Preparing for your hospital visit
One or two working days before your procedure, we will call you for a pre-operative screening consultation. This is your opportunity to ask questions about your procedure, and we will provide you with your arrival time, fasting instructions and review your medical history with you. We will also advise you of an estimate of any fees payable, and send you an informed financial consent form via email.
Your hospital admission process will begin when you book your procedure at your surgeon’s rooms. Your surgeon will give you a booklet with an Admission Form and Health Assessment Form, and complete a separate Consent Form with you.
You can download a copy of our Patient Information booklet here.
Please complete and post back all your forms in the reply-paid envelope as soon as possible. You can also scan and email or fax the forms to us. We still need the original forms (including the Consent Form), so it’s important you bring them on the day.
If your procedure is within two weeks, please email or fax your paperwork to avoid postal delays.
You can also complete your Admission Form and Health Assessment Form online here.
By sending your forms ahead of time, you help our staff pre-register your details and minimise any delays on the day of admission.
Please read through the information below to properly prepare for your surgery.
Before your surgery
- 1 to 2 days before admission, you will receive a phone call from our nursing staff to confirm your admission time, fasting instructions and review your medical history
- Due to your anaesthetic, we are unable to discharge you without a responsible adult carer. Please arrange for a responsible adult to accompany you home and stay with you for 24 hours after your surgery. If you are unable to find someone to do this, please contact the hospital as soon as possible
- Please contact your doctor prior to surgery if your health has deteriorated, as we may need to postpone the procedure until you’re feeling better
For 24 hours after an anaesthetic, you will not be able to:
- Drive a vehicle
- Drink alcohol
- Operate machinery
- Make important decisions
- Sign legal documents
Preparation at home
- Shower or bathe at home. You may wear deodorant but do not use talcum powder, face creams, makeup, perfume, aftershave or nail polish
- You may wear a wedding ring but leave all other jewellery at home
- All facial and mouth piercings must be removed
- Continue taking all your normal medications unless your doctor or the hospital nurse has instructed you otherwise
What to bring
- Medicare card, Private Health Insurance membership card, Veterans’ Affairs card, Pensioner Concession card
- List of medications you are currently taking – if you are diabetic, please bring your medications with you
- Any recent and relevant X-rays, scans and test results to do with your procedure
- Power of Attorney, Enduring Guardianship and Advance Care Directive documentation (if applicable)
You will also need to make sure you wear loose comfortable clothing.
Before you undergo an anaesthetic, you will need to avoid eating or drinking anything for a specific period of time beforehand as this will protect your airway and lungs while you are asleep. We will let you know during your pre-admission phone call when your fasting period will begin. Please follow your given fasting instructions carefully to avoid having your procedure cancelled. Do not chew gum or eat lollies while fasting.
We will give you a sandwich or snack and something to drink when you are in the recovery room after your surgery.
Check with your doctor, anaesthetist or GP whether you should take your prescribed medications on the morning of your procedure. During your pre-admission phone call, the nurse will discuss your medications with you and instruct you on what you will need to do. It is a good idea to write these instructions down.
Do not smoke on the day of your procedure.
Getting here and parking
You will need a responsible adult to take you home from the hospital on the day of your procedure.
Please park in the public car park off Tallara Street and enter via the back of the building through the gate and into the basement car park. Follow signs to the lift and head to reception on Level 3.
You can access patient drop off, pick up and disabled entry via the driveway on Pacific Highway, just past the Hoyts sign.
When you arrive, please report to the reception desk where our staff will take you through the admission process. We will confirm your name, date of birth, admitting details and doctor. These standard identification procedures will be repeated throughout the day to ensure your safety.
Every effort will be made to ensure you aren’t kept waiting before your procedure, but there are times when other patients require longer periods in theatre than we anticipate.
We will let you and your carer know if there are any delays and how your expected discharge time might be affected. It’s a good idea to bring a book or something to keep you occupied just in case. Please leave electronic devices with your carer as we have a strict no mobile phone policy in clinical areas.
Billing and private health insurance
Charlestown Private Hospital and Hunter Eye Hospital have arrangements in place with all health funds. If you are a member of a health fund, we will check your eligibility for cover and advise you about any excess payable. If you are covered by a health fund, you will be asked to sign a health fund claim form and will be required to pay any excesses or co-payments on admission.
If you are having elective or self-funded (uninsured) surgery, your surgeon will provide information about the fees payable.
