1. What is it?
“… an approach that improves quality of life of patients and their families facing the problems associated with life-threatening illness, through the prevention of suffering by early identification and impeccable assessment and treatment of pain and other problems, physical, psychological and spiritual.” WHO
Palliative care is the responsibility of all health professionals and is delivered by distinct categories of health professionals:
- Primary care providers; and,
- Health professionals who specialise in palliative care.
Palliative care is an active and total approach to the care of a patient with a life-limiting illness. It focuses on enhancing the patient’s quality of life and supporting the family.
Palliative care is indicated: when the focus of care for the patient moves from the cure of the illness to maximising the patient’s quality of life.
The palliative care teams may include palliative care medical specialists, specialist nurses, specialist social workers, pastoral care, occupational therapist, music therapist, pharmacist, nurse practitioner and volunteers.
- Multidisciplinary assessment.
- Specialist medical, nursing and allied health consultation and liaison, both face to face and via telephone;
- Education for health professionals, patients, carers and consumers.
- Volunteers who provide a range of supportive services to patients.
- Grief and bereavement support
- Spiritual support
3. Referral and Access by Region
Specialist Community Palliative Care Service.
Please click on this link to access the state-wide Palliative Care Service Referral Form
A referral to the Palliative Care Service can be made by patients, carers/family members or health professionals. It can be made by phone, fax, letter, or email.
However, those made by carers/family members will need to be validated by a treating healthcare professional i.e., a person’s GP.
A patient can be referred when they:
- have been diagnosed with a life-limiting illness;
- are aware of their diagnosis; and
- agree to be referred – or if the person is a child, or not competent to provide agreement, the agreement must be sought from the person’s nominated person responsible.
The Palliative Care Service will need to contact the patient’s general practitioner or specialist to ensure that the referral is appropriate for the person’s illness and needs.
Referrals are made to an individual’s local palliative care service care team.
The care team’s hours of operations and contact details are provided below.
Hours of operation:
The palliative care service operates during the following business hours Monday to Friday.
8.00 am to 4.30 pm
8.30 am to 4.30 pm
8.30am to 5.00pm
For further information about palliative care services, contact your nearest Team/s office detailed below: