Patient Info

Admission

Useful information to have when being admitted as a planned admission includes the following:

  • Health Insurance details, including the level of cover for those with private health insurance
  • Pension details and/or health care cards
  • Name and contact details for next of kin or other contact.

Please note that Central Gippsland Health Service can bill your fund direct for the bed fee. Ask for details when admitted.

Private health insurance

Central Gippsland Health Services is primarily a public hospital, open to all people throughout the local catchment area.

However there is an opportunity for patients to choose, if they wish, to come in as a privately insured patient. Being a private patient can benefit your local hospital, as it lowers the costs to the health service.

The benefits you can gain include priority when put on the waiting list for elective procedures and the ability to choose your own doctor. Private patients have first priority on private rooms, but only after clinical considerations are taken into account. Please note, it is important to check your level of cover prior to admission.

Preadmission clinic

The Pre-admission clinic is run to facilitate day of surgery admissions. It is an opportunity to discuss your needs and plan admission before you attend hospital.

Nursing and medical assessment is conducted with documentation completed at the pre-admission clinic. Patient education is provided regarding the surgery to be performed. Contact the Health Service on 5143 8600 for details.

Discharge information

At admission or pre-admission, nursing staff will discuss discharge needs.

Generally discharge time is between 10 am and 11 am. Where possible you will be given ample notice of discharge and it is preferable that patients are accompanied home by a relative or friend.

There is a discharge co-ordinator available to support patients and their families with any discharge needs. The co-ordinator visits patients in hospital to help plan discharge and link patients, before they leave hospital, with appropriate support services if required.

Visiting hours

Sale: Visiting hours for the general wards are from 9am until 12.30pm, and from 2.30pm until 8pm. Rest time is between 12.30 pm and 2.30 pm.

Obstetrics visiting hours are during the afternoon, although partners are allowed in throughout the day.

Maffra: Visiting hours are from 9am until 12.30pm, and from 2.30pm until 8pm. Rest time is between 12.30 pm and 2.30 pm.

Heyfield: Visiting hours are generally from 9am until 7pm. Arrangements outside these hours can be negotiated.

Smoking

Central Gippsland Health Service is a leader in health promotion and acute and community care premises are totally smoke free, with smoking not permitted in buildings or on the grounds.

Nicotine replacement therapy is provided for patients while in hospital and staff are supported as required.

Aged care facilities, which are the homes for a range of individuals, will continue to have designated smoking areas made available.

Complaints and compliments

Effective complaints management is fundamental to the provision of quality health care services. As part of a quality and risk obligation, Central Gippsland Health Service is committed to manage complaints in a timely and appropriate manner, review its complaint data, identify systemic and recurring problems and to develop strategies to improve clinical practice and the delivery of health care services across the organisation.

A complaint is an expression of dissatisfaction or concerns about a health care service made by consumers, their carers or others. All complaints and concerns are included whether they are formal written complaints, a concern expressed during discussion with a health professional or views expressed as part of a consumer feedback survey

Informal Complaints are verbal expressions of dissatisfaction which can be dealt with promptly and to the complainant’s satisfaction at the point of service.

Formal Complaints include all written complaints and any verbal complaints which cannot be dealt with as informal complaints.

Consumers may express their concerns, compliments or complaints in a number of ways:

  • Talk with the relevant staff at a Unit/Program/Department level
  • Complete a Complaints Registration Form
  • Write a letter of complaint to the health service
  • Contact the Aged Care Complaints Resolution Scheme
  • Contact the Health Services Ombudsman Victoria

Privacy Complaints can be made by contacting the Contact CGHS Privacy Officer 51438640, contacting the Office of the Health Services Commissioner 1800 13 60 66, or the Privacy Commissioner 1300 666 444.

Any health service consumer may lodge a complaint. A relative, friend or other person may lodge a complaint provided that, where possible, they have the service user’s permission.

Central Gippsland Health Service also welcomes any compliments to staff or the service generally as these are rewarding to individuals and the whole of the staff and management group, while also assisting in continuous improvement activities.

Your Safety as a Patient

Central Gippsland Health Service is committed to ensuring your safety while you are in our organisation.

We know that if patients are involved in their care whilst in hospital, they tend to do better and stay safer. By working together as part of the health care team, you can lower your risk of injury and make your stay in hospital as safe as possible.

The following is some information about how you can make your stay a safe and comfortable experience.

Ask questions

  • If you need an interpreter when English is not your primary language, please get one of your relatives to let a staff member know.
  • If you are deaf or hearing impaired, please let staff know.
  • If you think of something when your doctor or nurse is not with you, write it down so that you can ask them later.

Getting the most from your treatment

  • Ask your doctor and nurse about your plan of care. Make sure that you understand and agree with that plan.
  • Ask a family friend or relative to listen with you when treatment, care plans, test results and discharge plans are explained to you. This will help you remember things later on.
  • Be informed about your treatment. Ask when treatment will be given and what they are for. If you don't understand a treatment, have someone explain it again.
  • If equipment is used for your care, have someone explain it to you first, show you how it works and how it should sound if there are alarms.
  • Question anything that seems different from what you were told.

