Palliative care

Palliative Care involves care and support for a person living with a serious health condition or a life-limiting illness such as cancer or heart failure. This includes managing physical symptoms such as pain, helping with social care needs and offering psychological, emotional and spiritual support.

The aim of palliative care is to increase your quality of life and boost your well-being as much as possible. You can receive palliative care at any time during your illness, and some people may receive this type of care for many years alongside treatment and therapies.

Who provides palliative care?

Many healthcare professionals provide palliative care as part of their jobs. An example is the care you get from your GP or community nurses.

Some people need additional specialist palliative care. This may be provided by consultants trained in palliative medicine, specialist palliative care nurses or specialist occupational therapists or physiotherapists.

Palliative care teams are made up of different healthcare professionals and can co-ordinate the care of people with an incurable illness. As specialists, they also advise other professionals on palliative care.

Palliative care services may be provided by the NHS, your local council or a charity.

What is the difference between End-of-Life Care and Palliative Care?

End-of-life care includes palliative care. If you have an illness that can’t be cured, palliative care makes you as comfortable as possible, by managing your pain and other distressing symptoms. It also involves psychological, social and spiritual support for you and your family or carers. This is called a holistic approach because it deals with you as a “whole” person.

Palliative care isn’t just for the end of life. You may receive palliative care earlier in your illness while you are still receiving other therapies to treat your condition.

Eastern Specialist Palliative Care Team

The Eastern specialist palliative care team (SPCT) work as part of the multidisciplinary team to provide specialist support to patients with a palliative diagnosis, who have complex needs which cannot be met by the ward team alone. 

A patient with complex palliative care needs is a patient that is experiencing any single or combination of the following needs: 

  • Uncontrolled symptoms associated with their palliative diagnosis
  • Emotional/spiritual/psychological distress as a result of their palliative diagnosis. 
  • Advance Care Planning
  • Advice on caring for patients in the last 72 hours of life.

We offer a seven-day service to all wards on Wonford Site. Our working hours are Monday to Friday (inc. bank holidays) 09.00am to 17.00pm and Saturday and Sunday 10.00am to 15.00pm


Referrals are made to the Specialist Palliative Care Team by the healthcare professionals caring for you/your relative on the ward. Please discuss with the ward team looking after you or your relative if you feel a referral would be helpful.

Last updated: November 22, 2023.


Our site uses cookies to help give you a better experience. By continuing to use it you consent to the use of cookies as set out in our privacy policy.