively small or quite large. It can either be a gift of cash, a percentage of an estate, property or shares.

For more information, visit the revenue counter at any of the CQ Health hospital or health facilities or complete the Donation Notification Form (PDF, 150KB).

Completed Donation Notification Forms can be posted to;

Revenue Office - Donations
Central Queensland Hospital and Health Service
PO Box 871
Rockhampton QLD 4700

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Emergency Departments

When presenting to the Emergency Department, all patients are reviewed by the Triage Nurse who will assess the urgency for medical attention and assign the appropriate triage category.

Patients are seen in order of urgency not arrival time. Mode of arrival (ambulance or private vehicle) does not have an impact of the triage category applied.

Following triage, patients may be asked to present to administrative staff to complete relevant paperwork and will then be seen by a doctor for treatment.

If you are a friend or relative coming to visit a patient in the Emergency Department, you should present to reception staff who will assist you.

In terms of violence towards the staff, Queensland Health takes the ZERO tolerance stance. Physical and verbal abuse towards staff is unacceptable and will not be tolerated. It is a criminal offence and security/police will be called if necessary. Remember - the staff are here to help.

To avoid delays to yourself and other patients in more urgent need, consider phoning 13 HEALTH (13 43 25 84) for help and advice from qualified staff. Minor illnesses or injuries may need to be treated by a general practitioner (GP) or at an after-hours medical centre.

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Enquiries

For all enquiries concerning patients (including day of operation), telephone the relevant ward. If you do not have the phone number, phone the hospital directly with the details of the ward/department that you wish to speak to and the switch staff will assist you with your call.

Visit the Contact us information web page for service and facility phone numbers.

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General patient rights

Your rights

The Australian Charter of Healthcare Rights provides information about the rights of patients in the public system. As a patient in a Queensland public hospital you have the right to:

  • Access - A right to health care. You have a fundamental right to adequate and timely care. Sometimes this may not be at the healthcare facility you first attend as not all services are necessarily available everywhere.
  • Safety - A right to safe and high quality care. If you are unsure about what is happening to you or if you think something has been missed in your care, alert your healthcare provider.
  • Respect - A right to be shown respect, dignity and consideration. You are entitled to receive care in a way that is respectful of your culture, beliefs, values and characteristics like age and gender.
  • Communication - A right to be informed about services, treatment, options and costs in a clear and open way. Healthcare providers will tell you about the care you are receiving and help you understand what is happening to you.
  • Participation - A right to be included in discussions and choices about care. You are encouraged to participate in decisions about your care.
  • Privacy - A right to privacy and confidentiality of provided information. You are able to see your records and ask for information to be corrected if it is wrong.
  • Comment - A right to comment on care and having concerns addressed. Healthcare providers want to solve problems quickly, but they need to be told about the problem first. If you have any suggestions about how services could be improved please let staff know.

For further information, please ask your nurse for a copy of the Australian Charter of Healthcare Rights brochure or visit the website: www.safetyandquality.gov.au/national-priorities/charter-of-healthcare-rights.

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Hospital procedures

Professional staff identification

All staff of Central Queensland Hospital and Health Service wear identity cards showing the Queensland Government logo, their name, photograph and position. Do not hesitate to ask the identity of anyone not wearing a card.

Interpreter service

Interpreter services are available at all Queensland Health hospitals and health centres 24 hours a day, at no charge to the patient.

They help by relaying spoken information between the patient and the medical practitioner, either:

  • on-site - physically present at the time
  • through video conference
  • over the phone.

Ask staff to arrange an interpreter for your next appointment, if needed.

National Interpreter SymbolVisit the Interpreter Services website


Cultural support worker

A cultural support officer is available to act on behalf of Indigenous patients, including arranging support care services if needed when you return home.

Ask a staff member if you require this service.

Clinical handover

During your stay in hospital important information regarding your care and condition will need to be discussed between your treating clinicians. This may occur at the bedside and is called Clinical handover.

As a patient you have the right to be involved in your care.

