Patient Care


REACH Out For Help

R.E.A.C.H is a communication process to help you share patient concerns that staff still need to address or act on.

R.E.A.C.H stands for:

  • Recognise – Have you Recognised a sudden or worrying change in yourself or a loved one’s condition?
  • Engage – Engage with the nurse looking after you or your loved one and tell them your concerns.
  • Act – If your concern is not responded to and your condition worsens, Act.
  • Call Call to ask to speak to the Nurse in Charge and request a clinical review.
  • Help – If you are still concerned, call for Help by calling 5471 3499 on your bedside phone or ask for the unit’s portable phone; help will be on its way.

Dhelkaya Health supports patient and carer involvement, so please don’t hesitate to let us know if you have a concern. We also encourage you to raise concerns with us during the handover between staff shifts. 

Family Involvement

Dhelkaya Health encourages families to be involved in patient care wherever possible and appropriate. This might include helping patients eat, bringing favourite foods or familiar items from home or spending time with your family member.

Family may also be invited to participate with you and your healthcare team in a case conference, where your healthcare team members discuss your health issues with you and your family to develop a management plan.

Pet Therapy

Dhelkaya Health has a pet therapy program in which local community members bring in their pets (primarily dogs) to help patients recover and better cope during their stay.

Pet therapy visitors primarily attend our residences and Connolly Unit upon request. All pets are screened in advance to ensure they are suitable for our pet therapy program.

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Preventing Infection

Dhelkaya Health is committed to preventing healthcare-associated infections and reducing the risk of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. We aim to promote hand hygiene and environmental cleanliness and use antibiotics carefully and appropriately for the illness/infection identified. This means that antibiotics will not be prescribed inappropriately, for example, for influenza or viral illnesses.

Doctors, nurses, and others caring for you should wash their hands or use alcohol hand rub before and after (e.g., when examining you, changing wounds or dressings, or giving you an injection). If they haven’t done so in front of you, you are welcome to check that they have done so or request that they do so.

You are encouraged to use the hand rub and hand wash facilities and encourage visitors to use hand rub before and after visiting you. Hand rub is available in every room and at entrances and exits of Dhelkaya Health.

If you have an infectious illness, you can help protect others by adhering to infection control procedures outlined by staff. Clients with infectious illness are generally allocated a single room and requested to stay within the room.

Visitors experiencing flu-like symptoms, diarrhoea and vomiting should stay home and not visit the hospital or aged care facility. Visitors who have had symptoms of diarrhoea or vomiting should not attend the hospital or aged care homes for at least 48 hours after the last symptoms.

If you have any questions or concerns about infection, ask to speak to our Infection Control Consultant.


Tell your healthcare team about all the medications that you are taking, including any supplements or natural health products. Ask questions to ensure you understand any changes to your medication. On discharge, ensure you are clear about the medications and dosages you should take and be sure to speak to the pharmacist about any special storage requirements for your medications at home.

Student Observers

Dhelkaya Health is a teaching hospital. It collaborates with universities and training organisations across Australia to provide learning opportunities for students in the health field.

All students undertake a rigorous screening process before their placement, including a National Police Check, Working with Children Check and evidence of immunisation status. Students adhere to the same confidentiality, privacy and professional conduct requirements as Dhelkaya Health staff.

All students are appointed a senior staff member to supervise their practice and conduct to ensure care is provided in a safe and person-centred manner.

If you prefer not to involve students in your care, please alert a staff member as soon as possible.

Feedback on the interactions you have with students during your stay is welcome and can be provided to any clinical staff member or via the form on our contact page. 


Falls are one of the most common causes of hospital admissions and are a serious issue for people aged over 65 years. You may be at increased risk of a fall during your hospital stay because you have been unwell, your medications may have changed, and you are unfamiliar with your environment. 

Falls occur most often when:

  • getting in or out of bed
  • going to the toilet
  • reaching for the phone or items on bedside or over-bed tables
  • not using mobility aids. 

If you are at risk of a fall, our team can make a referral to our Allied Health Care Team, where a podiatrist, physiotherapist and occupational therapist will come to discuss options with you. 

You can reduce the risk of falling by: 

  • calling for help to get up and go to the toilet, particularly at night
  • turning the light on at night when getting out of bed 
  • ensuring your footwear fits well and is non-slip 
  • calling for assistance to clean any accidental spills 
  • using mobility aids at all times, even for short distances.


Information about your current health status, care plan and treatment is regularly communicated between our teams. This occurs each shift between nursing staff, your doctor and other care staff, between your healthcare team at the hospital and those in the community upon discharge.

Bedside handover occurs at your bed each shift, which is a good opportunity to talk to carers about the care being provided. You should feel comfortable asking questions and offering information that you think is relevant or important.


Local taxis are available. To book, call Castlemaine Taxis on 5472 3377. 

Castlemaine Bus Lines has regular bus services to our Castlemaine campus. Call 5472 1455 for timetables and bus stop information. 

The Castlemaine train station is located approximately 1km from the Castlemaine campus.

Dhelkaya Health also offers a Patient Transport Service supported by volunteer drivers. A referral is required from your health clinic or GP. To be eligible for our Patient Transport Service, you must: 

  • be unable to drive or be driven to appointments. 
  • live independently. 
  • be unable to engage someone to accompany you on public transport to appointments. 

Food and Nutrition

Getting enough food and fluids can help improve your recovery. Poor nutrition makes you more prone to infections, reduces wound healing, increases your risk of complications and can affect the length of your hospital stay. If you’ve had recent major surgery, this can significantly affect your nutritional needs. 

Being unwell can cause you to eat and drink less. Over time, this can put you at risk of malnutrition. What you eat and drink can be affected by: 

  • poor appetite 
  • nausea 
  • vomiting 
  • diarrhoea 
  • indigestion 
  • taste changes 
  • difficulty feeding yourself 
  • a change in the texture of your meals 
  • age 
  • illness 
  • some diseases 
  • some medication’s side effects 


Dhelkaya Health is a public hospital with shared rooms. Our staff are committed to maintaining your privacy and confidentiality, but during the course of your stay there may be times when your care is discussed in a shared room. If you are concerned about this, please speak to our staff.

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