What is palliative care?
Palliative (pronounced pal- ee – uh – tiv) care is the name given to caring for people who have a life limiting illness.
Who is palliative care for?
Palliative care is for anyone living with a life limiting or terminal illness. It involves:
- the medical treatment you may need, such as medicines and pain relief
- the clinical care you might need, such as movement and breathing support and care
- the emotional and spiritual support you may need when dealing with your illness
When will I receive palliative care?
It is a common misconception that palliative care is only for people who are in the last few days of their life. Palliative care can be received at any time after your diagnosis with a life limiting condition or terminal illness, to help you to enjoy your life.
How do I receive palliative care?
In most cases, you will be referred by your GP or consultant. At St Wilfrid’s Hospice we work closely with our local hospitals and surgeries, and in tandem with other health agencies, to provide the best package of care for our patients.
You can also refer yourself. If you’d like to access palliative care and support, and you live within our local catchment area, you can contact us via 01243 775302.
Who pays for palliative care?
St Wilfrid’s Hospice is a charity, and our services to our local community are free of charge when you need to access them. We are part funded by the NHS, however the majority of our funding is raised through the generosity of our supporters and local community.
How long does palliative care last?
Palliative care is entirely focussed on the needs of the patient. Some people may receive palliative care for several years. Some people may receive palliative care for a short time. You may hear medical professionals describe your condition as ‘progressive’ which means that it gets worse over time, or you may hear the term ‘advanced’ which means that your illness is at a serious stage.
Palliative care includes end of life care. When someone is in the last phase of their life, palliative care specialists can usually notice the signs that they will die soon. Helping people to die a ‘good death’ is our aim – this means they are in the place they want to die, with dignity and managing their physical symptoms.
What is end of life care?
End of life care also supports the loved ones, family members, caregivers and friends of the person who is dying. This is an important part of our service as we are here to support and guide through this difficult time.