Our mission is to provide excellent service to children and families facing life-limiting illness through partnership with families, interdisciplinary team work, and offering holistic care.
The Paediatric Palliative Care Service (PPCS) provides support to families caring for a child with a life-limiting illness. This is tailored to each family’s individual needs to help make decisions about care
The PPCS is a statewide service providing specialist care for children with life-limiting conditions.
The service will not replace the medical teams who care for your child at the hospital. We work with these teams and other health care services outside the hospital.
The service has a team of health care specialists:
- Grief and Loss Coordinator
- Social Worker
- Art Therapist.
The team is supported by business and administrative personnel.
The After-hours Service is between 4:30pm to 8:30am week days, and 24 hours per day on weekends and public holidays, 365 days per year via hospital switchboard only.
How to access this service
Referrals are accepted from health care professionals across the care spectrum. Families may also self-refer, with subsequent contact made with treating teams.
The criteria for admission to the Paediatric Palliative Care Service require that a child be:
- Aged between 0 and 18 years
- Diagnosed with a life-limiting illness
- Receiving their acute health care services in South Australia.
Information required for referral includes:
- Name of child, date of birth, UR number and contact details
- Identity of primary carer
- Consent for referral from family
- Medical details – diagnosis/differential diagnosis, present condition, results of recent medical tests
- Medical team and other agencies involved.
General business: 8.30am – 4.30pm weekdays
24 hour on-call service: after hours contact 8161 7000 (switchboard)
Level 7, Zone E, Samuel Way building
Frequently asked questions
- Communication to support families and health care providers, including those in rural and remote areas
- Assessment and management of pain and other symptoms
- Education and support to help administer prescribed medications to care for your child at home
- Coordination of care at home to link families with services and resources
- Information about available respite options
- Psychosocial support for child, siblings and other family members
- Support for end of life care planning
- Care and support during the end stages of a child’s illness
- Bereavement care for parents, siblings and extended family
- School support, practical resources and equipment
A referral to a palliative care service can be made at any stage during the course of your child’s illness. It is often difficult to predict the progression of many childhood conditions. It is a good idea to think about a palliative care referral early, even at the time of diagnosis when medical treatment is given to treat or cure an illness. A referral to palliative care does not mean you have given up hope. In fact, it allows the best possible support for you and your family.
In many situations, families can choose where they would like care for their child. Most care is provided at home, however, it may be necessary to spend more time in hospital. Our palliative care services can help by coordinating care across locations to ensure families are supported wherever they wish to be. SA and NT do not have paediatric hospice facilities; however, the SA PPCS can support adult hospice services to care for adolescents for end of life care.
If you think paediatric palliative care could be helpful for your child and family, talk to one of your child’s health care team members, or contact the SA PPCS.
The after-hours phone support service can provide an immediate response to help:
- With significant changes in your child’s condition
- Discuss symptoms and advise on management, including medication and equipment
- Liaise with other involved health care teams
- When you’re having difficulty caring for your child
Phone the Women’s and Children’s Hospital Switchboard on (08) 8161 7000 and ask to speak with the Palliative Care After-Hours phone support service. You will be asked for your name and phone number to be given to the on-call clinician who will call you back within 10 minutes, but if you don’t hear after 10 minutes please call again.
- A Family Companion (Paediatric Palliative Care website)
- Red Nose Grief and Loss website
- Here for you booklet – Things you might like to discuss with the palliative care team (Paediatric Palliative Care website)