Palliative and End of Life Care

The Hospital Palliative and End of Life Care Team at Shrewsbury and Telford Hospitals NHS Trust works across both hospitals. We provide specialist advice and support to people living with a serious, life-limiting illness who are currently staying in either the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital, or the Princess Royal Hospital in Telford.

In-patients who might benefit from the service can be referred to the hospital Palliative and End of Life Care Team by any healthcare professional, carer or community team. We can be involved in a patient’s care from the point of diagnosis or at any point throughout their illness, as well as at the end of life.

The team consists of:

  • 2 Palliative Care Consultants and 1 Specialist doctor
  • A team of 6 hospital Specialist Palliative Care nurses,
  • 1 End of Life Care Facilitator/Lead Nurse
  • 2 End of Life Care Specialist Nurses
  • Secretarial/administration support staff
  • To provide you with advice and support while living with a life-limiting illness, regardless of diagnosis.
  • Assist the ward teams to identify your needs and plan appropriately.
  • Offer you advice about managing pain and other physical symptoms
  • Support you during your stay in hospital
  • Offer support to those close to you
  • Help you to plan for future care
  • Maintain your personal choice and assist you in achieving your preferred place of care
  • Offer guidance to the team who are planning your discharge from hospital
  • Liaise with the wider multi-professional team to provide quality care for you and your family
  • Refer you to other services that might be helpful to you such as Occupational Therapists, discharge team and Chaplains
  • Offer practical suggestions to help you do the things that are important to you
  • Enable ward teams to deliver excellent palliative and end of life care to all
  • Good Palliative and End of life care for all
  • We want to offer you the highest quality of care and support. We wish to help you live as well as you can for as long as you can. Therefore, when you are nearing the end of life, if and when you want us to:
  • We will talk with you and those identified as important to you about your future wishes.
  • We will provide you with accurate and relevant information at all stages of your care from the diagnosis to death and bereavement.
  • We will, where possible, ensure you are cared for in your preferred place of care.
  • We will listen to your wishes about the remainder of your life, including your last days, hours and months, answer as best we can any questions that you have and provide you with the information you feel you need.
  • We will work together as a multidisciplinary team to provide an individual care plan and ensure we involve and communicate sensitively with you and those identified as important to you.
  • We will work with you to meet your cultural, religious, and/or spiritual needs, in appropriate ways.
  • We will do our utmost to ensure that your remaining days and nights are as comfortable as possible, and that you receive all the care that you need.
  • We will support those identified as important to you, both as you approach the end of your life.

Palliative care is a holistic approach that aims to improve the quality of life of patients and their loved ones who are living with a life-limiting illness.

It is provided to patients in all areas of the hospital by a variety of generalist and specialist teams, and all clinical staff can seek advice and support from the Hospital Palliative and End of life care Team.

The PEoLC team gives specialist care and information to people facing serious life limiting illness. We recognise that emotional, spiritual, family and financial worries might be just as important to you as physical problems. We work closely with the hospital doctors and nurses to support you and those important to you.

We work in partnership with the referring health care professionals and the multi-disciplinary team to provide high quality care but do not take over the patient’s care completely. We will usually see you on the hospital ward.

The team see patients for individualised symptom control, complex psychosocial care, liaison with other palliative care services and end of life care for patients with life limiting disease.

If you need on-going support through a specialist palliative care team on discharge from hospital, a referral to Severn Hospice, or your local hospice, will be discussed with you. Patients who need palliative care at home are then referred to the community palliative care team once discharged from the hospital, for ongoing support.

What is end of life care?

End of life care is the treatment care and support that people receive in the last twelve months of their life. End of life care looks at the physical, emotional, social and spiritual aspects of care and will be adapted to a person’s needs.

Who provides end of life care?

A number of health and social care professionals may be involved in the care being given at end of life depending on the person’s needs. Examples may include hospital doctors and nurses, GP, community nurses, counsellors, chaplains (of all faiths or none), social workers, occupational therapists and complementary therapists. The PEOLC team can be involved throughout this journey.


If you have a life-limiting condition or are caring for someone who does and you would like more information about the support available locally, please contact your GP, specialist nurse (if you have one) or any of the healthcare professionals involved in your care.

Planning ahead

If you have a life-limiting illness, or are approaching the end of your life, you may wish to make plans for your future care. Planning ahead can help you receive the care that you would like. This information could also be helpful to your family and friends.

What is an Advance Care Plan?

An advance care plan is a written statement that sets down your preferences, wishes, beliefs and values regarding your future care. It is not legally binding, but anyone who is making decisions about your care must take it into account.

Examples of preferences could include wishes regarding preferred place of care, wishes regarding tissue donation, wishes regarding spiritual care and personal likes and/or dislikes.

What does lasting power of attorney mean?

