This can involve providing guidance and information to people facing life threatening illness, and understanding that emotional, spiritual, family and financial worries may be just as important to you as physical problems.
Core Level Palliative Care is often delivered by your usual care team, wherever you are being cared for, be that nurses, doctors and healthcare professionals on a ward or department in hospital, or in your home by District Nurses, Community health professionals and your GP.
Specialist Level Palliative Care is a liaison service, able to support you and your usual care team with complex issues or care planning, where additional expertise is needed. This input may be needed for short periods where you and your usual care team are struggling with specific complex issues or may require input for a longer period due to your illness or symptoms; you and your usual care team are able to access that expertise and advice as and when it is required. Patients may be seen in a variety of settings; in hospital, in their home or care home, in clinic or at a hospice.
The SLPC Team is made up of Senior Doctors, Nurses, Physiotherapists, Occupational Therapists and Therapy Technicians, with further Multi-Disciplinary support from Chaplains and Clinical Psychologists.
Supportive care is an “umbrella” term for all services which helps the patient and their family to cope with their condition and treatment of it – from pre-diagnosis, through the process of diagnosis and treatment, to cure, continuing illness or death and into bereavement. It helps the patient to maximise the benefits of treatment and to live as well as possible with the effects of the disease. It is given equal priority alongside diagnosis and treatment.
Supportive care should be fully integrated with diagnosis and treatment and involves:
- Self help and support
- User involvement
- Information giving
- Psychological support
- Symptom control
- Social support
- Complementary therapies
- Spiritual support
- End of life and bereavement care
Palliative care is an approach that improves the quality of life of patients and their families facing the problems associated with life-threatening illness.
Through the prevention and relief of suffering by means of early identification, assessment and treatment of pain and other problems, physical, psychosocial and spiritual.
- Provides relief from pain and other distressing symptoms
- Affirms life and regards dying as a normal process
- Intends neither to hasten or postpone death
- Integrates the psychological and spiritual aspects of patient care
- Offers a support system to help patients live as actively as possible until death
- Offers a support system to help the family cope during the patient’s illness and in their own bereavement
- Uses a team approach to address the needs of patients and their families
- Will enhance quality of life, and may also positively influence the course of illness
- Is applicable early in the course of illness, in conjunction with other therapies that are intended to prolong life, such as chemotherapy or radiation therapy, and includes those investigations needed to better understand and manage distressing clinical complications.
- If your health professional thinks palliative care will help you, you will be referred to our palliative care team at any stage during your illness, if appropriate. It is particularly important if your treatment is no longer working, or not working so well, because good symptom management can help you to live longer and to live comfortably, even if we cannot cure you.
Advance Care Planning
An advance care plan or advance statement helps you to consider and record your future care wishes, in the event that you are unable to communicate them. This can include any aspect of your future care, such as how and where you wish to be cared for, as well as any treatments you might want to avoid, alongside practical considerations such as who you would trust to make decisions on your behalf.
Not everyone will choose to think about this and that is fine. However, planning ahead improves the chance of receiving the care you want, and can reduce stress and anxiety amongst those who are important to you. Across the North of England, we do this through Deciding Right.
End of life care
End of life care helps the supportive and palliative care needs of both patient and family to be identified and met throughout the last phase of life and into bereavement. It is underpinned by:
- Anticipation and management of deterioration in the patient’s stage of health and well-being.
- Advance care planning in accordance with patient preferences.
- Patient choice about place of care and death.
- Effective co-ordination of care across all teams and providers of care (in statutory, voluntary and independent sectors) who are involved in the care of patient and family.
Care of the dying
Care of the dying is the care of the patient and family in the last hours and days of life. It incorporates four key domains of care, physical, psychological, social and spiritual and supports the family at that time and into bereavement.
We provide our service from 9am and 5pm, 7 days a week. District Nursing are a 24 hour service, contactable through the Single Point of Access 01429 522500.
Making a referral
We accept referrals from health professionals including doctors, district nurses, GPs, consultants, hospices, social workers, and self-referral from patients and or carers who may require signposting or support.
Community Specialist Level Palliative Care Team, please call the Single Point of Access 01429 522500
Hospital based Specialist Level Palliative Care Team, call 01642 383895
If you are a professional requiring support or advice:
- 9 to 5, 7 days contact the Duty Clinician, 01642 383000 asking for Palliative Care
- Out of Hours, contact Hospital Switchboard