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Photography taken by Patients & Visitors

Information for patients and families

South West Healthcare recognises that on special occasion’s patients and their families/visitors may wish to take their own photographs or video/s, whilst in hospital or receiving care.
As far as possible South West Healthcare will allow this. In some situations, a patient and their family/visitors are not permitted to take photographs and/or videos.

  • When is a person able to take photographs or video whilst in hospital or receiving care?

    In Victoria, Public Hospitals may restrict people taking photography to protect the privacy of others.

    As far as possible, South West Healthcare supports people who wish to take their own photography.

    Before any photographs or video/s are taken, patients and their families/visitors must make sure that they are permitted to take the image and that all people have given spoken permission.

  • Permitted

    Patients, their families and visitors may take photos of themselves, for their own use, and using their own equipment if all people (including staff) in the photos or videos have given permission to being in the image/s.

    If a patient is unable to provide consent, a close family member or someone who has been appointed by the patient must provide permission.

    In the birthing suite, photography of the baby and parents/support persons, are permitted during the normal birthing process.

  • Not Permitted

    Patients, their families and visitors are not permitted to take photography:

    • During medical procedures, planned or unplanned (e.g. during resuscitation)
    • Of electronic monitoring equipment
    • Of other patients and their visitors
    • Of hospital staff, unless the patient has received spoken permission from each staff member
    • In the operating suites and/or other areas where procedures are performed – except during a Caesarean Section if the Obstetric Consultant and the Theatre team have granted permission for this before the operation
    • Sedated patients e.g. a ventilated patient in the Intensive Care Unit
  • Privacy – sharing images online and with media

    Photos or videos of a patient who has not consented, or cannot consent, may have privacy implications so it is important to consider how the photos and videos are used.

    Posting images online, including social media sites like Facebook and Instagram, can provide updates for family and friends. Remember that digital images can be easily shared and seen by many people, including the media.

    It is recommended that you check the privacy settings on your social media accounts to control who can see your images.

  • Further discussion

    Please speak with the Nurse Unit Manager, your treating Consultant or other treating clinician.

Page last updated: 5 July 2022

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