Palliative care for cancer
We may talk to you about referral to palliative care services for a specialist assessment.
Specialist palliative care teams can offer expert advice and support with the management of symptoms, help to address any practical and financial concerns you may have, and can also provide extra emotional and spiritual support for you and your family. If you want to, they can help you with planning for the future too.
The hospital has a specialist palliative care team (made up of doctors and Macmillan nurses), which links closely with other hospital services and with palliative care services in each local area.
Local hospices, which are funded largely through charitable means, also offer a range of specialist palliative care services. These may include community palliative care nurses, day therapy, outpatient clinics and inpatient beds.
Although some people think that hospices and palliative care services only care for people who are imminently dying, the reality is that these services support many people with cancer and other illnesses at different stages in their illness from diagnosis onwards, with the aim of helping people to live as well as possible for as long as possible. In fact there is even some research evidence that shows that people with lung cancer who access specialist palliative care live longer than those who don't!
Most hospices and palliative care teams are actively involved in the education of other professionals, and some are able to offer you the opportunity to take part in research that may influence the way people are treated and cared for in the future.
So if you are offered a referral, why not accept it and find out more about how you might benefit directly from the team?