From the Chair

The 2014/15 year has once again seen Silver Chain Group advance its mission to deliver high value care so that people can stay in their homes. As we celebrate 110 years of serving the community of Western Australia, it is a true delight to begin to consolidate our services in New South Wales and Queensland. Building on the successful merger with RDNS in South Australia, we have been able to introduce after hours palliative care services to half of New South Wales.  In addition, we are performing strongly in supporting Queenslanders in north Brisbane, Sunshine Coast and Mackay to receive care at home rather than from hospital.

Research is showing that approximately 30 percent of people in hospitals today in Australia don’t need to be there. The design and implementation of sophisticated home based healthcare will be an important part of the future of a sustainable health system for Australia. In the Western Australian community, we are continuing to go from strength to strength – working with Royal Perth Hospital to deliver its hospital at home services and better support the patients who are frequent users of the hospital system. It is a great privilege to work in partnership with the Department of Health WA and we continue to appreciate their ongoing support. State run palliative care services in the Peel region have transferred to our management. We now provide palliative care services right across the broader Perth metropolitan area.

With the government comprehensively changing its policy in aged care, we have made a broad range of strategic changes to the way we deliver aged care services, embracing the Consumer Directed Care (CDC) approach and building on our restorative care philosophy. CDC empowers clients (rather than organisations) to make the choices about the care they receive. This is an appropriate time to recognise the good work that has gone into successfully implementing a fundamental change to service delivery.

A key part of the move towards CDC is the management of entitlements so the client knows how much care they are entitled to and how much they have used as the year unfolds. We have purposely shared capability in this area through EOS Technologies (our software company) so that many organisations across Australia have been able to successfully implement the CDC approach and provide the necessary reports to consumers.

After the implementation of the Regional Assessment Service in Western Australia, the Commonwealth adopted a similar approach nationally with My Aged Care Gateway. Silver Chain Group, through Access Care Network Australia, was successful in winning a significant proportion of this service and now provides assessment services in Queensland and South Australia to complement our other operations in those states.

The most important thing that Silver Chain Group values, in addition to our clients, is our staff. The need for investment in the leadership and professional development of our managers and staff was highlighted as a priority. In response, we have implemented new training programs to ensure that all our management and leadership have access to the best development programs available.  This ultimately ensures that our frontline staff – the ultimate carers, are supported. I wish to thank and recognise all staff for the contribution they make week in, week out.

In our back offices, we have significantly increased our investment in clinical management and internal audit. The sophistication of these areas now, I believe, matches any publically listed company and we continue to ensure that administrative purposes are efficient and position the organisation to deliver more care in an appropriate quality and safety framework.

I wish to thank our Board for their continued support and my leadership team for their commitment to our purpose. Most of all, I thank the many staff and supporters of the organisation who continue to be the lifeblood for Silver Chain Group. I am very proud of our achievements in the 2014/15 financial year.

Anne Skipper