At the Palliative Care Center, we provide support and treatment for patients in Uusimaa suffering from cancer or other chronic illnesses that impair their quality of life. They may include motor neuron disease ALS, cardiac, renal or hepatic insufficiency, or chronic lung diseases such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or pulmonary fibrosis.
We offer symptom-alleviating treatment and support in early phases of illnesses, for example, alongside treatment for cancer or ALS and as the illness progresses and when transferring to palliative care.
Palliative or symptomatic care seeks to alleviate patients’ physical, psychosocial and mental suffering, to sustain the quality of life of patients and their families, and to maintain patients’ functional capacity.
A full-time referral clinic is located in the Palliative Care Center, where you can come with a physician’s referral from anywhere within the Hospital District of Helsinki and Uusimaa. The outpatient clinic is open on weekdays. Also your family is welcome to attend the appointment. Treatment at an outpatient clinic is suitable for you if your condition enables visits to attend clinic appointments.
We employ physicians and nurses and the Psychosocial Support Unit employs psychotherapists, who are all competent in palliative care. The services of a physiotherapist, social worker, clinical dietitian, and chaplain are also available to you.
We work in cooperation with the Comprehensive Cancer Center, Meilahti Pain Clinic, the Terhokoti hospice care home, as well as municipal home hospitals, palliative outpatient clinics, and end-of-life care wards.
During an appointment, we will make a comprehensive palliative care plan together with you and your loved ones:
- we will examine the need for palliative care (managing pain and other troubling symptoms) and psychosocial support
- we plan the required treatments and support measures with regard to your wishes and expectations, and the stage of your illness
- we survey the coping of your loved ones and their need for support
- if you wish, we will discuss your hopes, expectations and options regarding your end-of-life care
- we organize follow-up and the necessary contacts in your home municipality
- Once the disease has progressed further, we will prepare for end-of-life care by drawing up an end-of-life care plan together with the palliative and hospice care units in your home municipality
Meilahti outpatient clinics are served by a consulting physician and nurse who provide support in palliative care and end-of-life care for inpatient wards. A physician and a nurse will meet with you and your loved ones during inpatient care. If necessary, your treatment will continue at the Palliative Care Center.
Alongside the Palliative Care Center, we operate the Psychosocial Support Unit with several psychologists and one part-time psychiatrist. The Psychosocial Support Unit provides discussion support for patients at the Palliative Care Center and the Comprehensive Cancer Center. The purpose of psychosocial support is to support you as well as your family, and to ease the mental load caused by the illness.
Inpatient care is mainly carried out on the inpatient wards, palliative or end-of-life care wards in the hospital of your home municipality, or in the Terhokoti hospice care home, except for the necessary short periods of treatment on the Comprehensive Cancer Center wards in cases that require specialist medical care.
In addition to the Palliative Care Center, there are palliative care outpatient clinics at HUS hospitals and city hospitals (Helsinki and Espoo) to monitor patients.
Several municipalities provide home hospital services offering palliative care around the clock to patients receiving palliative care or end-of-life care at home. The home hospital is supported by inpatient beds that patients can opt to transfer to flexibly without needing to visit the emergency department. Large municipalities have entire wards that specialize in palliative and end-of-life care, and smaller municipalities have beds that are separately designed for end-of-life care at their health center hospitals.
In Helsinki there is a hospice care home (Terhokoti), where patients requiring a particularly demanding level of care can be referred, although care is subject to a payment voucher.
For more information on palliative care and end-of-life care services in your home municipality, refer to the Palliative Hub in the Terveyskylä online service.