Aboriginal health

Take Own Leave

The Clinical Excellence Commission's Capability and Culture Directorate partnered with the NSW Centre for Aboriginal Health to build an understanding of the contributing factors for the occurrence of Take-Own-Leave in NSW Health Services. Take own leave is when an admitted or non-admitted patient leaves a hospital or healthcare setting before their treating provider has authorised discharge.

The report captures issues from broad consultations with the NSW Health workforce, consumers and industry representatives and an extensive literature review. Among the issues identified was ten main themes that could provide a basis for further programs of work to reduce harm and improve care of Aboriginal people in hospitals across New South Wales. Each theme links to four levels of responsibility for action: the system, the organisation, the community and the individual.


A consumer information flyer for Aboriginal patients, families and carers was developed by the NSW Aboriginal REACH Advisory Group to support patient safety. A key aim of the group was to ensure that the resource met the information needs and preferences of Aboriginal people.

A human-centred design approach was undertaken to develop the flyer. This included consulting Aboriginal consumers and staff across four local health districts. The information collected was used to inform and then test the flyer. The work of the group was informed by the Aboriginal learning framework called '8 Ways of Learning'. This framework included helpful strategies for learning with and from Aboriginal people, e.g. through story-telling; community and land links; and symbols and images.

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