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Ministry of Health

Palliative care


According to the World Health Organization (WHO) the palliative care constitute “…an approach which improves the quality of patients and families’ life that face terminal diseases. Such aim is accomplished through an early identification and optimal treatment of pain and other physical, psychological, social and spiritual related issues in the light of healthcare guiding principles of prevention and pain relief.”

Therefore, they:
• Underline the importance of life and consider death as a mere natural occurrence
• Do not either quicken or delay death and bear no relation to whatever form of futile care or to euthanasia
• Provide relief to pain and other disorders
• Combine health questions with psychological, social and spiritual ones
• Offer a support network to families throughout the several steps of the disease
• Can be early applied during the course of the disease, in conjunction with the remedies that try to prolong life, such as chemotherapy and radiotherapy.
This section allows readers to obtain information regarding patient’s taking on charge that needs palliative care and the closeness of his/her family from both a health and a human viewpoint.
Those requiring more information about palliative care and pain therapy can access Italian Ministry of Health page.

Services guaranteed by the NHS

To terminal patients (when one deems likely that death will occur within 12 months) the National Health Service (NHS) provides free (without any ticket payment) domiciliary healthcare and territorial residential (and semi-residential) healthcare besides those care already provided during the course of hospitalisation and domiciliary surgical interventions.

Therapeutic assistance treatment

Patients’ medical treatment is guaranteed by the network of palliative care:that is a functional aggregation of the activities of palliative care already carried out in hospital, in hospice, at home and in other residential facilities, in a specific territorial area at the regional level.
Those requiring more information please visit the page dedicated to“Terminal patients’ medical treatment”of the Italian Ministry of Health.

Use of medicines

To provide a more effective treatment of pain among terminal patients or patients affected by severe chronic pain, a series of regulation have been introduced with the specific aim to simply the use of opiate analgesics besides the traditional ones.
A further important facilitation for patients was that of providing for the administration of pain-relieving drugs in integrated domiciliary treatments,while patients in patients discharged from hospitalization can receive directly from the hospital medicines necessary for the first cycle of the therapy.
Those requiring more information, of legal nature as well, can visit the page of the Italian Ministry of Health regarding medicines for pain relief.

Find the facility

This section allows readers to find hospices across national territory so as to receive answers about his/her health needs in case.
Several professional competences cooperate within the wall of hospices embedded in a équipe. The équipe is made of a physician, a psychologist, a nurse, a social assistant, a spiritual assistant and a voluntary.
Hospices are located inside hospital facilities or across national territory and can be managed directly from the related Local Health Unit (ASL) or from a voluntary association cooperating with the latter. In such a context services of night and residential admission (Day Hospital and Day Hospice) are supplied.