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Patients & Visitors

Palliative Care

What is Palliative Care?

Palliative care is the treatment of life threatening conditions when a cure is not possible, but the emphasis is on the best quality of life. Control of pain and other physical symptoms is a high priority, as well as psychological, spiritual and social support for the person with the condition and their families and carers.

Who provides palliative care support?

For people at home, or in a residential or nursing home, their overall care is overseen by the GP and other staff in the Primary Health Care Team. For instance, the district nurse may be involved in supporting and advising patients, families and staff caring for them.

For people in hospital, it is the responsibility of the ward staff to provide the day-to-day support and care of the patient.

Wherever the person is, the staff will work with other people to ensure that all aspects of the care are covered. For example social services, oncologists, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, district nurses, pain teams and pharmacists are all available if needed to help.

Specialist palliative care teams or services provide additional advice and support to patients with a life-limiting illness, in the community, in hospices and in hospitals. Specialist palliative care services also provide advice and support to healthcare professionals providing care to patients and families.

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