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Specialist palliative care services

Specialist palliative care is the active holistic care of patients with advanced, progressive life limiting illness. This includes the management of complex symptoms and the provision of psychological, social and spiritual support in line with best practice.

Specialist palliative care services manage complex palliative care problems that cannot be dealt with by generalist services alone.

Palliative care is an approach that improves the quality of life of patients and their families facing the problems associated with life threatening illness, through the prevention and relief of suffering by means of early identification and impeccable assessment and treatment of pain and other problems physical, psychological and spiritual (WHO 2013).

The West Cheshire Community Specialist Palliative Care Team

The West Cheshire Community Specialist Palliative Care Team (CSPCT) provides a multi-professional approach, including: 

  • Palliative Medical Consultant
  • Clinical Nurse Specialists (CNS)

  • Occupational Therapist
  • Physiotherapists
  • Therapy Assistant

The CSPCT is part of the West Cheshire Integrated Palliative Care team (WCIPCT) which combines all specialist palliative services across West Cheshire. CSPCT is based at The Hospice of the Good Shepherd and works in partnership with hospice palliative medicine consultants/doctors, hospice services, GPs, community nursing teams, Countess of Chester hospital (COCH) and other health and social care professionals to provide the highest quality palliative care to adult patients and those closest to them in the community setting.

The community specialist palliative care team provide support for anyone aged 18 and over who is registered with a West Cheshire GP and has a palliative diagnosis with complex physical, psychological or social needs.

Our team provides support to patients in the following ways:

  • Giving advice on the management of pain and other symptoms that may be of the most concern.
  • Gives an opportunity to discuss physical, emotional, and social needs
  • Offer advice and support to families and carers.
  • Support to make choices and plan for future care by means of advanced care planning.
  • Provide direction to other appropriate health and social care services required such as bereavement support, complimentary therapies, living well services, financial advice.

The role of the physiotherapist/occupational therapist/therapy assistant within the team, is to optimise independence and the quality of life for patients with a complex palliative care diagnosis.

We aim to maximise dignity and reduce the extent to which disease impacts an individual’s physical and psychological functioning, including advice/support/education regarding appropriate treatment, intervention, and equipment.

Patients can be referred exclusively for occupational therapy and physiotherapy should they meet the criteria in relation to complexity relating directly to their palliative condition.

The Community Specialist Palliative Care Team is part of the West Cheshire Integrated Palliative Care team (WCIPCT) which combines all specialist palliative services across West Cheshire.  

WCIPCT accept referrals from GP’s, acute hospital inpatients and outpatients’ health professionals, community health service professionals, care homes and hospices. The referral is sent to a single point of referral via email. There is a daily referral triage meeting which is attended by a CNS, therapist, medic, inpatient nurse, and a living well centre nurse.

The referrals are triaged to see which of the specialist services are most appropriate to support the patient. Referrals are reviewed daily Monday to Friday. The referrer is informed which part of WCIPCT will be providing support for the patient via email. The patient is contacted, as determined by the individual team’s response times. This may be within 3 working days, a working week or two working weeks. Hospice inpatient admissions, once agreed, can happen as soon as a bed becomes available.

New referrals are not routinely accepted from patients or families directly – they will be advised to contact their GP or another healthcare professional involved.


You can contact the team by ringing 01244 397234 - Monday - Friday, 8.30am - 4.30pm exclusive of bank holidays and weekends.

Telephone number for therapy: 01244 397356

Email address: