Palliative Care is offered to patients whose disease is no longer curable. The goal of Palliative Care is to achieve the best quality of life for children and their families.
The World Health Organisation along with Sydney Children’s Hospital, Randwick (SCH), suggests an integrated approach of attending to symptom control (such as pain, nausea and breathlessness) whilst also considering the physical, social and spiritual issues in each individual circumstance.
SCH has a multidisciplinary Paediatric Palliative Care Service which is aligned with, and has close links, to the SCH Pain Management Team.
How it works:
- The Palliative Care team at SCH provide expertise in controlling medical and psychological symptoms and providing assistance with some of the associated social and spiritual problems at this time. The support offered by the team will vary according to the needs of each child and family and the team understand those needs can change with time and the nature of the child’s illness.
- The team functions in a consultative manner, accepting referrals of patients with life limiting conditions, as well as patients with complex symptom management needs.
- Key health professionals from the primary care team continue their involvement in case management and additional resources from the Palliative Care Team are incorporated as required, based on patient and family needs.
- Children and adolescents receiving palliative care may choose to be cared for by their families at home, rather than staying at the Hospital. If the child will remain at home, they will continue to receive support from their Clinical Nurse Consultant at SCH while being linked with community services as appropriate. The Clinical Nurse Consultant will liaise with the SCH Palliative Care team, the child’s local GP, local palliative care team or local hospital/hospice as required.
- Members of the Palliative Care team maintain contact with the patient and family as needed, but primarily function in a role supporting their community counterparts. Where no equivalent role is available in the community, other arrangements may be necessary to meet individual child and family needs.
- The Bereavement Counsellor from SCH is also available for home visits.
- The family and child will always be involved in the decision making process.
- Families who choose to go home for palliative care but later change their mind and wish to come back to Hospital, will always have a bed made available to them on the ward.
Dr Susan Trethewie
Staff Specialist Paediatric Palliative Medicine
Pain & Palliative Care Service
Sydney Children's Hospital, Randwick NSW 2031
Ph: (02) 9382 0035
Fax: (02) 9382 7946