Palliative Care

Palliative Care services help people with a life limiting or terminal illness by supporting patients and their carers and families.

Contact Numbers

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For all Community Palliative Care needs please contact 1300 068 458. Note: this number can be called 24/7.

Business hours are 6:00am to 11:00pm, 7 days a week.


Bulli Inpatient Unit

02 4249 1300



David Berry Inpatient Unit

02 4464 6928



Illawarra Consult Service

Contact Wollongong Hospital Switch on

02 4222 5000



Shoalhaven Consult Service

Contact Shoalhaven Hospital Switch on

02 4423 9500


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Palliative Care prevents and relieves suffering through early identification, correct assessment and treatment of pain and other problems - whether physical, psychosocial or spiritual. Palliative Care uses a team approach to support patients and their care givers. (World Health Organisation, 2023)

Palliative care services are here to support you at every stage of your illness. This is from the moment of diagnosis, through the changes in your condition, to the final days of life and beyond to the bereavement support for your carers and family.

The Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District's (ISLHD's) Palliative Care Service provides expert care, with a team of specialist doctors, nurses, allied health professionals, volunteer coordinators and compassionate volunteers to help you navigate the challenges of living with illness. Our service collaborates with your care team, including GPs and other specialists, to enhance your comfort and quality of life, allowing you and/or your loved ones to focus on living life to the fullest.

Our experienced staff assess your individual needs and those of your carer and/or family to understand your personal wishes and choices for care. We offer:

  • regular assessments and treatments to address symptoms such as pain, nausea, breathlessness and anxiety
  • support for physical, emotional, cultural, spiritual, practical and social needs
  • specialist medical support in any ISLHD hospital, residential aged care facility, or in the comfort of your own home
  • access to loan equipment to ensure safe care at home
  • after-hours support
  • volunteer support to you and/or your carer and/or family.

 Our services are free of charge for those referred to our service.

Inpatient Palliative Care Services - wards and consult services

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Palliative Care Inpatient Services are currently based at Bulli and Berry.

In the Illawarra, we have a 15-bed Palliative Care Unit at Bulli Hospital. There is also a Palliative Care Consult Service based at the Wollongong Hospital which provides services across Wollongong, Shellharbour and Coledale hospitals.

In the Shoalhaven, we have a 8-bed Palliative Care Unit at David Berry Hospital. The Shoalhaven Palliative Care Consult Service is based at Shoalhaven Hospital and provides consult services to Shoalhaven and Milton Hospitals.

Both inpatient teams and consult services work closely with the Community Palliative Care Service.

People requiring admission to a Palliative Care unit can be transferred from within a hospital, transferred from other hospitals or can be directly admitted to the ward via the Community Palliative Care team. A Palliative Care Consultant will be responsible for accepting a person on to the ward.


Bulli Inpatient Unit

02 4249 1300



David Berry Inpatient Unit

02 4464 6928



Illawarra Consult Service

Contact Wollongong Hospital Switch on

02 4222 5000



Shoalhaven Consult Service

Contact Shoalhaven Hospital Switch on

02 4423 9500

Symptom Management Outpatient Clinics

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The Palliative Care Symptom Management Outpatient Clinic (SMOC) is available if you require symptom management or input from a Palliative Care Specialist Doctor, but do not require the support of the entire community service including nursing, allied health and volunteers in the home.  

SMOC clinics are currently located in Wollongong and Dapto in the Illawarra. Clinics will be available in the Shoalhaven in the future.

To access this clinic, ask your treating doctor for a referral.

Palliative Care in the community

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The Community Palliative Care Service can provide:

  • access to support via phone, video call/virtual or home visits
  • management of pain and other complex symptoms
  • emotional, spiritual, practical, social and psychological support
  • volunteer support for you and your carer and/or family
  • access to our equipment loan pool whilst living at home
  • counselling and grief support
  • access to carer education for those wishing to engage in Caring@home (support with end-of-life care medications if you wish to die at home)
  • bereavement follow up and support for your carer and/or significant others.
  • consult-liaison in-reach service in Residential Aged Care Facilities provided by our Older Persons' team of specialist nurses
  • help with Advance Care Planning discussions, further information can be found on our website: Information for patients, families and carers - Advance care planning (


For all Community Palliative Care needs please contact 1300 068 458. Note: this number can be called 24/7.

Business hours are 6:00am to 11:00pm, 7 days a week.


Our Palliative Care team

The Community Palliative Care Service is an interdisciplinary team of doctors, nurses and allied health professionals who work alongside volunteers. They work with your local health care team like GPs and other specialists, to provide comfort and quality of life, while you get on with living.

