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 is the only children’s hospice in NSW and provides respite and end-of-life care for patients with lime-limiting and their families. Bear Cottage was established by donated funds. Families do not have to pay to stay at Bear Cottage.

Although Bear Cottage receives some government funding, it continues to rely on donated funds to provide the programs that make Bear Cottage unique.

Bear Cottage is a service of the Sydney Children's Hospitals Network and works with the palliative care services in both The Children's Hospital at Westmead and Sydney Children’s Hospital, Randwick.

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