Palliative Care Pandemic Pack: A Specialist Palliative Care Service Response to Planning the COVID-19 Pandemic

J Pain Symptom Manage. 2020 Jul;60(1):e18-e20. doi: 10.1016/j.jpainsymman.2020.03.026. Epub 2020 Apr 1.


Specialist palliative care services (SPCS) have a vital role to play in the global coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic. Core expertise in complex symptom management, decision making in uncertainty, advocacy and education, and ensuring a compassionate response are essential, and SPCS are well positioned to take a proactive approach in crisis management planning. SPCS resource capacity is likely to be overwhelmed, and consideration needs to be given to empowering and supporting high-quality primary palliative care in all care locations. Our local SPCS have developed a Palliative Care Pandemic Pack to disseminate succinct and specific information, guidance, and resources designed to enable the rapid upskilling of nonspecialist clinicians needing to provide palliative care. It may be a useful tool for our SPCS colleagues to adapt as we face this global challenge collaboratively.

Keywords: COVID-19; Palliative care; guidance; pandemic; planning.

MeSH terms

  • COVID-19
  • Clinical Decision-Making
  • Coronavirus Infections / epidemiology*
  • Coronavirus Infections / therapy*
  • Disease Management
  • Health Planning / methods*
  • Humans
  • Palliative Care / methods*
  • Pandemics*
  • Pneumonia, Viral / epidemiology*
  • Pneumonia, Viral / therapy*
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic
  • Professional Role
  • Specialization