During clinical handover at the bedside, be sure to speak up if you have questions or concerns. Do not be afraid to tell the nurse if you feel a mistake has been made or if anything is unclear. Tell your nurse about what is culturally important to you so they better understand your needs.

If you do not wish to be involved in clinical handover please advise the nursing staff on duty and your decision will be respected.

Additionally, in a shared bay arrangement, your significant others may be present for handover regarding your own care, but may be asked to leave the bay during handover regarding other patients.

Falls

Falls can happen to anyone at any age. As we get older though, our risk of falling increases due to many different reasons. It is important for us to identify when we may be at risk of falling, and to seek assistance to stay on our feet.

When you come to hospital, the nursing staff will ask you questions to determine if you may be at risk of a fall. The nursing staff will take the necessary steps to ensure that you remain safe when on your feet.

The following tips may help you stay on your feet:

  • Press the nurse call light if you don’t feel safe
  • Take your time when changing position and sit on the bed before you stand up slowly
  • Ensure that you have appropriate fitting footwear and clothing
  • Make sure that you have your glasses on and the surrounding environment is well lit
  • Use your walking aids, if they are not in immediate reach press the nurse call light.

For more information visit the Queensland Stay On Your Feet website.

Pressure injuries

Pressure injuries (also known as bed sores or pressure ulcers) develop when skin or tissue, usually over a bony prominence, sustains an injury. This injury may be the result of pressure or a combination of pressure and friction/shear. Pressure injuries can develop in as little as a couple of hours, which is why it is important for you to take note of the following tips:

  • Change your position frequently
  • Walk around as much as possible
  • Eat well and drink lots of water
  • Ensure that you are not lying on items that may cause a pressure injury
  • If you notice an area of skin that is becoming sore, tell your doctor or nurse
  • If you have incontinence ensure that your skin is kept clean and as dry as possible.

If you are a patient in the hospital the nursing staff will ask questions to determine if you may be at risk of developing a pressure injury during your admission. If you are at risk of developing a pressure injury, you will be actively involved in preventing pressure injuries and “keeping bed sores at bay”.

Preventing Venous Thromboembolisms (VTE)

Regardless of age, we all have the potential to develop a venous thromboembolism, also known as a blood clot. There are many reasons why venous thromboembolisms occur, such as: your medical condition, any surgical procedures you may have had and prolonged bed rest or immobilisation.

The blood clots that develop often occur in our legs which is also known as Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) or sometimes they travel to our lungs becoming a Pulmonary Embolism (PE).

When you are admitted to hospital your medical officer will assess your risk of developing a venous thromboembolism. The medical officer at the end of this assessment will then determine if you require medication to reduce the risk of an embolism developing. You may also be required to wear graduated compression stockings to assist with the circulation in your legs.

The following tips are what you can do to help prevent VTE:

  • Mobilise as often as possible
  • If you are unable to mobilise often, you should move your legs and ankles to promote circulation
  • Wear your compression stockings throughout your hospital stay even when you begin to mobilise more
  • Consider the need to continue smoking
  • Drink plenty of water.

Medications and allergies

It is important your clinicians know about any medications you are taking or were taking prior to admission.

This includes medications prescribed by your own doctor or bought over the counter from a chemist or health food store, and includes any herbal or homoeopathic preparations.

We will also need to know of any allergies, sensitivities or reactions you may have.

You should bring into hospital and hand to the admitting nurse/doctor, all of your medications (including herbal, naturopathic and over-the-counter medications) which will be returned to you on discharge.

Whilst in hospital, all your medications will be administered by hospital staff to ensure appropriate dosing and to minimise the occurrence of adverse drug reactions. You are encouraged to ask the doctor for information about your condition, as well as who will be involved in your treatment and when you can expect to see them.

You will usually be seen by a pharmacist within 24 hours of your admission and then regularly throughout your stay to ensure your medications are right for you.

Before you leave, ask what medication you should be taking when at home.

Medical records and privacy

When you are treated by one of the health workers at the hospital, a record of your illness and treatment will be kept by the hospital. This will include written summaries of your visit and results from tests, x-rays and scans. All paper based information relating to your care received at the hospital is kept together in one record.