Identify yourself!

  • When you come into hospital, you will have an identification band on your wrist. You need to wear it at all times. If it comes off, you need to ask for a new one.
  • Check the information on your armband to make sure that your name and other important information is correct.
  • Make sure that all staff check your armband before any procedure or test.

Help stop the spread of germs

  • Hand washing is the best way to prevent the spread of germs.
  • Practice good personal hygiene and let a nurse know if your linen or gown needs to be changed.
  • Staff will welcome a reminder to wash their hands or wear gloves before they carry out treatment.
  • Ask friends or relatives who have colds or other contagious illnesses not to visit you in hospital.
  • Get vaccinated, if it is recommended. 'Flu and pneumonia vaccines can help prevent illnesses in older people and those who have low immunity.

Get the most from your medicines

  • Ask your nurse or pharmacist about your medicines - what they are, what they look like, what they do, when they are to be taken and what side effects they may have.
  • If you do not recognise a medicine, check that it is for you before taking it.
  • Let your doctor or nurse know if you have any allergies or sensitivities to any medicines, foods or rubber products.
  • Tell you doctor or nurse about all medicines you are taking including vitamins, herbal remedies and any other over the counter medicines.
  • Do not take medicines that you brought from home unless you are told to do so by your doctor or nurse.

How to prevent a fall

  • Ask for help if you want to get out of bed especially at night. The hospital is an unfamiliar place and most falls happen when patients try to get out of bed on their own to go to the bathroom.
  • Make sure that your call bell on your bed works and you know how to use it.
  • Let your nurse know if you can't reach it or can't use it.
  • Call for help before the need to go to the bathroom gets really urgent.
  • Make sure that the light is on, at night, if you want to use the bathroom or move around your room. Keep your glasses within reach.
  • Make sure that any furniture or equipment is moved out of the path to the door.
  • Wear slippers with rubber soles to prevent slipping.
  • Tell staff if there are any fluid spills or obstructions that might trip you.
  • Make sure that the brakes are locked on your bed and any chairs, including shower chairs and wheel chairs before you get into them.
  • Make sure children are supervised in play areas and around raised equipment like cots.

Be alert to the risk of pressure injury

  • A pressure injury (bed sore) can affect even healthy younger patients.
  • Remaining still and in one place for too long can cause pressure to areas such as your heels and buttocks.
  • Play the 'Bed Callisthenics' game! There is a set of bed based exercises that your nurse or physiotherapist can show you which will help reduce the pressure.
  • Get up and move around as quickly as possible, if it is recommended, after your surgery. This will also assist the prevention of blood clots.
  • For those patients who are going to be in bed for a while, we have special wedge pillows for your heels. Ask your nurse for those, even if you are on a trolley in the Emergency Department or going to X-ray.
  • Make sure you know what pressure-relieving devices are going to be used in theatre.

Personal Items

  • Pay close attention to where you place your dentures, hearing aids, eye glasses and other personal items (if you have them). These are very important to your comfort and well-being.
  • Small amounts of cash are advised if you wish to purchase newspapers and other items from the kiosk. Never keep large sums of money in your bedside locker.

Prepare yourself for going home

  • Make sure that you understand discharge instructions including your medicines and any information about follow-up appointments with your doctor. Ask for a telephone number for the ward in case you have questions when you get home. You also need to be aware of the right time to seek medical treatment if you have any concerns about your health.
  • In some cases, you will be called by one of the nursing staff when you go home to ensure that things are going according to plan. They will discuss with you the best time to call before you leave the ward.

Continue safe practices at home

  • Talk to your doctor and pharmacist. Ask questions and write down what they say.
  • There is a Shared Care Plan booklet available which can help you keep track of medicines, appointments and other important information.
  • You can get equipment for the home if you need it. Contact the Occupational Therapy department before you go home or ask one of the nursing staff to assist.
  • Keep a telephone near your bed at home in case you need help.
  • Never smoke in bed.
  • Look for things in your home that might affect you walking safely about your home: do not use extension cords, be careful with mats and rugs especially on polished floors and shift light furniture clear of pathways to the bathroom.

 There is some other information available. Ask staff in your ward or treatment area.

Freedom of Information

Requests for documents in the possession of Central Gippsland Health Service are directed to the Freedom of Information Manager, and all requests are processed in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act 1982.

A fee is levied for this service based on the time involved in retrieving and copying the requested documents.

Central Gippsland Health Service nominated officers under the Freedom of Information Act are:

Principal Officer: DR Frank Evans, Chief Executive Officer

Freedom of Information Manager: Ms Heather Rowell, (Health Information Administrator)

Call the Health Service on 5143 8600 for details on how to make a Freedom of Information application.