Hospital palliative care support teams provide specialist palliative care advice and support to other clinical staff, patients and their families and carers in the hospital environment.
They offer formal and informal education, and liaise with other services in and out of the hospital.
Hospital palliative care support teams are also known as hospital supportive care teams or hospital mobile teams.
Hospital palliative care support teams, in the first instance, offer support to healthcare professionals in hospital units and polyclinics not specialised in palliative care. One central aim of a hospital palliative
care support team is the alleviation of multiple symptoms of palliative care patients on different hospital wards by mentoring the attending staff and by supporting the patients and their relatives.
Furthermore, expertise in palliative medicine and palliative care shall be made available in the respective environments.
The aims of a hospital palliative care support team are the improvement of care to foster discharge from an acute hospital unit and the facilitation of the transfer between inpatient and outpatient care.
A hospital palliative care support team is composed of a multiprofessional team with at least one physician and one nurse with specialist palliative care training.
The team should have ready access to other professionals working in liaison with it, including bereavement specialists, chaplains, dietitians, therapists, oncologists, pharmacists, physiotherapists, psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers and speech and language therapists.
All clinical staff should be supported by administrative staff. Staff support such as supervision should be available for the team.
A hospital palliative care support team should have a room for staff meetings and administrative support at its disposal.
Radbruch L, Payne S and the Board of Directors of the EAPC. EAPC update. White Paper on standards and norms for hospice and palliative care in Europe: part 2. European Journal of Palliative Care, 2009; 16(6)