Being told that you or someone you love and care for has a life-limiting illness is tough news to receive. The care you need at this time will be focused upon supporting you to have the best possible quality of life, your independence and control – this will help you when it comes to being able to make choices. This care is called palliative or end of life care.
Palliative and end of life care are about treatment and care focusing on the needs of the whole person as well as their family, carers and friends. It is not just about managing pain and other symptoms but includes support to deal with emotional needs, social and spiritual needs, care in bereavement and help to deal with the financial effects.
There are a range of supportive services available to support the patient at this time and these are listed on the NHS Heron website.
The Thinking Ahead documentation is being used across Norfolk and Suffolk to support your ongoing conversations about future care planning and was relaunched in May 2018.
You can read, download and print all of the documents on Advanced Care Planning here.
Many healthcare professionals can be involved in providing end of life care, depending on your needs. Hospital doctors and nurses, your GP, community nurses, hospice staff and counsellors might all be involved, as well as social services, religious ministers, physiotherapists or complementary therapists.
Most hospitals have special palliative care teams who co-ordinate all these services. As a patient, you have the right to choose where you want to receive care and where you want to die. A palliative care team can provide end of life care to patients and their families in hospitals, care homes, hospices and at home.
The following websites will give more information on palliative care:
If you have any queries or concerns about your care, please contact your GP or District Nurse.