Stay'n In, Stay'n Deadly

Stay'n In, Stay'n Deadly

04 Sep 2020

It’s been well documented that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients leave hospital care against medical advice at a much higher rate than other patients. The reasons for this are complex, however the result is often re-presentation, unplanned readmissions and more broadly, much poorer health outcomes. 

Up until recently, St Vincent’s Emergency had one of the highest rates of incomplete treatment for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients across NSW - approximately four times higher than the standard set by Ministry of Health. 

To address this, the Emergency Department in conjunction with the Aboriginal Health Unit has implemented a number of initiatives to promote a safe and welcoming space for our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients, the new Flexi-clinic, being one of them. 

Known as ‘Stayin’ In, Stayin’ Deadly, the Flexi-clinic means that soon after arrival, patients are seen by a staff specialist or ‘flexi-doctor’, significantly reducing waiting, testing and diagnosis times. At the same time, one of the Aboriginal Health Unit team members will be on hand to support the patient throughout their treatment and follow-up care. 

Additionally, the flexible nature of the clinic allows patients who have been triaged and had immediate treatment to represent at a convenient time to finalise results or plan further treatment.

Launched in June 2020, the ‘Stayin’ in, Stayin’ Deadly’ project has resulted in exponential improvements, with average waiting times for Flexi-clinic patients at just 16 minutes. Starting the project with a rate of 19.5% of patients who did not complete treatment, the team have reduced that figure to a staggering 1.6%, making St Vincent’s one of the best performers in the country, but the benefits to our Aboriginal community are immeasurable.

Dr Paul Preisz, Director of Emergency said “The staff have really embraced this and the change is quite profound. I’m proud to be a part of such a successful joint initiative. Feedback from the patients, staff and the community in general has been very positive. We’re really making a difference here, making a much needed contribution to 'closing the gap'"


Aboriginal Health Manager and 'Stay'n In, Stay'n Deadly' project team member, Scott Daley