Monday 23 September 2019

Palliative care guidelines to ease pain symptoms

Minister of State Kathleen Lynch launched the guidelines
Minister of State Kathleen Lynch launched the guidelines
Eilish O'Regan

Eilish O'Regan

Health staff are being issued to with new guidelines to help patients who are suffering the distress of pain and other symptoms while having palliative care.

"The guidelines will help to improve the quality, safety and cost-effectiveness across the many settings where palliative care is delivered in Ireland," said Minister of State Kathleen Lynch.

"The primary goal of palliative care is to allow patients to live as comfortably and as pain free as possible. Cancer pain and constipation are two of the most common symptoms experienced by patients with advanced, progressive illness.

"Unnecessary suffering can be reduced by promoting prevention and early effective treatment of these burdensome symptoms and this is what the guidelines intend to achieve."

Dr Áine Carroll, national director for clinical strategy and programmes division of the HSE, said if symptoms are not properly managed they can negatively affect the patient's quality of life.

She said guidelines are based on the best research evidence and on clinical expertise. They aim to prevent variation in practice and assist both health professionals and their patients in making decisions about treatments.

It coincides with Palliative Care Week which carries the message that palliative care can happen in different settings, including a person's home, nursing home, hospital or hospice.

The All Ireland Institute of Hospice and Palliative care is encouraging patients, families and carers to talk with their health and social care professionals about having a palliative care approach included as part of their care. For more information see

Irish Independent

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