During your visit

Your patient rights

As a patient, you have the right to:

  • understand the information and explanations given to you. It’s OK to ask questions!
  • be listened to.
  • informed consent. You decide what treatment you receive, and you should be given all the necessary information to make your decision. A caregiver or person with power of attorney may need to give consent for children under 16 years old or people who are not able to make decisions for themselves. In emergency situations treatment may be given without your consent.
  • change your mind at any time.
  • privacy for yourself and your information. If a medical professional wants to share your information, he or she must tell you why.
  • know the expected costs of your treatment.
  • a second opinion. If you are unsure about any aspect of your diagnosis or treatment, tell your doctor you would like a second opinion and ask for the name of another doctor. You can do this for any reason.
  • see your medical records. Ask your GP clinic if you would like a copy. A doctor can sometimes refuse to release some parts of your record – if this is the case, he or she must tell you why.
  • be treated with respect for your culture, values, and beliefs.
  • have another person present for support. This may be a member of your whānau or a friend. You can also ask for a nurse or other professional to be present during physical examinations.

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:

  • Respect: The right to be treated with respect
  • Fair treatment: The right to freedom from discrimination, coercion, harassment, and exploitation
  • Dignity and independence: The right to dignity and independence
  • Proper standards: The right to services of an appropriate standard
  • Communication: The right to effective communication
  • Information: The right to be fully informed
  • It’s your decision: The right to make an informed choice and give informed consent
  • Support: The right to support
  • Teaching and research: Rights in respect of teaching or research
  • Complaints: The right to complain

Tips:

  • You should know what to expect. Your health care team will discuss with you your diagnosis, options available, the pros and cons of those options and what matters to you
  • With our assistance and support you can make decisions about your health and plan of care
  • Don’t hesitate to ask for more information or to question anything you don’t understand
  • We encourage you to bring a family member or friend you want to be involved in your care

Pamphlets explaining your rights when using our services are available in all wards and departments.

Health and Disability Commission

For more information please refer to the Health and Disability Commission (HDC). HDC can be contacted on:

0800 11 22 23
hdc@hdc.org.nz

Health and Disability Advocates

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.

0800 555 050
advocacy@advocacy.org.nz

Documents

 

Te mana tangata – Respect and privacy

  • You should be treated with respect (mana), including respect for your personal privacy.
  • Services should consider your cultural, religious, social and ethical needs, values and beliefs.

 

Te tōkeke – Fair treatment.

  • No one should discriminate against you, pressure you into something you do not want, or take advantage of you in any way.

Te tu rangatira – Dignity and independence

  • Services should support you to live a dignified, independent life.

Nga paerewa tōtika – Proper standards

  • You have the right to be treated with care and skill, and to receive services that reflect your needs. All those involved in your care should work together for you

Te whitiwhiti kōrero – Communication

  • You have the right to be listened to, and informed in a way you can understand, and receive information in whatever way you need. When it is necessary and practicable, an interpreter should be available.

Ngā pārongo – Information

You have the right:

  • To have your condition explained and the benefits and risks of treatment options.
  • To know the name, position and role of any staff involved in your care.
  • To take part in decisions about your care and treatment.

Nau te whakaaetanga – It’s your decision

  • It’s up to you to decide. You can say no or change your mind at any time.
  • You should receive a service only when you have made an informed choice and given your informed consent.
  • In circumstances where services have to be delivered without your consent, they should be in your best interests. Steps should be taken to discover whether services would be consistent with your wishes, including discussing the matter with available family/whānau and close friends.
  • You may make a decision in advance, in accordance with common law.
  • You may transfer to another provider as long as it is practicable to do so.
  • You can make decisions about body parts or body substances.

Te tautāwhi – Support

  • You have the right to have someone with you to give you support in most circumstances

Ngā kōamuamu – Complaints

Complaints from consumers provide us with an opportunity to continually assess and improve our service.

Learning from complaints

Your personal and medical information

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).

While you are in Hospital, we ask that you please:

  • Be open and honest about your health so we can work together to plan your care
  • Don’t smoke or drink alcohol or use illicit drugs
  • Always wear your identification bracelet
  • Do not leave the ward without checking with a nurse.
  • Follow staff instructions in the case of an emergency
  • Don’t use cell phones within one metre of any medical equipment or anywhere in CCU- if in doubt ask
  • Prepare for medical procedures accordingly to the instructions given to you. If in doubt, ring the dept. or ask to speak to a member of staff
  • Respect the rights of other patients and staff
  • Tell us if your expectations are not being met to your satisfaction or if you are unsure about any aspects of your care
  • Tell us if you have cultural or spiritual needs that are not being met
  • You need to be fully informed and consent to any treatment. In some instances, staff will ask you to agree in writing by signing a consent form. Before you give consent, you should feel confident that you have been given sufficient information and understand to make the right choice. Please ask if you want more information or have any concerns

Te Tauaki Takohanga Statement of Responsibilities

We ask all people who access West Coast DHB services to:

  • Be sensitive to the needs of others. This includes respect for their culture, values, beliefs, and personal privacy
  • Be involved in your treatment and care wherever possible
  • Inform appropriate staff if you no longer require or wish to continue with treatment (e.g. surgery, clinic appointments, medication). If your decision is against medical advice, staff will ask you to sign a statement releasing West Coast DHB and its staff from any responsibility.
  • Inform us if your rights are not being considered
  • Allow a third person to be present during examinations and interviews if West Coast DHB staff request. This is for professional and ethical standards
  • Treat facilities and equipment with care and help make the environment pleasant, healthy and safe environment
  • Look after loan/hired equipment, and return when you no longer need it

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.

