Palliative care is the care given to people with a life limiting illness. The term ‘life-limiting’ refers to an illness that can’t be cured and that patients are likely to die from. You may hear the term ‘progressive’ (gets worse over time) or ‘advanced’ (a serious stage) to describe these illnesses. Examples include advanced cancer, end stage cardiac, respiratory, renal failure and motor neurone disease.
The aim of palliative care is to help patients have a good quality of life, through physical, psychological, social and spiritual aspects of person centred care. This is called a ‘holistic care’, because it focuses on patient as a "whole" person, not just their illness or symptoms and focused on what is important to that person and their families.
Many patients receive palliative care earlier in their illness, whilst still receiving therapies to treat their condition. Palliative care also includes caring for people who are nearing the end of life – this is sometimes called end of life care.
For complex situations, each hospital has a Specialist Palliative Care Team, who are available for patients, families and staff support. Everyone in the clinical team can provide palliative care and the short presentation and resources below introduce you to key areas of your role as HCSW.
Essential Learning Resources for HCSWs caring for Adults
Essential Learning Resources for HCSWs caring for babies, children and young people
Babies,Children and Young People's Palliative Care (a 40 minute presentation)
Palliative Care Resource Folder (Adult) (Access from a GGC computer)
Palliative Care Resource Folder (Neonatal and Children's services)(Access from a GGC computer)
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