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.
The service consists of Consultants, Clinical Nurse Consultants and an Advanced Trainee Registrar. 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. The service operates between 08.00 am – 16.30 pm, Monday – Friday. Out of hours, at weekends and public holidays, the on call Palliative Care Consultant is available for advice.
The SMART (standing for Symptom Management and Referral Team) Clinic is a partnership between the Western Health Palliative Care and Pharmacy Teams and Mercy Palliative Care. It is a multidisciplinary Palliative Care outpatient clinic. The aim is to encourage early referral to Community Palliative Care and remove as many barriers as possible to a Palliative Care referral.More information about the SMART clinic can be found here.
For adult patients who require ongoing palliative care, there are inpatient beds located at Sunshine Hospital.. The focus of care is symptom management and comprehensive support to patients and their families of those with a life-limiting illness. Social Work and Pastoral Care services provide spiritual care, emotional support and practical advice with finances and funeral planning if required.
There are 14 Palliative Care beds and at times there may be a wait before a bed becomes available.
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 currently restricted due to the COVID-19 pandemic, during this time visitors to the unit are restricted to 2 visitors per day between 12pm and 8pm. Exceptions can be discussed with the Nurse Unit Manager or Nurse in Charge.
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 Grief Services 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.
A bereavement booklet is also available in the following languages: English, Italian, Greek, Vietnamese, Chinese and Macedonian. These booklets are kept on all wards, in the visitor information centres and on the intranet.
Director of Palliative CareDr Maria Coperchini
ConsultantsDr Adrian DabscheckDr Ruwani Mendis
Dr Umbreen Qazi
Team Leader Consult ServiceAnita Haines
Clinical Nurse ConsultantsLoretta WilliamsFiona GrimaldiMarianne PhillipsPhone: (03) 8345 9164 or (03) 8345 9163 (Sunshine) / (03) 8345 7068 (Footscray)
Nurse Unit Manager GEM/Palliative Care WardFay Walsh
GEM/Palliative Care WardPhone: (03) 8345 1792
The Wellcare ProgramMargaret ShawPhone: (03) 8345 1226 Return to the Our Services page