About us

Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network (the Network) is the largest network of hospital and services for children in Australia. Each year our services manage:

  • 51,000 inpatient admissions
  • 92,000 Emergency Department presentations
  • Over one million outpatient service visits

Our Network aims to be Safer, Smarter. Stronger.

For information about Sydney Children's Hospital, Randwick or The Children's Hospital at Westmead go to My Hospitals on the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare website.

In 2011, 2013 and 2015 NSW Health conducted three state-wide workforce surveys at our hospitals. Feedback from these surveys is used to develop strategic priorities to positively influence the workplace culture within the Network.

Like to see the results?

We listen to feedback from families and consumers. Here's a video about what they said about our services.

NSW Health Annual Reports

Every year NSW Health publishes an Annual Report to document its achievements.

You can read it here.

Our services

Our hospitals, The Children's Hospital at Westmead and Sydney Children's Hospital, Randwick, provide care for children locally, across the state, nationally and internationally.

The Newborn and Paediatric Emergency Transport Service (NETS), the Pregnancy and Newborn Services Network (PSN) and the Children’s Court Clinic (CCC) are also part of  Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network providing key specialised services.

The Network provides significant statewide and national services, including:

  • The Heart Centre for Children at The Children's Hospital at Westmead is a nationally-funded centre for foetal evaluation, cardiac surgical intervention and medical care of patients with Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome.
  • The National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance provides independent advice regarding immunisation for preventable diseases. Located in the Kids Research Institute at The Children's Hospital at Westmead, the Centre promotes and conducts research on immunisation and vaccine-preventable diseases and provides a national perspective on all issues relating to immunisation in Australia.
  • The NSW Poisons Information Centre manages all poisons information-related calls from NSW, Tasmania and the Australian Capital Territory. The Centre is staffed by pharmacists and others with expertise in the medical management of human poisoning and envenomation.
  • The Australian Paediatric Surveillence Unit  located at Kids Research Institute, The Children's Hospital at Westmead, facilitates active surveillance of uncommon childhood diseases, complications of common diseases or adverse effects of treatment. The Unit is the sole national mechanism for data collection for many diseases/conditions of childhood.
  • The Liver Transplant Centre at The Children's Hospital at Westmead is a nationally-funded centre for paediatric transplantation, performing liver transplants, pre and post operative care and ongoing management of infants and children undergoing transplant.
  • The NSW Newborn Screening Service manages a statewide screening program of all newborn babies in NSW for the detection of a number of disorders, providing advice and other services to interstate and overseas screening laboratories.
  • The NSW Paediatric Burns Unit at The Children's Hospital at Westmead is the statewide referral centre for the management of children with a severe burn injury and forms part of the NSW Severe Burn Injury Service.
  • Bear Cottage, located at Manly, is an initiative of The Children's Hospital at Westmead,  The hospice provides respite and end of life care for children with life-limiting illnesses and support for their families.

 


Our vision, mission and values

The formation of the Network in 2010 was a significant milestone for paediatric services in NSW. The Network's leadership group has established a solid corporate and strategic platform to enhance clinical care, further groundbreaking research, invest in education and training of the health workforce and advocate for a healthy future for children in NSW and beyond. Our team, more than 5,000 talented staff across the Network, is committed to providing world-class paediatric health care in a family-focused, healing environment. Sick children have access to the best facilities, with speciality care available for children with conditions such as cancer, heart problems, severe burns, HIV/AIDS and children needing organ, bone marrow or cord blood transplants.

Sydney Children's Hospitals Network has adopted the following vision, mission and values to guide us in providing the best care for sick children and their families.

Vision

Children first and foremost

Mission

Working in partnership to improve the health and wellbeing of children through clinical care, research, education and advocacy

Values

  • Collaboration
  • Openness
  • Respect 
  • Empowerment

What we do

Our care for the children we treat is underpinned by four core mission domains — clinical services, research, education and advocacy.

Clinical services

The Network offers inpatient, outpatient and outreach care which provides a comprehensive range of services for children and young adults. The services include highly specialised quaternary and tertiary services as well as primary care and population health programs which operate at local, statewide or national levels. Paediatric clinical specialties include neonatal and paediatric intensive care, cardiac surgery, cancer services, renal and liver transplantation and acute mental health services. The clinical service categories with the highest occupied bed days include Respiratory Medicine, Haematology, Orthopaedics, Non-subspecialty surgery, Perinatology and Acute Psychiatry.

