Palliative care

Palliative care improves the quality of life of patients and their families facing problems associated with life-threatening illness.

We aim to prevent and relieve suffering by carefully treating pain and other problems – physical, psychosocial and spiritual.

Many people think that palliative care is only for when you are actively dying. We certainly do look after dying patients, but at Peter Mac most of our work is in improving symptom control, usually (but not always) in patients with advanced cancer. Because we are experts in looking after difficult symptoms; we also see patients who don’t have advanced cancer. You can see the palliative care team at any stage of your illness.

Symptoms of pain, nausea, breathlessness and others may affect your quality of life. In addition, the uncertainty about the future and the many changes brought about by your diagnosis can be worrying.

Many people living with advanced cancer can benefit from palliative care services. There is published evidence that seeing the palliative care team can even help patients to live longer and better.

How palliative care can help

Palliative care can improve symptoms and help you and your family to achieve the best possible quality of life throughout your illness.

Palliative care can help you find your way through an often complex care system, ensuring the key health information needed by those involved in your care is available, and that you are provided with the opportunity to share your feelings, values and wishes about your care.

If family members are finding illness difficult to cope with, the palliative care team is available to help find ways to assist.

How we deliver our care

Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, The Royal Melbourne Hospital and The Royal Women’s Hospital are partnering to deliver a comprehensive and coordinated palliative care service across the Parkville Precinct. Peter Mac and

Patient care within the Parkville Integrated Palliative Care Service is delivered by very experienced medical, nursing clinicians and allied health clinicians organised in specialised sub-streams across the precinct addressing the needs of particular patient groups.

Our clinicans and nursing consultants work across both Peter Mac and The Royal Melbourne Hospital as an integrated service. This means you may, from time-to-time, be seen by a new clinican or nursing consultant. Rest assured however that each member of our team will be fully apprised of your medical history and care plan. 

For more information please see the Parkville Integrated Palliative Care Service brochure.

Service times

The palliative care specialist clinic operates each Monday and Thursday afternoons, or you can see a palliative care specialist on the same day as your other appointments or treatments. We want you to spend as much time away from the hospital as you can!

The team can also see you as an inpatient while you are in hospital.

Referral information

Palliative care is available at any stage of your illness. Your treating team can organise for you to see us, either as in inpatient while you are in hospital, or as an outpatient.

You may not know that community palliative care teams can visit patients with life-limiting illnesses and their families at home. This is a free service. The Palliative Care Victoria website will tell you which team sees patients in your town or suburb. The community palliative care team aims to keep you at home and out of hospital as much as possible.

Contact us

Pain and palliative care

Phone: 03 8559 7960

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