You are able to access your own medical record through the Administrative Access to Health Records mechanism set out in the Queensland Health’s Health Information Disclosure and Access Policy 2005. As a general rule, no information concerning you will be given to anyone else unless you give permission in writing. Ask your health care team for further information on how to access your medical record.

When relatives or friends telephone the hospital enquiring about your condition, only very general information is given - we respect your privacy in this regard.

You have the right to determine who should be informed by your doctor of your condition. In order to protect your privacy, medical information will not be released without your consent. Should you be unable to advise staff of this, release of information is restricted to your designated next of kin who can then communicate to other family and friends.

Following an operation, your relatives should first enquire at the ward about your condition and when you can be visited. If further information is required, a member of the nursing staff will be pleased to arrange for your relatives to speak with appropriate medical staff.

If you need a medical certificate please see the attending nurse or your doctor prior to your discharge date.

For more information visit the Health records and privacy website.

Medical rounds

You will be reviewed by a member of your medical team. The precise times of the rounds vary depending on emergent issues they are managing at the time.

If you want an opportunity to speak with the treating medical team then speak to your nurse about making arrangements for this communication to occur.

Medical team/teaching of health professionals

Your treatment and care remains our primary concern. Rockhampton Hospital is also a teaching hospital, which means staff have two other important duties:

    • To train future health workers,
    • To assist in the advancement of healthcare knowledge through research.

This is why health practitioner students and recent graduates assist with your treatment and are taught at the bedside by specialist staff.

You may be asked to discuss details of your illness and undergo examination by the students.

We believe you will appreciate the importance of this training and hope you give us full cooperation if asked to assist in the teaching process.

However, consistent with the principles of consumer partnership, your decision not to participate in the teaching process is respected.

Quality management

Central Queensland Hospital and Health Service (CQ Health) strives towards achieving a culture of continuous quality improvement.

We measure our performance through accreditation bodies to ensure standards are continuously maintained.

Staff are committed to continually improving the quality, standard and safety of the services you receive.

We are committed to meeting the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Healthcare National standards.

For more information please visit the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Healthcare website.

Ryan’s Rule - patient, family and carer escalation process

Ryan’s Rule offers patients, their family and/or carer an opportunity to escalate their concerns independently when they believe the patient in hospital is getting worse, is not doing as well as expected or who shows behaviour that is not normal for them.

Queensland Health has committed to introducing a patient, family and carer escalation process in response to Ryan Saunders’ death in hospital. Ryan was nearly three years old. His parents tried to raise concerns that he was getting worse but did not feel their concerns were acted on in time. The staff did not know Ryan as well as his mum and dad. For more information on Ryan’s Rule ask your staff member for an information brochure or follow the instructions on the posters in the wards.

Who can call: patients, families or carers.

Follow these steps to raise your concerns.

Step 1

  • Talk to a nurse or doctor about your concerns.
  • If you are not satisfied with the response.

Step 2

  • Talk to the nurse in charge of the shift.
  • If you are not satisfied with the response.

Step 3

  • Phone 13 HEALTH (13 43 25 84) or ask a nurse and they will call on your behalf.
  • Request a Ryan's Rule Clinical Review and provide the following information:
    • hospital name
    • patient's name
    • ward, bed number (if known)
    • your contact number.
  • A Ryan's Rule nurse or doctor will review the patient and assist.

If you have feedback or a complaint, please speak with the nurse in charge or ask for a Have your say form. For more information, speak with your nurse.

Transfer

Patients may require further treatment; rehabilitation or nursing home care and it may be necessary to transfer a patient to another facility.

The hospital social workers will provide information and advice to patients and their families in these cases.

This will be done in consultation with you or your relative.

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Infection prevention and management

An infection control clinical nurse consultant oversees infection control issues across Central Queensland Hospital and Health Service to ensure optimal patient outcomes are achieved and maintained through compliance with standardised policies and procedures.

We encourage all patients and visitors to wash their hands when entering and leaving the ward areas.