Once you have booked your procedure you will be provided with an informed financial consent. This document is provided to you as an estimation of fees according to your hospital booking including any hospital ‘out of pocket charges’ and your health fund excess.
Unless specified, the estimate refers only to fees charged by the hospital and you will be required to pay all ‘out of pocket’ fees before admission.
Charlestown Private Hospital and Hunter Eye Hospital accept cash, bank cheques, EFTPOS and credit cards (VISA, Mastercard, AMEX only). Personal cheques are not accepted.
Please note: you may also receive a separate account from the doctors involved in your treatment (surgeon, anaesthetist and surgical assistant).
Third party claims
If you are a Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) patient, we will lodge a claim with the DVA for you. If your surgery is part of a WorkCover or Third Party (TAC) claim, your surgeon will seek approval prior to your surgery date and a copy of this approval letter will be provided to the hospital.
If you have any questions about your informed financial consent, please contact our staff on (02) 4943 1003
Questions to ask your private health insurer
Before you have surgery, we recommend you contact your private health insurer and check whether you are covered for surgery. We have provided a guide to the questions you should ask.
After your surgery
You must have a responsible adult collect you from the hospital and stay with you for 24 hours. Carers need to be contactable via phone, otherwise they will need to stay in the Level 2 waiting area to prevent delays in post-op pick up.
We will let your carer know your approximate discharge time, and give them your post-operative instructions to take home with you. Please ensure you and your carer read these instructions as they contain important information on what to do if you require assistance.
It is important you follow these instructions to ensure the best outcome from your procedure. Your anaesthetist will give you a prescription for any pain relief and/or antibiotics required after surgery. These may be required soon after being discharged, so please pick this medication up on your way home.
One of our nurses will call you the next working day after your surgery to check how you are recovering. You should also ensure you have a post-operative appointment with your surgeon.
If you require urgent medical attention, please call an ambulance on TRIPLE ZERO.
After your procedure and anaesthetic you may be at risk of falling or tripping. Take care when moving around and we encourage you to rest and let your carer assist you for the remainder of the day.
This is less common with modern anaesthetics. If it does occur, it should only be temporary. If nausea persists, avoid food but maintain fluids. If it does not resolve within 24 hours, it is important that you contact your doctor.
This may occur due to your anaesthetist assisting with your breathing. It usually disappears within 24 hours. Simple pain relief may help relieve this.
Tender arm or hand at injection site
This may occur due to irritation of the vein or slight bruising from the needle or the drugs injected, and can persist for several days. If your arm or hand looks red or inflamed consult your doctor as soon as possible. If this occurs on a weekend or Public Holiday, please contact the Charlestown Private Hospital after hours mobile number which is on your post operative discharge information (0498236256) and the call centre will contact your doctor
If you notice any redness, swelling, pain or discharge from your wound, please notify your doctor.
If this occurs on a weekend or Public Holiday, please contact the Charlestown Private Hospital after hours mobile number (0498 236 256), and we’ll help you get in touch with your doctor
We advise patients and carers to wash hands prior to attending wound care or administering eye drops (as per doctor’s instructions).
As a patient of Charlestown Private Hospital your privacy and dignity will be maintained at all times. We hold medical records relating to your treatment, and the content of these records will only be divulged with your consent or where permitted or authorised by law.
Quality & Safety
Charlestown Private Hospital adheres to all statutory and relevant body guidelines and Australian Standards, and our management systems aim to provide the highest level of care to our patients in a safe and supportive environment.
We work as a team under the management of the Board of Directors, Medical Advisory Committee (MAC) and Director of Clinical Services, with the following programs in place:
Quality Management – We continually monitor, assess and improve the quality of patient care. The MAC conducts peer-reviewed activities and we publish information about clinical performance, health outcomes and patient satisfaction.
Risk Management – We proactively work to mitigate risks to provide the safest possible environment for patients, visitors and staff.
Workforce checks – Our dedicated specialist clinical staff have their credentials checked, and are assessed to ensure they can perform their roles so that you receive the highest standard of care and comfort.
Clinical handover – If your care is transferred from one person to another, our systems ensure there is effective continuity. This includes your involvement in your discharge instructions as a patient or carer.
Infection control – We aim to prevent and limit the spread of infection through evidence-based clinical practice guidelines.
