Your stay or visit at NALHN
Going to hospital or health care service can be a difficult time for patients, their families and their friends. We are committed to patient and consumer-centred care, which is health care that is respectful of and responsive to the choices, needs and values of patients and consumers. Key principles of patient-centred approaches include:
- treating patients, consumers, carers and families with dignity and respect
- encouraging and supporting patients, consumers, carers and families to be partners in decision-making
- communicating and sharing information with patients, consumers, carers and families
- working with patients, consumers, carers, families and health professionals to develop programs and policies, and in health service design, delivery and evaluation
- being mindful of factors that can influence how consumers and patients experience health services.
For further information regarding the factors that contribute to positive patient, consumer and visitor experience, please relevant information below:
Aboriginal health support
Aboriginal Health Practitioners and Aboriginal Hospital Liaison Officers with the NALHN provide cultural, social and emotional support to Aboriginal families living in Adelaide’s north and north-eastern suburbs.
If you want to speak with a liaison officer about your health care, please speak to your medical team or contact your hospital switchboard.
Advance care directives
An Advance Care Directive (ACD) is a legally binding document that expresses your future wishes or directions for health care and personal matters. The ACD applies if you are unable to make your own decisions in the future and it can appoint one or more substitute decision-makers to make decisions for you.
You can write an ACD at any stage of life. To write an ACD, you must be 18 years or older, it must be your choice and you must know what an ACD is, know what it will be used for, and know when it will be used.
The Advance Care Directives Act 2013 came into effect from 1 July 2014. If you have already completed an Enduring Power of Guardianship, a Medical Power of Attorney or an Anticipatory Direction, these documents remain legally effective after 1 July 2014. If you have any of these documents, please provide a certified copy to staff to be stored with your medical record.
For more information, go to the Advance care planning website.
Aggressive and abusive behaviour, drugs and weapons
Patients, carers, volunteers and staff all want health services to be delivered and received without personal threat or risk. Violence or abusive behaviour is not tolerated at any NALHN site. Any incidents of aggression, abuse or violence should immediately be reported to a staff member for further action. Your report will be kept confidential.
Public hospitals will take action to protect staff, patients and visitors against such behaviour and measures taken may include eviction or detention for prosecution under the Health Care Act 2008.
Similarly, possessing, using, providing or dealing in prohibited substances and weapons is not tolerated at any SA Health site, including public hospitals, and will be dealt with under applicable laws.
NALHN is an accredited White Ribbon Workplace and is committed to support individuals and families affected by domestic and family violence. A staff member will ask, assess and respond to you and your family needs.
Consent to medical treatment
You have the right to make an informed choice about the health and medical care and treatment you want, or do not want. This is known as “consent to medical treatment”.
As a public Medicare patient, you generally do not have to pay for your treatment or your stay in hospital. If you elect to be treated as a private patient at NALHN you will receive an explanation of the out-of-pocket costs that may be incurred prior to treatment.
You can find out more information on the consent to medical treatment and financial consent at NALHN page.
Confidentiality, privacy and access to personal information
Public hospitals collect, use and store confidential information about patients and their illnesses for administrative purposes and so they can be provided with appropriate care and treatment.
SA Health has adopted a Code of Fair Information Practice to ensure that all public hospitals and health units comply with a set of privacy principles. The principles regulate the way personal health information is collected, used, disclosed, stored and transferred.
Your information may be shared with members of your health care team, including your general practitioner, and service providers including pathologists, radiologists, allied health professionals and pharmacists.
To identify ways we can improve the care and for educational purposes, we sometimes give, hospital staff, training medical officers, health or medical researchers, and committees access to medical records. You are assured that all staff are bound by strict confidentiality and no information to identify you or your treatment is kept for any purpose other than your health care.
You have the right to access information kept about you by SA Health, either personally or through another person you nominate. If you wish to access your personal health records, please ask to speak with a Freedom of Information Officer at the network.
More information about confidentiality is in the booklet Your Rights and Responsibilities, which is available in 16 languages.
Emergency management and security
All hospital emergency responses comply with Australian Standards. In the event of a fire or emergency, please remain calm and you and your visitors should stay by your bed, staff will let you know what is happening. Your visitors should stay with you. Follow directions from staff, the Emergency Response Team or emergency services personnel if present.
