Palliative care

Our specialist palliative care teams work to improve quality of life for patients and their families facing life-threatening or life-limiting illness. They assess the holistic needs of patients and encourage them to take an active role in decisions around their care.

We see patients with advanced progressive illnesses (both cancer and non-cancer) and the team has specialist skills in pain and symptom management.

In the early stages of illness, palliative care may be provided alongside other treatments. For patients at the end of their life, we are committed to providing comfort and dignity in death. Families, partners and carers may also need expert support in bereavement.

We also work closely with GPs and local services including community palliative care teams, district nurses, social workers and carers to ensure the best possible care at home, where this is possible.

Hospital palliative care teams

Our palliative care teams see patients from across the hospital whose pain or other symptoms are difficult to control, where patients or their families are distressed and where help is needed to plan future care. They may be contacted for advice and support by any member of staff.

Team members will make initial assessments, offer advice, liaise with other staff and maintain contact during the patient’s time in hospital. They may also follow-up with patients who have been discharged and are receiving outpatient care.

The teams consists of nurse specialists, doctors, social workers and clinical psychologists. We also have access to the full range of multi-disciplinary services including occupational therapy, physiotherapy, dietetics, and chaplaincy.

Newham Hospital

This service is provided by the Macmillan palliative care team.

Tel: 020 7363 8105
Fax: 020 7363 9432

Mile End, St Bartholomew’s and The Royal London hospitals

This service is based at St Bartholomew’s Hospital and provided by the Macmillan palliative care team.

Tel: 020 3465 5600
Fax: 020 3465 5389

Whipps Cross Hospital

This service is based at the Margaret Centre, a 12 bedded specialist palliative care unit.

There are six single and three shared (double) rooms. People are admitted for various reasons including help with distressing symptoms, respite and end of life care. The average length of stay is seven to ten days. There is a kitchen and day room for the use of patients and visitors.

We aim to provide a caring environment and our visiting hours are 10am-10pm, with visiting at other times at the discretion of the senior nurse, to allow people to spend as much time as they need with loved ones.

Tel: 020 8539 5522 ext: 5288 or 020 8535 6605
Fax: 020 8535 6952

The Margaret Centre is located in Margaret Close in the Green Zone at the hospital. The nearest access is from the James Lane entrance to the hospital at Margaret Close or opposite Byron Ward in Margaret Road.

Waltham Forest community palliative care team

The Community palliative care team for Waltham Forest is based at the Margaret Centre. Our team includes nurses and doctors who are trained in palliative medicine, social worker, complementary therapists, occupational therapists, chaplaincy and psychological services.

As well as working directly with patients and families we provide advice and support to other professionals in the community including GPs and district nurses. The patients GP or hospital consultant will remain primarily responsible for their care and we will liaise with them when making any changes or recommendations.

Tel: 020 8535 6714
Fax: 020 8535 6952

Other boroughs will have their own community palliative care services. All the teams work very closely with them to try and ensure continuity of care for individuals.