Palliative Care

How we can help you

Palliative care can improve symptoms and help you and your family to achieve the best possible quality of life throughout your illness, and very often to make your cancer treatment more tolerable, whilst helping you to navigate through an often complex care system, ensuring the key health information needed by those involved in your care is available, and that you are provided with the opportunity to share your feelings, values and wishes about your care.

Our purpose is to improve the quality of life of patients and their families/carers facing problems associated with a life-limiting illness. We aim to prevent and relieve suffering by carefully treating pain and other problems, be it physical, psychosocial and spiritual.

Contrary to common belief, palliative care is not just about caring for dying patients, but the majority of our work is dedicated to improving the control of symptoms, in patients with advanced disease, including advanced cancers. Because we focus on patients with difficult ongoing symptoms, we also see patients who don’t have advanced cancer.

If family members are finding illness difficult to cope with, the palliative care team is available to help find ways to assist. A member of the palliative care team can be available at any stage of your illness.

Your care team consists of specialists, registrars, nurses, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, social workers, dieticians, psychologists and volunteers provide assessment, advice, support and care planning in partnership with your treating specialists, general practitioners, even at home. The Nelune Comprehensive Cancer Centre, The Prince of Wales Hospital and St Vincent’s have partnered to deliver a comprehensive and coordinated palliative care service across the Randwick district.

Head of Palliative Care  Associate Professor Richard Chye

Staff Specialists:

  • Dr Helen Herz
  • Dr Meg Sands
  • Dr Victor Sze

The Palliative Care service includes medical and nursing specialists who see patients on the Randwick Hospitals Campus (including Prince of Wales Hospital, Prince of Wales Private Hospital, The Royal Hospital for Women, and Sydney Children’s Hospital) who are referred.

Quality of life can be impacted by many different causes, including symptoms of pain, nausea, breathlessness and others. The impact of treatment can also lead to uncertainty and concern about the future. Many people living with advanced cancer can benefit from palliative care. There is published evidence that seeing the palliative care team can even help patients to live longer and better.

If you live in the South East Sydney region and have a suspected or confirmed cancer you may be referred by your local family doctor or a medical specialist to use our services. Please request your doctor to send us your referral letter together with all relevant test results.

Once we have received a completed referral, we will send you a confirmation appointment letter, which will tell you where your appointment is located and what information you should bring with you.

If you need to change or cancel your appointment, please call us on 9382 5111.

  • Current Medicare card or Veteran Affairs card
  • Any Health Care Card, Pensioner Concession Card or Commonwealth Seniors Health Care Card.
  • Insurer details (eg workers compensation, public liability or third party).
  • Your Private Health Fund Membership card if you are currently insured with a private health fund.
  • Recent X-rays or medical images and their reports, if applicable.
  • Activities to keep you entertained while waiting (for example, a book, music player with headphones, crosswords). There is also a television and magazines available in the waiting area.

Please let us know if you need an interpreter. You can contact us telephoning the Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS) on 131 450. Tell the operator what language you speak and then ask the interpreter to set up a telephone conversation between you, an interpreter, and the healthcare professional you want to speak with.

We are a teaching hospital and student doctors or nurses may be involved and supervised by senior staff during your visit. You have the right to say no. If you do so, this will no impact in any way on the services we will provide.