St. Luke’s Care: A History of Community Care
St. Luke’s Care was founded in 1919 when a small private hospital opened in a modest home known as Trebartha, in Potts Point. This was organised by a small community group who raised money locally. “The first hospital had about 10 or 12 beds. Several years later, the community group was able to raise further funds to build a larger hospital adjacent to the first”, says Mark Compton, CEO of St Luke’s Care. “That hospital was opened in 1927 and is still largely the same building that stands on the main campus now.” Although there was an original alignment with the Church of England, the hospital, aged care, home care and retirement living activities of St Luke’s Care are now independent from any religious organisation. “The name comes from St Luke, the patron saint of physicians,” says Compton. The distinction is important to him, and he stresses that it is a community based not-for-profit organisation open to all. “It is not a church owned or operated hospital, it is a community owned and community run facility with its own private board and committees. In part it is supported by the St Luke’s Hospital Foundation, a charitable foundation that raises funds to provide invaluable support to St Luke’s Care” he says.
Integration of methods and services
“St Luke’s Care encompasses acute hospital services, residential aged care, home care and retirement living. Right now we have about 700 staff members, and we care for about five to six hundred people a day,” says Compton. He sees the organisation is “somewhat unique” and jokes that there are always degrees of actual uniqueness, but the mixing of functional hospital care with aged care and retirement community living is so well integrated it’s not something you come across often. “The hospital here at Potts Point is just fantastic,” says Compton, “it is a very competent surgical, medical and rehabilitation hospital. It has had considerable funds spent on it in the last three to four years – not only on refurbishment to make it look good – which it does, it’s a beautiful hospital – but the technology backbone of the entire hospital has also been upgraded.” Digital technology has been a special focus in this, including Stryker i-Suites and an investment in the central sterilisation department within the hospital making it state of the art – just to name a few.
“On top of all the services we offer, we also have a large rehabilitation centre,” continues Compton. Patients who have had recent joint replacement surgery or other extensive surgery can take advantage of their excellent rehabilitation centre which includes a state of the art hydrotherapy unit.
“But the thing that really makes the place is the incredible staff here; it’s a great privilege working with such a caring and professional group every day.” St Luke’s patients have also attested to this – their glowing recommendations for the hospital are well known among staff and the community at large.
“Our home care operation also runs from here, and the Trebartha apartments are also located on our Potts Point/Elizabeth Bay campus,” says Compton. St Luke’s has a second campus at Little Bay that has 70 retirement apartments. “At this time there are only 10 of those left for sale.” He says demand for them is so high because the area is so appealing. “They’re surrounded by parklands and lovely coastal views– it’s just beautiful. And only 20 mins from the Sydney CBD,” says Compton.
St Luke’s Care highly values its community relationships that have been carefully built over 92 years. Its principal objective is to meet changing community needs in health and aged care. In doing so, St Luke’s continues to offer the best quality care with the unique personal touch it has become known for.