$8.6 MILLION TO IMPROVE PATIENTS HOSPITAL EXPERIENCE

Patients at hospital emergency departments and COVID-19 clinics will benefit from an $8.6 million expansion of the NSW Government’s award-winning Patient Experience Program.

Health Minister Brad Hazzard said an additional 86 staff will be recruited to 50 hospitals across NSW, with COVID-19 clinics a priority, as part of the Australian-first program.

“This valuable program has proven to be a huge help to patients and carers during what is often a very worrying time, ensuring they receive all the information and support they need from the minute they arrive in our care,” Mr Hazzard said.

“The additional full-time staff will welcome patients and their families and provide them with directions and information about what to expect at each stage of their care and treatment. The extra support will go a long way as we continue to combat COVID-19.”

The funding boost to the Patient Experience Program is part of the NSW Government’s $800 million investment to support the health system’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, including significantly increasing capacity in NSW public hospitals, particularly in ICUs.

As part of the program patients receive:
· access to free Wi-Fi, mobile phone charging stations, additional power points, water and other refreshments
· information sent to their mobile device about what to expect during their stay
· fact sheets on their particular condition/ treatment options
· ongoing care instructions after discharge, available in multiple languages.

Advice in multiple languages will also be given on safety, hygiene and COVID-19 symptoms.

The Patient Experience Program was piloted for six months at Blacktown, Liverpool, Nepean and Lismore hospitals and won the 2019 NSW Premier’s Award for world-class customer service.