Palliative and End of Life Care

Helping to improve the quality of life of patients and their families facing the problems associated with life-threatening illness

The Royal Cornwall Hospitals Specialist Palliative & End of Life Care team looks after the needs of patients in hospital with life threatening illness who have symptom control issues or a limited prognosis.
We work to maintain or improve a patient’s quality of life based on their individual needs at the time. We take a holistic approach, working alongside consultants and ward teams, to look at the physical, psychological, emotional, spiritual and social aspects of their care. This includes supporting the needs of our patients’ families and carers as well.
We take referrals regardless of diagnosis if the patient has an incurable illness with a life-limiting prognosis and specialist needs. We see patients with cancer and non-cancer diagnoses. Areas we help our patients and their families with include:

  • Pain management
  • Other physical symptom control such as breathlessness, depression, bowel or urinary symptoms, nausea and vomiting.
  • Psychological support, and referrals where necessary, for patients, family and carers.
  • Supporting assessment for place of care
  • Care of the dying when problems occur
  • Therapy referrals
  • Spiritual support

We also provide information and advice to other teams in the hospital, helping them in difficult or distressing clinical situations.

The Specialist Palliative and End of Life Care Team

Our team includes consultants in Palliative Medicine and nurse who have undertaken specialist training in Palliative and End of Life Care. We work closely with other specialist consultants and members of the multidisciplinary team including Specialist Palliative Care occupational therapists, speech and language therapists, dietitians and spiritual care advisors.

We aim to offer a seamless service between the inpatient team at Royal Cornwall Hospitals, and the community Specialist Palliative Care team, working closely together to ensure continuity of care for people as they come into or leave hospital.

Referrals to Specialist Palliative and End of Life Care team

Ward staff can refer inpatients via the MAXIMS system. We aim to see all urgent patients within 24 hours.

Contacting the Specialist Palliative and End of Life Care team

The Specialist Palliative and End of Life Care team works across many different wards and departments, so the best way to contact them is to ask a member of staff on the ward to bleep 3055 or call the Royal Cornwall Switchboard between 8am and 4pm daily.

Useful Links

Cornwall Hospice Care

Find out more about Cornwall Hospice Care and how they improve the quality of life of patients and their families facing the problem associated with life-threatening illness.

Penhaligons Friends

This local charity supports children and young people who have family members with a serious illness.
Visit their website.

The Cove Macmillan Cancer Support Centre

Offers advice and support on all aspects of living with cancer. The centre is on the Royal Cornwall Hospital site in Truro. Find out more here.