Palliative care aims to improve the quality of life for patients and their families facing life-threatening illness. This is achieved by paying particular attention to the prevention, assessment, and treatment of pain and other symptoms, and also the provision of psychological, spiritual and emotional support.
The Palliative Care Team may see patients at any stage of their illness and work alongside other hospital teams.
Palliative Care focuses on:
- Quality of life which includes good symptom control
- A whole person approach, taking into account the person’s past and current situation
- Care which encompasses both the patient and the people that matter to them
- Respect for patient autonomy and choice (e.g. place of care, treatment options)
- Open and sensitive communication
Palliative care is provided by two distinct categories of health and social care professionals:
- Those providing the day-to-day care to patients and carers in their homes and in hospitals
- Those who specialise in palliative care for example palliative medicine consultants and clinical nurse specialists.