Services in New South Wales

Every person has different needs. The level and complexity of problems faced by a person living with a terminal illness, and the strengths and limitations of that person, their carers, family and friends, determines the sort of care and support offered by service providers.

Palliative care can be provided by a number of different health professionals, who often work together in teams:

  1. specialist palliative care doctors and nurses
  2. general practitioners
  3. other specialists:  oncologists, cardiologists, neurologists, respiratory physicians etc
  4. allied health professionals:  pharmacists, occupational therapists, physiotherapists, speech pathologists, dieticians etc
  5. social workers
  6. grief and bereavement counsellors
  7. pastoral care workers
  8. volunteers.

The care and support offered by primary health care teams (GP, aged care service, other specialists etc) will be sufficient for many people at the end of life.  The person’s GP, for example, is often a key palliative care provider.

As a first step, it is often helpful to talk to your usual doctor or care team about palliative care.

A small number of people experience severe or complex problems as their illness advances.  These people can be referred to a specialist palliative care service, where a team of specialists will work together to meet their needs.

Palliative care services vary from area to area. Most services can offer:

  • expertise in pain and symptom management;
  • help with financial, employment, parenting and other issues which arise as a consequence of being diagnosed with a terminal illness;
  • emotional support for patients, families and carers;
  • inpatient care;
  • bereavement counseling for family and friends; and
  • referral to local community services such as home care, delivered meals, community transport and home-based respite care.

Follow this link to Palliative Care Australia’s National Palliative Care Service Directory , and type in your postcode, to locate a specialist palliative care service near you, or you can go to our Palliative Care NSW Directory of Services.