As a patient, you have the right to:
Every person who uses health and disability services has rights. WCDHB and our people who provide health and disability services have duties. These rights and duties are clearly set out in the Code of Health and Disability Services Consumers’ Rights (1996).
In summary, your rights under this code are:
Pamphlets explaining your rights when using our services are available in all wards and departments.
For more information please refer to the Health and Disability Commission (HDC). HDC can be contacted on:
This free service is independent of West Coast DHB. The service provides information on your rights, helps resolve issues with your healthcare, and promotes organisational change on issues that hinder appropriate care.
You have the right:
Complaints from consumers provide us with an opportunity to continually assess and improve our service.
Health services keep a record of your health conditions and treatments. They are required to keep this information confidential.
You can request a copy of your medical records. Ask your doctor or nurse to arrange for you to see your medical record. If you have left the hospital, contact the Health Information Officer. If any part of your notes is withheld, you will be advised why and how you may appeal the decision.
Parents may ask to see the notes of their children under 16 years of age.
If you disagree with anything written about you in your records, you have the right to request for it to be removed or corrected. If your request is declined, you will be told why. You may appeal by writing to the Privacy Commissioner, PO Box 466, Auckland.
West Coast DHB encompasses the principles of Te Tiriti o Waitangi and treats Māori people and people of all cultures with respect. We expect our staff to respect and observe tikanga (values and beliefs).
We ask all people who access West Coast DHB services to:
We will explain treatments, procedures, and their likely effects. Your consent in writing is needed for operations, anaesthetics and certain procedures.
It is important that you understand any treatments and procedures and we encourage you and your family to ask our staff if you have questions.
Members of our Māori Health team can assist you in Te Reo Māori, or with any cultural matters. Interpreters are available for people who have hearing loss or do not speak English as a first language.
To provide you with appropriate care and treatment, we may need to share information with or obtain information from people such as your family, caregivers, or general practitioner (GP).
The Health Information Privacy Code 1994 sets out what our obligations are with respect to your health information and also what your rights are. More information about this can be found in our Privacy Statement and at the Office of the Privacy Commissioner website.
Health information is collected for your care and treatment. Usually, it will be collected directly from you, but if this is not possible/practical it may be collected from another person and then checked with you as soon as possible.
It is important the information we hold about you is accurate and up-to-date to provide a safe standard of care during your stay in hospital. Please let us know if any of your personal details change or are incorrect (e.g. address, mobile phone, next of kin), or if there is any additional information that may help us understand your situation.
It is normal practice to give necessary and relevant information about you to your GP, the health care professional who referred you, your community nurse, or other healthcare professionals involved in your ongoing care.
In most cases we require your consent before we share information about you with somebody else. However, in certain circumstances we may, in accordance with the law, provide information about you to others, such as government agencies (e.g. ACC, the Police, and Oranga Tamariki) or your family/caregivers/whānau that you live with if we think it is necessary for your care and treatment, for your safety or the safety of others.
We may also provide your information to the Ministry of Health and other government agencies that require us to provide information or administrative, legal, contractual, statistical, research or public health purposes. Your information is kept confidential and you will not be identified in any way. Canterbury DHB’s Your Rights pamphlet [link] provides more information.
Please tell the staff caring for you if you:
Your information will be stored securely, and only authorised staff can access your information.
You have the right to see the information West Coast DHB holds about you and the information contained in your health record.
You may request a copy of your record from the Patient Records Office at Grey Base Hospital in Greymouth. You will need formal identification such as a driver licence or passport.
Staff may ask your name, date of birth and your address many times during your visit. This makes sure we give the right medication, treatment or procedure to the right person.
If we give you an identification bracelet please keep it on at all times. If your bracelet is removed for any reason, please tell your nurse immediately.
If you are admitted we usually display your name above your bed and outside your room. Staff will ask you about this when you arrive in the ward. Please tell us if this may cause problems and we will make other arrangements.
You may be in a room with other people. Please tell us if you would like us to take you to another room to discuss your health in private.
Please do not record or video any conversations or procedures with staff, unless staff give you their consent to do so. Please be mindful in making any recording that you may be capturing the personal information of other people who have not consented to the recording and therefore you may be breaching their privacy in making and keeping any recording.
