Asklepios Klinik Altona (AKA) was built on a fallout shelter from 1961 - 1970 as one of the largest hospitals of maximum care in Hamburg, drafted for more than 1.000 patients and 31 wards. Since 2005 AKA belongs to the Asklepios group.
Asklepios Klinik Altona, a member institute of the Asklepios Tumorzentrum Hamburg, is a hospital of maximum care, with several specialist departments, a high capacity emergency room, and a range of interdisciplinary competence centers. Annually, more than 95.000 patients are treated as either in- or outpatients. The hospital is a teaching hospital of the University of Hamburg. The Department of Medical Oncology with Section Hematology, Palliative Care runs 25 beds for inpatients with hematological malignancies and 16 beds for inpatients with solid tumors. Since January 2014, a designated Palliative Care Unit (11 beds) has been established. In addition, there is a large outpatient facility for patients with malignant diseases, hematological malignancies as well as solid tumors.
AKA covers all disciplines besides psychiatry, radiooncology and dermatology. These services are offered by counseling teams of the affiliated Asklepios hospitals in Hamburg. The department of oncology with section hematology, palliative care is member of the Asklepios Tumorzentrum Hamburg, as largest tumor medicine provider in Northern Germany. This Clinical Cancer Center comprises the management of cancer medicine across seven (public service) hospitals, serving about 40% of patients with cancer diagnoses at the catchment area. Annually, more than 16.000 cancer patients are newly diagnosed and/or treated at the facility. Within the Asklepios Tumorzentrum Hamburg, two more hospitals provide specialized services of palliative care units, with lively exchanges between the teams. A tight cooperation and patient exchange exists, with two rehabilitation hospitals nearby providing specific programs for cancer patients.
Palliative and Supportive Care
The Palliative Care Service admits annually more than 300 new patients to its own inpatient unit. There is a long established low-threshold cooperation with the Pain Care Unit, for patients with complex pain symptoms and/or at need for an interventional pain management. Together with the oncology care team, the multidisciplinary palliative care staff (psycho-oncologists, nutritionists, arts and music therapists, physiotherapists, social workers and chaplains) implements an interdisciplinary and holistic approach to understanding and treating the patients in need for management of symptoms and terminally ill persons. The psychological staff provides individual counseling and psychotherapy based on a supportive psychotherapeutic approach. Moreover, various types of relaxation techniques are offered to the patients as self-help strategies. The service offers a broad spectrum of diverse art therapies, offered as individual - and if necessary, as bedside intervention. Trained palliative care nurses advise and teach family care givers how to apply measures to relieve disease symptoms and treatment side effects. To those patients who want to return home for the terminal phase, continuous medical and nursing backup is organized with partnering organizations. Eight local hospices are available for patients who are not able to stay at home for dying. Furthermore, a special counseling hour for outpatients and relatives is offered.