Silver Chain helps ease pressure on Victorian hospitals

A revolutionary program treating some of Victoria’s sickest patients in their homes is easing pressure on the State’s hospital system.

The Western Health Links pilot program, delivered by Silver Chain in partnership with Western Health, has seen a dramatic reduction in hospital admissions since its inception three years ago.

Silver Chain Director of Clinical Operations Victoria, Jennifer Collins, said more than 5,400 people had joined the Western Health Links program since it commenced in November 2016.

“In that time, the Priority Response Assessment (PRA) Service has received almost 3,300 calls and helped 2,360 clients,” she said.
“That means more than 71 per cent of clients were able to stay in their homes and avoided being transferred to hospital.”

The program aims to reduce the number of avoidable hospital admissions through Health Navigation and access to the PRA Service. Following discharge from hospital, a Silver Chain Health Navigator attends a home visit to ensure the patient is linked into services, identifies any gaps in care and completes a care plan.

The Health Navigator provides the client with the link between the hospital, the GP and other service providers. There is also 24-hour support available to clients.

“A 24-hour central phone number is available for patients if they feel unwell,” Ms Collins said.

“A Registered Nurse conducts an initial nursing assessment over the phone and the client is assessed for risk using an evidenced-based screening tool. If assessed as a non-emergency, a nurse will attend the patient’s home and conduct a home nursing assessment (PRA Service) between 7am and 10pm.”

Western Health Links client Lalita Close, 73, no longer attends hospital multiple times a year for complex health issues. Since joining the program in February 2018, Ms Close has only visited hospital once for kidney issues.

“Western Health Links is wonderful, and it stops me going to hospital,” she said.
“I have realised that Silver Chain is my hospital.”

For more information on Western Health Links, call 1300 498 641 or click here.

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Media Contact

Montana Ardon | Communications Officer
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About Silver Chain Group



We are a not-for-profit organisation delivering community health and care services across Australia. We help people of all ages to receive the care they need to remain happy and healthy at home.

We have a proud history of serving Australians for over 110 years in Western Australia and more than 120 years as RDNS in South Australia. We currently deliver our services in Western Australia, Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia.

With over 4,000 staff and 130 volunteers, we assist more than 100,000 people to remain living in their homes and community every year.

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