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Keeping You Safe in Hospital

Here at Mater our dedicated staff are committed to keeping you safe during your stay.

If you are concerned about a patient's medical condition while they are in the hospital please follow these three easy steps:

  1. Talk to your nurse, doctor or midwife regarding your concerns. 
  2. If you are still concerned, then ask to speak to the Unit Manager or Team Leader in charge of the shift. 
  3. The final step is to contact the Hospital Co-ordinator (available 24 hours) on (07) 4727 4562 (inpatient ext 4562) who will review and assist the patient. 

Patients, families or carers can follow these three steps at any time if you feel any medical conditioned has changed or if the patient is showing unusual behaviour.

Charter of Health Care Rights 

The Mater Charter of Health Care Rights addresses your rights and responsibilities.  It outlines the process to follow if you, or a family member, wish to raise concerns about your care or immediate safety.

Mater is committed to making it's information, services and venues as accessible as possible.  For more information on the Mater's 'MAccess TEarly Response' for patient safety please click here.

It also provides details to enable you to contact the Quality and Safety Manager or provide feedback.

Mater Patient Charter complies with the National Safety and quality Health Service Standard 2—Partnering with Consumers.

You will wear an identification band which will state your name, date of birth unique hospital identification number and other relevant information. At various times staff will check the details on this band and ask you to tell them information such as your name and date of birth. This is not because they don’t know who you are - they are taking precautions to ensure you are the correct patient to receive the medication or treatment.

The staff are taking these steps to ensure that everything goes as planned for your procedure.

You will be asked to acknowledge your understanding of, and give your informed consent to, tests, therapies or other procedures required for your care. If you have any questions or concerns about your treatment or your consent, please speak to the doctors and nurses caring for you.

Should you have any further enquiries, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Before you are transferred to the operating theatre your doctor may need to make a mark, with a pen on the part of your body which requires surgery.

It is important that this mark does not rub off. It is essential for the doctor and nursing staff to see the mark before your surgery commences. If for any reason the mark is removed, please advise the staff as soon as possible.

When you arrive in the operating theatre, the nurse will ask you to state your name, date of birth and the type of operation you are having. This is done to ensure that your surgery is performed correctly.

Just prior to the commencement of your surgery, the surgical team will undertake a ‘Final Team Check’ to verify your identification and procedure you are to undergo.

During your admission it may be necessary to move you to a single room for Infection Control reasons (often referred to as isolation). This is undertaken as part of a number of infection prevention measures, as you are either known to have an infection or virus suspected to have. The team responsible for your care will explain to you the reason for the single room and precautions that we need to take. In order to protect you, visitors and staff we ask that you comply with the following simple procedures to help us prevent the spread of infection.

What to expect from us

  • You will be given clear information
  • We will place a STOP sign on your door
  • Staff will wash their hands on entering and leaving your room
  • When undertaking clinical care staff will wear gloves, aprons /gowns and in some cases a face mask may be required (PPE)
  • The rubbish bag will be yellow in colour (this is the standard colour coding to meet waste regulations )
  • We will remove all used linen promptly from your room
  • Your room will have ensuite facilities
  • We will adapt your care to your personal circumstances for example; physio, occupational therapy
  • We have a number of leaflets on specific infections, if you would like a copy of any leaflets please ask.

What we expect from you

  • Please stay in your room unless otherwise instructed to do so by staff
  • Refrain from visiting other patients on the ward or in the next room
  • Ensure that you clean your hands before eating and after using the toilet. If you are unable to reach the sink please ask a member of the nursing staff to provide hand washing materials
  • We encourage visitors not to bring in any food cooked at home or from other outside food facilities, snacks, cold chips, biscuits etc are acceptable
  • Try to keep personal articles to a minimum, so that table tops and locker tops are uncluttered and easy to keep clean. We understand that being nursed in isolation can make you feel alone, please let the nursing staff know if you have any concerns or require anything else. We will try to make your stay as comfortable as possible.

What we expect from your visitors 

Please share this information with your family and friends.

