Palliative care

GPs and Heathcare Professionals supporting a patient with an incurable illness can call Pilgrims Hospice Professionals Advice Line for advice at any time of day or night, 24 hours a day, seven days a week: 01233 504 133.

The information in this section is based on Symptom Control and Care of the Dying Patient: Palliative Care Guidelines 6th Edition (Kent Palliative Medicine Forum, March 2019).

This information is aimed at all health care professionals involved in the care of patients with incurable, progressive disease who are experiencing unpleasant symptoms. The interventions and treatments described are initial measures that all doctors and nurses should be able to start. If the symptoms do not resolve, specialist advice can be obtained from the contacts listed here.


  • Cautions and contra-indications may apply to any of the medications; some of the indications are outside of the product licence, please refer to the BNF.
  • There is an increasing focus on the QT interval and drugs that prolong it. For patients with a longer prognosis or at particular risk, the Scottish palliative care guidelines mark all drugs on their site that may have this effect.
  • Where a range of doses is given, start at the lower end of the dose range. This should be reviewed regularly and doses increased if the symptom is not improving.

This website is currently under development. Documents in the ‘Local Recommendations’ pages in each Therapeutic Section are current but the drug pages are still under construction. For the current East Kent formulary please see the note on the homepage.