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

Community palliative care services are provided by Silver Chain Group. 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.

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

Last updated: 15 March 2018

The Service

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 palliative care services at home including practical support for daily activities, support for families and carers, and bereavement support. The Service focuses on people in

their last three months of life and supports patients to die in the place of their choice.

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

The length of time that patients receive the Service for depends on their care needs. The experience of similar Silver Chain Group services has shown that most patients will receive the Service for the last three months of their life. A patient may access the Service on and off as needed; if a patient has started care under the Service it may be paused and restarted as their care needs change.

There is strong evidence for the positive outcomes of the program, 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.

Do patients have to pay for the Service?

The Service is free for eligible patients.

Who is 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.

Information for Patients

If I am receiving the Silver Chain Group Service, can I be referred back to Western Sydney Local Health District?

Community palliative care services are provided by Silver Chain Group, however there is no change to the hospital-based palliative care services within Western Sydney Local Health District. You can continue to access Western Sydney Local Health District clinicians, services and programs when you need them.

Silver Chain Group

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.

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. The care is available 24 hours, 7 days a week.

Once care has been transferred from Western Sydney Local Health District to the Service, your care will be provided by Silver Chain Group’s palliative medicine consultants, who will work with other medical practitioners involved in your care. Referrals will be made to the Service by Western Sydney Local Health District, your GP, or others involved in your care. Silver Chain Group will refer patients back to Western Sydney Local Health District or relevant clinicians where needed.

Are volunteers used in the Service?

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

Social Impact Investment

What is social impact investment?

Social impact investment initiatives bring together resources and expertise from the private and not-for-profit sectors to assist in delivering outcomes for patients.

Social impact investment is different because it combines all four of the following attributes:

  • outcomes: measuring and paying on outcomes
  • innovation: setting incentives and removing input controls for services
  • prevention: shifting spending away from high-cost acute services to prevention
  • partnerships: sharing risks and benefits across the government and non-government sectors.

Across NSW there are already a number of successful partnerships with the private and non-government sectors across a range of services for public patients.

Further information

Contact page owner: Strategic Reform and Planning