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Keeping you safe during your stay

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 steps:

  1. Talk to your Nurse, Doctor or Midwife regarding your concerns. 
  2. If you are still concerned, 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 and carers can follow these steps at any time if you feel any medical condition has changed, or if the patient is showing unusual behaviour.

Charter of Health Care rights 

The Mater Private Hospital Townsville  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.

We are committed to making information, services and venues as accessible as possible.  For more information on our '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.

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

You will be required to 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 do not know who you are - they are taking precautions to ensure you are the correct patient to receive the medication or treatment.

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 for 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 who are caring for you.

Should you have any further enquiries, please do not 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 that 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 name of your scheduled operation/procedure. These questions are asked again 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 the type of surgery/procedure to be performed.

During your admission, it may be necessary to move you to a single room for infection control reasons, which may be referred to as isolation. This may be undertaken if staff suspect, or confirm, that you have an infection or virus. The team responsible for your care will explain the reason for the single room and the precautions that will be taken in in your care.

In order to protect you, our staff and visitors, we ask that you comply with the following procedures to help 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 (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 will provide you with information leaflets on specific infections.

What we expect from you:

  • Please stay in your room unless otherwise instructed to by staff.
  • Refrain from visiting other patients .
  • 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.
  • 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 fee alone. Please let the nursing staff know if you have any concerns or require anything further 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 if you have recently been unwell, or have just recovered from diarrhoea and/or vomiting within the previous 48 hours.
  • Wash your hands on entering and leaving your relative's / friend's 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 the patient has, as to what protection you will be required to wear).
  • On leaving the room you must remove your gown /apron, gloves and face masks (if approprate) inside the room and place in the yellow clinical waste bin by the door (These are single-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.
  • Visitors are asked not to bring in any home-cooked food or that which has been purchased from outside food facilities.

How can we stop the infection spreading?

Hospital patients 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, 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 occur in people who have other medical problems, those who are unwell, and the elderly population. People 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 chance 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 a procedure, if you 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 with caution - as you may feel dizzy or unsteady on your feet, or even faint or fall. 

Before attempting to stand upright, we recommend that 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.

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 may 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. Staff may also carry out a Falls Risk Assessment  and will discuss a plan that will suit your needs. This may involve seeing a range of Allied Health Practitioners such as a Physiotherapist or 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 one hour if you are in a chair. If you cannot move easily yourself, please ask for assistance.
  • Staff may use special equipment such air mattresses and heel elevators to help relieve the pressure.
  • Inspect your skin for early warnings of redness that persists, broken or blistered skin, or numbness. If you cannot see all of 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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