Consultancy Service

The Palliative Care Consultation Service (PCCS) was established in 1998 to provide specialist palliative care consultation to clinicians, patients and families within St Vincent’s Hospital and other affiliate organisations, including St Georges and St Vincent’s Private Hospital.   

The service is responsible for assessing and reviewing patient and family care needs, symptom management, liaising with the community palliative care services throughout Victoria, facilitating transfers to specialist palliative care inpatient units, and educating/mentoring clinicians throughout St Vincent’s Health. The PCCS has a strong commitment to engage with relevant research activities.

Which disciplines work with the PCCS?

The PCCS is a multidisciplinary consultative service consisting of palliative medicine physicians, registrars, a nurse practitioner, clinical nurse consultants and research nurses

What is the role of the PCCS in outpatient clinics?

A specialist palliative care clinic led by a palliative care physician operates weekly and a palliative care physician attends the renal, respiratory and heart failure clinics to review patients who have palliative or supportive care needs. A palliative care physician attends most of the tumour stream multi-disciplinary meetings within St Vincent’s Hospital, to contribute to the decision making process and provide palliative care advice. A palliative care registrar regularly attends the Day Oncology Unit to provide a rapid response to urgent referrals. A specialist palliative care nurse regularly attends St Georges Hospital for patient reviews and staff education and support.

Why would you make a referral to the PCCS?

Referrals to the PCCS are accepted from all clinical areas within acute and sub-acute areas of St Vincent’s Health, including inpatient and outpatient departments.

Reasons for referral may include:

  • introducing palliative care
  • symptom management
  • psychosocial support
  • assistance with decision making regarding the direction of care
  • consideration of admission to an inpatient palliative care unit
  • end of life care
  • planning for discharge
  • community referral and support
  • staff education

Contacting the PCCS

To contact the PCCS, please ring St Vincent’s Hospital switchboard on 9231 2211 and ask for pager #1335 (nurse consultant), ring the office directly on 9231 2827 or by fax on 9231 4143. Palliative Care physicians and registrars can be contacted via switchboard during business hours.

How is a referral made to the PCCS?

Inpatient referrals to the PCCS can be made internally by a doctor from the treating team.

Outpatient referrals to the PCCS can be made by sending a medical referral by fax to 9231 3172, email or phoning the outpatient clinic directly on 9231 3155.

Enquiries regarding inpatient or outpatients can be directed to the PCCS on 9231 2827, to the team via switchboard or by email  

Referrals and requests for consultation should be documented in the progress notes.

The PCCS is available Monday to Friday 8.30 am – 5 pm.