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Palliative Care


Palliative care is a multidisciplinary approach that strives to improve the quality of life of patients and their families facing a life limiting illness. We focus on prevention and relief of suffering by treatment of pain, and other problems; physical, psychosocial and spiritual.

Palliative care can be applicable early in the course of an illness, while patients continue to have active treatments (chemotherapy, radiotherapy or surgery) aimed at both prolonging life and controlling symptoms.

The Royal Adelaide Hospital team (Central Adelaide Palliative Care Service) is part of an integrated palliative care service across the Central Adelaide Local Health Network (CALHN) catchment area.

The Central Adelaide Palliative Care Service (CAPCS) provides:

  • Inpatient and consultative services at the RAH (and TQEH and Mary Potter Hospice).
  • Outpatient clinics across various sites: RAH, TQEH and the Western Hospital.
  • Multidisciplinary Community Palliative Care Team, based at TQEH.
  • Consultative services to private hospitals within the CALHN region.
  • Specialist support to peri-urban and country services.
  • Links to other metropolitan palliative services.

In each of these situations various services can be offered, including:

  • Palliative care assessment and provision of service information, including information about care at the end of life.
  • Symptom assessment and management.
  • Psychosocial support for the patient and/or carer.
  • Coordination of community based services to assist in the support and care of the patient in their home.
  • Assistance to health professionals, patients and families in advanced care planning.

Eligibility for services

A person is eligible for referral to specialist palliative care services if:

  • they have a progressive, life limiting illness
  • they or their decision maker, is aware of, understands and has agreed to a palliative care referral
  • the primary goals of patient care are to control symptoms, maximise function, maintain quality of life and provide comfort.

Palliative care services can be provided at any stage of disease including end-of-life care.

If the treating professional is uncertain of the eligibility of the patient, they can contact the palliative care service to discuss the referral with a member of the specialist palliative care team.

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