Sometimes due to the nature of some illnesses we are required to put protective measures in place to control the spread of infection or protect at-risk patients from illness.

Guidelines for patients

  • Please wash your hands/use hand gel before leaving your room and on return to your room
  • Wear slippers or shoes whenever you are out of bed
  • Remind people entering your room to wash their hands/use hand gel
  • Dispose of tissues immediately into rubbish bag. Do not use reusable cloth hankies
  • Tell us about any problems you notice talk to the nursing staff on the ward
  • Shower/bathe daily especially after an operation.

Wound care

  • Avoid touching wounds or wound dressings
  • Should you need to touch a wound, ensure your hands are well washed immediately before and after doing so
  • Some dressings require a protective cover while you shower; some dressings are waterproof
  • If a dressing becomes wet/or is leaking please tell the nursing staff so it can be changed if necessary.

Guidelines for visitors

  • Leave infections at home
  • Do not visit if you have an infectious illness that may be spread to others in the hospital
  • Wash your hands whilst visiting - upon entering the room, and before you leave the room and/or ward.
  • Use ward hand basins or use hand gel before and after visiting each person. (Do not use patient bathroom basins).

How to wash your hands properly - hand hygiene

  • Wash hands well using running water
  • Apply required amount of soap solution to wet hands
  • Rub solution over all surfaces of the hands for at least 10 seconds
  • Rinse the solution off with running water
  • Ensure you dry hands well after each hand wash
  • Avoid touching taps with clean hands - Turn taps off with a paper towel or elbows if lever taps are present

Hand gel

Where available, antiseptic hand gel may be used in place of hand washing when hands are visibly clean.

Isolation

Sometimes a patient will have a condition that requires isolation to prevent spread to susceptible people. Usually this means the patient will be in a private/single room. Staff may wear gloves, gowns or masks when caring for the patient. A person who is in isolation will have a coloured sign outside their room; with “Visitors report to the nurses’ station”.

Visitors should be kept to a minimum while a patient is in isolation. Visitors may be asked to wear gowns, gloves or masks when in the room. Please ensure all visitors are aware of the isolation requirements. Ask the nursing staff if further explanation is required.

All people entering an isolation room must wash their hands/ use antiseptic hand gel immediately before entering the room and immediately after leaving the room.

If visitors are visiting more than one person in the hospital, they should visit the person in isolation last.

What does the hospital do to prevent infections?

Infection control is part of everything we do! All staff members are instructed on the importance of preventing spread of infection.

Staff are required to follow standard precautions for all patients. This includes hand washing and the use of gloves, protective eye wear, masks and gowns/aprons whenever contact with blood, other body fluids or wastes is possible.

It is our policy that our equipment, instruments and facilities are cleaned and maintained according to Australian standards and government guidelines.

Why can infections still occur?

Hospitals care for many sick people and sick people’s defences against infections are often lowered. Some of the body’s normal barriers against infection (for example, the skin) are broken when patients have operations or have tubes inserted as part of their treatment. Germs that may live harmlessly on your own skin can sometimes cause infection if they contaminate your wounds. Many normally self-care activities (e.g. bathing, cleaning teeth etc) need to be performed by others for patients in a hospital. Hands are home to many germs and are a common way in which germs spread.

Please ask your nurse for further information if this is required. Brochures are available on infection prevention and management.

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Patient Travel Subsidy Scheme (PTSS)

The Patient Travel Subsidy Scheme has been put in place to help Queenslanders access specialist medical services, which are not available in their local area. The scheme offers assistance by providing a contribution towards the cost of transport and accommodation. It does not cover all the costs associated with accessing the specialist.

If the patient is travelling by public transport, they will need to cover the cost of travelling between the airport, train station or bus station and their accommodation or the health facility they will be attending. Unless the patient qualifies for a reduced patient contribution (e.g. has a Pensioner Concession Card), the patient is required to contribute the first four nights of accommodation per financial year. If they choose to stay in accommodation that costs more than $60 per person per night they will have to pay the difference. The scheme does not cover the costs of meals and any other expenses such as telephone calls etc.

