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Supportive and Palliative Care

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The Paediatric Supportive and Palliative Care team at Royal Hospital for Children (RHC) is a specialist palliative care team. We bring together clinical expertise, psychosocial and family support to ensure that children and their families receive the highest standard of care and best quality of life possible.  

What is palliative care?

Palliative care is interdisciplinary care which aims to provide an additional layer of support to children with serious illness and their families. It aims to achieve the best quality of life possible for children and families throughout their illness, and is often delivered alongside disease-specific treatments, and always in partnership with other professionals involved in your child’s care.  

Our team

Our clinical team compromises consultants and clinical nurse specialists supported by administrative staff. We work in close partnership with Children’s Hospices Across Scotland (CHAS). The type of support you and your child may need is likely to vary throughout your child’s illness, but could include: 

  • Expert clinical assessment and management of complex symptoms 
  • Support when faced with difficult decisions and treatment choices 
  • Receiving care in the place you and your child feel is the best place, which could be at home, in a children’s hospice or in hospital 
  • Liaison between Royal Hospital for Children and local services to help coordinate your child’s care. This could include liaison with your child’s school or nursery 
  • Providing information about local services, including close collaboration with CHAS and other support organisations 
  • Accessing bereavement support through Child Bereavement UK (CBUK) or local services 
Who we treat?

Paediatric palliative care is most often delivered to babies, children and young people who need help managing condition-related symptoms that impose limitations on their life. This includes children who are facing any life-threatening or shortening medical condition. Some of the children our team has supported have had: 

  • Neuromuscular disorders 
  • Seizure disorders 
  • Heart disease 
  • Genetic or metabolic conditions 
  • Disorders of prematurity or antenatal diagnosis of serious health conditions 
  • Cancer 
  • Lung disorders  

This is not an exhaustive list. If your child’s condition is not listed above, please contact us to learn how we may be able to help your child.  

Being referred to the Palliative Supportive and Palliative Care team

We understand that many families are anxious when our team are introduced. If your child needs palliative care, our team will work closely with you and your family to develop a comprehensive care plan. We support, but do not replace, your child’s primary care team. We work with your primary care team to treat your child’s underlying illness whilst striving to maintain an optimal quality of life.  

Editorial Information

Last reviewed: 12 January 2021

Next review: 24 February 2025