7.1 Multidisciplinary palliative care

7.1 Multidisciplinary palliative care

If the treatment team does not include a palliative care member, the lead clinician should consider referring the patient to palliative care services, with the general practitioner’s engagement. This may include inpatient palliative unit access (as required).

The multidisciplinary team may consider seeking additional expertise from these professionals:

  • clinical psychologist
  • clinical nurse specialist or practitioner
  • social worker
  • palliative medicine specialist
  • pain specialist
  • pastoral or spiritual carer
  • bereavement counsellor
  • music therapist
  • art therapist
  • cultural expert
  • Canteen for children of parents with cancer

The team might also recommend that patients access these services:

  • home and community-based care
  • specialist community palliative care workers
  • community nursing.

If the patient does not already have an advance care directive in place, a designated member of the treatment team should encourage them to develop one in collaboration with their family or carer (AHMAC 2011).

It is essential for the treatment team to consider the appropriate place of care, the patient’s preferred place of death and the support needed for the patient, their family and carers.

The treatment team should also ensure that carers and families receive the information, support and guidance about their role according to their needs and wishes (Palliative Care Australia 2018).

More information

The treatment team can refer patients and carers to these resources: