Palliative Care Services

Care for people with a life-limiting illness is often provided by a general practitioner and other primary health care providers. All professionals caring for people with a life-limiting illness need to assess and identify palliative and supportive care issues in initial treatment planning and throughout the progress of the disease.

Specialist palliative care teams work in a consultative role with general practitioners and other health care providers when these needs cannot be met by primary care teams, across a range of health care services, from hospitals, hospice care, or in the community such as home or residential care.


A person is eligible for referral to specialist palliative care services if:

  • they have a progressive, life limiting illness
  • they or their decision maker, is aware of, understands and has agreed to a palliative care referral
  • the primary goals of patient care are to control symptoms, maximise function, maintain quality of life and provide comfort.

If a person does not meet these three eligibility criteria outlined above, the referrer should contact the palliative care service to discuss the referral with a member of the specialist palliative care team.


Referrals can be made by medical practitioners, other health professionals and the individual or family members/carer.

Referrals for people in the community (that is, home or residential care), or people requiring an outpatient clinic appointment, can be made by faxing a completed Palliative Care Referral form (PDF 584KB) to your local palliative care service. 

This form is available as a writable PDF - Palliative Care Referral form (PDF 584KB).

New referrals will be processed during office hours Monday to Friday 9.00 am to 4.00 pm.

Patients in an acute setting/hospital are referred using local inpatient procedures.