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Palliative Care

Palliative Care

2024-05-14 11:19:01

The North West Hospital and Health Service Palliative Care Service is committed to providing excellent quality holistic care which is seamless in its delivery to the palliative care patient, family and carers from the time of referral, regardless of the place of care within Mount Isa.

What is Palliative Care

Palliative care is an approach that improves the quality of life of patients who are living with a life-limiting illness (adults and children) and their families/caregivers

  • through the prevention and relief of suffering by means of early identification and assessment;
  • assisting with the treatment of pain and other distressing symptoms, whether physical, psychosocial or spiritual.

Addressing suffering involves taking care of issues beyond physical symptoms. Palliative care uses a team approach to support patients and their caregivers. This includes addressing practical needs and providing bereavement counselling. It offers a support system to help patients live as actively as possible until death.

Our Palliative Care Service aims to streamline person centred care across all domains of the service within the North West region of Queensland. It is a nurse-led community service.

 The model operates by providing guidance and support to general health care professionals, enabling expert symptom management in the provision of Palliative Care across all phases of the palliative care trajectory. It emphasises the need for an integrated approach to care between external Specialist Palliative Care providers and other community care providers. 

This Model works in conjunction with a Partnership model of care. This partnership includes all medical staff, SPaRTa, General Practitioners, Pallconsult, nursing staff, allied health professionals, administration, and operational staff all working together to provide the most comfortable outcomes for the patient and their family.

Defining End-Of-Life Care

End of life refers to when life expectancy is anticipated to be short as a result of known progressive life-limiting conditions, and where the primary intent of care shifts from prolonging life to focus on quality of life.

End of life care is everyone's business and not just designated to a Palliative care service. 

End-of-life care includes physical, spiritual and psychosocial assessments, both the care and treatment delivered by nursing, medical and multidisciplinary staff. The support and care also include families/carers, and any individual directly related to the patient receiving palliative care.

We recognise that social and emotional wellbeing is the foundation for physical and mental health, including for First Nations peoples. This includes supporting relationships between individuals, family, kin and community while providing care, and recognising the importance of connection to land, culture, spirituality and ancestry, and how these affect an individual. 

Palliative care continues to assess and support patient families following death.

NWHHS-Community Palliative Care Service

The NWHHS Community Palliative Care Team consists of:

  • x1 Clinical Nurse Co-ordinator (CNC) / Nurse Navigator
  • x1 CNC
  • x1 Palliative Care Social Worker
  • x1 Palliative Care Indigenous Health Worker
  • x1 Administration Officer
  • Email:
  • Ph: 4764 1552

The Team covers the whole North West Hospital and Health Service region of almost 300,000 square kilometres, and is classified as remote or very remote. The region encompasses the communities of Mount Isa, Burketown, Camooweal, Cloncurry, Dajarra, Doomadgee, Julia Creek, Karumba, Normanton and Mornington Island with smaller populations found at Duchess, Gregory River, Kajabbi, Kynuna, McKinlay, Urandangie and Quamby. 

The Team is building an evidence-based service to improve capacity to meet palliative care needs throughout the whole region.

Hospital and Health Service - Mount Isa Medical Ward

Palliative Care inpatients are cared for by Medical Ward staff. There are two allocated palliative care cuddle beds at one end of the ward which were donated through community fund raising. These beds enable expansion of the bed so family members can cuddle their loved ones and find/give comfort as needed. Staff deliver symptom management and end of life care through a multidisciplinary approach. Inpatients may request ward visits from the Community Palliative Care Team and/or end of life care on the ward.

Rural and Remote Care Team

The Community Palliative Care Team attends outreach centres/clinics, nursing homes/MPHS and predominantly home visits in accordance with a patient’s request to have end of life care and/or symptom management in the home.

Palliative Care Specialist services such as SPaRTa (Specialist Palliative Rural Telehealth Service) are utilised to oversee and assist with troublesome and distressing symptoms via telehealth appointments.

The Team is also working to ensure that outreach centres/clinics have equipment available for loan to community palliative care patients who choose to remain in the home.

Educational Links

Palliative Care Nurses Australia (PCNA)

  • A member organisation for Australian nurses who are passionate about excellence in palliative care, providing a unified voice for nurses regarding palliative care policy, practice, research and education.
  • Home - Palliative Care Nurses Australia (
  • 02 8405 7921

PallConsult offer a 24/7 service to all medical, nursing and allied health teams across Queensland

  • Email:
  • 1300 725 537 – advice hotline for doctors, nurse practitioners, paramedics and pharmacists
  • 1300 75 527 – advice for nurses, allied health and Indigenous health workers / practitioners in all care environments

SPaRTa Townsville – provides for people who do not have good access to specialist palliative care, aiming to support locally-based care and increase local capacity

  • Email:
  • 07 4433 7423

IPEPA (Indigenous of Experience in a Palliative Approach) and PEPA (Program of Experience in a Palliative Approach)

  • Provides outreach services with the educational tools to deliver expert care to the community utilising IPEPA and PEPA to bridge other gaps across the network and tools to deliver care. Regular meet ups and education sessions to enhance practises.
  • Home - PEPA (
Other community members

MASS-PCEP – MASS Palliative Care Equipment Program

  • Supports palliative patients approaching their end stage of life to remain in their home by providing assistance through supply or loan of continence aids, home oxygen, daily living and mobility aids. Eligibility conditions apply such as having up to 6 months life expectancy and being under the umbrella of a palliative care service.

Bluecare Queensland – Help at home

  • BlueCare nurses provide support so clients can remain independent in their own home through a range of services such as nursing care, personal hygiene and grooming, dietitians and nutritionists, palliative care, cleaning, support groups, respite, home maintenance, meals, wound management, medication monitoring, shopping, transport and more.
  • 1300 970 495

North West Remote Health (NWRH)

  • Provides allied health, home and community supports, mental health and wellbeing and headspace services to rural and remote Queensland.
  • Email:
  • 1800 799 244