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Palliative Care Service homepage


The Palliative Care Service for the Cairns and Hinterland Hospital and Health Service (HHS) is based in Gordonvale Hospital which provides 12 inpatient beds and delivers an outreach Community based Palliative Care Service within the HHS. The service also has a Palliative Care Consultant who offers a Consultative service at the Cairns Hospital and runs weekly outpatient clinics at the Liz Plummer Cancer Care Centre.  The service receives both Commonwealth and State funding and covers an area from Ellis Beach in the north to Aloomba in the south. The Palliative Care Service focuses on the well-being and quality of life of people with a terminal illness and their families.

Palliative Care Service Brochure (PDF, 72 KB)

Contact Details

Gordonvale Hospital and Cairns Palliative Care Service
Highleigh Road,
Gordonvale Qld 4865
Phone: +61 7 4043 3100
Fax: +61 7 4056 2496

Postal Address

PO Box 17
Gordonvale Qld 4865

What is Palliative Care?

Palliative Care is specialized care which:

  • affirms life and regards dying as a normal process
  • neither hastens or postpones death
  • provides relief from pain and other distressing symptoms
  • combines the physical, psychological, social, emotional, spiritual and cultural aspects of care in a coordinated approach
  • aims to help people have a good quality of life for as long as possible until their death, and offers a support system to help families cope during a person's illness, and in their own bereavement

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Who receives Palliative Care?

Palliative care is provided to people of all ages, from children to the elderly, who have a life limiting illness. The need for palliative care does not depend on any specific medical diagnosis, but on the person's needs. Some of the common medical conditions of people requiring palliative care include: cancer, HIV/AIDS, motor neurone disease, muscular dystrophy, multiple sclerosis and end stage dementia. Families and carers also receive benefits from palliative care services as these people provide much of the care, so practical and emotional support for them is crucial.

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Referral Process

Who can refer:

  • General practitioners
  • Specialists
  • Community Health
  • Cairns Base Hospital MO's
  • Clients may self refer (with supporting documentation)

 MR50J Cairns Integrated Palliative Care Service Referral (PDF, 345 KB)

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Services Provided to Eligible Clients

Gordonvale Hospital & Palliative Care Service

12 inpatient beds – respite, symptom management; end of life care; carer accommodation.

Community Support

  • Nursing assessment and consultation
  • Nursing support
  • Social work support - for families, carers, counselling, housing, financial and end of life issues
  • In-home respite
  • Occupational therapy / physiotherapy
  • Equipment
  • In-home oxygen
  • Volunteer support
  • 24 hour phone support
  • Bereavement follow up

Bereavement Support

The Palliative Care Service provides bereavement support for twelve months through the Social Work department. Services include information on grief for adults and children, short term counselling, ongoing contact for 12 months and referral to specialist services or counsellors.

Community Outreach Service

Many clients choose to remain in their own place of residence. The Palliative Care Service provides information about resources available and encourages clients to make choices about their care and place of care. Inpatient care may be an option for short term respite or symptom management with community palliative care support continuing care after discharge.

The Palliative Care Service recognises the General Practitioner as the primary health provider. The service aims to support the GP by providing in home services and supports and liaising with the GP as necessary to provide optimum continuity of care.

Nursing Support

The Palliative Care Service provides specialised nursing advice and support. Phone support is available 24 hours through the Gordonvale Hospital number. Outreach (in home) support is available 7days/week 8:00am - 4:30pm.

Our Community Nurses maintain regular contact with clients either by a home visit or phone contact. Nurses provide hygiene assistance, wound or line dressings, advice regarding symptom management and referral to allied services as appropriate. We liaise closely with the primary carer and the GP.

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There is no cost associated with the provision of the Palliative Care Service (Inhome modifications / fittings are not covered by palliative care funding).

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Last updated: 8 August 2013