Departments A - Z

Information for Patients

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Palliative Care?
Palliative care is a speciality that aims to provide the best quality of life possible for patients and their families facing problems associated with life-limiting illness. 
How can the Palliative Care team help you or your family?
  • Offering advice and support on the management of symptom control issues such as:
    • Pain
    • Nausea and vomiting
    • Fatigue
    • Breathlessness
  • Giving psychological support and advice to both you and your family and carers regarding your illness
  • Providing advice and support about planning for the future
What is community Palliative Care?

The community palliative care team is a nurse led service that provides advice and support around symptom management, pain control, social difficulties and psychological needs. 

They visit people in their own homes and liaise with your GP, hospital and community supports.

How do I access the Palliative Care team for my sick relative?

If your relative is in hospital just speak with a member of the medical team responsible for their care and ask them to send a referral to the palliative care team.

If your relative is at home or in a nursing home, the GP should be contacted and asked to refer the person to the local palliative care team.

How do I contact the Palliative Care team in the Mater Hospital?
Phone the Mater Hospital swithcboard at 01 803 2000 and ask for bleep 3453 or 3454 or simply ask for a member of the palliative care team.
What is a Clinical Nurse Specialist in Palliative Care?

A clinical nurse specialist is a nurse who in addition to completing nurse training has gone on to specialise in a particular area.

A postgraduate diploma or master’s degree in palliative care is held by all Clinical Nurse Specialists.

The Clinical Nurse Specialist is a liaison between the patient, their family, the medical team and GP/Public Health Nurse and community services.

What is a Family Meeting?

A family meeting is a meeting between the patient, their family / significant others and the team of people caring for them in the hospital.

A family meeting is routinely organised as part of a patients hospital stay. 

A family meeting allows for:

  • open communication between the patient, family and the team.
  • provision of information to all those present
  • discussion about feelings and concerns
  • discussion on what the hospital staff can provide to patients and families and what might not be possible
  • discussion of future care planning


What is the connection between St Francis Hospice and the Mater Hospital?

The Mater Hospital works in partnership with St Francis Hospice in providing:

  • Community Palliative Care – A member of the Hospice homecare team will visit you in your own home or nursing home to provide specialist palliative care and support to you and your family.
  • Hospice Day Care – Provides additional care and support to patients living at home.
  • In-Patient Unit – St. Anne's In-Patient Unit offers admission for respite care, symptom management, and specialised care in the final stages of illness. There are 19 beds in the inpatient unit, some in single rooms and others in shared rooms.
For more information see St. Francis Hospice website.

Patient Booklets / Leaflets

Irish Hospice Foundation - Berevement Leaflets

pdf file icon When You Experience A Bereavement (992 kbs)

pdf file icon Heart Failure & Palliative Care Information Leaflet (237 kbs)

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