Partners in Safety
Patients who speak up often get well faster and remain safer in hospital.
We aim to look after you and keep you safe during your stay. We will work with you to develop a plan of care.
Please tell us about your health, what matters to you and feel free to ask questions. Our goal is to provide our patients with the safest possible care.
Helping us to keep you safe
To help keep safe in hospital you and your family should:
- speak up – if you have questions or concerns or if you've noticed an unexpected change in your condition
- get involved – join the discussions and decision making about your care
- be aware – understand the plans for your care, any test results and other important information. If you don't understand something, ask a staff member to explain it to you.
If you have any concerns about the quality or safety of your care, speak with the nurse or doctor looking after you. You can also talk with the nursing unit manager, the department head or the patient liaison officer.
Handing over patient information
Patients in hospital receive care from nursing, medical and allied health staff. They need up-to-date information about your condition and treatment. ‘Clinical handover’ involves the sharing of information between staff involved in your care, e.g. from shift to shift. You can expect that staff will update you and involve you in handover information on a regular basis so that you know what is going on and your needs are met.
- Your identification helps us give you the right care.
- Always wear an identification band on your wrist or leg.
- Make sure the information on this is correct.
- Staff members will check your identification before giving you medication or before you have any tests or procedures.
- Ask who your nurse is for each shift.
- All staff should wear an identification badge.
- If you are not sure who someone is, please ask.
- Hand hygiene is the single most effective measure to prevent the spread of infection. Please wash your hands using either soap and water or alcohol based hand rub after visiting the toilet and prior to eating. Please encourage your visitors to do the same.
- Do not hesitate to ask our staff if they have cleaned their hands before and after being in contact with you.
- Ask any visitors who may be unwell with colds or stomach upsets to refrain from visiting.
- Please do not hesitate to bring any housekeeping issues to the attention of your staff.
- Do not hesitate to speak to our staff, if you are concerned about a wound.
- If you are prescribed antibiotics, please remember to take the full course, even if you are feeling well.
Changes in your health condition
Our staff are trained in noticing changes in your health but you can help by letting staff know:
- If you do not feel well.
- If you think your condition has changed.
- If you think that something has been missed. Your nurse may contact your doctor on your behalf.
Medication is an important part of your treatment.
- The pharmacist will ask you which medicines you take at home (either prescribed by your doctor or from the pharmacy or health store).
- Let us know if you have allergies or reactions to any medicines.
- Inform the pharmacist of any concession details and if you have reached your safety net limit.
- Before going home, ask your pharmacist for written information about your medicines.
Falls are the most common cause of injury in hospital and can delay your recovery. Falling over is more likely in hospital because you're in an unfamiliar environment and may be physically weaker than usual.
It's important that you, your family and staff all work together to reduce the risk of falls.
- Make sure you can reach your call bell.
- Press your call bell for help when needed.
- Turn the light on so you can see clearly.
- Always wear supportive, flat, non-slip shoes. If you require supervision or assistance to walk you may be given a pair of non-slip socks.
- If you use a frame/walking stick, bring it in.
- Bring in your glasses or hearing aid from home.
- If you need to get out of bed, make sure your bed is no higher than knee height.
- Make sure you know where the toilet is.
- Staff will talk to you about sitting out of bed, walking and exercising. This is also important for assisting your recovery.
Eating well in hospital is important. It can help you recover from illness more quickly allowing you to go home sooner.
Preventing pressure injuries
Pressure injuries are areas of localised damage to the skin and underlying tissue, caused by pressure, shearing or friction. This type of damage can also be known as: pressure sores, bedsores, decubitus or decubitus ulcers. Pressure injuries develop when blood flow to the skin is decreased for a prolonged period of time.
Remember pressure injuries are preventable.
To help prevent a pressure injury you can:
- Keep moving! Change your sitting and lying position as much as possible.
- Keep weight off bony parts of your body e.g. heels, tail bone.
- Don’t lie on a sore if you already have one.
- Keep skin clean and moisturise skin to prevent flaking. Let staff know if you need help.
- Eat a healthy balanced diet (including fruit and vegetables).
- Talk to a member of your treating team if you notice any areas of your skin showing changes or areas you are concerned about.
We prepare a pressure injury management plan for every patient who will be staying overnight in hospital. Ask your nurse to explain the plan to you.
Reducing the risk of blood clots
Medication, surgery or being confined to bed can increase your risk of developing a blood clot in your legs or lungs. We will assess your risk of developing a blood clot, but please feel free to ask your nurse or doctor about your level of risk.
To reduce the risk of developing a clot:
- take any tablets or injections that your doctor prescribes
- keep your compression stockings on avoid sitting or lying in bed for long periods if possible
- walk as often as the staff looking after you recommend
- ask what to do to avoid the risk of a blood clot when you go home.