Palliative care

Children’s palliative care is about promoting the best possible quality of life and care for every child with a life-limiting or life-threatening condition and their family.

The aims of palliative care are to:

  • control pain and other distressing symptoms
  • help patients and families cope with the psychological effects and emotional upset caused by the illness
  • help patients and families deal with any social or practical problems of the situation
  • help people to deal with spiritual questions which may arise from their illness
  • support families and friends in their bereavement

Palliative care is not just for the end of life, it can also be received during illness.  Children can receive palliative care in hospitals, at home and in a children's hospice.  To access support:

In hospital

Ask to speak to the palliative care team in the hospital your child is in.  Palliative care teams in hospitals usually include:

  • specialist nurses - also called Macmillan nurses
  • consultants
  • specialist registrars

The Teenage Cancer Trust has special units to care for young people, with three in the East Midlands - Leicester Royal Infirmary, Nottingham City hospital and Nottingham Queens medical centre.

At home

Ask your GP (doctor) to put you in touch with the palliative care nurse (sometimes called Macmillan nurses or LOROS community nurses).

Children’s hospice

Rainbows Hospice takes children and young people from across the east Midlands.  Referrals can be made by yourself or through your GP or health professional services.

Further information

Together for Short Lives is a directory of information and local services.