A NSW Government website


District exercise physiologist wins national award

Caoimhe Scales named Accredited Exercise Physiologist of the Year.

Woman in allied health uniform standing in front of a sign for the centre
SydneyConnect Image: Caoimhe Scales 

Caoimhe Scales cares for people who have a life-limiting illness.

“It’s a privilege to work with patients and their families to achieve their goals,” she said.

Caoimhe is Sydney Local Health District’s first Exercise Physiologist in Palliative Care and is based at the Concord Centre for Palliative Care at Concord Hospital.

She was named Accredited Exercise Physiologist of the Year for 2021 by Exercise & Sports Science Australia – a national advocacy body that represents the industry.

“I was honoured to receive the award. 2021 was a challenging but rewarding year. Our multidisciplinary team has continued to provide the best possible care for our patients throughout the pandemic,” she said.

She has led the development and implementation of the District’s Palliative Care Community Exercise Physiology Service which was set up at Concord in October last year and has been expanded to RPA.

The Service aims to provide palliative care patients with exercise advice and programs to help maintain and improve their function, independence and quality of life.

“My role is to work alongside each patient – assessing their symptoms and existing health conditions and to educate and advise them about physical activity and exercise.

“Each patient has active goals they’re working towards. For example, making everyday tasks a little easier, re-engaging in activities or hobbies or being able to better manage living in their own home," she said.

The Service is available via a referral for people under 65 years of age who are living with a life limiting illness in the community, or are palliative care inpatients within the District.

Associate Professor Ghauri Aggarwal, the District’s Clinical Deputy Director for Cancer Services and Palliative Care congratulated Caoimhe on her award win.

“Caoimhe has enormous enthusiasm, passion and energy. She has spearheaded the development of our new service which aims to maintain and enhance our patients’ functional abilities as they approach advancement in their underlying diseases,” she said.  

The District’s Director of Allied Health Sarah Whitney described Caoimhe as an outstanding clinician.

“Caoimhe is a highly valued Allied Health professional who is always collaborative in her work with colleagues and provides excellent patient-centred care in her clinical practice,” she said.