$8.6 million to improve patients’ hospital experience

Blacktown Hospital was one of the first emergency departments to trial the new approach.

Patients at Blacktown, Westmead, Auburn and Mount Druitt 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.”

Tabbetha Senior was the first patient treated in Blacktown Hospital’s new ED in August 2019.

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.

For more information visit: https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/Performance/Pages/experience.aspx

The new 86 positions will be based at the hospitals in the following Local Health Districts and Specialty Networks

Local Health District/Speciality NetworkEmergency Departments and COVID Clinics
Sydney Local Health DistrictRPA, Concord, Canterbury
Northern Sydney Local Health DistrictRNS, Ryde, Hornsby
Western Sydney Local Health DistrictBlacktown, Westmead, Auburn, Mount Druitt
Nepean Blue Mountains Local Health DistrictNepean
St Vincent’sSt Vincent’s
Illawarra Local Health DistrictShoalhaven, Shellharbour, Wollongong
Southern Local Health DistrictBega, Goulburn
North Coast Local Health DistrictLismore, Ballina, Grafton, Tweed
Mid North Coast Local Health DistrictCoffs Harbour, Port Macquarie
Children’s Hospital NetworkSydney Children’s and Children’s Westmead
Murrumbidgee Local Health DistrictWagga , Griffith
Hunter New England Local Health DistrictJohn Hunter, Taree, Moree, Cessnock, Maitland, Calvary Mater, Tamworth, Armidale Belmont
Western Local Health DistrictOrange, Bathurst, Dubbo
Central Coast Local Health DistrictGosford, Wyong
Far West Local Health DistrictBroken Hill
South Eastern Local Health DistrictPOW, St George, Sutherland, Sydney Hospital
South Western Local Health DistrictLiverpool, Fairfield, Bankstown, Campbelltown, Bowral