These are steps that we strongly believe everyone should take in preparing for a stay in hospital.
(1) Carry out searches on the hospital website to find out which is the best way to contact it’s top management or, in fact, anyone. Ideally there will be an ordinary email address, or at the very least, an email form. If all they have is a fax number or nothing at all it is strongly recommended that you should choose another hospital – although we realise this may not always be possible. (We were surprised to learn recently from a Government website that there are supposed to be more than thousand hospitals in Australia, so, at least theoretically, there’s a wide choice.)
(2) Take a mobile phone with you.
(3) Arrange for a family member, a relative, friend, or pay someone to be on standby 24/7 to receive a phone call from you about any concerns you might have, and to express those concerns in an email to the hospital’s top management so they’re in writing. Hopefully this will result in your concerns being addressed straight away, but probably in most cases, with most hospitals, it won’t. But whatever happens, if this is done, there will be material in writing to give added substance to any complaints you might want to make at a later date, and to help you let others know what the hospital is like.
Unfortunately, in NSW at least, from our research and what we hear, with Government hospitals, Ramsay Health Hospitals and the Hospital for Specialist Surgery, it’s unlikely there will be ordinary email addresses or email forms in the way we’ve mentioned, or that, even if there are, your concerns will be addressed in the short term, the long term, or, in fact, ever.