These guidelines are not meant to replace the many available texts on the subject of palliative care. They are a summary of the current practice of specialists working in palliative care in the West Midlands Region. It is acknowledged that there may be slight local variation and emphasis in practice.

These guidelines can be used for patients who are receiving care at home or in hospitals and should meet the needs of most patients. The medical and nursing staff of your local Specialist Palliative Care Team are available if further advice is required. (See Appendix III Specialist palliative care services in the West Midlands).

Some of the management strategies describe the use of drugs outside their licensed indications. They are, however, established and accepted good practice.