What is palliative care?

Palliative care is an approach that focuses on providing quality of life for people with advanced illnesses and support for them and their families. The team aims to identify and address physical, emotional, and practical issues and end of life care where appropriate.

Who do we see?

We see patients with illnesses such as cancer, chest and heart diseases, kidney and liver failure, neurological conditions, and dementia.

Where will we see you?

Our hospital team will see you on the ward or in the out-patient department. Our community team will see you at home if you live in the north Camden area. We may also arrange to see you elsewhere, for example at your GP’s surgery, day centre, or in the outpatient department.

What does the palliative care team do?

We will assess your needs and treat any symptoms you may have, such as pain, breathlessness, sickness, tiredness etc. We will also support and advise on other issues you and your family may have including psychological, social, or financial concerns. We will make referrals to other professionals, as necessary. We can help you think about and plan for your future care if you wish to do so.

You are welcome to make a copy of any referral letter or your plan of care. Please let your palliative care key worker know if you would like either of these. If you are in hospital and have spiritual concerns, we can refer you to a chaplain or spiritual health team.

Who is in the palliative care team?

  • nurse consultant and clinical nurse specialist
  • medical consultants and doctors in training
  • team administrators
  • occupational therapist
  • physiotherapist
  • specialist social worker
  • specialist psychologist

Who is in charge of your care?

In the hospital you will remain under the care of your consultant’s team, and we will advise them as needed. Decisions regarding your treatment, discharge or transfer will be made by you, your consultant, and their team.

At home your GP is responsible for your medical care.

Both at home and in hospital we work closely with your doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals that are involved in your care.

Comments regarding the service

If you would like to make any comments about the service you receive from the palliative care team, you can write to:

Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS)
Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust
Pond Street

The palliative care team has a charitable fund managed by the Royal Free Charity, which buys items that assist patients and contributes to such things as team education. Speak to your palliative care nurse if you would like to donate to the team.