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Patient and visitor information

Admission to hospital

Our hospitals have single and shared rooms which accommodate both public and private patients. Rooms are allocated on clinical need. Very ill or infectious patients always have priority to single rooms. Your bed allocation may change during your stay.

Sunshine Coast Hospital and Health Service - ERAS program

The Enhanced Recovery After Surgery (ERAS) program is currently being trialled in Nambour General Hospital for colorectal patients.

Enhanced Recovery After Surgery pathways aim to reduce surgical stress and rates of morbidity, encouraging a faster recovery and shorter length of stay in hospital for patients.

This video is part of an information package provided to patients to help guide them through their surgical journey at Nambour General Hospital.

You can view the video here: Enhanced Recovery After Surgery.

Meals

The hospitals provide a choice of meals and will supply special diets where this is part of your medical care or cultural or religious needs. Select your meals by filling in your menu order form each day. If you are having an operation, you may not be able to eat or drink for several hours prior to the procedure. Nursing staff will speak with you about this in your pre-admission appointment. Each of our hospitals has a café and/or vending machines for refreshments for visitors.

Television and radio

Televisions are mounted at each bed for personal viewing in most wards at Nambour, Maleny and Caloundra Hospitals. These offer normal television/radio channels. Charges apply. Televisions are available in ward lounge rooms at Gympie Hospital. Radios and tape recorders may only be used when fitted with earphones. All electrical equipment should be recently checked by a qualified electrician and issued with a safety tag or certificate before bringing such equipment into the hospital. No responsibility will be taken by the hospital against damage or loss of any electrical equipment.

Medicines

Medical and nursing staff should be made aware of any regular medications you are taking. Please bring these with you to the ward, along with dosage information.

Rights and responsibilities

Everyone who is seeking or receiving care in the Australian health system has certain rights regarding the nature of that care. These are described in the Australian Charter of Healthcare Rights. The rights included in the Charter relate to access, safety, respect, communication, participation, privacy and comment.

The Australian Charter of Healthcare Rights is available to everyone in the healthcare system. It allows patients, consumers, families, carers and providers to share an understanding of the rights of people receiving health care. Patients, consumers, healthcare providers and health service organisations all have an important part to play in achieving healthcare rights and contributing to a safe and high quality healthcare system.

A genuine partnership between patients, consumers and healthcare providers is important so that everyone achieves the best possible outcomes. Healthcare providers are aware that in some circumstances, your ability to interact with the healthcare system may be restricted. Where possible they will alert family or support services about your circumstances if they consider that you need assistance.

For more details on your rights and responsibilities, please refer to the Australian Charter of Healthcare Rights.

Personal belongings

While our staff take every care, the Sunshine Coast Hospital and Health Service takes no responsibility for any loss or damage to items belonging to patients or their families or visitors. Please do not bring large amounts of money, jewellery, televisions or other valuables into hospital.

If you are admitted unexpectedly, you will be required to make arrangements with your family, friends or carer for the safekeeping of any valuables you may have with you at the time. There is limited capacity for the hospital to store patient valuables and property. In exceptional circumstances the hospital may provide temporary secure storage of valuables. Please notify nursing staff if you require this service.

Smoking

For the health of staff, patients and visitors, smoking is prohibited within the grounds of and inside all facilities of the Sunshine Coast Hospital and Health Service, including buildings and motor vehicles. If you are a patient coming into hospital and you smoke, your smoking will be assessed and you will be offered nicotine replacement therapy (nicotine patches or gum) to help you not smoke during your hospital stay. The patches and gum will reduce any withdrawal symptoms such as cravings, irritability and anxiety.

Interpreters

The nursing staff will arrange interpreter services on request as clinical need arises. If you or your relatives have difficulty understanding English, please ask for assistance.

Discharge

Our aim is to discharge you home as soon as you are well enough to leave hospital. We will start planning for your discharge either at the pre-admission clinic or soon after you are admitted to hospital. You may need to arrange for family or friends to help you with things such as transport, cleaning, meal preparation or shopping during your recovery period. If you need wound care or other technical help, we will explain what is available for you and can help arrange services.

