Palliative care is specialised medical care for people with serious illnesses. We focus on providing patients with relief from the symptoms, pain and stress of a serious illness – whatever the diagnosis.


Our service

The goal of the palliative care service is to improve quality of life for both you and your family. Palliative care is provided by a team of doctors, nurses and other specialists, who work with a patient's other doctors to provide an extra layer of support. Palliative care is appropriate at any age and at any stage in a serious illness, and it can be provided together with curative treatment. 

The team includes a palliative medicine consultant, along with a registrar, three clinical nurse specialists, a social worker and an occupational therapist.


Accessing our service

You may be referred to the palliative care services if you have been diagnosed with a life-limiting condition such as cancer, heart failure or motor neuron disease. You may have:

Complex symptoms resulting from the condition and/or
Complex psychological or social needs related to the condition which persist despite the care being provided by other professionals
You may be referred to palliative care so that you can get advice and support on: 

  • Symptom control
  • Psychological or social distress  
  • Future care planning         
  • The provision of end-of-life care

Frequently Asked Questions:

We can offer advice and support on the management of symptom control issues such as:

  • Pain
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Fatigue
  • Breathlessness

We can also give psychological support and advice to both you and your family/carers about your illness and planning for the future

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 you in your own home and liaise with your GP and with hospital and community support services.

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.

Call the Mater Hospital switchboard on (01) 803 2000 and ask for bleep 3454, or simply ask for a member of the palliative care team. Alternatively, the palliative care office is staffed from 8:15am to 12pm, Monday to Friday.  

A clinical nurse specialist is a nurse who has completed nursing training and gone on to specialise in a particular area.  All clinical nurse specialists have a postgraduate diploma or master’s degree in palliative care.

The clinical nurse specialist is a liaison between the patient, their family, the medical team and GP/public health nurse and community services.

A family meeting is a meeting between you, your family/significant others and the team of people caring for you in the hospital. A family meeting is routinely organised as part of your hospital stay.

A family meeting allows for:

  • Open communication between you, your 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 you and your family and what might not be possible
  • Discussion of future care planning

Information leaflets


Referral information

The hospital consultant who is responsible for your care can refer you to the palliative care team. The palliative care team can help the medical team to refer patients to a hospice or the community palliative care service that covers the patient’s home area.

Your appointment

Palliative care is an inpatient only service. 

Our consultants