The Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust

Palliative Care

The Hospital Specialist Palliative Care Team aim to provide the best care possible to improve the quality of life for people, and those important to them, who are living with a progressive or life limiting illness.

The Service - overview

The Hospital Specialist Palliative Care Team (HSPCT) offers assessment and advice on the management of complex physical symptoms, in addition to  psychological, social and spiritual issues. This service is available for patients with any advanced, progressive and life limiting disease. The team includes palliative medicine consultants and doctors, clinical nurse specialists and a pharmacist. We link closely with colleagues in clinical psychology, psychiatry,  social work, chaplaincy, bereavement services and chronic pain management.

What we do

The HSPCT provides a service seven days a week to patients at all acute hospital sites across Leeds (Leeds General Infirmary , St James’s University Hospital , Chapel Allerton and Wharfedale Hospitals). We work with the ward doctors and nurses to improve physical comfort (such as treatment for pain or sickness) and to help with any emotional, social or spiritual concerns you may have. We can support you through decisions about future treatment or place of care and offer a prompt referral to other professionals who will continue care in hospital, home, care home or a hospice if required.

How do patients and carers access the service?

You need to be referred by a member of the team on the ward where you are having treatment. If you feel palliative care services could help you please discuss with the doctors or nurses looking after you on the ward.

You can find out more about how we support the relatives and carers of our patients by visiting our SUPPORT campaign page.

Specialist palliative care services in Leeds are also provided by St Gemma's Hospice and Sue Ryder Care Wheatfields. Both hospices provide community support for patients in their own homes or nursing homes, day hospice, and an inpatient unit. Sue Ryder Care Wheatfields covers the west of the city where St Gemma's Hospice covers the east.

More information about services in Leeds can be found on the Leeds Palliative Care Website.

Working hours

The hospital specialist palliative care team office hours are  Monday to Friday 8am-5pm. After 5pm, ward staff can contact a Palliative Medicine Consultant on-call via switchboard.

On weekends, palliative care nurse specialists will review patients who;

  • are known to our service and require complex medication changes
  • have uncontrolled symptoms and require urgent assessment
  • require support where there is a high level of distress for the patient or the family