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Palliative Care

Palliative care aims to improve the quality of life of people affected by serious, life-limiting illness by paying attention to physical, psychological, social and spiritual concerns. The concerns and needs of family members and carers are also taken into account.

Palliative care is provided to patients in all areas of the hospital by a variety of generalist and specialist teams, and all clinical staff can seek advice and support from the Hospital Palliative Care Team for any patient

The palliative care team gives specialist care and information to people facing serious life limiting illness. We recognise that emotional, spiritual, family and financial worries might be just as important to you as physical problems. We work closely with the hospital doctors and nurses to support you, your partner, family and friends. We will usually see you on the hospital ward.

Who is in the palliative care team?

  • We are a team of doctors and nurses who have taken specialist training in palliative care
  • We work closely with other teams in the hospital who may be involved in supporting you
  • We work closely with community services including GPs, district nurses and community palliative care team as well as local hospices

How can we help you?

We aim to:

  • Offer you advice about managing pain and other physical symptoms
  • Support you while you are facing serious life-limiting illness
  • Offer support to those close to you
  • Help you to plan for future care
  • Offer guidance to the team who are planning your discharge from hospital
  • Refer you to other services that might be helpful to you such as Occupational Therapists, discharge team and chaplains
  • Offer practical suggestions to help you do the things that are important to you

Palliative Care unit on Ward 12

Some patients will benefit from a greater level of specialist palliative care and at County Hospital this can be provided in the palliative care unit located on Ward 12.

Referrals to the hospital palliative care team can be made by any nurse or doctor in the ward. This can be completed through Medway.

Visits are normally made between 09:00 – 17:00 Monday to Friday

(An emergency service is available on Saturdays and Sundays)

All messages/enquiries can be left for Royal Stoke and County Hospital sites on:

01782 674029 (24 hour answer phone)

You can write to us at:

Hospital Palliative Care Team C/O Outpatients 3

Royal Stoke University Hospital

University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust

Stoke-on-Trent ST4 6QG

Advice is available out-of-hours and at weekends through the Douglas Macmillan Hospice Advice Line for individuals with palliative care needs in Staffordshire.  

This service is available on 01782 344 300​

What is end of life care?

The term 'end of life care' refers to the care people receive in the last twelve months. End of life care looks at the physical, emotional, social and spiritual aspects of care and will be adapted to a person's needs.

Who provides end of life care?

A number of health and social care professionals may be involved in the care being given at end of life depending on the person's needs. Examples may include hospital doctors and nurses, GP, community nurses, counsellors, chaplains (of all faiths or none), social workers, occupational therapists and complementary therapists.

Support

If you have a life-limiting condition or are caring for someone who does and you would like more information about the support available locally, please contact your GP, specialist nurse (if you have one) or any of the healthcare professionals involved in your care.

Planning ahead

If you have a life-limiting illness, or are approaching the end of your life, you may wish to make plans for your future care. Planning ahead can help you receive the care that you would like. This information could also be helpful to your family and friends.

What is an Advance Care Plan?

An advance care plan is a written statement that sets down your preferences, wishes, beliefs and values regarding your future care. An advance statement is not legally binding, but anyone who is making decisions about your care must take it into account.

Examples of preferences could include wishes regarding preferred place of care, wishes regarding tissue donation, wishes regarding spiritual care and personal likes and/or dislikes.

What does lasting power of attorney mean?

There are two types of LPA ( Health and welfare and Property and Finance ). You can find more information on the government website https://www.gov.uk/power-of-attorney

If you become unable to make decisions for yourself in the future, someone will need to make decisions for you. Generally, professionals will make decisions about your health and social care, and your family or carers will decide on day-to-day matters. If you wish, you can officially appoint someone you trust to make decisions for you. This is called making a lasting power of attorney (LPA).

What is a ReSPECT document

A ReSPECT ( Recommended Summary Plan for Emergency Care and Treatment ) document is an alternative process for discussing, making and recording recommendations about future emergency care and treatment, including CPR. It encourages people to plan ahead for their care and treatment in a future emergency where they may be unable to make decisions, however it is not a legally-binding document. You can find more information on http://www.uhnm.nhs.uk/our-services/respect/

What is the Purple Bow Scheme?

The Purple Bow is a charity funded initiative aimed at improving communication between staff and relatives. This works by having a bow displayed on room doors and curtains on a bay to indicate to staff that a patient is approaching last days of life. The main focus of the Purple bow is to help individualise the care provided to the patients  who are in the last days of their lives.  This forms part of the individualised care bundle for last days of life.

Car Parking

An 'exemption from car parking charges' permit is provided to relatives of patients under the Purple Bow scheme. If you would like further information about this please speak with a member of staff.

Open visiting for relatives and close friends

Open visiting is often permitted for  relatives and close friends of patients under the Purple Bow scheme. This can be authorised by the nurse-in-charge.

The Carers Hub is a commissioned service by Staffordshire County Council and Stoke-on-Trent City Council to provide support to adults and young carers. To read more about the support services they offer please click the link> https://www.thecarershub.co.uk/