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Palliative Care Consultation Team

A Palliative Care Consultation Team is based at both the Hamilton General and Juravinski Hospital sites.  Working in partnership with the patient’s primary healthcare team, a team of physicians, nurses, and social workers provide consultation services for inpatients and their families.

Palliative care services are directed to patients and their families / circle of supporters and respects that everyone approaches death from their own unique perspective based upon their individual values, spiritual beliefs, cultural roots, family dynamics and life experiences. Palliative Care is active care which focuses on maintaining the quality of life, comfort, autonomy and dignity of each patient through the prevention, assessment and management of potentially distressing symptoms.

Palliative care can be provided in all phases of illness, from early in the course of illness to bereavement. It is recommended that patients begin receiving palliative care support as early as possible, even at the time of diagnosis.

Care We Provide

  • Provides relief from pain and other distressing symptoms;
  • Affirms life and regards dying as a normal process;
  • Intends neither to hasten nor 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 patient’s illness and in their own bereavement;
  • Uses a team approach to address the needs of patients and their families, including bereavement counseling, if indicated;
  • Will enhance quality of life, and may also positively influence the course of illness;

The focus of care may change with the addition or continuation of some treatments and may mean stopping other forms of treatment.
At HHS we have a number of palliative care resources to support our patients, families, staff and physicians with.

Our Services

Interdisciplinary teams including a doctor, nurse and social worker provide care for adult inpatients and their families who require the specialized skills of a palliative care service. Our professionals work with the patient, the family and other members of the health care team.

Our team will work with you to:

  • Relieve suffering,  including pain and other distressing physical and emotional symptoms
  • Assist with future care planning
  • Help with discharge planning

If you think you or your family member could benefit from the involvement of the Palliative Care Team, please talk with your hospital doctor or nurse.

What We Do

We provide holistic supportive care and assist with symptom management in patients with a palliative diagnosis:

  • Pain
  • Nausea and vomitting
  • Drowsiness
  • Constipation or diarrhea
  • Anorexia
  • Shortness of breath
  • Cough
  • Delirium

In addition to:

  • Address pain and symptom issues in patients with a prognosis less than 1 year for both cancer and non-cancer related illnesses
  • End-of-life management
  • Complex discussion regarding goals of care
  • Education to patients and their families
  • Palliative Care Social Worker involved with specialized palliative psycho-social interventions including: discharge planning, coordination of services and focused counseling

Eligibility & Referrals

Patients are referred to by their attending hospital doctor, based on:

  • Diagnosis of a life threatening or terminal illness, and;
  • Requiring the expertise of a specialized palliative care service for:
    • The assessment and management of acute symptoms and/or psycho-social distress
    • Specialized assistance with planning for goals of inpatient care, discharge planning, future care planning and/or end of life care