Palliative care

What is palliative care?

Palliative care is about improving the quality of life for patients living with life-limiting illness.

The specialist palliative care team at SASH provides support for patients with progressive, non-curative illnesses.

Patients are generally seen on the wards, although they can be seen in other settings within the hospital.

The team does not make home visits. These are undertaken by specialist palliative care teams in the community.

The main activities of the hospital palliative care team are:

  • Pain control
  • Symptom control
  • Psychological, social and spiritual support for patients
  • Support for families and carers
  • Liaison with community-based palliative care teams
  • End-of-life care planning
  • Education and training
  • Research


The team act as an advisory service working alongside your medical team. You remain under the care of your own specialist consultant for your treatment and we provide additional help, advice and support when needed. Together we form a multi-disciplinary team that meets weekly on a Thursday to plan how best to support your needs. If you would like a record of what has been discussed we can provide this for you.


“We were most impressed and grateful for the kindness and professional care extended to my mother. The room and linens were pristine and she was kept clean and as comfortable as possible. Every time we arrived she was resting in a well-made bed with her hair brushed and looking cared for. She was afforded the opportunity to exit the world in a dignified and appropriate way.”


We take referrals from any healthcare professional, from patients themselves and from relatives, via the telephone numbers provided above. However, we do need the agreement of the patient and the treating medical team to become involved in care.

Out of hours advice

The hospital palliative care team work Monday to Friday 9am-5pm.

However, there is always specialist palliative care advice available for healthcare professionals 24 hours a day. Please contact the ward team in the first instance if you feel specialist palliative care team advice is needed for inpatients outside of normal working hours.

If you are a patient or relative at home and need out of hours palliative care advice, please contact your community palliative care team, out of hours GP and/or your district nurse in the first instance.

More information

GMC guidance on treatment and care towards the end of life
GMC guidance on hydration and nutrition

Assessing capacity
GMC guidance on assessing capacity
Mental Capacity Act 2005

Best interest decisions
GMC guidance: Making decisions when a patient lacks capacity

Advanced care planning

Dying Matters: Resources for talking about death and dying

How to talk about death and dying with children


If you would like to make a donation to SASH, please visit the SASH Charity website for more information about how to donate.