‘Palliative care is an approach that improves the quality of life of patients [adults and children] and their families who are facing problems associated with life-threatening illness. It prevents and relieves suffering through early identification, correct assessment and treatment of pain and other problems - whether physical, psychosocial or spiritual.' (World Health Organization)
Specialist palliative care services can support people with a life-threatening illness through:
- direct care for people requiring specialist palliative care interventions
- shared care arrangements with other healthcare providers
- consultation and advice to other services and healthcare teams providing end-of-life care
- education and training on palliative care and end of life issues
- undertaking and disseminating research about caring for the dying and their families/carers.