  • Do not visit the hospital at all if you have recently been unwell or have just recovered from diarrhoea and vomiting within the previous 48 hrs
  • Wash your hands on entering and leaving your relative/ friends room
  • Be guided by the nursing staff as to what personal protective equipment you need to wear (PPE) on entering the isolation room. (It will depend on what infection your relative has as to what protection you will be required to wear).
  • On leaving the room you must remove your gown /apron and gloves and if appropriate face masks inside the room and place in the yellow clinical waste bin by the door (These are once use only items)
  • Do not walk around the corridors with aprons / gowns on at any time
  • Do not sit or lie on the beds
  • Visitors are also advised not to visit other patients in other parts of the hospital/wards.

How can we stop it spreading?

People in hospital are more at risk of infection because their body defence mechanisms are weakened by illness, surgery, medications and procedures. Hand washing is the single most effective method of preventing the spread of any bacteria. It is particularly important to wash hands thoroughly before eating, drinking, or preparing food and after using the toilet. It is also important that antibiotics are prescribed only when needed so as to reduce resistance developing in the bacteria.

Are some people more at risk than others?

Hospitalised patients appear to have the greatest risk of acquiring this infection. Most infections have occurred in people who have other medical problems who are unwell and in the elderly population. Those who have been taking antibiotics or who have previously been in hospital are mainly affected.

As a result of your admission to hospital you may be at increased risk of developing a blood clot in your legs or lungs.

As part of your care your doctor will assess you on admission to determine your level of risk and if necessary implement treatment options to reduce the risk of developing a clot.

These treatment options may include:

  • Wearing compression stockings;
  • Using a compression pump on your lower legs;
  • Taking tablets or injections to help prevent blood clots;
  • Gently exercising your feet or legs in bed;
  • Getting out of bed and walking as soon as possible.

Some of these treatments are not suitable for all patients. Your doctor will decide the correct treatment option for you.

Patients are required to wear appropriately fitting, non-slip footwear to reduce the likelihood of falls or injuries. We suggest you bring shoes that can stretch in case of swollen feet. Walking barefoot, or in scuffs, socks or stockings is not recommended.

If you have recently had surgery or other procedures, have a medical condition that affects your balance or your ability to walk, or you have been lying flat in bed for several hours, it is advisable that you get out of bed cautiously. You may feel dizzy and unsteady on your feet or even faint or fall. We recommend that before attempting to stand upright, you sit on the side of your bed for a few minutes. If you are still light headed, or lacking in confidence to proceed, please call your nurse.

For a number of reasons, people of all ages are at increased risk of falling whilst in hospital. These reasons include unfamiliar surroundings, poor balance, poor eyesight, unsafe footwear, their medical/surgical condition and some medications.

While only a small number of these falls cause serious injury, they often result in a loss of confidence which can interfere with independence and prolong the time spent in hospital.

Everyone has a role to play in helping reduce the risk of falls, while in hospital.

On your admission, staff will show you around the ward to ensure you are familiar with your surroundings. You may also have a Falls Risk Assessment completed which staff will discuss with you and put in place a plan that suits your needs. This may involve seeing a range of Allied Health Practitioners eg physiotherapist, dietitian to provide you with information and support.

Please ensure you have appropriate clothing and footwear when you come into hospital. Footwear should fit securely; have a flat or low heel and a non-slip grip.

Many patients are fitted with anti-embolism stockings while in hospital. These stockings increase the risk of slipping or falling when walking. It is therefore important to wear slippers or other footwear if you are using these stockings.

To reduce the risk of developing a pressure injuries:

  • Ensure good posture when sitting in a chair. Change your body position frequently if lying in bed for a prolonged time. At least every 1-2 hours if you are in bed, or every 15 minutes to 1 hour if you are in a chair. If you cannot move easily yourself, ask for assistance.
  • Staff may use special equipment like air mattresses and heel elevators, to help relieve the pressure.
  • Inspect your skin for early warnings of redness that does not go away, broken or blistered skin, or numbness. If you cannot see all your body ask a nurse, a family member or a friend to check regularly for you.
  • Use moisturising lotion to prevent your skin drying out. Avoid vigorous massage or rubbing of the skin, as this can damage the underlying tissue.
  • Keep your skin clean and dry at all times. If you use a continence device to control your bowel or bladder, it is important that you change it regularly to keep the skin clean and dry to reduce skin irritation from any urine or faeces.


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