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Dr Shaheen Khan

Consultant in

Palliative Medicine

Dr Khan has recently joined the

team at London Bridge Hospital.

He provides expertise in the

management of medical problems

within the context of advanced

disease. He treats patients facing

serious illness, working closely

with their medical team, relatives

and carers, with an approach to

palliative care which is far broader

than simply end of life care.

Dr Khan is a Consultant in

Palliative Medicine at Guy’s and

St Thomas’ NHS Foundation

Trust. He also has honorary

contracts at King’s College

Hospital NHS FoundationTrust

and Lewisham Healthcare NHS

Trust. He graduated from Guy’s,

King’s and St Thomas’ Medical

School in 2003, having also been

awarded a first class honours

degree in BSc Neuroscience in

2000. He completed the MSc

in Palliative Care from King’s

College London in 2010, and in

2011 he obtained a Postgraduate

Certificate in Clinical Leadership.

Palliative Care

For more information on Palliative Care, please contact the GP Liaison Team on:

T: 020 7234 2009

FIFTEEN

Palliative Care

What is

Palliative Care?

Palliative care can be defined as an

approach that improves the quality

of life of patients facing the problems

associated with severe illness, through

the assessment and treatment of pain

and other physical, social and spiritual

problems. Palliative care also seeks

to support carers and healthcare

professionals involved in these situations.

Historically, palliative care teams have

focused on cancer and patients in the

terminal phases of their illness. The

specialty has evolved over the last

few decades, and patients can now

be seen at any point along their

disease trajectory, from the point of

diagnosis onwards, irrespective of

whether their treatment is deemed

to be curative or palliative. Although

the majority of patients seen by

palliative care teams have a cancer

diagnosis, patients with many other

diseases may benefit from specialist

palliative care input. This includes

conditions such as severe heart failure,

chronic kidney disease, respiratory

failure (for example due to COPD or

pulmonary fibrosis), and a variety of

neurodegenerative conditions including

Motor Neuron Disease, Parkinson’s

Disease, Progressive Supranuclear

Palsy and Corticobasal Degeneration.

Patients with dementia may also benefit

from specialist palliative care review.

PALLIATIVE CARE IS:

• The provision of relief from pain

and other distressing symptoms

• Integration of the clinical,

psychological and spiritual aspects

of patient care

• An enhancement of the quality of

life, with the potential to positively

influence the course of illness

• Applicable early in the course of

illness, in conjunction with other

therapies that are intended to

prolong life, such as chemotherapy

or surgery.