Palliative Care Services

Palliative Care Services - Information Brochure

Palliative Care

  • Is care which relieves symptoms of a condition that is not curable;
  • Provides a system of care enabling the person to live as actively and comfortably as possible;
  • Focuses on enhancing the quality of life for the person and supporting their family;
  • Aims to ease the many physical, emotional and spiritual problems associated with a life limiting illness and to provide support to the person and their family and carers in order to achieve the best possible quality of life;
  • Can be provided to persons of any age, and their families, and at any stage of their illness, from the time of diagnosis, through the final days of their life and in bereavement;
  • Is provided in the home, hospitals, residential aged care facilities and in specialist palliative care inpatient units. Wherever possible the choice is made by the person receiving care.

Accessing the Palliative Care Service

The service can be accessed directly by the person, their family or a referral can be made through the GP, medical specialist, community nurse or another health professional.

People referred to the Palliative Care Service will:

  • have been diagnosed with a life-limiting illness, cancer/ non-cancer;
  • be agreeable to the referral; and
  • be aware of their diagnosis (exceptional circumstances may apply).

All referrals received will be reviewed by the multidisciplinary palliative care team - medical, nursing and social work.

What do we provide?

Our staff have training, expertise and experience in providing care which focuses on enhancing the quality of life for the person and supporting their family.

Comprehensive assessment of the person seeking palliative care, including pain and symptom management, emotional, social, spiritual, psychological and practical support needs.

Practical support including:

  • Equipment and parking concession;
  • Information about and referral to other services such as Centrelink, Carer Support;
  • Referral to other health care professionals such as GPs, community nurses, medical specialists, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, speech pathologists and dieticians.

After hours specialist medical and nursing advice and support on symptom control problems and other palliative care issues for people and families who are registered with the service is available. This is a limited telephone advice service only.

Bereavement support and counselling, access to support groups, memorial services and referral to other support services.

Education for patients, families, professionals and community groups.

Trained volunteers to assist people by providing respite for carers; companionship and support to clients, carers and families; help with practical tasks; overnight support; or inpatient support in palliative care units, hospitals and residential aged care facilities.

Volunteers are trained and supervised by the Hospice Care Association in the South and North West, and the Palliative Care Service in the North.

Palliative Care Service

Community teams

There are specialist palliative care community teams located in the South, North and North West.

The community team includes specialist doctors, nurses, social workers and pastoral care workers. The team is also supported by a group of trained volunteers.

Major hospitals

The Palliative Care Service is available in all Tasmania’s major hospitals.

Specialist doctors and nurses provide advice on pain and symptom management and emotional support. They work with other hospital staff to provide care for the client and family.

Specialist inpatient facilities

In the South, the service has a 10 bed specialist inpatient palliative care unit, the J. W. Whittle Palliative Care Unit, Hobart.

In the North, dedicated public palliative care inpatient beds are provided through Calvary Health Care Tasmania in the Melwood Unit, St Luke’s Campus, Launceston.

Admission to an inpatient unit may be for: supportive care at the end of life; a short stay to access and manage acute illness phases; and to relieve pain and other distressing symptoms. Many people are discharged home to be cared for by their GP, community nurse and the community palliative care team.

Tasmanian Health Service


Specialist Palliative Care Service
1st floor, Peacock Building, Repatriation Centre
90 Davey Street HOBART  TAS    7000
Phone: (03) 6166 2820
Fax: (03) 6166 2839

J.W. Whittle Palliative Care Unit
88 Davey Street HOBART  TAS  7000
Phone: (03) 6166 2800  Fax: (03) 6173 0310


Specialist Palliative Care Service
Allambi Building
33-39 Howick Street LAUNCESTON  TAS  7250
Phone: (03) 6777 4544
Fax: (03) 6777 5253

North West

Specialist Palliative Care Service
Level 3 Parkside, 1 Strahan Street  BURNIE TAS
PO Box 258 BURNIE  TAS  7320
Phone: (03) 6440 7111
Fax: (03) 6464 1941

Printable PDF Brochure

Developed May 2009
Updated contacts: May 2016