The World Health Organisation defines Palliative Care as “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 and impeccable assessment and treatment of pain and other problems, physical, psychosocial and spiritual”.
Palliative care is provided by nearly all health services – GP, hospital, community & home services, and many family and friends. When more expertise is needed for complex symptoms and situations, the Palliative care Service should be the next point of referral.
The Palliative Nurses role is to support and educate patients and carers through their journey, as well as support and educate other health workers and the community to be more confident in assisting care. There is close liaison and communication with the GP and other support services that may be involved in ongoing care.