Sacred Heart

Sacred Heart is a leading provider of palliative care and rehabilitation services. Opened by the Sisters of Charity in 1890 as a dedicated Hospice for the Dying, Sacred Heart has grown from a small cottage for terminally ill patients to a modern facility offering specialist palliative care and rehabilitation to inpatients and outpatients.


Operational Structure
Operating as part of St Vincents & Mater Health Sydney (SV&MHS) and managed by St Vincent’s Hospital, Sacred Heart (Sacred Heart Hospice ABN 69053439820) is an Affiliated Health Organisation under the NSW Health Services Act.

A Memorandum of Understanding between Sacred Heart, the South Eastern Sydney and Illawarra Area Health Service, and the NSW Minister for Health defines its role and funding within the NSW public health system.

Palliative Care Services
Sacred Heart Palliative Care provides an integrated interdisciplinary palliative care service to patients with life-limiting illness. A consultation service is provided to St Vincent’s Hospital, St Vincent’s Private Hospital and Prince of Wales Hospital with patients and carers supported by:   

A 50-bed inpatient unit
• A 24-hour community consultative service
• A day activity centre
• Community/respite programs

Pain control, symptom management and pastoral support are some of the key services provided by the team.
During 2006-07, approximately 585 patients were cared for in the inpatient unit and 557 outpatients were supported in the community, with outreach clinics in Wagga Wagga and Albury.

A/Professor Richard Chye is Director of Sacred Heart Palliative Care and Director of South Eastern Sydney and Illawarra Area Health Service Palliative Care.
Read more about Palliative Care

Cunningham Centre for Palliative Care Research
The mission of the Cunningham Centre for Palliative Care is to promote and enable excellence in palliative care research, education, clinical practice and quality care. The Centre’s mission embraces both education and research and all efforts in these realms aim to keep a central focus on the priorities and needs of those encountering life limiting illness – patients, caregivers and health professionals. 

The Centre aims to achieve its goals through multi-disciplinary academic collaboration and leadership.  The academic appointees strive for excellence and work to disseminate and build the evidence-base for palliative care practice in NSW.  Read more...

Rehabilitation Services
Sacred Heart Rehabilitation Services provide complete patient rehabilitation following an illness, injury or surgery with the aim of helping patients and their carers achieve maximum potential through a multi-disciplinary therapy approach.

The unit provides seven-day rehabilitation and was the first public rehabilitation service in New South Wales to offer services on the weekend. It has a reputation for treating a diverse and complex range of patients.

Patients are transferred from St Vincent’s Hospital, St Vincent’s Private Hospital, Sydney Hospital and other areas for recovery and rehabilitation of a wide range of conditions including:

• Stroke
Multiple sclerosis
Orthopaedic surgery
Organ transplantation
Chronic pain conditions
HIV treatment

A multidisciplinary team of medical, nursing, social work, occupational therapy, physiotherapy, speech pathology, pharmacy, pastoral care, dietetics, administration and clinical and neuro-psychology staff work together to ensure the best outcomes for all patients.

Two rehabilitation physicians are dedicated pain management specialists who provide services to the St Vincent’s Hospital Pain Clinic.
Read more about Rehabilitation Services.


Griffith Base Hospital
A rehabilitation clinic operates two days a week.

Multi-disciplinary Outpatient Service
This service provides physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech pathology and clinical and neuro-psychology services to patients in the local community.

The unit has developed innovative models of care and is involved in a number of new projects to develop rehabilitation services for targeted groups, including patients with mild stroke and motorcycle accident victims.

Several research projects were undertaken in the last 12 months, including a study of central pain post stroke and research paper detailing the first 50 transplant patients to be admitted for rehabilitation.