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Safety & Security

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Our goal is to provide our patients with the safest possible care. Despite our commitment to providing quality, safe health care, there are still risks when spending time in hospital. They include the risk of infection, a fall or a pressure injury (bedsore). Find out how we keep you safe during your hospital stay:

Infection Prevention

The best way to help prevent infection during your stay is to wash your hands often and well. This also includes to anyone who comes to visit you including family and friends, nurses and doctors. It is ok to ask health care workers to wash their hands before providing your care. Use soap and water or alcohol-based hand rub to keep your hands clean, don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need assistance.
Always clean your hands and ask others to clean their hands:
when entering and leaving your hospital room.
before and after eating, touching food.
after using the bathroom, after sneezing, coughing or blowing your nose.

Other ways to help prevent infections during your stay:
Please do not touch or fiddle with your bandages, dressings or drips. This includes family and friends.
Do not delay telling your nurse if your intravenous lines (drip), tubes, drains or wounds become red, swollen or painful.
Always ask staff if they have cleaned their hands – this is especially important before they touch your wound or intravenous drip. Our staff will not be offended if you ask.
Ask your family, friends or carers not to visit if they are unwell.
If you are prescribed antibiotics to take home with you, it is very important to complete the course as advised.

Medication Safety

Medication is an important part of your treatment. When you come to hospital, we will ask you about the medicines you take.
Please tell us if you are using:
tablets from a pharmacist or supermarket.
liquid medicine, e.g. cough syrup.
natural therapies such as herbs and tinctures.
vitamin supplements.
medicated creams.
eye drops.

You can help ensure safe medication use by:
bringing all of your medicines to hospital with you.
keeping an up-to-date list of your medicines and showing it to our staff when you come to hospital.
letting the staff know if you have had any allergies or bad reactions to medicines in the past.
knowing the name of each of your medicines, what it is for, how it should be taken and any side effects.
asking what medicines you’re receiving along with other information – what it is for, how to take it and any side effects to look out for before you go home.
understanding which other medicines, foods or drinks to avoid when taking the medicine.

Patient Identification

You will be given an identification band when you’re admitted to hospital. Staff may refer to it as an ‘ID band’ or a ‘wrist band’. It will include your Unique Identifying Number, Name and Date of birth, and be placed on your wrist or leg.
You should:
make sure the information on the ID band is correct
check that you have a red ID band if you have any allergies
wear your ID band at all times.

Staff should check your ID band before every test or procedure and before giving you any medication. They will also ask you what your name is and other details, to make sure that the right patient is getting the right treatment every time. All our hospital staff should be wearing an identification badge. If you can’t see their badge, or you’re not sure who someone is, please ask.

Preventing Falls

Falls are the most common cause of injury in hospitals and can delay your recovery. Falling over is more likely in a hospital because you’re in an unfamiliar environment and may be physically weaker than usual.

It’s important that you, your family and staff all work together to reduce the risk of falls by:
making sure you can reach the call bell beside your bed.
using the call bell to ask for help whenever you need it.
calling for help as soon as you can. We will try to answer it immediately but if the ward is busy, it may take a few minutes before a nurse can get to you.
wearing supportive, flat, non-slip shoes or slippers.
bringing your walking frame or stick, glasses or hearing aids to hospital and keeping them close to you.
turning the light on so you can see before getting out of bed.
walking and staying active when family, friends and staff are there to help you.
listening to the advice and recommendations of staff – recovering from illness or surgery takes time, and you might need more help with walking and getting to the bathroom than you realise.

How Family and Friends can help to Prevent Falls:
If a patient is confused, family members and visitors can help by staying with them as much as possible and letting staff know how to reduce their confusion, if possible. It is also a good idea to let a staff member know when you leave so that they can check on the patient regularly.

Avoiding Pressure Injuries

A pressure injury, also known as a bedsore or ulcer, can form when you sit or lie in the same position for a long time. The risk of a pressure injury increases if you have to stay in bed, have poor circulation or you’re not eating well.

A pressure injury can look like a reddened or blistered area on the skin. Bony parts of the body like the heels, tailbone, toes and back of your head are at most risk of a pressure injury.
To help prevent a pressure injury you can:
keep moving, as much as it’s safe to do so.
change your sitting or lying position as often as you can.
look after your skin and tell a staff member if you think it looks or feels different.
eat a balanced, healthy diet.

We prepare a pressure injury management plan for every patient who will be staying overnight in hospital. Ask your nurse to explain the plan to you.

Reducing Risk of Blood Clots

Medication, surgery or being confined to bed can increase your risk of developing a blood clot in your legs or lungs. We will assess your risk of developing a blood clot, but please feel free to ask your nurse or doctor about your level of risk.
To reduce the risk of developing a clot:
take any tablets or injections that your doctor prescribes.
keep your compression stockings on, avoid sitting or lying in bed for long periods if possible.
walk as often as the staff looking after you recommend.
ask what to do to avoid the risk of a blood clot when you go home.

Between The Flags

We have improved procedures to keep you safe.  We use a coloured observation chart to monitor vital signs more closely – signs like your breathing, blood pressure and heart rate. This ensures that we treat you quickly if your condition moves outside safe boundaries. This observation and response system is called “Between the Flags”.

Helping us to keep you safe

To help keep safe in hospital you and your family should:
speak up – if you have questions or concerns or if you’ve noticed an unexpected change in your condition.
get involved – join the discussions and decision making about your care.
be aware – understand the plans for your care, any test results and other important information. If you don’t understand something, ask a staff member to explain it to you.

If you have any concerns about the quality or safety of your care, speak with the nurse or doctor looking after you. You can also talk with the nursing unit manager, the department head or the administration. An anonymous incident report can also be filed online using our website if you have experienced a near miss or incidents or any hazardous situation or noticed any practice which has the potential of causing harm of any kind.