Guide to specialist palliative care services

Once you have decided that a patient would benefit from and is appropriate for specialist palliative care, you then need to decide which service they should be referred to and complete a referral for admission.

This guide provides the admission criteria, services provided, and the providers of care (including their referral processes) for different service types.

The content on this page is also available as a pdf Guide to specialist palliative care services (PDF 775KB)

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)

This service type covers:

  • residential aged care facilities
  • secondary hospitals
  • disability service facilities
  • mental health facilities
  • correctional services
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

Only intra-hospital referrals will be considered.

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
*Intra-hospital referrals only
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
Rural and regional services

The WA Country Health Service provides rural and regional specialist palliative care teams across the seven regions of country WA.

The 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.

Use the Regional Specialist Palliative Care referral form (PDF 670KB) to refer to these services

Specialist Palliative Care Services

These Service Summaries provide an overview of the Specialist Palliative Care services provided within each region.

Rural Specialist Palliative Care Units

Western Australia has three rural specialist palliative care units. These Service Summaries provide an overview of the services provided within each unit.

Last reviewed: 25-03-2020
Produced by

WA Cancer and Palliative Care Network