Concord Hospital Concord Hospital
Palliative Care Service

Allied Health Team

Social Work

Palliative Care Social Workers provide a service to palliative care patients in the community and to inpatients in both the acute hospital and the Inpatient Unit.

A Social Worker in Palliative care can help with:

  • providing counselling and emotional support to patients and their families, including guidance on supporting children and young people
  • arranging assistance for a number of practical needs such as care at home (including showering/personal care, respite or cleaning)
  • providing information on financial and legal matters (which can include early release of superannuation funds) 
  • Housing/accommodation
  • Assisting with planning for the future

Patients can be referred to the social worker by their doctor, nurse or other health team member. Social Workers can also be contacted at the Social Work Department on 9767 6680.

Additional support is available from the following services:

  • Centrelink Disabilities, Sickness and Carers line: 13 27 17
  • My Aged Care: 1800 200 422
  • Cancer Council Telephone Support Group: 13 11 20
  • Carers Australia Programs: 1800 242 636
  • Commonwealth Carers Respite Centre: 1800 052 222
  • National Carer Counselling Service: 1800 242 636
  • Canteen (support for teenagers): 1800 226 833
  • Lifeline 24-hour counselling: 13 11 14

Clinical Psychology:

Clinical Psychologists have specialist training in assisting people with a wide range of social, emotional and behavioural difficulties including anxiety, depression, adjustment to illness and finding meaning and hope.

Clinical psychologist reviews can be arranged in the clinic, Inpatient Unit or hospital.
A referral to the clinical psychologist can be made through a GP, specialist or nurse.

Occupational Therapy:

Occupational therapists aim to optimise function and independence in valued and essential daily tasks.

The role of the occupational therapist includes:

  • Assistance with management of symptoms such as fatigue, breathlessness and  pain
  • Patient education
  • Arranging appropriate equipment for use in the home

Occupational therapist reviews can be arranged in the community, Inpatient Unit or hospital.
A referral to the occupational therapist can be made through a GP, specialist or nurse.

Occupational Therapist assisting a patient

Physiotherapy:

Physiotherapists maintain or improve mobility in palliative care patients as weakness and falls are common problems. 

The role of physiotherapists includes:

  • Advice on physical aids that may be required to improve mobility
  • Non-pharmacological pain relief such as. body positioning and ice packs 
  • Maximising  function through exercise and adapting to functional losses
  • Education for carers on how to safely mobilise and transfer the palliative care patient

Physiotherapist reviews can be arranged in the community, inpatient unit or hospital. A referral to the physiotherapist can be made through your GP, specialist or community nurse.

Exercise Physiology:

Exercise Physiologists prescribe, deliver, and adapt movement, physical activity, and exercise-based interventions to facilitate and optimise health status, function, recovery, and independence.

The role of an Exercise Physiologist (EP) is to provide exercise advice and exercise programs to:

  • Enhance and maintain function, independence and quality of life
  • Prevent deconditioning, and loss of strength
  • Manage symptoms and existing health conditions
  • Educate and advise on physical activity and exercise, including how to exercise safely for your conditions
  • Address personal preferences, needs, barriers, and goals to develop a personalised exercise program
  • Coach and motivate to increase engagement and self-management in treatment and physical activity

Exercise Physiology reviews can be arranged in the community, inpatient unit or hospital clinic.

Programs include an initial assessment with an Accredited Exercise Physiologist, prescription of an individualised exercise program, and the option to participate in supervised group exercises classes.  Referrals are essential, and are accepted from any member of the Palliative Care team.