Hand Hygiene – Charlestown Private Hospital is committed to the Hand Hygiene Australia program and conducts regular audits to ensure compliance. You can find more information on this program here.
Consumer involvement – Patients are at the centre of our care model, and we welcome your participation in reviewing our Quality & Safety reports, and feedback on how we can continue to improve.
Open Disclosure – The Charlestown Private Hospital Governing Body (Board of Directors), Staff and Accredited Medical Practitioners (AMPs) support the practice and principles of Open Disclosure.
Charlestown Private Hospital has a clear and consistent approach to open communication and disclosure with consumers and their carers, with a view to fairness, transparency and accountability.
Please click on the button below for more information on Open Disclosure.
Complaints, concerns and feedback
Please complete the Patient Satisfaction Survey, which your nurse will give you after your procedure, or can be accessed here.
We appreciate your honest feedback, as we are always looking for ways to improve our patients’ experience.
If there is any aspect of your care that you are not happy with, please contact the Director of Clinical Services at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will promptly acknowledge and investigate any complaint, and communicate the outcome and any recommendations with you.
If your complaint is unresolved, you can contact:
Health Care Complaints Commission
Locked Mail Bag 18
Phone: 02 9219 7444
Frequently asked questions
We will answer any specific questions you have during your pre-operative call 1 to 2 days before your procedure. Here are some answers to common queries.
Do I need to arrive before my admission time to complete any paperwork?
No – we allow for this when we calculate the time you need to arrive. It is also why we ask you to fill out your pre-admission forms. If your admission time is 9am, please arrive at 9am. We are not open 24 hours, so if you have an early morning admission, please be aware you may not be able to access the building earlier than your allocated arrival time.
How long will I be in hospital for?
This depends on your procedure, but generally 3 to 4 hours from the time of your admission. We will let you know what to expect the day before your procedure.
Is there parking at Charlestown Private Hospital?
There is free parking in the public car park off Tallara Street. Enter via the back of the building through the gate and into the basement car park. Follow signs to the lift and head to reception on Level 3.
Please do not park illegally in the Tallara Street carpark as there are regular council inspectors. You can be dropped off by your carer underneath the building via Pacific Hwy entrance just past the Hoyts sign if you are finding it difficult to find a park quickly.
Why do I have to fast?
It’s important not to eat or drink anything for a specified period of time before an anaesthetic for safety reasons, as this will protect your airway and lungs while you are asleep.
Why do I need a responsible adult to collect me?
Because you are having an anaesthetic for your procedure, you need someone with you after you are discharged to make sure there are no unexpected complications from your procedure or anaesthetic. You are also not legally allowed to drive for 24 hours following an anaesthetic.
Our nursing staff will meet with your designated carer before we send you home, and go through written instructions for your wellbeing when you go home. This includes advice about eating and drinking, pain relief, and when you can resume normal activities.
If you do not have a designated carer to collect you, we may have to cancel your surgery. Please let us know if you have any concerns about this policy, and contact the hospital as soon as possible if you are having any difficulty finding a carer.
Why do I have to remove my jewellery and nail polish before surgery?
This is for your own safety. There is a risk of surgical burns with metal jewellery, including piercings. If you wish to leave your wedding ring on, we will tape it.
All mouth and facial piercings must be removed, there is a chance of dislodgement and becoming stuck in your lungs
During surgery, your oxygen levels will be monitored with a probe placed on your finger and nail polish and acrylic nails can interfere with this.
Will I see my doctor after the procedure?
This depends on your surgery. If you do not see your doctor straight after your procedure, we will make sure you have information about your post-operative appointment.
Why do I have to pay an excess, I have already paid the account to the doctor?
The account you paid to your doctor was for their services only, and is separate to hospital charges. Any excess you are required to pay to the hospital is the amount you elected to pay to reduce your Health Insurance premium costs. We have checked this with your health fund.
Will I have something to eat after my procedure, as I had to fast before it?
Yes, the nurses will provide you with a fresh sandwich or snack and a cup of tea, hot chocolate, coffee or juice while you are in second stage recovery. Please let us know of any food allergies or intolerances during your admission process.
Will you call my relative or carer to collect me after my procedure?
Of course. The nurses will call your carer 30 mins before your discharge.
I am coming back in a month for another procedure. Do I have to fill out another Admission Form?
If your next procedure is within three months of this one, we can re-use your existing admissions form. However, we will ask you to double-check that the information provided is still current.