Patient Rights and Responsibilities

Patients of Northern Beaches Hospital are requested to:

  • Provide, to the best of your knowledge, accurate information about your current medical problems, previous illnesses, medications, visits to hospital, allergies and other matters relating to your state of health, in order to help our staff care for you
  • Ask staff for a clear explanation of treatments, tests and medications recommended for your care and let them know immediately if you do not understand instructions or advice given to you
  • Discuss any worries or concerns with a relevant member of staff
  • Inform staff if you intend to leave the ward or hospital grounds
  • Be courteous and considerate to other patients and to hospital staff - aggressive or violent behaviour towards staff, other patients or visitors will not be tolerated
  • Observe the No Smoking rule of the hospital - do not smoke on hospital grounds
  • Ask your relatives and friends to visit in small groups, preferably no more than three people at a time
  • Inform partners that overnight stays for visitors is not permitted except if the patient is terminally ill, a minor, non-English speaking, suffering from dementia, the partner of a private maternity patient, or otherwise at the discretion of the hospital
  • Keep the volume of radio and television sets to a minimum
  • Ensure children are supervised at all times
  • Avoid the use of mobile phones and if necessary, keep on ‘silent’ mode.

Patients have the right to:

  • Considerate and respectful care, regardless of your beliefs and ethnic, cultural and religious practices
  • Know the name of the doctor who has primary responsibility for coordinating your care, and the identity and functions of others who are involved in providing care
  • Seek a second opinion and to refuse the presence of any healthcare workers who are not directly involved in the provision of your care
  • Receive information from your doctor in non-technical language, regarding your illness, its likely course, the expected treatment, and the plans for discharge from the hospital and for follow-up care
  • Receive from your doctor a description of any proposed treatment; the risks, the various acceptable alternative methods of treatment, including the risks and advantages of each and the consequences of receiving no treatment before giving consent to treatment. Also, unless the law prohibits, you may refuse a recommended treatment, test or procedure and you may leave the hospital against the advice of your doctor, at your own risk, after completion of hospital discharge forms
  • Participate in decisions affecting your healthcare
  • Participate in bedside clinical handover
  • Be informed of the estimated costs charged by the hospital (private patients only)
  • Refuse participation in any medical study or treatment considered experimental in nature (you will not be involved in such a study without your understanding and permission)
  • Confidentiality and privacy. Details concerning your medical care, including examinations, consultations and treatment are confidential. No information or records pertaining to your care will be released without your permission, or the permission of your representative unless the release is required or authorised by law or necessary to enable another healthcare worker to assist with your care
  • Not to be restrained, except as authorised by their doctor or in an emergency when necessary to protect them or others from injury
  • Retain and use their personal clothing and possessions as space permits, unless to do so would present a safety issue, impinge on the rights of other patients or be medically contra-indicated
  • Expect safety where practices and environment are concerned
  • Privacy for visits during established patient visiting hours
  • Make a comment or complaint about the treatment or the quality of the health services or care without fear that they will be discriminated against
  • Have their dietary and other special needs considered.

Patients have the responsibility to:

  • Provide accurate and complete information about present clinical complaints, past illnesses, hospitalisations, medications and other matter relating to their health
  • Report unexpected changes in their condition to the responsible practitioner
  • Report if they do not comprehend a contemplated course of action or what is expected of them
  • Follow the treatment plan recommended by the practitioner primarily responsible for their care. This may include following instructions of nurses and allied health personnel as they carry out the coordinated plan of care and implement the responsible practitioner’s orders
  • Keep appointments and, when unable to do so for any reason, to notify the responsible practitioner or the healthcare facility
  • Provide information concerning their ability to pay for services (private or Medicare ineligible patients only)
  • Accept the consequences of their actions if they refuse treatment or do not follow the practitioner’s instructions
  • Be considerate of the rights of other patients and hospital personnel and provide assistance in the control of noise, smoking and numbers of visitors
  • Be respectful of the property of other people and of the hospital
  • Behave in a lawful manner and contribute to a safe and comfortable environment
  • Respect the privacy of other patients. Any disclosure, whether accidental, de-identified, deliberate, or otherwise, of another patient’s presence and / or treatment in hospital, without the express permission of that patient, is prohibited.

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