Palliative Care Wraps Around an Entire Family Not Just the Patient

12th September 2023

The service doesn’t just affect me, it affects my entire family who look on and see me living a normal life because of the support I have here.” The words of Mark Boyd, a patient who receives palliative care in the South Eastern Trust.

Palliative Care aims to improve the quality of life of people living with an illness or condition that may limit or shorten their lives. It is important to know that not everyone who receives palliative care is in the final stages of an illness; some people receive palliative care for many years to support them in coping with their condition.

A patient who uses the service discussed how his views on palliative care has changed since his diagnosis, “Palliative care to me meant ‘End-of-life’ but I was in for a real surprise when I realised it was anything but that.

“There’s a misconception around that phrase that makes people feel negative about it. We talk about it as ‘Pain Management’. The staff manage my pain to enable me to live as normal a life as possible, to give me back the quality of life I should have even as a cancer patient with a terminal diagnosis.”

Specialist Palliative Care Lead Nurse, Denise Cranston, explained how the Rapid Access Hub based in Ards Community Hospital provides support and symptom management for patients who have been diagnosed with Palliative care needs.

“This Consultant and Nurse-led clinic works closely with Allied Health Professionals such as speech & language therapists, dieticians, physiotherapists and occupational therapists, to provide the support for patients. Beyond this, the unit aims to cater to patients’ needs by providing other partnered services such as Aromatherapy & Counselling”

The team not only manages physical pain but also seeks to help patients with their mental health and wellbeing. This support extends beyond the clinical area and consultants are on hand to deal with any issues patients may be experiencing outside of scheduled appointments. Additionally, the team is able to help a patient cope with mobility issues.

Patients can receive help at home and they also know a consultant is available in the unit if their health deteriorates and they require more support there.

If you would like to access the Community Specialist Palliative Care Team please speak to your GP, District Nurse or Hospital Consultant. For advice or enquires please contact:

Down and Lisburn Area (028) 9263 3568

North Down and Ards (028) 9151 0285