GP Zone

End of Life care support in Cornwall

People have their end of life care needs met by a wide range of professionals that may include generalist practitioners and organisations (care homes, care at home agencies, community nurses, hospitals, GPs and specialist teams and services (eg hospice, palliative care consultants, specialist nursing teams).

There is information available to help you know what to expect during end of life care and to act as a prompt for things you may want to think about. These might include how and where you want to be cared for, as well as financial issues. Talking to your family about your wishes could help them if they ever have to make decisions about your care. Knowing that they are acting in accordance with your wishes can remove some of the stress from a very difficult situation.

If you are not approaching the end of your life, you may still want to think about your wishes for your own end of life care. Think about where you would like to be cared for, where you would prefer to die, your wishes for your funeral and who you would like to make decisions about your care, if you are not able to decide for yourself.

Local links

Community specialist palliative care nursing team

Each GP surgery has an allocated Palliative Care Nurse. Their aim is to ensure all patients with complex palliative care needs receive high quality symptom control assessments, psychological support and advice to meet their individual needs. Nurses work closely with a range of health professionals in the community, hospital, hospices and other voluntary and statutory agencies.

If you think you would benefit from this service please discuss with your GP or hospital team who can refer you.

Out of hours palliative GP service

Cornwall Health provides an out of hours palliative GP service. Telephone 01872 224050.

Cornwall hospice care

Advice line: A palliative care advice line is available to healthcare professionals 24 hours a day, seven days a week. This provides access to specialist nursing and medical advice at any time on symptom control, syringe driver and drug use, appropriate place of care and management of palliative care emergencies. Telephone: 01736 757707

Email hotline: Cornwall Hospice Care also operate a palliative care email hotline, which is available to healthcare professionals requiring advice quickly but without the urgency of a direct telephone conversation. Email requests for advice will be responded to within 24 hours by the consultant on call that day. Email: cornwall.spcadvice@nhs.net 

Further reading