The referring medical practitioner recommends the mode of travel which they believe is most appropriate given the patient’s condition. The approving hospital is guided by this recommendation. Air travel and motor vehicle travel however is approved for medical reasons only, so full details of these medical reasons are required on the application so that an informed decision can be made. If the patient requires alternative return travel to that originally arranged by the approving hospital, the request has to come from the treating specialist.

Travel and/or accommodation will only be provided for an escort if the specific medical reason where patient cannot travel to appointment without an escort e.g life threatening condition, frail or elderly patient, requiring oxygen or to provide physical care.

NOTE: The hospital reserves the right to refuse assistance under this scheme. Full details of the scheme may be obtained from the hospital’s Patient Travel Subsidy Scheme.

Patient Travel Subsidy Scheme (PTSS) contact information

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Providing feedback

The Central Queensland Hospital and Health Service (CQ Health) is committed to maintaining the best possible relationship with its patients and we encourage you to provide feedback.

Please feel free to discuss any concerns or comments, positive or negative, concerning your treatment in our care with the treating doctor or the nurse unit manager in your ward/unit. Often an issue can be resolved at the initial point of contact and we would encourage you to discuss any concerns with the nurse manager. Alternatively, the nursing staff can contact the patient liaison officer to meet with you on the ward.

When you are admitted to hospital you would have been asked if you are happy to be contacted in the future to provide feedback. This is an important way we can improve our services and if you have elected to be eligible to be contacted we sincerely thank you for assisting us in improvement initiatives.

When you are ready for discharge home you will be asked to complete a short general patient satisfaction survey which assists us to identify areas where we are doing well and also helps us identify opportunities for improvement.

For more information or to register a compliment, suggestion or complaint visit the Your Say website.

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Rockhampton Hospital shuttle bus service

Rockhampton Hospital provides a free shuttle bus service that operates regularly between the bus stop at Bolsover Street Rockhampton and the Rockhampton Hospital. Free car parking is available on the top floor of The Arcade car park (Bolsover Street, Rockhampton) for hospital shuttle bus users. The first bus leaves the hospital at 7.30 am and the final bus leaves at 4.20 pm. A timetable is available at the bus stop at the North Street entrance of the hospital and outside of The Arcade in Bolsover Street.

Rockhampton Hospital Bus Timetable (PDF, 137KB)

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Referral information

To access the specialist services you will need to obtain a named referral from your General Practitioner (GP) or Specialist. These can be addressed to the Specialist Outpatients Department of your nearest hospital providing the required service.

If a patient's condition requires an urgent referral to a particular speciality, the registrar or specialist in the relevant discipline should be contacted for further instructions. If a patient's condition deteriorates, we encourage them to contact their GP or Specialist for a revised referral. For more information please see CQ Health GP Referral Guidelines website.

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Visitor information

Visitors

Visitors are always welcome, as they are important to your recovery. To avoid inconvenience to other patients, visitors should be restricted to two per patient at any one time.

There are certain conditions that apply to visitors:

  • Intoxicating substances of any kind are prohibited.
  • Food, sweets and drinks for patients must be checked with the nurse as many patients are on special diets.
  • Visitors are requested to show consideration for the patients they are visiting, and for other patients in this hospital, by behaving in a quiet manner, and by observing any restrictions on visiting in respect to any patients. You will realise that any such restrictions are made solely for the benefit of the patient.
  • If children are visiting you they should remain with you or another supervising adult. They should not be permitted to wander the hospital or compromise the privacy or rest of other patients.

Visiting hours

Visiting hours vary from units, wards and facilities. Please contact the hospital or facility for visiting hour information.

Accommodation for relatives

The Red Cross provides emergency accommodation for relatives of Rockhampton Hospital patients at their rest rooms, located very near to the hospital. It is the intention that this accommodation be used as emergency accommodation or non-local persons who have seriously ill relatives in hospital.

Nursing staff will assist you to access these rooms.

Parking

Areas available for public parking are signed as such. The hospital and health services do not accept liability for loss or damage to vehicles of their contents.

