The Association of Palliative Day Services


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Membership is open to any day service department

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The Association of Palliative Day Services, known as APDS, is the first national representative body formed exclusively for palliative day service professionals in the UK and Ireland.

As an Association we are a powerful, collective voice. We believe that together we can be an authority in shaping national guidelines and policies, an educator in cultivating public interest and understanding, and an ambassador for our dedicated providers, and the integral service they provide within palliative care.

We aim to challenge, inspire, and empower our members. We do this by nurturing a supportive community for day service professionals, and by providing access to the latest research developments, training, and educational opportunities.

We are proud to be a multidisciplinary membership organisation and welcome the diverse range of professionals working within palliative day services.

What are Palliative Day Services?

Relationships are at the heart of day services. Day services provide specialist palliative care within a group context, where meaningful relationships are paramount.

Palliative day services are for people living with a terminal illness, where a cure is no longer possible. It’s also for people with a complex or life-limiting illness, and need their symptoms controlled. The goal of palliative day services is to provide individualized, holistic care, that promotes independence and rehabilitation, improves self-worth, and ultimately enables the best quality of life for patients and their families.

Facilitated by a specialist multidisciplinary team, day services offer the opportunity for regular review and assessment of the patient’s condition, and sets holistic goals that address physical, psychological, social, and spiritual needs.

Day services provide proactive care, with the specific aim and outcome of preventing crises, enabling rehabilitation, and developing self-management strategies. Care that promotes independence, improves self-worth, and enhances quality of life.

This care is provided within a context of social interaction, support and friendship. Many services offer a range of creative and social activities for patients. In this way, day services prevent the social isolation many experience as a result of their disease, and provide a caring sanctuary for patients to share experiences, to face difficult discussions, and come to terms with their illness, their future, and end of life issues. It’s also a place to create memories, and to form friendships with others that are facing similar challenges, providing a robust support system for the patient and their loved ones.

Although day services across the country vary in the structure of their service, staffing, and provision, many incorporate these core principles. Day services are dependent on a multidisciplinary team, including specialist palliative nurses, healthcare assistants, social workers, volunteers and arts facilitators, complementary therapists, and psychotherapists. The APDS welcomes membership from all professionals working within palliative day services.

Locality Groups

APDS places great importance on the views of its members and seeks the views of all services across the UK regardless of the model of care delivery. With the introduction of the website membership area, we hope that you will use this to network and share information.

However, there are some long-standing networking groups around the country and we recognise and support the value of face-to-face meetings. These provide valuable peer support at a local level for APDS members, and also can offer very practical and positive help and support for those new to day-care or who are maybe considering changes in the method of service delivery or starting up a new service.

The groups are locally run, and members are entitled to attend whichever group suits their needs, and this may not be in your hospice “area”. Historically the locality groups are self-administered, and there is no one immediate link for the group as the administration is usually shared amongst the members. We have listed those hospices that we think have staff who attend regional meetings. If your hospice is not on this list please let us know, and/or simply contact one of the hospices to invite yourself to a meeting. You will be warmly received.

If there is a group that meets locally to you we would strongly suggest you try to attend; and if there is not one, maybe consider starting one up as the benefits of face-to-face networking cannot be understated.

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