Please do not post photographs of patients and staff on social media. This includes photos of any area with people in it, such as wards, waiting rooms, corridors, and cafe areas.
There are health professionals training in our hospitals. You have the right to refuse permission for these students to be involved in your care or have access to your medical records. If you refuse, this does not affect the care you receive in any way.
CCTV cameras are operating in some areas of Canterbury DHB, such as the entrance and reception areas of our facilities, the Emergency Department and public areas. This is to keep patients and staff safe. We may provide video footage to the Police to support crime prevention and investigate incidents.
Our approach is “team-based care”. Your health care team will discuss with you your diagnosis, options available, plan of care and if possible the date we hope to get you home. We want you involved in discussions and decisions about your care. It is important to ask any questions and if there is anything you don’t understand or are not happy with, please ask for more information until things are clear.
You may experience the following during your stay:
Relatives and friends can telephone the “Patient enquiries” phone number at the hospital or health facility. Staff will transfer the call to the correct patient or department.
Select the facility you wish to call from the links below to find the correct phone number.
Our food is locally sourced and prepared on-site. After you arrive at hospital, staff will assess your dietary needs. All our meals are nutritionally approved and can be modified to cater for specific dietary needs.
Staff will ask you each day about your choice of food for the following day. Nurses can arrange for our dietician to visit you to give nutritional advice. Some wards have facilities to make your own drinks.
Please check with your nurse before eating food brought by visitors.
|Breakfast||7.30am – 8am|
|Lunch||11.30am – 12 noon|
|Dinner||4.30pm – 5pm|
The hospital cafeteria is on the ground floor. It is open at the following times:
|Weekdays||6.30am – 4pm|
|Weekends||8.30am – 3pm|
|Light Breakfast||7.30am – 8.30am|
|Lunch (selection)||11.30am – 1.15pm|
|Dinner||Talk to staff before 4pm to arrange|
Our security measures and hospital rules protect all patients and staff. Staff are trained to take appropriate action in an emergency situation or security alert.
Please tell a nurse if you have any concerns about your personal safety
Anyone being verbally or physically abusive to staff, patients or visitors will be removed from the hospital by staff or police.
Our staff are fully trained in safety procedures necessary to cope with emergency situations. In an emergency, stay by your bed until a staff member tells you what to do. Our staff will advise you of any fire drills or alarm testing during your stay.
Do not smoke, vape, drink alcohol, or take illegal drugs while at West Coast DHB facilities.
West Coast DHB promotes good health and maintains a healthy environment for our patients, staff and visitors.
You must not smoke or vape anywhere inside our buildings or on our grounds. We know this can be a challenge, and our experienced health staff are available to help you to stop smoking.
Staff ask all patients if they smoke and offer options to help you be smokefree during your stay. If you do not want to stop smoking, we can provide clean nicotine products such as patches, lozenges or gum.
Staying smokefree when you leave hospital is one of the best things you can do for your own general health and wellbeing.
Take steps now to prepare for your hospital stay:
Find community support options by visiting stopsmokingwestcoast.co.nz
If you are ill, injured, have a wound drain or other tube or device placed in your body, you have more risk of getting an infection.
Infections can lead to a longer stay in hospital or worse. Infections are not fussy about who spreads them, so we all need to be careful.
Here are some simple things you can do to prevent infections:
Infection prevention is taken very seriously.
It is ok to ask – If you have any worries or concerns during your time in hospital, please speak to the nurse looking after you or the nurse in charge.
Falling hurts, and it often causes injuries. Injuries from falls can make people stay in hospital longer or need to move to aged residential care.
To stay safe from falls, patients can:
If you lie or sit in the same position for too long, you can quickly develop pressure ulcers or bedsores.
You can also develop blood clots from lying or sitting in the same position too long.
We encourage you to be up and dressed as soon as you can, and to wear comfortable clothing during the day.
If you need assistance, please use the call button on your hand-held controller
You can turn your reading light on and off using your hand-held controller.
Please tell your nurse if you feel hot or cold, or need more blankets
Please tell your nurse if you are uncomfortable or in pain. Managing pain is important for care and recovery.
Page last updated: 23 November 2018
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