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Ward routine

Call system

Should you require anything, do not hesitate to call on the nursing staff. The nurses’ call button is on the bedside handset.

It is only necessary to press the button once, as the call registers in the nurses’ station until it is switched off at your bed. There are different buttons located in the bedside area. Some of these buttons are for emergency use by staff. Your nurse will show you the buttons for you to use.

Children in hospital

Children miss their families, so we encourage immediate family to spend as much time as possible with their child during their stay in hospital. You can play a positive role during your child’s stay in hospital by assisting the team with various routines and by just being with your child.

Certain restrictions may be necessary in order to effectively carry out treatment. Your cooperation is appreciated in these circumstances but there are otherwise no restrictions on visiting times for parents.

Children visiting the hospital are to be under the supervision of an adult at all times. One adult member of your family is welcome to stay overnight with your child and will be provided with a stretcher bed beside your child.

Chaplains and pastoral care workers

The hospital prayer room and the chaplains’ rooms are located within the hospital. The hospital chaplains and pastoral care workers form an integral part of interdisciplinary teams that care for the patients in this hospital. In addition ministers of all denominations visit regularly. Should you wish to see your own minister, please ask the attending nurse who will notify your clergy.

Fire safety and emergency procedures

Your safety is of paramount importance to us. In case of an emergency such as fire, our staff are trained to take care of patients and visitors and may move you to a safe area. Your prompt cooperation will help ensure everyone’s safety.

Smoking is prohibited in the hospital buildings and hospital grounds.

If you see or smell smoke, please report it to nursing or other staff on the ward who will take the appropriate action.

Alarms are tested periodically, but you will be notified in these cases. Do not panic, and do not use lifts in the event of a fire.

Hairdresser

Private hairdressers may visit patients in the hospital and these arrangements can be made by a relative in liaison with an attending nurse. The patient is responsible for paying the appropriate fee to the hairdresser.

Laundry

You are requested to make your own arrangements in regard to personal laundry.

Leaving the ward area

Please tell the attending nurse before leaving the ward area of your intended location and anticipated length of absence as the nurse is directly responsible for your safety whilst in the hospital’s care.

Library - Rockhampton Hospital

The Rockhampton Hospital Volunteer Service provides a free library service and brings books to the wards several times each week. Donations of books and magazines to this service are always welcome.

Mail

Mail sent to you will be delivered each weekday to your ward. If you have mail to send ask a member of staff to assist.

Mobile phones

Mobile phones are restricted in close proximity to electromagnetic equipment. Please check with staff first before using your mobile phone, this includes taking photos. Visitors may be asked to turn off their mobile phones before entering a hospital or health facility.

Electrical appliances

As a matter of safety, mobile phone chargers are the only electrical equipment permitted to be plugged into our electrical powerpoints.

Smoking and alcohol

Tobacco smoking kills one Australian every 26 minutes and is the leading preventable cause of death and illness in Queensland.

Nicotine Replacement Therapy or alternatives are available to you (free of charge).

You are strongly advised not to leave the ward area to smoke. Leaving the ward area to smoke will be AT YOUR OWN RISK and against the advice of your treating team. Your absence from the ward may lead to you missing appointments or clinical treatment.

Hospital equipment must not be taken out of the hospital grounds.

In no event or circumstances shall Queensland Health be liable for any injury, harm or damages incurred by you choosing to exit the hospital buildings or grounds for the purposes of smoking.

For information on how to quit smoking, please ask your clinical staff for advice on treatment or phone the anonymous and confidential QUITLINE service on 131 848.

Quit smoking website

From 1 January 2015, smoking is banned at all Queensland public and private hospitals and health facilities, and for 5 metres beyond their boundaries.

These no-smoking laws apply at all times, and to all staff and patient residential areas on healthcare facility land, and include the use of all smoking products, including regular cigarettes and devices commonly known as electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes).

For more information visit the Tobacco laws in Queensland website.

The consumption of alcohol on the hospital premises is strictly prohibited.

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Last updated: 20 April 2016