Health New South Wales

Silver Chain New South Wales Palliative Care Service has consolidated its place during the past year as a valued partner in providing clinical care and support to people in their last days of life.

As the name suggests, the NSW Palliative Care Last-Days-of-Life Home Support Service provides home based specialist end of life care for people who are in their last days to weeks of life, and who wish to die at home or remain at home as long as possible. 

The service now operates in eight Local Health Districts (LHDs) – five in the Sydney metropolitan region and three in regional NSW. Of particular note is our partnership with South Western Sydney LHD, under whose auspices we operate in the five Sydney metropolitan LHDs.

Our staff in NSW provided more than 1,500 packages of care, with almost 900 clients receiving our services.  Our work enabled 684 people to die in their place of choice at home, with the remainder able to remain at home as long as possible.

The quality and value of this service can be credited to our dedicated team of over 50 nurses and support staff employed across the state. We have implemented a number of strategies focusing on our staff over the past year, so we can continue to empower and support them to do this important work in the community.

For example, over the past year we have opened offices in Chatswood and Campbelltown, improved videoconferencing support into the State and appointed a small support staff (both locally and nationally) in areas such as business intelligence, human resources, quality and finance. This plus many other activities have resulted in extremely low staff turnover and high staff engagement.

In another testament to the skills and experience of our staff, a number were invited to present at conferences during the year, including the Palliative Care NSW Conference, the Australian College of Nurse Practitioners Conference and the Western Sydney Palliative Care Conference.

NSW Palliative Care Last-Days-of-Life Home Support Service is funded by the NSW Ministry of Health, and is delivered in partnership with Local Health Districts. We are keenly anticipating an expansion of the program into as many as six new regions during the 2015/16 financial year.