Appendix 2: Palliative Care

The web-based Grampian Palliative Care Guidelines were launched in December 2002. They provide both information and direction to the reader by discussing the essential elements of palliative care in an abbreviated format. The guidelines include a section on the use of syringe drivers in Palliative Care, giving details of when and how to use syringe drivers in both the hospital and community setting.

See NHS Grampian Palliative Care Intranet site:
Link opens in new window

World Health Organisation 1990 definition of palliative care:
"Palliative care is the active total care of patients whose disease is not responsive to curative treatment.  Control of pain, of other symptoms, and of psychological, social and spiritual problems is paramount.  The goal of palliative care is achievement of the best possible quality of life for patients and their families.  Many aspects of palliative care are also applicable earlier in the course of the illness, in conjunction with anticancer treatment."

Palliative Care:

  • Affirms life and regards dying as a normal process
  • Neither hastens nor postpones death
  • Provides relief from pain and other distressing symptoms
  • Integrates the psychological and spiritual aspects of patient care
  • Offers support to help patients live as actively as possible until death
  • Offers a support system to help the family cope during the patient's illness and in their own bereavement.

Further Reading 
Palliative Care Formulary No.2, also available on CD ROM, and website Link opens in new window 
British National Formulary 
British Medical Journal 1996, 312, pages 823 - 826, Hanks S. W. et al. 
ABC of Palliative Care, BMJ Books 
Palliative Medicines Handbook, l.N. Back 3rd Edition 
Control of Pain in Patients with Cancer SIGN Guidelines (No.44) 2000 
Symptom Management in Advanced Cancer, Twycross & Wilcock. 3rd Edition 
Decision Making in Palliative Care, Peter Kaye 
Chronic Pain, David J Rowbottom 
The Effective Management of Cancer Pain, Hillier/Finlay/Miles 2002. 
SCPPE Distance Learning Pack: The Pharmacist in Palliative Care

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 other queries
Roxburghe House
Tel: 01224 555642

For Community Pharmacists
Medicines Unit
Woodend Hospital
Tel: 01224 556768