Since July 2017, the NSW Government has partnered with Silver Chain Group to deliver the Silver Chain Community Palliative Care Service (the Service) in Western Sydney Local Health District. The Service enhances care for patients with an advanced, progressive, life-limiting illness and increases access to services for patients who would benefit from palliative care.

The Service will be provided over seven years to support more than 8,340 individuals residing in Western Sydney Local Health District in need of palliative care.

Hospital-based services located at Mt Druitt Hospital, Blacktown Hospital, Westmead Hospital and St Joseph’s Hospital Auburn (under partnership with St Vincent’s Health) continue to be operated by Western Sydney Local Health District.​

Last updated: 15 March 2018

What is the Service?

Silver Chain Group’s Community Palliative Care Service team is made up of doctors, nurses, care aides, social workers and counsellors. The Service provides 24 hour, 7 day a week on-call specialist in-home palliative care services including practical support for daily activities, respite care and bereavement support. The Service also provides support in residential aged care facilities where required. The Service focuses on patients in their last three months of life and supports patients to die in the place of their choice.

In addition to supporting your patient’s clinical needs, the Service may include counselling, pastoral care, social and spiritual care for your patient and their family. It may also include some equipment needed to provide your patient with care in their home.

The Service is a social impact investment developed under the NSW Social Impact Investment Policy.

What conditions are covered by the Service?

The Service is available to patients in Western Sydney Local Health District with a life-limiting illness, who are experiencing troublesome symptoms. This can include illnesses such as cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and congestive heart failure, degenerative conditions such as Huntington’s disease and dementia, and patients with trauma-related injuries.

Is my patient eligible for the Service?

Patients are eligible for the Service if they:

  • live within Western Sydney Local Health District
  • have an advanced, progressive, life-limiting condition
  • are over 18 years of age, or a patient moving from child to adult health services
  • have been consulted regarding referral to the Service.

To discuss your patient’s eligibility for the Service, please call the Silver Chain Contact Centre on 1300 758 566 to speak with a Clinical Nurse Consultant Manager.

Does my patient have to pay?

The Service is free for eligible patients.

How long will my patient be able to receive the Service for?

The length of time that patients receive the Service for is dependent upon their care needs. The Service is flexible to adapt to patient needs; a patient can commence care under the Service and this care may be paused and restarted to suit their changing care needs.

From experience, Silver Chain Group expects that most patients will access the Service for their final three months of life.

How can I refer my patient to the Service?

Before referring your patient to the Service, it is important that you discuss with them the progression of their illness and the reason for their referral to the Service.

To refer a patient to the Service, please fax a completed Referral Form to (08) 9444 7265.

Referral forms are available from the Silver Chain website.

For urgent referrals, please call the Silver Chain Contact Centre on 1300 758 566 to speak with a Silver Chain representative.

Are volunteers used in the Service?

Volunteers are an integral part of Silver Chain Group’s service delivery. Volunteers provide a range of client supports including companionship to clients who are socially isolated, transport to appointments, “recollections”/memory making, respite for carers and bereavement support.

How is medical governance of the Service managed?

Once the transfer of care has occurred, medical governance becomes the responsibility of Silver Chain Group’s palliative care medical team, who will work in partnership with other medical practitioners involved in the care of the patient.

Silver Chain Group will refer patients back to Western Sydney Local Health District or relevant clinicians as required. Western Sydney Local Health District clinicians will have clinical governance of patients while they are in their care.

Who is Silver Chain Group?

With over 100 years of history, Silver Chain Group is an established non-government organisation with extensive experience in the delivery of community palliative care services.

There is strong evidence for the positive outcomes of the Service including increased likelihood of patients dying in the place of their choice, and reduced length of stay in hospital. The community palliative care Service Silver Chain Group offers in Western Sydney Local Health District has been offered in Perth, Western Australia, since 1982.

What is the role of Silver Chain in this social impact investment?

Following a competitive process, the Silver Chain Group was engaged to provide in-home palliative care support services in Western Sydney Local Health District.

Further information

Contact page owner: Strategic Reform and Planning