Consistent with changing models of care, an increasing proportion of clinical care is delivered in ambulatory care settings, including hospital in the home, day treatment in specialty centres, outpatients, outreach clinics and through tele-health. The Network has 600 different types of specialty ambulatory care services, including specialty medical clinics, specialty surgical clinics and multidisciplinary clinics.

We offer best practice diagnostic services, pathology, radiology and nuclear medicine in all disciplines and modalities, in line with national and international best practice standards and provide specialist vocational training for medical and allied health professionals planning to work with children using these modalities.

Research

Underpinning the ability to deliver the best health care to children is the requirement for world-class research in child health and wellbeing. Research across the Network is conducted in the following entities:

The Network research entities are affiliated and work closely with academic centres, including the Universities of Sydney and New South Wales, and have partnerships with the Western Sydney University, University of Notre Dame, Macquarie University and University of Technology.

Strong collaborative relationships exist with biomedical research institutes, the Children’s Medical Research Institute (CMRI) and The Westmead Institute (WI), as part of the Westmead Research Hub, and with Children’s Cancer Institute Australia (CCIA) and Health Science Alliance (HAS) at Randwick.

Current research activities include clinical, public and population health and laboratory research which is undertaken across eight major research streams:

  • Neurosciences and Mental Health
  • Tissue Engineering and Bone Repair
  • Cancer Biology
  • Genetics
  • Gene Therapy and Genomics
  • Obesity, Metabolism and Nutrition
  • Renal Medicine and Transplantation
  • Infectious Diseases and Immunology
  • Clinical Sciences and Health Services Delivery

Our National Research Centres include:

Research undertaken at the Network has a high impact nationally and internationally. Researchers are encouraged to collaborate to provide a multidisciplinary approach to improving child health. In addition to our key academic and research institute partners, our staff collaborate with many other prestigious institutions and organisations in Australia and overseas, including Children’s Oncology Group (USA), US Army, University of Alabama, University of Washington, National Institutes for Health (NIH), Beijing Children’s Hospital and the University of Cambridge.

Education

Education design in the Network is informed by evaluation and research and incorporates a whole-of-workforce perspective. Programs ensure clinical and non-clinical staff have access to the education and support needed to provide excellence in service delivery and patient care.

The Network has well-established partnerships with many professional Colleges, tertiary education institutes (eg. The University of Sydney, University of NSW, University of Notre Dame and the University of Technology) and other educational agencies, and has significant education infrastructure in place. The Network is recognised as an international leader in providing Simulated Learning Environments (SLE) and simulation is used to educate students and staff in a range of clinical and non-clinical skills facilitating multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary learning.

The Network:

  • is a training institution and is involved in the education of trainees in all paediatric health disciplines; medicine, nursing and allied health
  • plays an important role in continuing education of professionals, helping them further develop skills and keep up to date with contemporary clinical practice
  • considers education of the community, patient and/or parents as integral to clinical treatment, health promotion and illness prevention.

Advocacy

As preeminent providers of children’s health services in the State, the Network has significant responsibilities in advocating for the health and wellbeing of children and young people. Staff from a range of disciplines and departments have a dual role, not only caring for sick children across the Network, but also advocating on a range of health topics to prevent illness and injury among children in the community. Work to date includes significant contributions to national documents, such as The Charter on the Rights of Children and Young People in Health Care Services in Australia, and statewide strategic plans and national programs, such as chronic disease and preventative programs for the paediatric population.

The Network continues to play a major role in the development of standards for the care of children in a variety of health care settings. This ties closely with our education role, for example through the training of health care providers in remote settings, raising the overall standard of health care available for children.

With one in five adolescents having a chronic illness or disability, it is important to ensure that these young people are connected with the health services, especially during their transition to adult care.

Our advocacy role is not purely confined to the health care setting. The Network considers advocacy as a valuable way to raise issues and facilitate change for child safety and wellbeing across a number of areas. We work collaboratively with a range of partners, including other hospitals, government departments and non-government organisations.

Some of our most widely publicised advocacy work includes 'Kids Don't Fly', a public awareness campaign for the prevention of children falling from windows and balconies, and 'Kids Can Drown Without a Sound', a public awareness campaign for increased pool safety.