This concerns the provision of all measures that relieve the suffering of the terminally ill and thus provide them with the best possible quality of life in their final days. This is achieved through the active investigation at an early stage, of pain, and other physical, mental, psychosocial, and spiritual aspects, and by keeping track of these, and treating them appropriately.

Nobody is immune from serious illness. For this reason palliative care can be important at any age. Palliative care is part of paediatrics, adult medicine, and geriatric medicine alike. Palliative Care is used in a wide variety of diseases. It helps those with tumours, neurological disorders, severe organ diseases (heart, lung, liver diseases), the elderly with multiple ailments, those with mental illness, patients in intensive care, and the disabled.

Palliative care takes place to a large extent as a part of basic care: with the family doctor, through Spitex [home-based care and support], at the acute hospital, and in the nursing home. Those affected should be cared for in their usual environment if this is possible.

The Valais hospital has specialist palliative care departments at Brig and at Martigny, as well as a mobile palliative service in both language regions. A specialist, multi-professional team, including nurses, physicians, psychologists, counsellors, and associated services, is available to clarify and optimise symptom management in complex situations. The mobile palliative service works in the outpatients department, and supports the transitions between hospital and home care. The palliative care unit advises and supports other carers with complex palliative care issues, such as severe pain management, drug pump operation, or transfusion. Patients and relatives can also seek advice from the palliative care service.