Frequently Asked Questions

What is palliative care?

According to the World Health Organisation, palliative care is an approach that improves the quality of life of patients and their families facing the problem associated with life-threatening illness, through the prevention and relief of suffering by means of early identification and impeccable assessment and treatment of pain and other problems, physical, psychosocial and spiritual.

Palliative care recognises the special needs of a person who has a terminal illness. The focus is not on curing them but on treating their symptoms, by making them comfortable, helping them to make changes that will make their life easier.

What does palliative care offer?

Palliative care offers expert care to relieve a person's pain and suffering, and to respond to their social, emotional, cultural, and spiritual needs. Support is also available to family and friends providing care.

When can palliative care begin?

You can ask for palliative care any time from your diagnosis and throughout your illness. It can help with pain and other symptoms and improve your quality of life at any time during your illness. Palliative care may increase, reduce or stop, as your needs change. It is not limited to the last days or weeks of life, nor is it a service of 'last resort'.

How do I request palliative care?

You can ask your GP or your specialist doctor to refer you to a palliative care service. However in Victoria you can request assistance from a community palliative care service like PHH without a doctor's referral

Is PHH part of another service?

No. PHH is a company limited by guarantee and is a not-for-profit organisation that was established by the community in 1984 in response to an identified need for home-based palliative care. PHH has a voluntary community-based Board of Directors and receives most of its funding from the Department of Human Services. Additional funding comes from fundraising activities conducted by auxiliaries and from donations from clients’ families and other supporters.

How does someone access the support of PHH?

• By phoning PHH on 5973 2400
• People may self refer
• Doctors and/or other health care providers can refer
• Family and friends can contact PHH with enquiries but PHH will have to obtain the permission of the person before PHH can arrange a visit
• It is not necessary to obtain a medical referral for an assessment visit to be made however PHH staff must have medical information if ongoing care is required
• PHH office hours are 9am-5pm Monday to Friday.

Who does PHH support?

All residents within the Mornington Peninsula Shire, City of Frankston and parts of the City of Kingston (south of Mordialloc Creek) who are living at home with a life limiting illness, as well as their families and carers.

What happens when someone seeks help from PHH?

Very soon after a referral is received, the person will be contacted by a PHH specialist palliative care nurse who will arrange to visit them at home to discuss their needs and those of their family and carers. If PHH services are required, a Care Plan will be offered and the visiting nurse will arrange the necessary help from PHH staff and volunteers.

What does it cost to access PHH services?

All PHH Allied Health Services and volunteer support is free of charge. Whilst PHH does not charge a fee for any palliative care services, RDNS (which provides nursing services under contract to PHH), is obliged to charge a small fee.

Does PHH only work with adults who have cancer?

No. PHH is open to all persons, of any age, gender or cultural background who live within our service area who have a terminal illness (which includes conditions other than cancer).

Do you have beds for clients?

No. Our clients are cared for in their own homes by our multidisciplinary team and volunteers. However, at times, some clients may require respite care in hospital or at Peninsula Health’s Palliative Care Unit that is located Building 6/125 Golf Links Road in Frankston.

How can I find out about volunteering with clients and families?

Call our Manager of Volunteers on 5973 2400. There is a formal training period conducted over several weeks and ongoing professional development activities are available.

How do I make a donation?

As a community-based agency, financial support from the community is vital with approximately 25 per cent of PHH funds coming from donations. These can be made online by clicking on the pink DONATE button at the top of the page, directly to PHH by cheque or call PHH on 5973 2400 to use your credit care over the phone. All donations are receipted and are tax deductible.

How are donations used?

Donations are used to fund many aspects of client care services including welfare support and clinical programs such as support groups, volunteer programs, travel costs, bereavement groups and sometimes to purchase and/or hire equipment and medication on a special needs basis.