The privacy and safety of our patients, their family members and carers, is paramount.
When providing information about a patient to the media we are guided by the Health Records and Information Privacy (HRIP) Act 2002 at all times.
This legislation limits the amount of patient information we may release without written consent from a patient or, when appropriate, their next of kin.
Without expressed consent, we are unable to provide information about a patient’s injuries; illness or prognosis; about surgical intervention or procedures; or about where a patient is located in the hospital.
Information about a patient’s condition may be provided but this will be on a case-by-case basis and limited to de-identified information only.
The media must only contact the NSLHD media and communications unit for a condition report for any patient.
When providing a patient condition, we categorise the condition using the following descriptions.
Serious but stable
Critical but stable
Deceased patients - Given the sensitive nature of the information we are unable to confirm the death of a patient unless we have consent of the patient’s next of kin or an authorised representative.
Decisions to respond to media requests for condition reports are made on a case-by-case basis, particularly in circumstances where close relatives, spouse or partner have not been notified of the admission to hospital.
We will only approach patients, or their families, for media interviews when appropriate and when patients are in a stable condition.