The Palliative Care Handbook
- is the active total care of patients and their families, usually when their disease is no longer responsive to potentially curative treatment, although it may be applicable earlier in the illness
- provides relief from pain and other symptoms
- aims to achieve the best possible quality of life for patients and families
- responds to physical, psychological, social and spiritual needs
- extends as necessary to support in bereavement
This handbook contains guidance to help GPs, community nurses and hospital staff as well as specialist palliative care teams. It aims to provide a checklist for the management of common problems in palliative care, with some information on drug treatment. It is not a comprehensive textbook.
National Service Frameworks for heart failure, renal failure and other conditions are increasingly emphasising the importance of providing good palliative care to these patient groups as well as to those with cancer. The material in this Handbook is intended to apply across a range of diagnoses.