Palliative Care Unit Certified by the European Society of Medical Oncology

As of September 2011, the Palliative Care Unit of the Hospital da Luz, is nowcertified for the integrated practice of Palliative Care and Oncology by the ESMO(European Society of Medical Oncology), and recognized as a reference unit for the elevated standard of care they provide.

This certification is the result of a collaboration initiated by the Palliative Care Unit and Medical Oncology, whose aim is to see that their integrated clinical approach achieves a more humane service with improved quality for patients suffering with Cancer, not only in the later stages of the disease, but at any stage of the disease. The collaboration also intends to contribute to a better understanding of palliative care in society in general and for health professionals specifically, and will work to reduce the myths and misconceptions that exist about palliative care. 

The ESMO is one of the most prestigious medical societies in the Oncology world. The distinction of certified reference unit was achieved by the Palliative Care Unit following an evaluation of their clinical practices and overall quality by accredited assessors who were looking to confirm that the service recognized that many cancer patients will benefit from early intervention from palliative care throughout their illness and not just in the last days of life.

Early intervention of palliative care for oncology patients also confirms that that these services can be provided simultaneously, resulting in benefits in the quality of life of the patient as well as support for the families. Cancer patients can thus be referred to palliative care services, at any stage in their disease, whether they are inpatients or at home, and receive access to a wider range of integrated care, with the expectation of clear gains to their well being and quality of life. 

With this quality distinction by the ESMO, the Hospital da Luz is now recognized alongside other prestigious institutions such as the Cleveland Clinic, USA, the Institute Jules Bordet, Belgium, and the University Clinic of Navarra in Spain.