The Palliative Care Service at the Alfred
The Palliative Care Service at the Alfred is a multidisciplinary consultative service consisting of a Palliative Care Consultancy Nurse Manager, a registrar, three part-time Palliative Medicine Physicians, two Clinical nurse specialists and a grief counsellor.
For patients needing specialist advice/review the following options are available:
1. For urgent advice on a symptom control matter please call the Palliative Care Registrar via switchboard (Pager 4593). After hours the covering registrar may be contacted via switchboard. 2. For external referral to an outpatient clinic we request a referral letter be faxed to our department (90766966) including the following details:
3. For internal referral please complete an e-referral. As our clinics are small we will call you regarding your referral to facilitate appropriate timing of review.
When to consider Palliative Care
Palliative care is an approach which improves the quality of life of patients and their families who are facing the problems associated with life-threatening illness, through the prevention and relief of suffering by means of early identification and impeccable assessment and treatment of pain and other problems - physical, psychosocial and spiritual.
When to refer to specialist Palliative Care
Only a small proportion of patients need to be seen by a palliative care medical specialist. Most can be managed by their general practitioner and their existing specialists – for example oncologist, general physicians and geriatricians. However, many patients may benefit from the nursing/social/psychological support provided by a community palliative care nursing service.
The Palliative Care Victoria website provides information about finding a local palliative care service by postcode. Those patients for whom advice from, or review by, a Palliative Medicine Physician may be useful include:
The psychological problems that palliative patients can experience include anxiety, depression, and existential distress. Existential distress refers to issues such as: “Why me? What is the purpose of my life? Did I achieve all that I could have? What does death mean? It's not fair?” The Palliative Care Team (including our nurses and grief counsellor) is trained to help navigate a way through these difficulties.
Community services form a critical component of palliative care for patients in the community. These services include general practitioners, nursing services - both specialist palliative care teams and general visiting nurses (i.e. RDNS).
They can do home visits (including support in residential aged care facilities) and have close links with hospices. Victoria has a wonderful community-wide set of services to cover all areas, regional and metropolitan. Patients may be referred directly to these services by a family member or their GP. See the ‘Useful Links’ page for a list of resources for Palliative Care.
Palliative Care links
Caresearch – a specific page for GPs looking for palliative care resources http://www.caresearch.com.au/caresearch/ProfessionalGroups/GPHome/tabid/901/Default.aspx
Finding a community Palliative Care Service http://www.pallcarevic.asn.au/resources--links
Palliative Care Victoria http://www.pallcarevic.asn.au/health-professionals
Southern Metropolitan Region Palliative Care Consortium http://www.smrpalliativecare-consortium.org.au/
Palliative Care Australia http://www.palliativecare.org.au/
Therapeutic guidelines – Palliative Care, accessed through Clinicians Health Channel http://www.health.vic.gov.au/clinicians/
Bereavement Supports in the community include:
Griefline services - 9935 7400
Lifeline 24 hours 131 114
Compassionate Friends 1800 641 091
Solace (Bereaved Partners) 9384 1722.
9076 6970 / 9076 6966
For general information, enquiries and requests for clinical information Location
Level 7 West, near the lifts
Hours of Service
24 Hour all year availability for emergencies and consultation (inpatients and outpatients).
Monday to Friday
8.30am to 5.00pm
Saturday and Sunday
Clinical Nurse Consultant
Monday - Friday
8.00am - 4.30pm
William Buckland Radiotherapy Centre.
Appointments can be made on
9076 6970 or 66970.