The centre is based on two palliative care units. A head physician manages both units, which share identical standards of palliative care. One of the units is part of the clinic of Oncology, Hematology and Palliative Care, founded in 2002. The other unit is part of the clinic of Radiotherapy and was founded 1992 as one of the very first palliative care units in Germany. The palliative care units are embedded in a certified oncology centre which in turn is part of the Marienhospital Stuttgart, a community-based hospital with a capacity of about 800 beds belonging to the Vinzenz von Paul Kliniken gGmbH.
Both of the two palliative care units provide 10 beds for inpatient care. Together there are 12 single and 4 double rooms each of which has access to a bathroom, common rooms and a balcony. In addition, there are a number of other departments in the hospital which also take care of patients with some need of palliative care especially the department of Oncology & Hematology, the departments of Radiotherapy, Pneumology, Gastroenterology, Head & Neck, Gynaecology and Surgery. The palliative care team coordinates palliative care for patients in these departments on site and collects patients who need specialised treatment to the palliative care units.
Although the main emphasis is on immediate symptom-oriented treatment (relief from pain, dyspnea, malnutrition, convulsions, anxiety etc.) the units also offer low- to moderate-intensity tumour-directed treatments including chemotherapy and radiotherapy are offered in the palliative care units, if indicated.
Staff of the two palliative care units includes the medical director of the Oncology & Hematology department, the medical director of the department of Radiotherapy, one head physician, two hospital interns, two psychologists, two art therapists, four pastors, two physiotherapists, one social worker, two nutritional advisors, 28 qualified nurses and a number of trained volunteers.
Areas of specialisation
Special facilities and services include the following:
- In addition to engaged expert palliative care patients are offered access to high-end medical support in all areas of medicine including oncology, radiotherapy, surgery, specialised pain management and emergency medical care, if indicated.
- Patients who might profit from an interdisciplinary approach are discussed in our tumour board.
- An in-house information centre provides independent knowledge support for patients and relatives.
- Patients and relatives have access to a broad spectrum of spiritual activities including religious ceremonies and art therapies (music and painting).
- We collaborate closely with the services of out-patient palliative care to enable patients in need of palliative care to stay at home as long as is desired and possible.
Palliative and supportive care
We are convinced that most patients with incurable malignant disease need both oncology and palliative care. Therefore we aim to keep oncology and palliative care closely connected both personally and by location. Continued oncology and palliative care means to us that every oncology patient is screened for their need of palliative care and that every palliative care patient is screened for options with oncologic i.e. tumour-directed treatment. Since one of the palliative care units is chaired by an oncologist and the other by a radiotherapist, tumour-directed treatment options can be implemented easily and reliably in this approach. On the other hand, more than two decades of engaged experience in palliative care is witness to our expertise in the core competences of this field.