The Security Officers provide security for patients, visitors, staff and NALHN infrastructure. You can contact them through the ward staff, hospital switchboard or reception desk.
NALHN engages an external service provider for interpreters for a range of languages, including sign language. If you need an interpreter to help you to understand what is being said so you can make an informed decision, please ask staff to arrange an interpreter for you. More information about interpreter services is in the booklet Your Rights and Responsibilities.
Involvement in your care, medicines and pain management
You are an important member of your health care team, along with your nurses/midwives, doctors and allied health professionals. It is vital that you share information about your health with the other members of your health care team, especially if you notice any changes in your condition. Make sure you tell your health care team if you have any questions or concerns, so everyone can help decide on a shared plan that is best for your wellbeing.
You may be prescribed medicines as part of your treatment. Understanding more about medicines will help us work with you to provide you with safe health care.
Good pain control is important and can help you feel more comfortable and maybe even get well faster.
Find out more information about being involved in your care, medicines and pain management at NALHN.
Open disclosure is the open discussion of adverse events that result in harm to a patient while receiving health care with the patient, their family and carers.
You can read more about Open disclosure on the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care Open disclosure consumer resources page. Information is available in easy English and 25 language translations.
Organ and tissue donation
SA Health supports organ and tissue donation. In South Australia, organ and tissue programs are coordinated by Donate Life. For more information visit the Donate Life website or speak with your nurse caring for you or your relative.
Palliative care support
Palliative care aims to provide relief from suffering and promote comfort for people diagnosed with an advanced life limiting illness, where cure is no longer possible. The focus is on maximising living by supporting the physical, psychological, social and spiritual needs of the patient, and their family and friends.
The Northern Adelaide Palliative Service (NAPS) aims to provide people living or receiving care in the Northern Adelaide Local Health Network (NALHN), regardless of disease, age and location, with consistent and reliable access to culturally appropriate best quality Palliative Care.
Northern Adelaide Palliative Service (NAPS) supports patients and their families/carers in a number of settings:
- Home visits including Residential Care facilities;
- Outpatient clinics;
- Modbury Hospital Inpatient Palliative Care Unit;
- Lyell McEwin Hospital Consult service
- Bereavement support.
For more information
If you require further information or support, please contact NALHN on the following phone numbers:
- Inpatient: 08 8161 2525
- Community: 08 8161 2499
If you have found or lost property whilst at a NALHN site, please approach the reception or security office and discuss with the staff who will assist you in completing the necessary documentation.
Preventing a fall, preventing pressure injuries, and preventing and managing infections
Find out more information on preventing falls, preventing pressure injuries, and preventing and managing infections at NALHN.
The training of future health professionals is a task that the staff of NALHN take very seriously. We ask that you consider helping us by accepting students as part of your health care team. However, should you prefer not to participate in such teachings at any time, please advise our staff. We shall respect your wishes.
All NALHN sites are smoke-free environments and there are no designated area for smoking. This also includes electronic cigarettes.
If you are a smoker, please ensure your healthcare team, including your anaesthetist, are aware. Support is also available at all public hospitals in South Australia to help you manage nicotine withdrawal while you are in hospital, including nicotine replacement therapy. Please discuss this with your treating doctor.
Our smoke-free policy protects staff, patients and visitors from second-hand smoke. Information, assistance and counselling to help you to quit smoking are available. Please speak with a member of staff or call the Quitline on 13 78 48.
Spirituality is something we all have and for each person, it is personal and individual. It can include caring for one another, love, hope, strength, connection to country, meaning and purpose. Our Spiritual Care team is available to sit and offer deep reflective listening about what is important to you and who you are.
If you have a faith tradition or religious belief, we can arrange, upon request, support from that tradition.
Feel free to ask any staff member to request a visit from the hospital Spiritual Care Team or direction to the Place of prayer.
Statements of rights for mental health consumers
There are statements of rights for mental health consumers on Community Treatment Orders and Inpatient Treatment Orders. These statements provide information about mental health treatment orders, mental health care and summarises the rights and responsibilities of consumers of mental health services.