Caring for a child with a life limiting illness is very difficult for parents, siblings, grandparents and other care givers who are involved.
A statewide paediatric palliative care service provides specialist care and support for children/ young people with a life-limiting illness and their families in NSW. The service is led by the three NSW children’s hospitals in Sydney and Newcastle. The teams at these hospitals connect with local hospital, paediatric and community health teams to support patients and families to be cared for at home or in their local hospital.
These experienced teams support the primary medical team of a patient and their family referred to the service to enhance the coordination of care across the hospital and community. The paediatric palliative care service teams provide advice and support for complex symptom management and psychosocial support for all members of the family. Bereavement support is also a central component of care provided by the team.
These services provide sensitive support to individual family needs. For example, the teams assess each child/family, and if appropriate, form a supportive team of clinicians being centred around the family and their child’s needs.
The services also provide:
- support to clinicians caring for children at home, including GPs, nurses, allied health staff and other care workers
- targeted training to support professionals
- ongoing access to paediatric palliative care expertise for families and clinicians by telephone, e-health or other communication methods.
A medical on-call service also provides telephone advice to NSW/ACT health professionals about paediatric palliative care issues outside business hours.
Please see NSW Paediatric Palliative Care for further information.