If you become unable to make decisions for yourself in the future, someone will need to make decisions for you. Generally, professionals will make decisions about your health and social care, and your family or carers will decide on day-to-day matters. If you wish, you can officially appoint someone you trust to make decisions for you. This is called making a lasting power of attorney (LPA).

There are two types of LPA ( Health and welfare and Property and Finance ). You can find more information on the government website

What is a ReSPECT document

A ReSPECT ( Recommended Summary Plan for Emergency Care and Treatment ) document is used to summarise the process of discussing, making and recording recommendations about future emergency care and treatment, including cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). It encourages people to plan ahead for their care and treatment in a future emergency where they may be unable to make decisions, however it is not a legally-binding document. You can find more information at ReSPECT | Resuscitation Council UK

Donate to the Swan Fund

Death and dying is very difficult to deal with, but helping patients and those people important to them at their time of greatest need is hugely important to us. Care in the last days of life is a core service at both Shrewsbury and Telford Hospitals  and is delivered on all wards by all clinical members of staff. The PEoLC team supports ward teams to deliver this care.

At Shrewsbury and Telford hospitals the SWAN model of care is used to support those who are in the last hours and days of life. This model of care includes physical, emotional, social and spiritual aspects of care and is adapted to a person’s needs. This care in the last hours and days of life will involve a number of health and social care professionals depending on the needs of the individual.

The Swan Model of Care represents:

  • Signs – person is believed to be entering the last hours/days of their life – start the Swan Care Plan
  • Words- sensitively communicate with the person, those important to them and one another
  • Actions – ‘Step outside the box’ and facilitate what is important to the person and those coming alongside them
  • Needs – Check the needs of the person are being met, documented and reviewed regularly

As well as being a model by which to guide care in the last hours and days of life the Swan model also includes the Swan resources to support patients and those important to them and the Swan care plan for the last hours and days of life.

The Swan Care Plan for the last hours and days of life supports staff to care for you and the people important to you at this time. It is initiated by a senior doctor, in conjunction with a senior nurse, and ensures nothing is forgotten with communication, kindness and comfort at the centre of all care.  We base this plan on the NICE guidelines for the care of dying adults and review the document on a regular basis.

The Swan Model Resources:

Swan Folders

Swan folders are gifted to those important to the patient when a swan care plan has been started. These include written information about the care in the last hours and days. A pen and paper if they need to write anything down that may have been discussed with the team caring for the patient. A small pack of tissues if required and a packet of forget me not seeds for planting memories.

Swan Rooms

Our aim is to offer a side room for patients in the last days of their life, allowing privacy and dignity for the patient, relatives and loved ones. Many wards now have dedicated side rooms called Swan rooms providing CD player, mood light and recliner chair and beautiful pictures made possible by kind donations from various sources. It is not always possible to provide a side room due to availability, but a request will always be made and provided where possible.

Car Parking

An ‘exemption from car parking charges’ permit is provided to relatives of patients under the Swan model of care. If you would like further information about this please speak with a member of staff on the ward.

Open visiting for relatives and close friends

Open visiting is permitted for relatives and close friends of patients who are in the last days of life. This can be authorised by the nurse-in-charge.

Swan Bereavement Bag

A small bag that is gifted to those important to the patient after the death of the patient. These include the bereavement booklet which communicated the next steps after leaving the hospital. A Good grief trust card, a pen and paper if they need to write anything down that is communicated. A small pack of tissues.

Bereavement Feedback Survey

The Bereavement feedback survey is a questionnaire posted/given to the bereaved relative (next of kin). It is an optional survey that allows the family to give feedback to the Trust about the care their loved one received at end of life as well as an opportunity to speak to someone if they wish.

You can read more information in our End of Life Care Information Leaflet for Relatives.

Key Info

Contact Us

The team is available 7 days per week including on Bank Holidays.

Our working hours are 8.30am – 5.30pm

Royal Shrewsbury Hospital – Ext 1649

Princess Royal Hospital – Ext 4565

Outside working hours healthcare professionals can access specialist advice from the consultant on call via Severn Hospice: 01743 236565

Referrals are triaged and seen according to need. Urgent referrals are seen within 4 hours, other referrals will be triaged to be seen within 24 or 48 hours.

Useful Contacts

The Hamar Help and Support Centre
01743 261 035

Macmillan Welfare Rights
01743 261000 ext 2405

Macmillan Cancer Support
0808 8080000

Macmillan Information and Support
Royal Shrewsbury Hospital: 01743 261000 Ext. 1957
Princess Royal Hospital: 01952 641222 Ext. 5702

Hospital Chaplaincy
01743 261000 Ext. 3638

Severn Hospice
Severn Hospice, Shrewsbury 01743 236565
Severn Hospice, Telford 01952 221350

Compton Hospice