You may be unsure exactly what 'palliative care' means. Who is it for, where and when is it appriopriate, and how does it relate to end of life care?

Palliative means to alleviate and palliative care is focused on the needs of the individual. It can include:

  • medical treatment including pain relief and medicines
  • clinical care such as helping maintain mobility or symptom management
  • emotional and spiritual support

When is palliative care appropriate?

Palliative care can be appropriate at any time after a diagnosis with a life limiting condition or terminal illness. We aim to help people live every moment to the full in comfort and dignity. It’s a misconception that palliative care is just for people who are in their last few days.

How can someone receive it?

Referrals are usually made by GPs or consultants. We work closely with local hospitals, surgeries, and other health agencies, to provide the best package of care for our patients.

How long does palliative care last?

We focus on the needs of the patient. Some people may receive palliative care for several years; others for a short time. We aim to provide the right care, in the right place, at the right time.

What is end of life care?

Palliative care includes end of life care. When someone is in the last phase of their life, our team can usually notice the signs that they will die soon. Helping people to die a ‘good death’ is our aim – this means they are in the place they want to die, with dignity and managing their physical symptoms.

End of life care also supports the loved ones of the person who is dying – before, during and after their death.