 

Your identification, personal information, privacy and confidentiality

Your health information

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.

Collection of Health Information

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.

Know your privacy rights

If your personal information has changed

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.

Managing your information

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:               

  • Do not want even general information about your condition shared with your family or friends (Note: We cannot always follow your wishes, but we will take your views into account when a decision is made)
  • Want to know why certain information is needed
  • Are uneasy about providing certain information

Security of your information

Your information will be stored securely, and only authorised staff can access your information.

Access to 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 asking for your details

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.

Identification bracelet

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.

Displaying your name

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.

Private conversations

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.

No recording and videoing of staff

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.

Social media

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.

Your choice about being involved in teaching and research

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 in some areas

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.

How we look after you when you stay in a hospital

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:

  • Bedside boards: A board beside your bed is regularly updated to show your needs (e.g. any assistance needed with moving, hearing or sight aids, or special diet). There is space on the board for you or your family to write any questions you want answered.
  • Bedside handover: At the beginning and end of each shift, nurses will discuss important updates with you and hand over ongoing tasks to the next shift.
  • Rounding: Nurses checking in on you regularly to make sure you have everything you need (e.g. call bell and drink within reach, help to the toilet).
  • Ward rounds: Members of your health care team visit each bed and give you an opportunity to ask questions.

Relatives and friends can telephone the ‘Enquiries’ phone number at the respective hospital who can then transfer the call. 

To call now, simply select your desired facility via links provided below, which will take you straight to the section with the ‘Patient enquiries’ phone number.

Patient enquiries

  1. Grey Base Hospital
  2. Buller Health
  3. Reefton

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.

Grey Base Hospital meal times

Breakfast 7.30am – 8am
Lunch 11.30am – 12 noon
Dinner 4.30pm – 5pm

Grey Base Hospital cafeteria

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.

Smokefree DHB

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.

Further support

Take steps now to prepare for your hospital stay:

  • Speak to your doctor or nurse

Find community support options by visiting stopsmokingwestcoast.co.nz

 

Keep safe from infections while you are in hospital

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:

  • Please wash and clean your hands thoroughly and regularly:
    • Clean your hands with the alcohol hand rub or wash your hands with soap and water every time you enter and leave a ward or clinic.
    • Wash your hands with soap and water and dry thoroughly after visiting the toilet.
    • Feel free to use the alcohol hand rub found in the ward – this is good at killing germs, does not cure everything. Please try to wash your hands regularly using soap and water.
    • Health care staff caring for you must wash their hands before touching you. We encourage you to ask them “Have you washed your hands?” before they care for you.
    • For more information about hand hygiene and how to clean your hands, visit the He​althInfo website and search for ‘Hand Hygiene’.​​
    • Hand hygene pdf
  • Bring your own toiletries – Please do not borrow or share with other patients.
  • Prevent an infection after surgery – Read the patient information leaflet.
  • If we suspect you have an infection, or you are transferred from another DHB, we might care for you in isolation. There are special precautions to take – the nursing staff will talk to you about these and will discuss the importance of good hand hygiene.

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.

 

Protect yourself from falling

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:

  • Use the call bell to get help with getting up and walking until your feet feel confident to manage alone
  • Wear well fitted non-slip footwear and your prescription glasses when you are out of bed
  • Use your walking stick or mobility aid.
  • Take extra care in the bathroom – ask for help if necessary
  • Do not walk on wet slippery floors
  • If staff recommends that you need help or supervision, please use your call bell or alert staff before getting out of bed or standing up from a chair, because some medications can make you feel dizzy or unsteady
  • Keep your things (and your call bell) where you can easily reach them so you don’t have to lean over or reach far
  • Keep the area around your bed clutter-free
  • Ask the staff to change the height of your bed or chair if you are having to stretch or stoop to get on and off, and make sure your bed or chair brakes are on
  • If you have a bedrail in place, please call the nurses to lower the bedrail before getting out of bed. Do not try to get around the bedrail
  • Ask staff to help you carry things until you feel completely stable on your feet
  • If you have a catheter bag, make sure it is fitted securely to your leg and is not likely to drop on the floor and trip you up
  • Ensure your pyjama bottoms are securely tied and are not likely to fall down causing you trip

Pressure injuries (bedsores)

If you lie or sit in the same position for too long, you can quickly develop pressure ulcers or bedsores.

  • Try to keep mobile. Change your position regularly if you are in a bed or a chair
  • We are happy to help you change position, and can provide a special mattress or cushion for support if needed
  • Tell us if any part of your body (head to heels) that is touching another surface is feeling uncomfortable, or if your clothes or bedding are damp

Your skin matters pdf

Blood clots

You can also develop blood clots from lying or sitting in the same position too long.

  • Try to keep mobile even when in bed or a chair by doing simple leg and ankle exercises
  • Wear your hospital stockings if advised
  • Drink plenty of water unless you are told not to

Keeping active

We encourage you to be up and dressed as soon as you can, and to wear comfortable clothing during the day.

Calling for help

If you need assistance, please use the call button on your hand-held controller

Your comfort

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: 25 October 2018

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