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Pell blesses new residential aged care community

Holy Spirit Croydon, a new 127 place residential aged care community in Sydney's inner west, was officially opened yesterday by Premier Bob Carr, NSW Health Minister Morris Iemma and blessed by His Eminence George Cardinal Pell, Archbishop of Sydney.

A $24 million development on the former Western Suburbs Hospital land, Holy Spirit Croydon, is Catholic Health Care Services' first residential aged care community built on a "green field" site. The former Western suburbs hospital site was decommissioned in 1994 and has been redeveloped through the State's largest public/private health initiative. The partnership is between Catholic Health Care Services, Central Sydney Area Health Services (CSAHS) and Bovis Lend Lease.

Cardinal Pell said: "The opening of this new community will enhance the mission of the Church in aged care."

Holy Spirit Croydon's wholistic care model focuses on respecting the spirituality and dignity of the individual. This is achieved by providing opportunities and relationships that enrich the physical, psychological, spiritual and social needs of each resident.

Catholic Health Australia CEO Francis Sullivan said: "The opening only further reflects the substantial commitment by the Catholic Church to the provision of high quality aged care services and its determination to treat ageing Australians with the respect they deserve."

Meanwhile there was a further development in tensions between hospital chaplains and the NSW Health Department over the impact on chaplains' access to patients caused by the increased application of privacy provisions.

The Sydney Morning Herald reported yesterday that the Health Department is revising questions asked at the time of patients' admission after complaints from church groups that lists of religious affiliations are in effect being withheld from chaplains. NSW privacy laws require that sensitive information, such as religious status, should not be shared among non-medical staff such as chaplains without the express consent of the patient.

But Civil Chaplaincies Advisory Committee (CCAC) secretary, Rev Harry Herbert of the Uning Church, said in a letter published in today's Herald that provisional agreement has been reached on a suitable form of words that will be put to people as they enter NSW hospitals.

"This agreement will allow chaplains to have access to adequate information and to be able to provide pastoral care to patients," he said. "Chaplains will be allowed this information because they are recognised as part of hospital services."

But Rev Herbert conceded that visiting clergy will only be able to visit patients with whom they already have a pastoral relationship.

Last month, Bishop Julian Porteous, the Catholic Church's liaison bishop to the Civil Chaplains Advisory Committee, expressed concern that privacy safeguards are forcing hospitals and other medical institutions to deny chaplains access to members of their faith who are sick.

Cardinal George Pell Blesses New Residential Aged Care Community in Inner West (CHCS 8/12/08)
Holy Spirit Croydon extends Catholic Aged Care Ministry (Catholic Health Australia 8/12/04)
Hospital chaplains negotiating patient access protocol (Rev Harry Herbert, letter to Sydney Morning Herald, published 9/12/04) | Temporary url - 9/12/04 only
Spiritual health of
patients under threat, chaplains say (Sydney Morning Herald 8/12/04)

Holy Spirit Croydon
Catholic Health Care Services | Holy Spirit Croydon
Catholic Health Australia
Civil Chaplaincy Advisory Committee (Google cache)

Catholic patients "denied access" to chaplains (CathNews 26/11/04)

9 Dec 2004