Cancer handbook: Palliative care

Sadly, sometimes despite the health care team's best efforts, it may not be possible to cure a child's cancer. Our focus then becomes to provide the best quality of life for the child and to manage their symptoms.

Your child’s medial team will still offer medical advice and emotional and spiritual support for as long as the family needs or requires care. 

Ask your medical team about bereavement support services. They support families who have lost a child and work closely with local services. 

Where to receive palliative care

Children and adolescents receiving palliative care may choose to be cared for

The child will continue to receive visits from the Clinical Nurse Consultant (CNC) who has visited them at home throughout treatment.

The rest of the hospital’s palliative care team can communicate with the child’s local doctor, local palliative care teams, local hospital and/or hospice as necessary for support.  

The bereavement counsellor from the hospital is also able to do home visits. 

If your child is receiving palliative care

If your child is receiving palliative care, you will be involved in making decisions about what is right for you and your child. If you have any questions or concerns, you can always discuss them with your oncologist or your CNC. 

The support offered by the team will depend on the needs of your child and family. We understand those needs can change with time and the nature of the child’s illness.

Families who choose to go home for palliative care who later feel uncomfortable will always have the option to return to the hospital. 

Last updated Wednesday 26th June 2024