Palliative Care

Individuals living with a life-limiting illness, irrespective of their diagnosis, will often be faced with challenges and symptoms which can make life feel difficult for them, their relatives, carers or friends.

These are some of the things that make up our palliative care services, you can click on a title to expand it.

Generalist palliative care

All ward staff are trained to provide generalist palliative care for those patients living with a life-limiting illness. This may include symptom control issues such as pain relief, practical and/or emotional  support.  Sometimes our ward staff will call upon the services of our specialist palliative care team, for those patients that have more complex needs.

Specialist Palliative care

Our specialist palliative care team based in the hospital will assess the needs of patients that have a variety of complex symptoms that are associated with their illness. This can take place on any ward/department within the hospital. Our team can be invited  at the request of ward staff or by the family of a patient. Their  aim is to  improve patients'  quality of life  through effective symptom control.

End of Life Care 

Individuals who are approaching the end of their life are entitled to high quality care, wherever they are being cared for.  The Queen Elizabeth hospital is committed to providing a high standard of end of life care for all individuals.  Good end of life care is tailored to the person who needs it and good communication is imperative to this care. You and the people close to you should be at the centre of decisions about your care. Your preferences are important to us and we aim to support your decisions about your care whether that is within the hospital or planning for home.  It often helps if your wishes are written down as a personalised care plan, and if you agree this can be shared with the wider teams involved in your care. Your comfort and dignity are important to us and we strive to respect you and be kind and compassionate to you and those close to you. All staff are trained to provide good end of life care, whether in the last year of life or the last days of life.  The end of life care facilitator provides education and training for all staff within the trust and we have a robust education strategy to support this.

St Bede’s Palliative Care Unit

St Bede’s Unit offers emotional and physical support, as well as respite for patients with life-limiting illnesses, irrespective of the stage. St Bede’s is a ten-bedded unit that offers a short-term ward for patients who aren’t ready to go home from hospital, or for those patients who are at home but need respite or symptom control.  Some patients also choose to come to St Bede’s Unit for their final few weeks of life. The unit can also help to provide support for family and friends during this difficult time. Click here for some more information on St Bede's and to see some photos of the unit.

Five priorities of care

Experts have agreed five important priorities for the care and support that you and your carers can expect to receive in the last few days and hours of life.

  1. You should be seen by a doctor regularly and if they believe you will die soon, they must explain this to you and the people close to you.
  2. The staff involved in your care should talk sensitively and honestly to you and the people close to you.
  3. You and the people close to you should be involved in decisions about how you are treated and cared for, if this is what you want.
  4. The needs of your family and other people close to you should be met as far as possible.
  5. An individual plan of care should be agreed with you and delivered with compassion.

If you have any concerns about end of life care please do not hesitate to speak to one of your healthcare team who will direct you to the appropriate healthcare professional who can help you.

Read more about our Chaplaincy service at the QE Hospital.

Call us on 0191 482 0000

In emergencies dial 999 / Non-emergencies dial 111

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