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Palliative Care

What is palliative care?

Palliative care:

  • provides relief from pain and other distressing symptoms
  • affirms life and regards dying as a normal process
  • intends neither to hasten or postpone death
  • integrates the psychological and spiritual aspects of patient care;
  • offers a support system to help patients live as actively as possible until death;
  • offers a support system to help the family cope during the patients illness and in their own bereavement
  • uses a team approach to address the needs of patients and their families, including bereavement counselling, if indicated
  • will enhance quality of life, and may also positively influence the course of the illness
  • is applicable early in the course of illness, in conjunction with other therapies that are intended to prolong life, such as chemotherapy or radiation therapy, and includes those investigations needed to better understand and manage distressing clinical complications.


The role of the palliative care team at St. Michael’s Hospital is to provide a liaison service to the teams caring for patients on the wards with regard to the treatment of symptoms, planning of future care and the coordination of care at the end of a patient’s life. This may include discussions with the hospital teams and the palliative care team in the Blackrock Hospice Inpatient Unit and/or Home Care Team.

Family meetings are regularly convened at the patient’s behest in order to assist in the future direction of their care.

The palliative care team also has a role in providing education within the hospital.

Referral information

Inpatient referrals can be made through the palliative care clinical nurse specialist



tel: (01) 271 3045