a message from our
Trustee, Chair and Group CEO

enVision2025 strategy

Our strategic vision of serving, seeing and striving for something greater continues to guide our work to bring God’s love to those in need through the healing ministry of Jesus.

Serving something greater

One of the innovative ways we are growing our advocacy and Mission of serving the poor and vulnerable is through the SVHA Inclusive Health Strategy. Drawing inspiration from our founders, the Sisters of Charity, inclusive health pushes against the tide of government funding and the traditional medical model. It speaks to the core of how SVHA delivers health care with compassion for all and a deep desire to ‘serve something greater’. There are some great stories of our success in this area on pages 13 and 14 of this report.

We are also strengthening our Mission within the organisation by helping our staff – no matter what role they are in – understand how their day to day work connects to the Mission. This is being done through our formation program for all staff. This program invites participants to reflect on how their personal stories, the story of SVHA and the Catholic story, of which SVHA is a part, meet together and inspire our remarkable service in health and aged care.

During the year, SVHA made a bold move in the context of Catholic health and aged care in Australia by appointing an ethicist to help guide us in our advocacy work, which has contentious or difficult ethical aspects. Current examples include SVHA’s position on end-of-life and palliative care, which are covered in greater depth on page 16.

Seeing something greater

Aged Care Division

This has been a momentous year for our aged care division, St Vincent’s Care Services (SVCS). We opened three new facilities in three different states, undertook major extension and refurbishment works at a number of facilities and finalised the transition of two facilities from other aged care providers.

We have achieved all this at a time when the aged care sector is experiencing significant change. This change stems from numerous reforms to the industry, a sharp increase in providers and increasing expectation by the consumers – who now have greater choice over how their care is delivered and by whom.

Notable among these reforms has been the deregulation of community (also known as in-home) care services. This has provided significant growth opportunities for SVCS but has also increased competition in the sector as more providers compete for a slice of the market. Now more than ever it is vital to cultivate the strong relationships our aged care services and hospitals enjoy, in order to include SVCS community and in-home services as a continuum of care option for our hospital patients.


This has been a year of outstanding innovation, translation and achievement across the many teams, collaborators and partners involved in research at SVHA. Research is the key success factor in improving health-related outcomes forour patients, and, especially, for the poor and marginalised in our communities. We congratulate our research community for their Mission-driven work that brings new hope to our patients. You can read more about their inspiring work starting on page 34 of this report.

Private Hospitals Division

Our private hospitals continue to face significant challenges in the current health care market. While demand in the Australian private health care market is still strong, health insurance premiums, health fund pressure on margins and consumer expectations are all increasing. In response, we will continue with our private hospital strategy of disciplined cost control, revenue growth through a targeted doctor recruitment and retention strategy and enhanced customer experience.

St Vincent’s Private Community Hospital Griffith opened in 2016 with 20 beds, two operating rooms and six consulting suites. This new facility is reshaping health care in the Riverina region of New South Wales. St Vincent’s Private Hospital Werribee, our new 48-bed private hospital in Victoria is also on track to open early 2018.

Construction of a new east wing at St Vincent’s Private Hospital Sydney will provide an additional 48 beds and the refurbishment of the existing hospital. Work is also progressing well on the St Vincent’s Private Hospital East Melbourne 21-bed extension and the St Vincent’s Private Hospital Toowoomba redevelopment. Both are due for completion in early 2018.

Public Hospitals Division

Australia’s first robotics and biomedical engineering centre opened at St Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne as part of the Aikenhead Centre for Medical Discovery. The centre, called BioFab3D, brings key researchers and clinicians together to explore real-time development and production of replacement body parts, which can be surgically implanted into patients.

St Vincent’s Hospital Sydney is undergoing two important improvements to vital specialty services on its Darlinghurst Campus. These improvements, which will deliver significant long-term benefits are:

  • six extra beds in the Emergency Department for a Psychiatric, Alcohol and Non-prescription Drug Assessment (PANDA) unit, and
  • a new dedicated Haematology, Oncology, Bone Marrow Transplant unit, creating purpose built single-use rooms that meet the most up-to-date standards.

We acknowledge and thank the 18,500+ employees and 1,300 volunteers, who, regardless of their role, all contribute to our Mission. We are blessed to partner with them and they are all cherished members of the St Vincent’s family.

Striving for something greater

We feel welcome. We feel valued. We feel safe. These are SVHA’s person-centred care principles and they are at the heart of the SVHA Inspired to Care program. These principles reflect the distinctive brand of compassionate care that St Vincent’s is so well known for.

During the year SVHA embarked on a major program of culture change called ‘the Ethos Program – Inspired to Shine’. This will result in a kinder, safer and more reliable health care system. Ethos is covered in more detail on page 47.

Safety performance

Workplace safety is a key strategic goal under enVision2025. We take employee safety as seriously as we take the safety of our patients, residents and clients. We are pleased to report that we have made significant progress in making the workplace safer for our staff. Our Lost Time Injury Frequency Rate continues to improve, down from 12.55 in 2014-15 to 4.94 in 2016-17. These results are among the best in the world for the health care industry and reflect the hard work put in across the organisation to change and improve our safety culture.

Financial sustainability

In 2016-17, SVHA Group and partners generated revenue of $2.4 billion. As a not-for-profit, SVHA strives to make a surplus that allows us to further our Mission: to meet the health care needs of the Australian community; to advocate for the poor and vulnerable; to replace assets; and to reinvest in growing our healing ministry including expanding our private hospital and aged care services.

Toby Hall

Group Chief Executive Officer
St Vincent’s Health Australia

Paul Robertson AM

St Vincent’s Health Australia

Dr Maria Theresa Ho

Trustees of Mary Aikenhead Ministries