Rights and responsibilities
We are committed to respecting the rights and responsibilities of our patients, families and staff.
Your family’s rights
The Sydney Children's Hospitals Network (SCHN) is committed to supporting the rights of everyone – this includes patients, their families, visitors and staff.
Understanding the rights of children and young people (our patients), their families and carers is vital to ensuring SCHN has a safe and professional hospital environment.
These rights apply to all people in all places where health care is provided in Australia. These charters provide a framework to help empower children and young people, and their families and carers to understand what they can expect from the staff caring for them.
Our hospitals are a safe place for everyone
To help us all partner together in caring for children, SCHN expects that everyone - staff, families, patients and visitors act respectfully
- treating others with care, consideration, courtesy and respect
- being sensitive to the needs of others
- behaving in a manner that is not (and would not be viewed by others as) aggressive or offensive
- taking care of personal property and respecting hospital property.
To ensure the safety of SCHN patients, families, visitors and staff we ask everyone to
- refrain from physical or verbal abuse of patients, families, visitors or staff. Physical and verbally abusive behaviour will not be tolerated. If necessary, hospital security will be called, and you may be asked to leave the unit or hospital if this affects others or care of patients.
- wear footwear in the Hospitals at all times
- respect the Hospital’s policies on smoking and alcohol use.
Health care services are available to everyone regardless of gender, marital status, disability, culture, religious beliefs, sexual orientation, age or income. Patients have a right to access health services based on a medical assessment and the urgency of their need for treatment.
Please tell us if your family have special needs or need an interpreter.
Patients and their families are entitled to safe, high quality health care. SCHN can improve the safety and quality of care by partnering with our patients, their families, and carers.More information on partnering with consumers can be found on the National Safety and Quality Health Service Standards (NSQHSS) website.
Patients, families and visitors have a right to be treated with courtesy, dignity and respect while receiving our services, regardless of gender, marital status, disability, culture, religious beliefs, sexual orientation, age or income. SCHN in turn asks patients and families to show respect towards our staff, volunteers, other patients, families and visitors.
Health care workers will explain the patient’s condition, the recommended treatment, as well as the risks and the alternatives in a way that you can understand.
SCHN want patients, their families and carers to be partners in their care. Please ask questions and let us know if we need to explain things further.
Give us as much information as possible about your health, including any allergies, medical conditions, or disabilities. We want you to be involved in the decision making related to health care decisions and include the people you want involved in planning and decision making.
SCHN wants patients and families to receive clear information about the patient’s health condition and be informed about the possible benefits and risks of tests and treatments, so informed consent may be given.
Patients and families have the right to:
- receive information about services, waiting times and costs
- be given assistance - when needed - to help understand and use health information
- access their health information
- be told if something has gone wrong during health care, be told how it happened, how it may affect them and what is being done to make care safe.
Patients’ information will be kept in a confidential and secure manner.Patients and their families are entitled to request access to health information that is held in NSW Health services. Patients and families may be asked to apply for access in writing and provide identification. They may be charged a fee.
SCHN may share patient’s health information with other health care workers who are involved in their care. This ensures good care co-ordination and gives children and young people the best possible care.
If you would like more information see the Your Child’s Health Information, Privacy and Access brochure.
Guidelines for interacting with staff
SCHN acknowledges that patients and families often form meaningful and close relationships with the staff caring for them. However, the Code of Conduct requires that staff must maintain professional boundaries at all times. This includes not providing patients and families with any personal details including phone numbers, mobile numbers, email addresses or connecting via social media and social networking sites.
It's important that all patients and families understand their healthcare journey, regardless of what language they speak. Patients and families can access an interpreter free of charge. Interpreter services, including Australian Sign Language (Auslan) can be provided in-person or by phone and are available seven days a week.
Patients and families can ask staff to arrange an interpreter for them. Translated copies of the Australian Charter of Healthcare Rights are also available on NAQHSS website.
Health Care Interpreter Service (HCIS)
The Health Care Interpreter Service is the specialist health interpreter service, a unit of Western Sydney Area Health Service. It provides face-to-face interpreting for the Hospital. It also trains Hospital staff to work with interpreters and remains the first point of contact for staff enquiries about interpreting.
- For a HCIS interpreter, telephone 9840 3456. The service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS)
The Translating and Interpreting Service is a national service, a unit of the Commonwealth Department of Immigration. The Hospital does not use TIS for on-site interpreting.
- For a TIS interpreter, telephone 131 450. The service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Auslan Interpreter Services
Australian sign language (Auslan) interpreters for the deaf community are available through the NSW Health Care Interpreting Services (HCIS).
Community language resources
Download a 'Rights and Responsibilities brochure' in a community language.
- Download Rights and Responsibilities in Arabic
- Download Rights and Responsibilities in Chinese
- Download Rights and Responsibilities in Persian
- Download Rights and Responsibilities in Thai
- Download Rights and Responsibilities in Urdu
- Download Rights and Responsibilities in Vietnamese
- Download Rights and Responsibilities in all languages
A number of our fact sheets have been translated into community languages.
SCHN encourages feedback from patients, families, carers and visitors. SCHN can make quality improvements from complaints and prevent other families having unsafe or poor experiences.
Have your say by
- Talking to their child’s nurse, doctor or staff member they trust. Or to the Nursing Unit Manager who is in charge of the ward, or the Head of the Department
- Completing a Patient Experience survey
- Using the suggestion boxes located on each ward
- Using the webform
- Raising their concerns with the Patient Friend
- Contacting the Research Governance Office SCHN-Governance@health.nsw.gov.au for feedback related to research
- The NSW Ombudsman can assist with complaints about service providers. Telephone: 9286 1000
- The Health Care Complaints Commission (HCCC) is an independent body that deals with complaints about health services, providers and health workers.