D7.1 Palliative care services

Palliative care services provide symptom control and support for patients facing life threatening illness in hospice, hospital and community. Palliative care is not synonymous with terminal care as many patients have uncontrolled symptoms well before their terminal phase. Palliative care is concerned about how patients are living their lives facing terminal illness:

  • Symptom control
  • Maintenance of independence, physical function and activity
  • Support with psychosocial problems
  • Support for carers
  • Inter-professional communication

The unit of care includes the family or carers and continues into bereavement. Most services operate on a consultancy basis in hospitals and in the community with direct care in a specialised palliative care unit or hospice. The service is available on consultation to support clinicians, carers and patients receiving a palliative approach. Specialist palliative care may be needed to augment or takeover care in complex situations.