Palliative Care Definitions

What is Palliative Care?

Palliative care has been defined by the World Health Organisation as ‘an approach that improves the quality of life of patients and their families facing the problems associated with life limiting illness, through the prevention of, and relief of, suffering, by means of early identification and impeccable assessment and treatment of pain and other problems, physical, psychosocial and spiritual.’

General Palliative Care

General palliative care provides the day-to-day care and support of patients and their carers in their homes and hospitals. Assessment and meeting the patient care needs under ordinary circumstances or seeking advice from or referring to specialist palliative care services in more challenging situations.

Specialist Palliative Care

Specialist palliative care is provided by consultant palliative care physicians, palliative care nurse specialists, and other clinical specialists. Delivery of care may be through the hospice, day centres, hospital or community teams or telephone advice services. There is a close liaison between these services to meet the often complex needs of patients and their families and carers referred to them.


For information on how to refer to Wigan and Leigh Hospice see Referrals.