We work closely with the oncology teams managing patients’ treatment. The aim of palliative care is to achieve the best quality of life for patients and their families. This can involve controlling pain and other symptoms, for example nausea, vomiting, constipation and breathlessness, as well as providing emotional and practical support.
What we do
Referrals to the Symptom Control and Palliative Care Team can be made by any member of the medical or nursing team as well as members of the multi-disciplinary team. We support patients and their families throughout their cancer journey, from the point they are diagnosed, through their cancer treatment and after their treatment has finished.
Referrals may be made to the team for support and advice in addressing:
- Physical problems, such as pain and other symptoms
- Emotional support
- Ensuring co-ordination of care between the hospital and community palliative care services
- End of Life Care
We see patients who are staying in hospital and also patients who are attending the Outpatient Departments, Day Units and Clinical Assessment Unit.
The team works alongside the oncology doctors and nurses, to ensure patients are supported to feel as well as they can. As well as within the wider multi-disciplinary team of physiotherapists, occupational therapists, dieticians and pastoral care services to ensure that patients are seen by the professionals who can best help address their specific needs.
We know from research studies that early palliative care is hugely beneficial to patients and their families. Patients have better quality of life, better symptom control and tolerate their cancer treatment better. Patients and their families are more supported emotionally and psychologically and have a greater understanding about their cancer and the future.
We have recently set up a new service in the oncology outpatient clinic, called the Integrated Symptom Control and Palliative Care Service. The aim of this service is to help patients to access palliative care early in their cancer journey. We work closely with the oncology doctors and nurses to ensure that patients get any help and support they need, alongside active treatment of their cancer. We meet with patients and their families and friends who come to clinic, sometimes very soon after their cancer diagnosis. We ask patients to fill out a brief questionnaire to help us identify any issues that they may have.
We also work and communicate closely with community based symptom control and palliative care teams including local hospice and Macmillan teams.
How to contact us
The Symptom Control and Palliative Care team’s normal working hours are 9am - 5pm, Monday to Friday.
For any queries please contact:
Sutton: 020 8661 3182
Chelsea: 020 7808 2761
Ms Emma Collard, Matron
Ms Christine Littlemore, Service Manager