Palliative care is a specialised approach to care for people with serious illnesses. It is delivered by a multi-disciplinary care team who work together with a patient's healthcare team, to provide an extra layer of support. The focus of palliative care is to improve the quality of life of patients and families.
It can be provided at any age and at any stage of the illness, whether or not the patient is receiving active treatment. Hence, a patient with cancer can receive palliative care alongside chemotherapy, radiation therapy or even trial or experimental treatments.
Besides cancer, palliative care is also commonly provided to patients with other serious chronic illnesses such as kidney failure, advanced COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) and heart failure, or progressive neurological conditions like motor neurone disease.
Palliative care focuses on:
Palliative care takes a team approach - the healthcare team typically includes doctors, nurses, medical social workers or counsellors, but may also involve others like the physiotherapist, pharmacist etc. Everyone works together to support the patient and family through the illness journey.
Palliative care services are available in hospitals and also in the community, where it is more frequently known as hospice care. Hospice care can support patients and families in their own homes (this is called hospice home care), or patients can receive care in specialized centres known as inpatient hospices.
So if you or your loved one would like some help with:
Consult your doctor or nurse about Palliative Care.
Our multi-disciplinary Palliative Care team provides a consultative service to patients who are admitted to NUH, regardless of diagnosis or age (including Paediatrics). Our Palliative Specialists also run outpatient clinics in the NUH Medical Centre.
To find out more about our team of Supportive and Palliative Care Specialists at the NCIS, click here and select palliative care under the Specialties field.
palliative care services are commonly called hospice, and are divided into day
care, home care and inpatient hospice. To find out more, click on the
respective hospice to be directed to their website.