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Western Sydney Local Health District

Community based palliative care services

From July 2017, a new partnership with palliative care providers Silver Chain Group and Western Sydney Local Health District (WSLHD) will give patients the option to receive enhanced expert palliative care services in the comfort of their own home, including assistance with daily living, respite care and bereavement support.

A multi-disciplinary team with expertise across healthcare, social work and pastoral care will deliver the service and provide support for the medical and psycho-social care needs of the patient and their family. The service will be available for all patients with a terminal illness, although it is focused on patients requiring support as they enter their final three months of life.

What is the service?

Silver Chain Group’s Community-Based Palliative Care Service team is made up of doctors, nurses, care aides, social workers and counsellors. The Service will provide 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.

Scheduled visits by Silver Chain RN and AINs, as well as Medical Practitioner and Allied Health Professional reviews, are determined by the Client’s clinical need. Silver Chain will provide all Clients with a 24/7 telephone support number and, if required, alternative means for contact. Silver Chain will also manage unscheduled visits in response to Client need/request, and attend as required 24/7.

The Service will focus on people in their last three months of life and support 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 will depend 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-based palliative care service Silver Chain Group will be offering in Western Sydney Local Health District has been offered in Perth, Western Australia, since 1982.

Who is Silver Chain Group?

With an over 100 year history, Silver Chain Group is an established non-government not-for-profit organisation with extensive experience in the delivery of community based palliative care services.

Who is eligible for the service?

Patients are eligible for the service if they:

  • live within the Western Sydney LHD area
  • have an advanced, progressing, life-limiting condition
  • are over 18 years of age, or a patient transitioning from child to adult health services
  • have been consulted with regarding referral to the service

Will patients have to pay for the Service?

The Service is free for eligible patients. Some costs such as medications will need to be covered by the patient.

When will the Service start?

The service commenced in July 2017.

Who can refer to the Service?

  • LHD doctor (Western Sydney LHD or other LHD) or their authorised representative
  • General Practitioner
  • Nurse Practitioner
  • Community based palliative care agency, and/or community health or service
  • Residential aged care facility or specialist disability accommodation service
  • Self / carer / family / friends

From July 2018, referrals will also be accepted from allied health professionals.

Information for referrers

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.

If you are a WSLHD clinician

WSLHD clinicians wishing to refer an eligible patient must use the Cerner eMR referral form. For instructions on how to access and use the eMR form click here. A completed eMR form must be printed and faxed to (08) 9444 7265.

If you are a general practitioner or a clinician outside of WSLHD

General Practitioners and clinicians outside of WSLHD wishing to refer an eligible patient to this service can make a direct referral to Silver Chain using an official Western Sydney Community Palliative Care referral form. Please fax a completed Referral Form to (08) 9444 7265.

If you have questions about your patient's eligibility

To discuss your patient’s eligibility for this service, please call Silver Chain Contact Centre on 1300 758 566 to speak with one of the senior registered nurses.

Where can I get more information about the Service?

Visit the Silver Chain website for more information about this service.

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