Your hospital health care team will tell you what you can and cannot do when you go home (e.g. bathing, exercise, diet). If you are unsure or have any questions, do not hesitate to ask about this well before you leave. If you have any problems after you leave the hospital, you should contact your GP. You can also contact the hospital, or come to the emergency department.

You may need to arrange private transport home. Staff can help you arrange private transport. Ambulance transport will be arranged for you only if your treating team thinks it is necessary. On the day of discharge, if you have to wait, the front foyer of the hospital in the seating provided.

There are parking bays located close to the hospital. There is also a short term (pick up and drop off) rank at the front of the hospital, where you can be collected. You can order taxis at each of our hospitals, and for information on public transport (see Transport, Parking and Maps).

Before leaving the hospital, check that you have the following:

       Discharge letter      

       Your medicines and they've been explained to you 

       You know who to contact if you have any questions or concerns

       And if needed you know when your next appointment is

       Ensure you also have all of your personal belongings 

      Walking aids (which are available on loan from hospital on payment of a deposit)

For private patients, walking aids and other equipment are not supplied by the hospital. The physiotherapist or your family will need to make arrangements to hire appliances or aids from a private supplier.

About Discharge from Hospital

Planning your discharge from hospital is an important part of your recovery process. The aim of planning your discharge is to achieve your release from hospital as soon as you are well enough. Your active involvement in achieving this aim will be through your:

  • participation in decisions about your health care
  • acceptance of responsibility for your behaviour and the decisions made
  • arranging transport home (preferably by 10am), with a relative or friend
  • supplying the name and contact details of your GP
  • authorising the release of discharge information to your GP by signing the Discharge Summary prior to leaving.

Medical and nursing staff will work with you, a relative or friend, and community services to plan the most appropriate support for you after discharge. Your participation in this decision making it vital to achieve the best possible outcome for you and your family.

Day of Discharge

Before you leave hospital, you should ensure you receive the following from your doctor or nurse:

  • any follow-up outpatient appointment details
  • discharge medications as prescribed
  • details of arrangements for community support services including any appointments made by you
  • any equipment or aids required to assist you in managing at home.

Staff can assist in organising taxi transport as required, however costs for such services are incurred by you.

Ambulance Transport

Ambulance transport can be arranged for patients being discharged if there are medical reasons that they cannot travel any other way. Ambulance  transport waiting time depends on the number of emergencies the Queensland Ambulance Service (QAS) is responding to.

Discharge at Own Risk

Patients usually have the right to leave the hospital when they choose. When you indicate your intention to leave against medical advice, the nurse or doctor will discuss the implications of your decision with you.  Should you remain firm on your decision to leave, we will request you sign a form to indicate that you take responsibility for your decision and action.

Recovery

Your recovery and ongoing management of chronic health conditions will benefit from regular physical activity and healthy eating.  Recommendations for your recovery will be discussed with you by the doctor and/or nurse.

Travel Assistance

Queensland’s Patients’ Travel Subsidy Scheme gives financial help to patients who need specialist medical and dental services not offered within their local area. The scheme can provide a subsidy for eligible patients towards the cost of travel and accommodation for patients, and in some cases, their escorts.

If you require assistance to organise training and/or accommodation please talk to our staff.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Liaison Officers

An Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Liaison Officer is available, upon request, for any patient who wishes to utilise this service. The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Liaison Officer is a support person specifically for people who identify themselves as from Aboriginal, Torres Strait or Australian South Sea Islander origin. If you would like access to this service, please ask the nurse in charge of your ward. Find out more about the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health services offered.

Volunteers

Our hospital patients, staff and visitors appreciate the dedicated efforts of our volunteers. They help with a wide variety of support services and wear identification badges.

Media

Staff from the Sunshine Coast Hospital and Health Service Communications Team may approach you on behalf of the media to answer questions about how you came to be in hospital and your current condition. Your privacy and health is our primary concern. A general condition report using standard terms (good, stable, serious or critical) is the only information given in response to a media call. Patients will be asked for their written consent before any further media activity takes place. Find out more about patients and the media.

Pastoral care

The hospital is non-denominational. Ministers of any denomination are at liberty to visit to provide spiritual support, help or guidance during your stay. Authorised pastoral care associates and church volunteers visit regularly. A minister of your church will be asked to visit you only if you so request.


Last updated: 13 September 2012