Palliative care

What is palliative care?

Paediatric Palliative Care is the care provided to children who have been diagnosed with a life-limiting illness and their family. Palliative care is not only about end-of-life care. It aims to enhance the quality of life for a child and their family by providing individualised care and helping families to identify and meet their personal goals. Care planning encompasses the cultural, spiritual and religious beliefs of each family throughout the progression of a child’s illness, including end-of-life care and into bereavement.

How do we help children in palliative care?

The Specialist Paediatric Palliative Care Services of the Sydney Children's Hospitals Network (SCHN) provide a consultative service to other specialties, to adult palliative care services and to community-based services and local health districts. Members of the team have capacity for seeing patients in hospital, outpatients, and in some circumstances in the community (home visits). After multidisciplinary review, patients are linked with local community services as appropriate. These services are provided with information and education to support them in their role as primary contacts for palliative care patients in the community.

Bear Cottage at The Children's Hospital at Westmead (CHW) provides hospice and respite care for patients with life-limiting illnesses and their families. Bear Cottage is the only children’s hospice in NSW. It is totally funded through charitable donations. It is affiliated to the SCHN and works with the palliative care services in both CHW and Sydney Children's Hospital, Randwick (SCH).

The NSW Paediatric Palliative Care Programme supports families to care for a child with a life-limiting illness.