Medical care in the community

Silver Chain’s metropolitan Perth workforce includes a large number of highly trained doctors. The majority of these sit within multidisciplinary teams across our Hospice Care and Home Hospital programs.

Most doctors trained in Australia receive their training in the hospital environment. This means many new doctors are never exposed to community care programs and the positive client outcomes they provide.

As Australia’s largest provider of specialist community-based palliative care and Home Hospital services, Silver Chain is uniquely positioned to provide training to junior doctors, and has done so for the last 17 years.

Last year the WA Department of Health announced Silver Chain as the provider of community-based Registered Medical Officer (RMO) training across metropolitan Perth.

Our training program lays the foundations to grow sustainable community alternatives to hospital based care, especially as demand for such services increases. It provides junior doctors with a rich and diverse experience of medical care in the community. On top of the RMO training, we also have Registrars who are completing a specialist training program in Palliative Medicine and General Practice.

Oliver Chen can attest to that. A Resident Medical Officer who completed his internship at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital, Oliver successfully applied for one of Silver Chain’s RMO placements and hasn’t looked back.

“I’ve really enjoyed learning about the health care system from a place that’s outside the hospital. Not only do you get the clinical exposure but you experience other areas that are really important for client care,” Oliver said.

“This placement has allowed me to really build a good rapport with clients in their home, in their own environment, where they’re comfortable. The way a client functions in the home definitely affects their outcome.”

Dr Sophie Fletcher agrees. Having completed her medical degree and foundation training in the UK before moving to Perth, she completed a prevocational placement within our Hospice Care Service in 2011, and since 2015 has been a Registrar within the service.

“Working in the community you are a guest in your client’s home, sitting on their sofa or in a chair next to their bed, chatting about their current condition and trying to decide together the best course of action to take next,” Sophie said.

“Although you are often visiting clients alone, you still work as part of a team and are not really by yourself at all. You are very fortunate to have very experienced colleagues at the other end of the phone, who you can talk things through with and ask for advice.”