The Palliative Care Advice Service is free and confidential and is for anyone seeking information and guidance about life-limiting illness and palliative care in Victoria.
This is a non-emergency service. If you need immediate medical attention, call 000 or go to your closest emergency department.
How we can help
For patients and families
If you’re not sure where to go for information, help or advice on what to do next about your healthcare - we can help.
Are you living with life-limiting illness? Are you a carer, family member, friend or neighbour of someone who is living with life-limiting illness?
We can help with questions like:
- How could palliative care help the person I support?
- Where can I find information about being a carer?
- How do I find the right palliative care service?
- What can I do to relieve my pain? My nausea? My breathlessness?
- What do I need to think about and plan for?
- How do I talk with my healthcare provider about palliative care?
For health professionals
In your role as a GP or specialist you may have a patient with symptoms that you want to discuss with a palliative care expert . Community nurses may notice a change in condition of a patient you're visiting at home. In both these circumstances, we can help.
Are you a doctor, nurse or other healthcare provider caring for someone with life-limiting illness?
Our specialist palliative care nurse or doctor can give help with issues like:
- Symptom management
- Converting medications from oral to injectable
- Continuous subcutaneous infusions (syringe drivers)
- Decision-making and advance care planning.
We are unable to provide prescriptions, referrals or replace the care of local healthcare providers.
What is Palliative Care?
The aim of palliative care is help people and families living with life-limiting illness to have the best possible quality of life. Palliative care focuses on:
- expert assessment and relief of pain and other symptoms
- support of carers, and
- coordination and planning of care.
Palliative care attends to the physical, psychological, practical and spiritual challenges of life-limiting illness. It is based on the individual’s needs and not their illness or the time they have to live. It is often provided alongside treatment intended to cure illness or prolong life.
What is End of Life Care?
There are two definitions of end of life care. One definition is the last 12 months or so of living with life-limiting illness. The other definition is the last hours, days and weeks of life.
Recognising when someone is in the last 12 months or so of life gives family and healthcare providers the chance to understand what the person wants. It gives everyone the chance to plan care and support according to the person’s wishes.
The Palliative Care Advice Service provides specialist and evidence-based information and guidance. All conversations, and any information that you provide, remain private, confidential and secure.
About the service
The Palliative Care Advice Service is funded by the Department of Health and Human Services, operated by the Royal Melbourne Hospital and supported by the Victorian Government.
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.