Appendix 2: Palliative Care

World Health Organisation Definition of Palliative Care

Palliative care is an approach that improves the quality of life of patients and their families facing the problem associated with life-threatening illness, through the prevention and relief of suffering by means of early identification and impeccable assessment and treatment of pain and other problems, physical, psychosocial and spiritual.

Palliative care:

  • provides relief from pain and other distressing symptoms;
  • affirms life and regards dying as a normal process;
  • intends neither to hasten or postpone death;
  • integrates the psychological and spiritual aspects of patient care;
  • offers a support system to help patients live as actively as possible until death;
  • offers a support system to help the family cope during the patients illness and in their own bereavement;
  • uses a team approach to address the needs of patients and their families, including bereavement counselling, if indicated;
  • will enhance quality of life, and may also positively influence the course of illness;
  • is applicable early in the course of illness, in conjunction with other therapies that are intended to prolong life, such as chemotherapy or radiation therapy, and includes those investigations needed to better understand and manage distressing clinical complications.

WHO Definition of Palliative Care for Children

Palliative care for children represents a special, albeit closely related field to adult palliative care. WHO's definition of palliative care appropriate for children and their families is as follows; the principles apply to other paediatric chronic disorders (WHO; 1998a):

  • Palliative care for children is the active total care of the child's body, mind and spirit, and also involves giving support to the family.
  • It begins when illness is diagnosed, and continues regardless of whether or not a child receives treatment directed at the disease.
  • Health providers must evaluate and alleviate a child's physical, psychological, and social distress.
  • Effective palliative care requires a broad multidisciplinary approach that includes the family and makes use of available community resources; it can be successfully implemented even if resources are limited.
  • It can be provided in tertiary care facilities, in community health centres and even in children's homes.


Scottish Palliative Care Guidelines: 

NHS Grampian Palliative Care Clinical Guidance Intranet:

Which includes the following:

Right blue arrow symbol  NHS Grampian Palliative and Supportive care Plan for Acute sector


Right blue arrow symbol  NHS Grampian Palliative and Supportive care Plan for Primary Care:


Right blue arrow symbol  NHS Grampian CME T34 Syringe Pump Guidelines for Subcutaneous Administration of medicines in Palliative Care:

NHS Inform Palliative and End of Life Care Zone:

Palliative Care Formulary: available on the The Knowledge Network via Athens password

NHS Education for Scotland Palliative Care in Practice

NHS Education for Scotland Palliative Care resources for Pharmacists:

RACH palliative care links:

Right blue arrow symbol Association of Paediatric Palliative Medicine Master Formulary:

Right blue arrow symbol Together for short lives (A download of 'Basic symptom control on paediatric palliative care' can be requested from this site):


For Aberdeen Hospitals
Hospital Specialist Palliative Care Team (HSPCT)
Aberdeen Royal Infirmary
Tel:- 01224 554001 (8am to 5pm)
Note: Weekends, Public Holidays or between 5pm and 8am weekdays, please contact the Palliative Care Helpline below.

Palliative Care Helpline - For all health professionals
Roxburghe House
Tel: 01224 557057

Community Pharmacists
Pharmacy and Medicines Directorate
Woodend Hospital
Tel: 01224 556527