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Unresolved symptoms and complex psychological issues for patients with advanced disease.

Complex end of life issues.

Complex bereavement issues.

Providing supportive and palliative care should be an integral part of every health and social care professional’s role.  For many, it only forms part of their role as many of these professionals are ‘generalists’ (example general practitioners, district nurses and allied health professionals) while others are specialists who may have received specific training and qualifications in supportive and palliative care or acquired substantial practical experience in this field.

Importantly, both palliative and supportive care is often provided by patients’ family and other carers, and not exclusively by professionals

It is recommended that supportive and palliative care services should be delivered, as much as possible, where individuals and carers want them – in the community (including the individual’s own home, but also in care homes and community hospitals), in acute hospitals and or in a hospice.

Historically the scope of supportive and palliative care has been within the development of cancer care.  However, it is now widely recognised that supportive and palliative care should be available to all people, regardless of their diagnosis, so that they can have access to high quality supportive and palliative care.  A recent Government initiative ‘Building on the Best: End of Life Initiative’ was established to ensure that access to supportive and palliative care.

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