The palliative care team aims to provide an open, honest and friendly atmosphere in which to offer physical, emotional, spiritual and social care. Our objective is to promote a feeling of ease amongst cancer and non-malignant patients and their families. We ensure that our service is up-to-date, research based and provided by skilled staff. We believe in a team approach remembering that the patient is the central person on the team and hope patients experience of their illness and its treatment is less traumatic than it otherwise might be.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) defines palliative care as “the total act of care of patients whose disease is not responsive to curative treatment”. According to W.H.O., palliative care affirms life and regards dying as a normal process, neither hastens nor postpones death, provides relief from pain and other symptoms, integrates psychological and spiritual care, comes from an interdisciplinary team and offers a support system for the family.
Palliative care is an approach that improves the quality of life for patients and their families facing the problems associated with life threatening illness, through the prevention and relief of suffering by means of early identification, impeccable assessment and treatment of pain and other problems, psychosocial and spiritual (WHO 2001).
Our palliative care service aims to:
- Provide relief from pain and other distressing symptoms
- Affirms life and regards dying as a normal process
- Intends neither to hasten nor postpone death
- Integrates the psychological and spiritual aspects of patient care
- Offers a support system to help patients live as actively as possible until death
- Offers a support system to help the family cope during the patients illness and in their own bereavement
- Uses a team approach to address the needs of patients and their families, including bereavement counselling, if indicated
- Will enhance quality of life and may also positively influence the course of illness.
Plans are also under way to extend the services available at the Hospice premises to include the provision of alternative therapies on site e.g. acupuncture, massage etc. A library for nursing staff has already been set up and computers with internet access will also be provided for patients and their families on site.