Patients’ Charter of Rights and Responsibilities
As a patient of our hospital, you have the following rights and responsibilities:
- Access to hospital
- Outpatient services
- Dignity and respect
- Privacy and confidentiality
- Teaching and research
- Health promotion
- Participation and responsibilities of service users
- Information concerning your treatment
- Consent to treatment
Access to hospital
You have the right to care that is appropriate, timely and based on need, not the ability to pay. You have the right, in a medical emergency, to be admitted immediately to hospital. In cases other than in an emergency, you will be placed on a waiting list. If you are on a waiting list and are concerned about your condition, you should consult your family doctor who can then request that your condition be reviewed by your hospital consultant.
Where a recommended medical procedure is not available at the hospital, you will have the right to ask the hospital consultant to transfer you to another hospital where the procedure is available.
You have the right, should your admission be cancelled by the hospital, to receive adequate and timely notice of such cancellation. However, in exceptional cases arising from emergency pressures or staff illness, your operation may have to be cancelled at very short notice. In these circumstances, we will make every effort to contact you in advance. You have the right, in the event of a cancellation, to be given a new appointment for an early date and to be treated on a priority basis.
If your family doctor refers you to hospital for an outpatient appointment, you have the right to:
- Receive confirmation, within a reasonable time, of the date of your first appointment
- Be given an individual appointment time
- Be seen by a consultant or senior doctor on your first appointment
If you feel your condition has dis-improved, you should consult your family doctor who can, if necessary, take up the matter with the hospital. You have the right, should your appointment be cancelled by the hospital, to receive timely notice of such cancellation and to be given a new appointment on a priority basis.
You have the right to be treated with courtesy, kindness, sensitivity and compassion at all times by every member of our hospital staff.
Dignity and respect
You have the right to be treated with care that respects age, colour, national origin, personal values and beliefs, including your spiritual beliefs, sexual orientation or disability – and in line with clinical decision making. You have the right to care which is dignified, compassionate and comforting, and which supports relief from suffering at the end of life.
You have the right to be cared for in a safe and secure environment.
Privacy and confidentiality
You have the right to have your privacy respected, especially when the nature of your clinical condition is being discussed with you or your relatives by hospital staff. You have the right to total confidentiality in respect of your medical records. You have the right to request the hospital to make details of your relevant records available to you.
Teaching and research
You have the right to refuse to participate in the teaching of medical students by your consultant. Your permission must be sought before a consultant can involve you in the teaching of students. However, your cooperation would be important in view of the need to ensure that future doctors obtain the best possible training. You have the right to refuse to take part in any clinical trials or research concerning the use of new drugs or medical devices. Clinical trials and experimental treatment should never be carried out without your informed consent being obtained by the hospital and your consultant.
You have a right to our services which promote good health, disease prevention, and support for those with chronic illness to help themselves.
Participation and responsibilities of service users
We ask you to assist us by participating as much as possible in your care. This can be achieved by:
- keeping all appointments and informing the relevant outpatient department if you cannot attend
- providing accurate and complete information about your present condition, past illnesses, hospitalisations, medications and other relevant information when attending the hospital
- participating in treatment decisions and following treatment recommendations and instructions
- letting us know if you do not understand any aspect of information or instructions we give you. We are always happy to explain any aspect of your care
- following hospital rules and regulations affecting your care
- complying with the hospital’s campus-wide non-smoking policy
- complying with the hospital’s visiting arrangements, hygiene, infection prevention and control and smoke-free policies
- treating all patients, their relatives, visitors and staff members with appropriate courtesy and respect
- being considerate of the rights and the property of others, including patients, staff, hospital property and equipment
- taking responsibility for all personal property brought to the hospital
- informing a member of nursing staff if you temporarily leave your ward area.
Your feedback is valuable to us. Expressions of satisfaction or dissatisfaction about any aspect of care and services are welcome. We are committed to learning from your experience and to continuous quality improvement. You have the right to complain about any aspect of hospital service, to have your complaint investigated, and to be informed of the outcome.
Information concerning your treatment
You have the right to receive information concerning your treatment in language which you can fully understand. The right to be involved in shared decision making about your healthcare. The right to clear and concise information and explanations on all aspects of your care, to enable you and your family to fully participate.
We encourage you to ask questions and seek clarity. Your consultant will explain the benefits of your treatment and any potential risks or alternative treatment options, and your expected recovery time. You have the right to be informed of the name of the consultant under whose care you are being placed. And if you are to be referred to another consultant, you have the right to be informed of the reasons for such referral. You have the right to seek a second opinion at any time during your care.
Consent to treatment
Generally, treatment should only be given to a patient with his or her informed consent. You may request the presence of a person or persons of your choosing during the procedure for granting your consent. The consent form you are asked to sign should clearly state the nature of the procedure to be undertaken. Only in cases where a patient lacks the capacity to give or withhold consent, and where a qualified medical doctor determines that treatment is urgently necessary in order to prevent immediate or imminent harm, may treatment be given without informed consent.
You have the right to refuse or discontinue treatment. If you refuse or discontinue treatment, your consultant will inform you of the consequences and the responsibilities of your decision.