Follow our journey over more than 100 years as we continue to shape home community care across Australia.
July, 1894 marked the start of an incredible journey for an organisation that has become one of the largest providers of in-home health and care services in Australia. We have a proud history of serving Australians for more than 120 years and look forward to continuing to improve and build on what we do.
In 1894, approximately 12 months after district nursing began in Bowden, South Australia, the District Trained Nursing Society (later renamed RDNS) was established. Dr Allan Campbell, the main force behind this philanthropic mission, aimed to care for those most in need in the midst of severe poverty and economic depression. The Society provided skilled nursing aid to the sick and poor in their own homes.
Silver Chain’s earliest beginnings were as a children’s club run through the pages of the popular weekend newspaper, the Western Mail. In 1905, the tireless Muriel Chase, writing as ‘Aunt Mary’, invited the readers of the Children’s Corner to join her ‘little union of nephews and nieces’ so that they might help the less fortunate children of their community.
Silver Chain’s domestic service began in 1961 in Western Australia with one employee. This service has expanded to become one of the largest components of the business and has helped many people maintain independence and enjoy a better quality of life in their home.
In 1982, the WA Government funded Silver Chain’s first hospice and palliative care pilot, launched in response to research conducted by Silver Chain in 1981. The Cancer Foundation of WA initially managed the Hospice Care Service, with Silver Chain providing nursing support. The Hospice Care Service offered care planning, support and education for families, helping them build the capacity to care for their own. Their focus was on alleviating physical symptoms and providing psychosocial and spiritual support.
In 1984, the control and management of the Hospice Care Service was formally passed to Silver Chain, with the support of the Cancer Foundation and Health Department of WA.
In 1989, Silver Chain developed ComCare, a sophisticated client management system designed for community and residential care facilities to capture all referrals, assessments and other client information.
In 2003, for the very first time, a field-based Silver Chain nurse was able to enter information directly into the ComCare system with a Smart Phone.
In 2010, Silver Chain Home and Healthcare services commenced in Queensland.
Silver Chain and RDNS SA merged in 2011 to become one of the largest in-home health and care providers in Australia. The merger created a stronger, more sustainable organisation. It enhanced client services through best practice sharing and increased investment in innovation. It also decreased service delivery costs thanks to operational improvements.
In 2012, Silver Chain Group launched its first service in NSW: the Community Packages Program (ComPacks). ComPacks provides immediate access to packages of short-term case management, combined with non-clinical community services. The program supports people with their discharge home from participating NSW public hospitals and reduces avoidable hospital readmissions.