The Royal Melbourne Hospital, the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre and the Royal Women’s Hospital partner to deliver a comprehensive and coordinated palliative care service across the Parkville Precinct, known as the Parkville Integrated Palliative Care Service.

We are a multidisciplinary team trained in palliative care. We consist of clinical nurse consultants, specialist doctors, doctors in training and a nurse practitioner.

What we do

Some examples of things we can help with include

  • pain management
  • management of other symptoms
  • patient and family meetings
  • making plans for future care and care outside the hospital
  • end of life care

Palliative care - information for families

Palliative care is person and family centred care for a person with an active, progressive advanced disease. The person is expected to die, and their goal is to optimise their quality of life.

Is palliative care the same as end of life care?

One of the roles of the Palliative Care team is to provide end of life care, which is care of a person and family when the person is actively dying in the next few days or weeks.
But palliative care is broader than end of life care. We work with patients and families to control symptoms such as pain, nausea or breathlessness and many others, even if treatment of the disease causing the symptoms is still taking place.

We also provide advice on decision making and treatment choices, and support to keep the patient out of hospital and at home, if that is where they want to be.

Who is palliative care for?

Palliative care is for people of any age who have been told that they have a serious illness that cannot be cured. Palliative care assists people with illnesses such as cancer, motor neurone disease and end-stage kidney or lung disease and many others to manage symptoms and improve quality of life.

For some people, palliative care may be beneficial from the time of diagnosis with a serious life-limiting illness. Palliative care can be given alongside treatments given by other doctors.

How can palliative care help me and my family?

Palliative care can help with symptom control, for example, pain, nausea, constipation, breathlessness, and many others.

We can help plan for future care.

Community palliative care teams can often provide a phone number to call 24/7 to ask for help or advice for patients at home.

We can help provide information, and help with decision making. We can help coordinate the care you receive and access to equipment you need.

Where can my family member have palliative care?

Palliative care can often be provided alongside care by other treating teams.

There are four main locations:

  1. In their home, or in a residential care facility, the person can get visits from a community palliative care team.
  2. The person and their family members might be able to see our team as an outpatient, for example by visiting an outpatient clinic in a hospital
  3. They can be seen by a consultation team while you are an inpatient in a hospital, being looked after by another team like the acute medical team or oncology team
  4. Patients can be looked after by our team in an inpatient palliative care bed. Sometimes this is called an inpatient palliative care unit, or a hospice. We do not provide long term care however. If a person’s condition stabilises and they don’t need inpatient palliative care anymore, the person will go home or to a residential care facility (nursing home) if going home is not possible.
How can I get palliative care?

If the person needing palliative care is at home or in a residential care facility, you can ask their General Practitioner (GP) to make a referral.

You can contact your local community palliative care team by using the What is Palliative Care service directory and looking for “specialist palliative care provider” for your postcode.

If you or the person you are caring for is in a hospital, ask your treating team doctor for a referral to the palliative care consultation service.

I don’t speak English well.

Information about Palliative care is available in other languages on the Palliative Care Victoria website.

What support is available for carers?

To find out more about what help is available for carers, see Palliative Care Australian's website's "I'm a carer" page.

A child’s parent or loved one has cancer

If you are 12-25 and your world has been turned upside down by cancer, Canteen has information to help you and how you can get support.

Is there information for Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander people?

Absolutely. We warmly welcome referrals for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to our services. Find out more on Palliative Care Victoria website.

How to access this service

Palliative care is available at any stage if you have a life limiting illness. Your treating team can arrange for you to see us, in our outpatient clinic, or while you are in hospital. If you need to be admitted, there is a dedicated Palliative Care Unit on level 7 at the Royal Melbourne Hospital.


Nephrology Supportive Care City Campus Outpatients, Level 1 South East WED
Palliative Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre within the VCCC Building MON, THU
Palliative Advanced Lung City Campus Outpatients, Level 1 South East

Related links

In a medical emergency, call 000. If you are feeling unwell, see your local GP or go to your local hospital Emergency department for help.