Palliative care at Mater Private Hospital
Palliative care is a specialised health care area for people with a life-limiting illness, providing support to both patients and their families.
At Mater, we see palliative care as a way of maximising the quality of life for patients by relieving symptoms and providing emotional support in a compassionate and sensitive manner.
Palliative care is also about empowering people who are nearing the end of their lives by offering them choices, encouraging them to use their own resources and strategies, and helping them to live as actively as possible.
Accessing Mater Private Palliative Care
A referral from a doctor or health care provider is required to access the palliative care service.
However, patients and their families are welcome to contact the Mater Private Palliative Care team to personally discuss their needs prior to obtaining a referral.
Members of the palliative care team
Our multidisciplinary team of professionals are dedicated to the care and wellbeing of patients with a life-limiting illness. While our primary focus is the patient, we also offer support to the patient’s carers, family and others who may be involved in their care. At all times our approach to palliative care embraces the Mater values of mercy, dignity, care, commitment and quality.
Consultative clinical nurses
Palliative care nurses can offer clinical advice and support for inpatients with advancing illness. Usually, these patients have complex needs and require a range of treatments and support services. The palliative care nurse is often the key contact for patients. They will then coordinate with other members of the team in order to meet the needs of the patient.
Specialist medical service
A referral may be obtained from the patient’s treating doctor to see a palliative care specialist. A palliative care doctor can offer expert advice on pain relief and other symptom management. Specialist care may be provided concurrently with other measures to maximise quality of life, including chemotherapy and radiotherapy.
By consulting with the patient, their carer and the palliative care team, the discharge coordinator will arrange an effective discharge plan that meets the needs of all concerned. This plan will include appropriate referrals to community service providers to ensure that the patient continues to receive the best possible care at home or in other health care facilities.
Occupational therapists help patients deal with their symptoms through stress management, pain management and relaxation therapy. They assess a patient’s functionality and self-care abilities, prescribe equipment to assist patients and their carers whilst at home, and make referrals to community health teams for home assessment and modifications.
The pharmacy team contributes to the total care of the patient by offering an exceptional pharmaceutical service. This includes reviewing medication, and providing information, including the supply and cost, of medication. They also have expertise in specialist areas such as pain control and alternative medicines.
Physiotherapists offer various benefits to patients and family members. They can prescribe mobility and functional aids, implement mobility and strengthening programs, and help in the management of respiratory infections and diseases. The experienced and specialised team can tailor a program to suit the needs of each patient and help them to meet their goals.
Dietitians and Nutritionists
Dietitians and nutritionists provide support and advice to patients and families at all stages of an illness. They can prescribe individual nutrition plans for patients to reduce symptoms and meet nutritional requirements.
The pastoral care team focuses on the spiritual and emotional needs of individual patients. Working closely with other health professionals, they are concerned with the care of the human spirit.
Members of the pastoral care team visit people in hospital and are also available to families, relatives and friends. This care is offered with sensitivity, and confidentiality is maintained at all times.
The service is open to all people, regardless of faith, respecting every person’s unique spirituality. Arrangements with visiting chaplains can be made to meet the specific religious needs of patients.
Helping patients and their families
The palliative care team:
- provide supportive care and relief from pain and other distressing symptoms
- integrate psychological, emotional and spiritual aspects of patient care
- offer a support system to help patients and families cope with illness
- support patients in making decisions about future care options
- coordinate community support on discharge
- provide expert terminal care
- can provide referral to bereavement support services.
Mater Private Hospital
301 Vulture Street, South Brisbane QLD 4101
General Enquiries 07 3163 8111
If you would like to support the Palliative Care program please contact Mater Foundation via 07 3163 8000.
© 2010 Mater Misericordiae Ltd. ACN 096 708 922
Mater acknowledges consumer consultation in the development of this patient information.
Mater Doc Num: MHS-000-00909
Last modified 12/11/2015.