Palliative Care doctors are Palliative Medicine Specialists, who have completed additional advanced specialist training in Palliative Medicine.  They have knowledge and expertise in managing symptoms that are caused by your illness or medical treatments.  They are trained to manage symptoms that occur with advanced or progressing disease.

The Palliative Care Community Nursing team is made up of specialist nurses including Clinical Nurse Consultants (CNC), Clinical Nurse Specialists (CNS),Palliative Care Registered Nurses (PCRN) and Nurse Practitioners (NP).  Community Health Nurses (CHN) also work as part of our palliative care nursing team. Specialist Palliative Care nurses have additional training and experience in palliative care.  Our palliative care community nurses offer a high standard of expert support for you and your family.  They are all trained and experienced in looking after people at home.  They will be guided in the care and support they give by your care plan, provided by your doctor or nurse practitioner.  We will try to make sure that you are cared for by the same nursing team throughout your journey, however, it may not always be possible to have the same nurse, depending on the shifts they are working and the demand for our services. 

Palliative Nurse Practitioners have advanced training to treat patients with life limiting illnesses.  They practice as part of the team but can also make decisions independently around patient care, as they are knowledgeable about a wide range of medical conditions. Nurse Practitioners provide assessment and management of patient care including the use of diagnostic investigations, prescribing of medications and direct referral of patients to other health care professionals.

The Community Palliative Care Allied Health team provide expert care and support to you, your carer and family. Specialist Palliative Care Allied Health Clinicians have additional training and experience to provide an advanced level of care.  There are a number of specialised allied health disciplines including:


Aboriginal Health Worker (Senior)

Help maintain cultural safety and identity and Connect to Country through diagnosis to Sorry Business (bereavement).

Support staff to have critical conversations, including Advance Care Planning and End of Life conversations in a culturally safe way.

Allied Health Assistant

Provide support with a wide range of tasks including delivery and set up of loan equipment.

Support Allied Health team members with your individual plans of care 

Clinical Psychologist

Provide confidential counselling to you and/or your carer/family.

Provide psychological assessment, diagnosis and treatment that aims to improve the quality of life of you and/or your carer/family.


Provide advice on what to eat and drink when you are feeling sick, have a sore mouth, find it hard to swallow or don’t feel hungry.

Understand how much food and fluid is ‘enough’ when you don’t feel hungry is a common problem.

Provide advice on nutritional supplements.

Occupational Therapist

Support your independence with day-to-day tasks and activities.

Reduce risk of pressure sores.

Provide advice on managing energy levels.

Prescribe equipment and organise small changes to your home to make life easier (eg. handrails).


Provide advice dealing with symptoms (eg pain, breathing problems) and prescribe exercise programs.

Support your safe movement inside and outside your home environment.

Provide advice regarding equipment that will help you move more easily. 

Social Worker

Assist you and your carer/family navigate the complex emotional, social, and practical challenges that arise.

Provide confidential counselling and emotional support for a range of issues for you and your carer/family.

Provide practical and emotional support and information to you and your carer/family.

Assist with family conversations and planning for the future (Advance Care Planning).

Support families with young children.

Provide ongoing grief and loss counselling.

Provide advice about services that can help with financial and legal issues, or home help.

Speech Pathologist

Provide support if you find it hard to communicate or swallow. This may require specialised equipment or advice about chewing and swallowing that prevents coughing, choking or discomfort.

Community palliative care volunteers make a difference in the lives of others. They are specially trained to offer emotional and social support for palliative patients in their homes.

You can receive support from one of more of these staff, depending on you and/or your carer/family needs.

Palliative Care and Bereavement Volunteers

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Palliative Care Volunteers  

Palliative Care Volunteers make a difference in the lives of others. They are specially trained to offer emotional and social support for palliative patients in hospitals and in their homes.  

Volunteers understand Palliative Care concerns and make a valuable contribution to the 'total care' of patients and their carers.   

They complement clinical care by:  

  • offering companionship  

  • providing respite and support for carers  

  • reading, playing games, writing letters  

  • sharing their skills and interests  

  • assisting with activities  

  • helping patients to leave behind memories of their life by assisting them in writing their life story, creating a memory box, or recording a biography of life events

  • providing basic practical support - not patient care  

  • and most importantly, being a friendly ear!  

They are bound by the same professional and ethical standards as staff, most importantly respecting and maintaining privacy and confidentiality.  

Volunteer Grief Companions   

 Our trained volunteers provide non-judgmental, flexible and compassionate grief support.    

 A volunteer can:   

  • Chat over a cup of tea; allowing the bereaved person to feel comfortable expressing their grief   

  • ‘Walk and talk’    

  • Discuss current practical issues the person is facing and options for help. 

Our volunteers bring experience from all walks of life and have been trained in palliative care, listening skills and bereavement support.  They are there to listen rather than direct.