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Palliative Care

Palliative care aims to support people living with a terminal illness. The care focuses on supporting the person who has the illness as well as their family and friends.

Palliative care concentrates on a person’s quality of life by managing symptoms, and meeting a person’s social, emotional and spiritual needs. It also provides advice, support and education to family and friends. 

The Palliative Care team is committed to providing inclusive care for everyone, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, LGBTIQA+ people, people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, people with a disability, and people from diverse socioeconomic backgrounds


Our Vision

Leading the way in palliative care by working together with you for a better quality of life.

Barwon Health Palliative Care Program service definers:

  • Foster a relationship between the patient, carer and health care professionals which enables trust in order to help understanding, have difficult conversations and identify life choices and wishes.
  • Aid teamwork that ensures communication, coordination and agreement of care to benefit the patient experience and improve clinical care.
  • Deliver a flexible and individual package of care that will offer the patient and carer different ways of meeting their needs and allow choice throughout the different stages of their journey.
  • Recognise and value the carer as part of the care team, and support the carer so that they are able to maintain their carer role as well as maintain their own health and wellbeing.
  • Consider the emotional, behavioural, spiritual, and social environment that impact upon the physical wellbeing of the patient and carer.
  • Enable the patient’s wishes with regard to the end of life and increase the options and opportunities to die in their place of choice.

About Barwon Health's Palliative Care Program

The Barwon Health Palliative Care Program provides care to patients and their families within the Barwon South West Region. The services we offer include:

Palliative Care Consultancy at University Hospital Geelong is available to all acute areas of Barwon Health and is available to both inpatient and those attending outpatient appointments. The team consists of a Palliative Care Consultant Physician, Palliative Care Registrar, Palliative Care Nurse Practitioner Candidate and Palliative Care Clinical Nurse Consultant. The service aims to provide:

  • Advice regarding pain and symptom management for patients with a life-limiting illness whilst in the acute hospital
  • Assessment for Community Palliative Care services
  • Assessment for inpatient Palliative Care services
  • Discharge planning assistance
  • Palliative Medical review

Community Palliative Care provides specialist care in a client’s home or outpatient clinic as appropriate. Our aim is to ensure that the most appropriate mix of services and professionals are available to provide care and support to patients and their family/carers. Community Palliative Care Specialist staff provide:

  • Assessment for symptom management
  • Advice and support utilising a needs-based model of care

Palliative Care Unit at the McKellar Centre a 15-bed facility providing high-quality patient and family-orientated care, including pain and symptom management and bereavement support to family and friends.

Outpatient Clinics at Barwon Health's Andrew Love Cancer Centre and McKellar Centre

  • Cachexia clinic: Medical, dietitian, physiotherapy assessments to manage and treat weight loss, function and decreased appetite
  • Supportive care clinics (psychology, social work, grief and bereavement, and spiritual care): Improve relationships and reduce the impact of stress, pain and mental health difficulties, such as depression and anxiety.
  • Palliative care medical and nurse clinics: Provide comprehensive assessment and management of complex symptoms, and end-of-life care planning, for patients with an advanced life-limiting illness.

The palliative care team uses a multidisciplinary team approach (meaning they represent a range of skills and clinical backgrounds) as we recognise you may have a range of clinical, spiritual, psychological, financial and social care needs.

The multidisciplinary team meets on a weekly basis. The disciplines represented in the team include:

  • Specialist palliative care doctors
  • Specialist palliative care nurses
  • Physiotherapists, occupational therapists, social workers, dietitians and other allied health professionals
  • Pastoral care, psychologists and bereavement support staff
  • Specially trained volunteers

The aim of the team is to ensure you are able to access services that are appropriate to you.

When to access Palliative Care

Palliative care can be accessed early in the course of an illness, together with other therapies intended to prolong life, such as chemotherapy or radiation therapy, and includes tests/investigations needed to better understand and manage distressing symptoms.

Regardless of your level of need, the palliative care team is available to provide advice and support to you and other professionals involved in your care. Your general practitioner (GP) is an integral part of this team.

How to access our services

The Palliative Care service is accessed by means of a referral. A referral can be made by hospital staff, your GP or other specialists with your consent. Your family/carer can also refer or you can self-refer.

To refer to the Palliative Care service or for any enquiries please phone 4215 5700, Monday to Friday 8.30am to 4.30pm.

Service availability

  • Hospital Based Consultancy Program: Monday to Friday 8am to 4.30pm.
  • Community Palliative Care: 24 hours a day, seven days per week. 
  • Palliative Care Unit: 24-hours a day, seven days per week.

Last Modified: Tuesday, 07 February 2023


Address: McKellar Centre, 45-95 Ballarat Road, North Geelong
Hours: 8.30am to 4.30pm, Monday to Friday
Phone: 03 4215 5700
Fax: 03 4215 6390