Palliative care understands the needs of people living with a life limiting or life threatening illness, where a cure may no longer be possible. The focus of care is to provide pain relief and control symptoms to enhance quality of life. Our team approach also aims to support the psychological and spiritual needs of the patient, carer and family.
For hospital inpatients, the Consultancy Service provides Palliative Care expertise and advice to patients, carers and health professionals across all campuses. The team liaises closely with community agencies to ensure smooth transition of care into the home or residential care.
This collaboration with community services has been strengthened by the commencement of Outpatient SMART Clinics at Western Hospital Footscray and the Sunshine Radiation Therapy Centre. The Symptom Management and Referral Team (SMART) Clinics are a combined Western Health and Mercy Palliative Care service which further enhance cooperation between the hospital and community service. Patients require a medical referral to this Clinic (fax 8345 6856).
For adult patients who require ongoing palliative care, there are inpatient beds located at the Sunshine Hospital on the combined GEM/Palliative Care ward. The focus of care is symptom management and comprehensive support to patients and their families. Social Work and Pastoral Care services provide spiritual care, emotional support and practical advice with finances and funeral planning if required.
The unit creates a relaxed, home like environment. Patients are accommodated in single or 2 bed rooms with an ensuite and each bed has a television and telephone. There are also lounge areas, one with a plasma screen television, as well as a small kitchen and a dining area. Pets are welcome to visit if arranged with the Nurse in Charge. There is a private garden with trees which provides an alternative area for patients to spend time with their families or for families to spend time on their own. Massage and hydrotherapy are also available.
Visiting hours are open to meet patients' needs and overnight stays can be arranged as required.
The Wellcare Program is located next to the inpatient beds at Sunshine Hospital. It is a joint service with Mercy Palliative Care. The Wellcare Program is open on Tuesdays and Thursdays. It provides care, support and respite for patients from the Western region. It is staffed by a team and offers activities including craft, cooking, music, outings and massage.
For family members left behind, the grief process is difficult. Western Health collaborates closely with Mercy Palliative Care and Carers Victoria to support people in their bereavement. If you are concerned about a family, friend or carer during a loved one’s illness or during bereavement, please contact the Clinical Nurse Consultants or the Palliative Care Ward.
Director of Palliative CareDr Maria Coperchini
ConsultantsDr Adrian DabscheckDr Ruwani Mendis
Clinical Nurse ConsultantsAnita HainesCheryl WallisLoretta WilliamsFiona GrimaldiSarah MargaryPhone: 03 8345 9164 or 8345 9163 (Sunshine) / 03 8345 7068 (Footscray)
GEM/Palliative Care WardPhone: 03 8345 1792
The Wellcare ProgramPhone: 03 8345 1226