I was able to stay overnight with my mum and I am so overwhelmed by the ideas that they created. Every time I come here to the hospital I have to sleep on a chair but thank God for whoever created this idea because last night I actually slept on a bed and I had a great, great sleep.
Ruta, carer for her elderly mum
Increased carer presence has improved patient experience and increased communication between clinicians patients and carers.
For some staff there has been a hesitance to adopt this cultural change. In-services and continual opportunity to offer feedback on their experiences has addressed many of their concerns. Some staff who were initially resistant have identified positive outcomes since the program commenced.
As the carer zones themselves are a built amenity, they will remain available to patients of Blacktown Hospital for the life of the facility.
To achieve the long-term sustainability of the entire program however, a systematic approach has been undertaken to providing education, information and evaluation opportunities for patients, carers and staff.
The initiative however does not rely entirely on having purpose built carer zones. Even without the built facility, many of the cultural and operational elements of the program could be readily adapted across NSW.
Tips for others
Representatives from dozens of organisations from across Australia and overseas have visited Blacktown Hospital over recent months – many specifically to view the innovative new inpatient unit design which incorporates the carer zones.
A number of organisations have flagged their desire to replicate the Blacktown carer initiative and information and assistance is being provided through a number of channels including the Agency for Clinical Innovation.
Finalist - NSW Health Awards 2016
Runner-up - Ko Awatea International Excellence in Health Improvement Awards 2016 (part of consumer engagement program)
Finalist - Ko Awatea APAC Forum Delivery of healthcare and the impact on quals poster finalist 2016
Finalist - WSLHD Quality in Healthcare Awards 2016
Nominee - NSW Premier’s Award for Public Service – Improving Service Levels in Public Hospitals 2016
Winner - NSW Health Awards Winner 2014 – Partnering with Patients (as part of the consumer engagement program)
For more information
Health professionals please contact our Patient and Carer Experience Team for more information about the project.
Patient and Carer Experience Officer
Tel | 8890 9925 (61 2 8890 9925)
Mob | 0428 521 609 (61 428 521 609)
Email | firstname.lastname@example.org
Ruta stayed overnight with her elderly mum
Want to stay overnight with a patient at Blacktown Hospital? Speak to the nursing staff on your ward for information.
“The idea of having carer zones came from a community forum. Right at the beginning of the design, a lady put up her hand and made the comment that it would be great if in the new hospital there was somewhere carers and relatives could sleep rather than spend all night sitting in those uncomfortable chairs by the patient's beds." Judith, consumer representative
We support and advocate for carers in Western Sydney Local Health District. Ask your ward or clinic team for information about how we can help.
Furniture company Schiavello designed the carer lounge just for us. We consulted with carers and staff about the design, and when we couldn't find a good design solution, Schiavello adapted one of their lounges for us by changing the design of the cushions and adding under-bed storage for linen and pillows.