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Palliative Care (End of Life Care)

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Palliative Care (End of Life Care)
The palliative care service at Musgrove Park Hospital is operational Monday to Friday from 09:00-17:00. 
Our specialist palliative care service aims to relieve complex and distressing symptoms to enable patients to have the best possible quality of life. These symptoms are frequently caused by advanced, progressive disease which is often incurable.

The scope of professional practice for the service is to:

  • See patients with advanced, progressive and incurable malignant or non-malignant disease who have complex physical, psychological, spiritual, social or carer needs.
  • Assess patients where their needs or their family's needs cannot be met by health care professionals in the current care setting and may be met by referral to specialist palliative care service providers.
  • Raise standards in end of life care.

How does the service work?

Initial contact with you is usually made by one of the palliative care specialist nurses who will assess and discuss with you the symptoms and problems you are experiencing. The specialist nurse will then put forward recommendations to the team looking after you on the ward, and involve the consultant in palliative medicine as necessary.

In preparation for your discharge from hospital, the clinical nurse specialist may discuss possible home visits with you. If you agree and accept, the clinical nurse specialist will contact the community palliative care team at St. Margaret’s Hospice, who will arrange home visits so that your symptoms continue to be monitored, and ongoing support for you and your family is provided.

They may also discuss addition of your details to the ePaCCs system. This is an electronic palliative care register that shares basic clinical information with your GP, district nursing service, community palliative care team and the out of hours services such as the ambulance service. This will ensure your wishes are known to these services if you need to contact them, thus preventing re-admission to hospital if this is something you do not want to happen in the future; and also including details on your preferred place of care/death.

Service leadership

The palliative care team at Musgrove Park Hospital consists of nurses and doctors who have completed specialist training to deal with difficult symptoms such as pain, nausea, breathlessness and anxiety. You may be referred to the team by the doctor or nurse looking after you. You or your family may also request to see them.

Day to day responsibility and leadership of the service rests with the Clinical Nurse Specialist, Nicola Montacute and 2 Palliative Care and End of Life nurses, Joanne McAndie and Catherine James. The team is currently supported clinically three sessions a week by a SOMPAR Consultant in Palliative Medicine.

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