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Who can provide palliative care

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  • Who provides palliative care
  • Posted date:
  • 03-08-2016
Who can provide palliative care

Who can provide palliative care?

If you have a terminal illness, palliative care is the treatment you are given to ease your pain and discomfort, provide practical and psychological support and improve your quality of life. Because the goal of the care is to offer support to every aspect of your wellbeing, health and social care professionals with different skills, roles and experience will work together to provide you with the best help.

Every day care

Your GP together with your district or community nurse can support your day-to-day healthcare needs if you are living at home. In a care home the nursing staff will be close by to lend a helping hand. They should be able to provide the help you need, delivered with compassion and respect and should know when to refer you to a specialist palliative care team for further support.

If you find that you are struggling to cope at home with self-care or everyday household chores then you could employ in-home caregivers to help out. They can assist with anything from washing-up, popping out to the shop and making tempting snacks to aiding with bathing, dressing and going to the loo. The level of support can be tailored to your individual needs and could range from just a few hours, to live-in helpers that can provide you with complex nursing care and supervision twenty-four hours a day.

Contact your social services department for a care assessment. If you are found to have eligible needs then, following a means test, you may be allocated funds that you can spend on the best care for you. You may also be assessed as needing fully-funded NHS continuing care, so it is vital that you seek advice promptly. Find out more here.

Specialist palliative care

More specialist services are provided by multidisciplinary palliative care teams. They can be accessed through a hospice clinic, as an inpatient or in your own home as part of a hospice at home service.

Doctors, nurses, physiotherapists, social workers and counsellors can all work together to provide support for all aspects of palliative care: medical, social and emotional. There should be a coordinated approach wherever you choose to receive your care. The specialist team will work together with your own doctor and district nurse if you choose to spend your last days in the comfort of your own home.

Day care hospice facilities are also available. These can offer the opportunity to review treatment, get together with other people who are going through the same thing or try new creative and complementary therapies.

Sources of advice and support

There are also a number of charities, local groups and information services that can provide information and guidance. Macmillan are a mine of knowledge and also have a network of specialist nurses that can provide support from initial diagnosis through to your final days. Dying Matters aims to help people talk more openly about death and bereavement, and making plans for the end of life.

The care should continue for your loved ones after your death, supporting them in their bereavement. Cruse are a charity supporting the bereaved, they have a national helpline and a network of trained volunteers offering help for people suffering grief.

Find out more about the range of palliative care services that we offer throughout London.