May 22, 2023

National Palliative Care Week – Living with intention

This week Northern Health celebrates National Palliative Care Week, which aims to open the conversation on ‘Matters of Life and Death’ and will run until 27 May.

Palliative care is as much about life as it is death and encourages us to reflect on the things that really matter. Whilst we might not want to talk about it, avoiding conversations about the end of our lives might actually be making it harder for each of us.

The Northern Health Palliative Care Service continues to grow, providing a mix of specialist inpatient (Palliative Care Unit), consultative (Palliative Care Consultation Service) and outpatient care to over 1,200 patients and their families every year.

Medical Director of Palliative Care Services at Northern Health, Dr. Alison Giles, says, “It is a privilege to be part of such a dedicated and compassionate team, who, together with our wonderful volunteers, work every day to care for patients and families during this very important, but often challenging, time of life.”

From the perspective of our Palliative Care Team, the work is about allowing people to live as well as possible in the face of life-limiting conditions. Often this means engaging in activities and treatments that add the most meaningful time to the remainder of their lives.

This may be achieved by managing physical symptoms, putting care arrangements in place, exploring strategies to support a person’s quality of life, or considering the benefits and burdens of treatment options, right through to providing care and supporting loved ones in the final days of life.

Pictured: Palliative Care staff admiring the new artworks adorning the halls of (PCU), located in Ward 3 at Northern Hospital Epping, made possible by the generous support of the Northern Health Foundation.