Guide to specialist palliative care services

What types of specialist palliative care services are available?

Specialist palliative care is provided in a range of settings, including outpatient clinic, community, consultation (facilities and hospitals) and specialist palliative care units. For each of these settings, the Admission criteria and services provided are provided below.

Admission criteria and services

Patient must meet the Generic Referral Criteria for Specialist Palliative Care prior to commencing referral for admission to any of the following services. 

Outpatient clinic
Services provided Admission criteria Provider
  • Comprehensive assessment
  • Care planning and co-ordination
  • Symptom management
  • Access to multidisciplinary team
  • Psychosocial support for patient and family
  • Shared care with other care providers
  • Specialist advice required
  • Patient is within catchement (for public services only)
  • Able to attend clinic
  • Patient has consented to referral
  • Referral by doctor, nurse, practitioner or palliative care service
Community
Services provided Admission criteria Provider
  • Comprehensive assessment
  • Care planning and co-ordination
  • Symptom management
  • Access to multidisciplinary team
  • Psychosocial support for patient and family
  • Shared care with other care providers
  • Access to equipment and resources
  • Practical support
  • Terminal care
  • Bereavement support
  • Specialist advice and/or care at home required
  • Patient is within catchment
  • Patient and carer have consented to care at home
  • Patient and carer aware of referral and have understanding of palliative care
  • Referral by doctor, nurse practitioner or palliative care service
Consultation – facilities (residential care)
Services provided Admission criteria Provider
  • Comprehensive assessment
  • Care planning and co-ordination
  • Symptom management
  • Access to multidisciplinary team
  • Psychosocial support for patient and family
  • Shared care with other care providers
  • Advisory/educational support to doctors, nursing and allied health care workers
  • Terminal care
  • Bereavement support
  • Specialist advice required
  • Patient is within catchment
  • Patient and carer aware of referral and have understanding of palliative care
  • Referral by doctor, nurse practitioner or nurse in consultation with GP
*Residential Aged Care Facilities, Secondary Hospitals, Disability Service Facilities, Mental Health Services and Correctional Services.
Consultation – hospital
Services provided Admission criteria Provider*
  • Comprehensive assessment
  • Care planning and co-ordination
  • Symptom management
  • Access to multidisciplinary team
  • Psychosocial support for patient and family
  • Shared care with other care providers
  • Advisory/educational support to doctors, nursing and allied health care workers
  • Terminal care
  • Bereavement support
  • Specialist advice required
  • Referral according to individual hospital criteria
  • Bethesda Hospital
  • Fiona Stanley Hospital
  • Hollywood Private Hospital
  • Metropolitan Palliative Care Consultancy Services
  • Royal Perth Hospital (including Nurse Practitioner consultation)
  • Rockingham General Hospital
  • Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital
  • SJOG Hospital Murdoch
  • SJOG Hospital Subiaco (including Nurse Practitioner consultation)
  • Princess Margaret Hospital
*Intra-hospital referrals only
Specialist Palliative Care services for rural and regional patients and families

Rural and Regional Specialist Palliative Care teams are located in the seven regions of country Western Australia (WA Country Health Service). The specialist palliative care teams liaise with GPs and primary healthcare teams to provide specialist advice and treatment based on the unique needs of the patient, their carer(s) and family when facing a life limiting prognosis.

The breadth and scope of the WACHS organisation is enormous, with services planned and delivered for a diverse and sprawling population. Specialist palliative care service types vary from region to region and include consultation services (nurse-led and visiting palliative care specialist physicians), outpatient clinics in large regional towns and community services. Click on the Service Summaries below for more information.

Referral to Regional Specialist Palliative Care

Rural and Regional Specialist Palliative Care Services

Rural Specialist Palliative Care Units


Specialist Palliative Care Units
Services provided Admission criteria Provider
  • Comprehensive assessment
  • Care planning and co-ordination
  • Symptom management
  • Access to multidisciplinary team
  • Psychosocial support for patient and family
  • Shared care with other care providers
  • Care in specialised facility
  • Terminal care
  • Bereavement support
  • Specialist care required
  • Patient cannot be optimally managed in current environment
  • Patient and carer aware of referral and understanding of palliative care
  • Referral by doctor, nurse practitioner or palliative care service
Produced by

WA Cancer and Palliative Care Network