What is Palliative Care?
“ Palliative care is an approach that improves the quality of life of patients and their families facing he problems associated with life-threatening illness, through the prevention and relief of suffering by means of early intervention and impeccable assessment and treatment of pain and other problems, physical psychological and spiritual.” WHO 2002
The Mercy University Hospital has a specialist palliative care team consists of Dr Marie Murphy – Consultant in Palliative Care Medicine, who visits the hospital on a sessional basis, a visiting registrar form Marymount Hospice and one whole time equivalent Clinical Nurse Specialist. The Hospital specialist service is linked to the local specialist care unit at Marymount Hospice.
The Report of the National Advisory Committee on Palliative Care (2000) recommends that every acute general hospital should have a Specialist Palliative Care Service. It states that it should consist of at least a specialist palliative care nurse, a social worker and a secretary, lead by a consultant in Palliative Medicine and with links to a local specialist palliative care unit.
A specialist palliative care service is available to the patients and families of the Mercy University Hospital on referral from the medical/surgical team, with the permission of the medical consultant. Patients are referred for management of pain and other symptoms, for psychological support or in relation to any other issues effecting to quality of life.
The palliative care team complements other disciplines, acting as a resource, providing advice and education to other staff. On referral the CNS will assess the patient. The Registrar will review the patient on request of in-patient consultation. The role of the palliative care team also involves liaising with other disciplines, outside agencies and in discharge planning,
The service is available to:
- Cancer patients.
- Non-cancer patients with life threatening conditions / chronic conditions for specific symptom management.
- Cancer and non cancer patients for end of life management.