Information alert

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The Palliative Care and Symptom Control Team are here to support people with a serious illness. We work alongside the treating medical team to support and complement medical care, rather than replace it. We provide holistic support, in the hope of improving quality of life. We do this by providing help with difficult to treat physical symptoms, such as pain and nausea, as well as providing psychological and social support for patients and those closest to them. Our aim is to establish what is important to a person, and we keep this in mind with all aspects of our care. 

Our team includes Clinical Nurse Specialists (CNSs), a Nurse Consultant, Medical Consultants, junior doctors, as well as a social worker, psychologist and administrative staff. Our Palliative Care CNSs provide most of the support, one of whom will be allocated as your key worker. Your CNS can refer you on to one of our consultants for support with more complex symptoms, or to our psychologist or social worker for support with psychological and social needs. 

Social work

Our Specialist Social Worker is available to offer a variety of services and support, as we know that being unwell and staying in hospital can be physically and mentally draining. Our Social Worker is there for patients and families at any time, from initial diagnosis right through to ongoing treatment and end of life care. They can offer advice and support in areas such as: benefits and finances, advocacy, housing, advance care planning and emotional support. Your Palliative Care CNS may recommend this support, or you can ask for a referral.


We are aware that staying in hospital is difficult for many different reasons, and can lead to distress. Our Clinical Psychologist can offer specialist psychological support for patients and their families under the care of our team. The sessions involve an integration of a range of therapeutic approaches that best meet the patient’s needs. The Psychologist can visit you in hospital where they can talk to you about what you are finding difficult. Your Palliative Care CNS may recommend this support, or you can ask for a referral.

Advance care planning

As professionals involved in your care, we may ask you about how you wish to be supported now and in the future. We will seek to discover what is important to you, and where you might want to be cared for in the future. We may ask about the types of care and treatments you may wish to avoid. Ideally, we will aim to have these conversations while you are well, so that should you become unwell, everyone is aware of your wishes. Your nurse can offer to record these wishes for you in a digital personalised care plan, called a Universal Care Plan (UCP). 

Contact details

We are a seven-day service (Monday to Sunday, 9am to 5pm) and can be contacted on 0203 447 7140. You can also ask your nurse or medical team to bleep us during these hours. 

We also have an on-call CNS working 5pm-8pm each day for any urgent concerns.  Your nurse or medical team can call the CNS via UCH switchboard.

Page last updated: 13 June 2024

Review due: 01 May 2026