Martigny What is palliative care?

Palliative care provides practical support for individuals suffering from incurable progressive chronic diseases, from diagnosis through to the end of their lives. This care provides relief from troublesome symptoms such as pain, digestive problems, nausea and breathing difficulties.
Palliative care also provides relief from psychological suffering such as anxiety and depression. It also offers support in cases of isolation or of family conflicts. 

Organising palliative care requires cooperation between various professionals in the fields of healthcare, social work and spiritual support. All of these individuals form a network which will provide the patient and his/her next of kin with relief and a secure environment. Volunteers also play an important role in providing support and attention for seriously ill patients and their next of kin, be it at home or at hospital.

  • Palliative care may be provided at home, in a medico-social establishment (‘établissement médico-social’, EMS), in hospital or in a palliative care centre.
    At home and in an EMS, the referring doctor provides basic palliative care in cooperation with the healthcare teams of medico-social centres (‘centres médico-sociaux’, CMS) and EMS.

    If some problems persist in spite of the initial measures that have been implemented, the staff may call upon specialist palliative care teams.

  • Their work involves identifying troublesome symptoms and other causes of suffering. They seek out the best solutions, while remaining respectful of the wishes of the patient and his/her next of kin and the degree to which they are able to accept the situation.

    The team shows respect for the patient’s expectations and helps to find a response to his/her fears regarding the end of life.

    Early palliative care, provided in parallel with curative treatments, can prevent the patient and his/her next of kin from becoming exhausted, reduce the risk of urgent hospitalisations and improve his/her quality of life.

The Palliative Care Unit at Martigny Hospital

The Palliative Care Unit at Martigny Hospital

This unit can cater for 8 patients requiring continual care in rooms of one and two beds. This care is aimed at individuals who are suffering from progressive diseases and require the skills and support of a specialist multidisciplinary team. The patient’s intentions are given first priority.

The unit favours alternating between the patient’s home and hospital whenever this is possible and desired by the patient and his/her family. The next of kin of the hospitalised patient receive support and their needs are attended to by the multidisciplinary team.

Specialist Outpatient Consultations

This service is available to all patients who are able to travel. The consultations, provided by a doctor and nurse who are specialised in palliative care, take place in Martigny Hospital upon request from the referring doctor or from another specialist doctor.

The Mobile Palliative Care Team

This team comes to the patient’s home or to an EMS anywhere in the Canton of Valais romand upon request from his/her referring doctor or home care nurses (CMS).
The team goes to the patient’s bedside with a nurse from the CMS. Necessary adjustments to the treatment are recommended and discussed with the referring doctor.
The mobile palliative care team also intervenes in some hospital departments of the Canton of Valais central when the medical and healthcare teams are facing difficulties in caring for those patients who are seriously ill or reaching the end of their lives.
This activity is still limited in scope, and will expand over the coming years.
Its aims are to enable seriously ill patients to stay at home whenever they so desire, to improve the continuity of care between the patient’s home, the EMS and the hospital, and to develop the quality of the palliative care offered wherever the patient lives or is treated, through the training of healthcare professionals.