Allied health stars lead emergency project to avoid hospital admissions

WSLHD Allied Health director Jacquie Dominish with physiotherapists Emma Christmas and Mitch Ellis.

A new team of allied health staff are working closely with Westmead and Blacktown hospital’s emergency departments to prevent hospital admissions and help get patients home sooner.

The six-month pilot project is called Allied Health Rapid Assessment, Intervention and Discharge – Emergency Department (RAID-ED), and is designed to improve the patient experience by extending the hours of allied health staff across our emergency departments.

The project will specifically assist chronic and complex care patients who have a variety of health issues that require ongoing management and care.

The staff will work with teams to:

  • Identify vulnerable or recurrent patients who present to the emergency departments
  • Provide rapid assessment, intervention and discharge plans in collaboration with other health professionals
  • Initiate early referrals to relevant community health agencies once discharged from hospital, and
  • Build stronger relationships with our community stakeholders in Western Sydney Local Health District (WSLHD)
WSLHD Allied Health director Jacquie Dominish with members of the RAID-ED project.

The RAID-ED team will also collaborate with the Hospital in the Home (HITH) clinicians to ensure high-risk patients who have been discharged from hospital receive timely follow-up care at home.

WSLHD Allied Health director Jacqueline Dominish said the project focuses on the patients’ needs and experiences.

“Allied Health staff will work longer hours in the emergency departments across seven days to help patients with complex and multiple medical and social issues and provide support to the medical, nursing, and Hospital in the Home teams,” Jacqueline said.

The allied health staff started in Blacktown Hospital on October 14, wearing large stickers to clearly identify their role.

“The allied staff are looking forward to the pilot and immersing themselves in the fast paced emergency environment, utilising their exceptional clinical and professional skills in partnership with medicine and nursing staff to add value to patient experience, prevent unnecessary admissions, and fast-track inpatient stays where required by commencing intervention within the emergency department.”

Senior physiotherapist Emma Christmas is one of the allied health staff who will be working closely with the ED staff to help create safe and earlier discharges for some patients.

“I’m looking forward with helping the RAID-ED project get off the ground running,” Emma said.

“It’s a fantastic opportunity to be involved in a project of this size and which emphasises the important role of allied health professionals.”

The Flipping COVID Facebook project team from Blacktown and Mount Druitt hospitals – see more below.

For further information about the RAID-ED project, contact acting Allied Health workforce manager Chrissan Segaram at

WSLHD Allied Health services recently won a WSLHD 20202 Quality Award for the Flipping COVID Facedown project in the Education and Training category.

Flipping COVID Facedown was a joint project between Blacktown and Mount Druitt hospitals physiotherapy departments to provide rapid training on proning, or lying patients facedown – a helpful but difficult procedure in an intensive care setting.