Focus on quality of life

‘You matter, your care matters. Palliative care can make a difference’ is a great theme for this year’s National Palliative Care Week and helps reinforce the message that palliative care focuses on what can be done, not what can’t.

The specialist Paediatric Palliative Care team provides support to families by coordinating their care across the hospital and community setting including liaison with local service providers. This multidisciplinary team provides education and training to hospital-based and local health professionals to help them have a strong understanding of a child’s illness and their management plan. At end of life, the Palliative Care team supports families by helping them make decisions about where they would like their child to be cared for. This may include home, hospital or Bear Cottage at Manly.

The palliative care team work alongside a child’s primary medical team and are available to provide expert advice on symptom management to improve the quality of life for both child and family. They can help to facilitate difficult conversations with families that may involve resuscitation and/or establishing goals of care that often change throughout an illness progression. They can provide psychosocial support to the whole family throughout this difficult time and into bereavement.

The Paediatric Palliative Care Programme offers a range of information for both health professionals and families and contains carefully selected links from well-known organisations that provide reliable content. 

In recognition of Palliative Care Week, The Palliative Care Service at The Children's Hospital at Westmead has launched a two-part video“Sharing the Volunteer Experience”. The videos were proudly supported by Fairfield RSL.