The GFO Clinic Rhein Berg formerly known as Vinzenz Pallotti Hospital was founded in 1958. The palliative care unit was the third unit in Germany founded in 1993. In 1996 the department of hematology and oncology and the palliative care unit were united in the department of internal medicine and oncology. In 2015 a palliative care home service has been established (SAPV).
Palliative and supportive care
The palliative care unit provide 7 beds for inpatient care and 10 beds in our affiliated hospice. There are single bed rooms with a large bathroom, each of which has access to common rooms, wintergarden and a terrace. 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, Gynaecology and Surgery. The palliative care team coordinates palliative care for patients in these departments on site and collects patients who need specialized 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 unit also offer low- to moderate-intensity tumour-directed treatments including chemotherapy and radiotherapy, if indicated.
Staff of the palliative care unit includes the medical director of the Oncology & Hematology department, one head physician, two hospital interns, psychologists, art therapist, two pastors, physiotherapists, two social workers, nutritional advisors, 14 qualified nurses and a large number of trained volunteers. Patients with non-malignant diseases and severe symptoms were also treated in the PC department. Additionally, a fully recovered specialized palliative service for patients living at home (“SAPV”) is offered by the therapeutic team (nurses and physicians).