Your safety in hospital

Close up image showing a doctor washing their hands with various medical instruments in the back and foreground

Safety programs

Your safety is our priority. The hospital has a number of programs in place to assist in maintaining your safety during your stay.

Our strategies include:

  • Preventing falls.
  • Reducing the risk of developing a blood clot.
  • Preventing pressure injury.
  • Reducing the risk of infection.
  • Confirming correct patient identity prior to any care delivery.
  • Preventing malnutrition.
  • Managing delirium (acute and chronic).

You can also download our Patient Information Book or ask your nurse for more details about your safety in hospital.

Infection prevention and control

Hospital staff try very hard to limit the spread of micro-organisms and germs, which can cause infection. This is achieved through:

  • Hand hygiene before and after contact with patients.
  • Protective clothing, such as plastic aprons, gowns, masks, gloves and eye protection.
  • Isolation, when necessary.

Patients can also help by keeping mobile devices and other personal items clean, practising good hand hygiene, and being careful not to bump, touch, or wet your intravenous cannula (IV), if you have one.

For more detailed information about infection prevention and control at St Stephen’s Hospital, download our Patient Information Book.

Pressure injury

A pressure injury is also known as a pressure ulcer, pressure sore or bed sore. Whenever you lie or sit down in the same position for a period of time, pressure is applied to different parts of your body. Any object that has continuous contact with your skin has potential to cause a pressure injury.

A pressure injury may look minor, such as redness or a slight change in the colour of the skin, but it can hide more damage under the skin surface. A pressure injury can develop quickly, cause significant pain, become infected, leave scars and may delay your recovery by weeks or even months.

It is very important that you tell us if you currently have or have ever had a pressure injury or bed sore. Tell your nurse if you notice warning signs such as:

  • Skin pain/tenderness.
  • Red/purple/blue skin.
  • Blistering.
  • Swelling.
  • Shiny areas of skin.
  • Dryness or dry patches.
  • Warm or cool areas.

For more detailed information about pressure injuries and how to prevent them, download our Patient Information Book.

Falls prevention

Slips, trips and falls can happen to anyone, but as we get older, falls can become more common with an increased likelihood of injury, and possible loss of independence. Falling is recognised as an issue in all hospitals. There are a number of factors that may contribute to a fall, including (to name a few):

  • Having had a fall in the past
  • Unfamiliar surroundings
  • Poor balance and or vision
  • After surgery due to anaesthetic and medications, IV therapy, drains or catheters.

On admission, staff will assess your risk of falling, discuss the results with you and/or your family and put into place a plan of care suited to your needs. This may involve you being reviewed by other members of the healthcare team such as a physiotherapist, pharmacist, occupational therapist or dietician.

Staying safe during your stay
Your safety and wellbeing is our top priority. Learn more about how we can help you avoid falls during your stay.
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For more detailed information about falls prevention at St Stephen’s Hospital and at home, download our Patient Information Book.

Child Safe, Child Friendly

We are committed to providing services for children which are welcoming, safe and nurturing, and to ensuring St Stephen's Hospital is a safe environment for all patients and their families.

Learn more about our Child Safe, Child Friendly Risk Management Framework.

Speaking up about concerns or issues

  • Let us know: If you or a family member have any issues or concerns about your medical or nursing care, please follow our ‘Let us know’ escalation process.
  • Ward manager: If the issue is not urgent, ask to speak to the Ward Manager or After-Hours Co-ordinator (Mon-Fri after 3pm to 7am and over the weekend and public holidays), who will be able to assist you directly or contact the appropriate person.
  • General Manager: If you are not happy with the manner in which your issues were managed or if you wish to make a more formal complaint, you can write to the General Manager: GPO Box 1558, Hervey Bay, QLD, 4655.
  • Feedback form: You can also provide feedback via our online form.

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