If you have been told that you or your child may not get better, you might also have heard about palliative care. Palliative care is for people living with a terminal illness where a cure is no longer possible. It's not just for people diagnosed with terminal cancer, but any terminal condition. It’s also for people who have a complex illness and need their symptoms controlled. Although these people usually have an advanced, progressive condition, this isn’t always the case.
Palliative care aims to treat or manage pain and other physical symptoms. It will also help with any psychological, social or spiritual needs. Treatment will involve medicines, therapies, and any other support that specialist teams believe will help their patients. It includes caring for people who are nearing the end of life. This is called end of life care.
The goal is to help you and everyone affected by your diagnosis to achieve the best quality of life. You might receive palliative care alongside particular treatments, therapies and medicines, such as chemotherapy or radiotherapy.
Marie Curie have a suite of Easy Read booklets about palliative care.
Palliative Care Hub
The Palliative Care Hub is a free telephone service in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough for people to call if they require support living with a life limiting illness.
The service is for patients, families, carers, and healthcare professionals who might require palliative or end of life care advice for themselves or patients in the community.
It is part of the NHS 111 service that will initially be available from 5pm to 9:30am Monday to Friday and 24 hours during weekends and bank holidays.
Just call 111 and select option 3 to speak to a specialist palliative care nurse who is available for advice, support and signposting to local services.
What do I do if I can’t get through on the phone immediately?
If you can't get through on your first attempt, please leave a voice message with your name, number and reason for calling and they will aim to call back within 60 minutes. If you do not hear from them within this time, please call us back via 111 option 3.
Do I have to be known to a Hospice or Palliative Care team?
No you don't. Anyone that has been diagnosed with a life limiting illness can access our service.
East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH)
East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH) supports families and cares for children and young people, 0-18 years, with life-threatening conditions across Cambridgeshire, Norfolk, Suffolk, and North, Mid and West Essex. Their family centred approach includes specialist nursing care, symptom management support, short breaks, wellbeing activities, therapies and counselling; all meeting the individual needs of the child, young person and whole family.
Their hospices aren’t just about end-of-life care; they’re often very happy and fun places, where young people can live life to their full potential. They are places where families feel safe, at home and where they can spend quality time together, enabling parents to be parents not caregivers. When time is short, they help families make the most of their precious time together.
EACH offers care to families with children and young people who:
live in North, Mid and West Essex, Norfolk, Suffolk, Peterborough and Cambridgeshire
have a condition with no reasonable hope of cure and from which they may/will die in childhood or early adulthood
have a condition (or are diagnosed with a condition in the antenatal period) for which curative treatment may be feasible but can fail, such as children and young people with cancer and for babies born where intensive care has been deemed inappropriate and those with post-natal conditions which result in the baby experiencing unbearable suffering in the course of their illness or treatment.
Families can self-refer, or be referred by a health professional, by contacting the hospices by:
Telephone (-1223 815100)
Using their website.