Search Legislation

Public Services Ombudsman (Wales) Act 2019

Section 64 - Meaning of “palliative care service” and “independent palliative care provider

243.Section 64 provides definitions of “palliative care service” and “independent palliative care provider”. The term “palliative care” is not defined. However, it is generally used to describe the alleviation of pain of those with terminal conditions, the relief of pain without dealing with the cause of the condition and the general improvement in the quality of life of persons with life limiting conditions. Life limiting conditions are normally described as those in which a person’s life expectancy is likely to be shortened as a result of a condition or illness.

244.In deciding whether a particular form of care amounts to palliative care or not, it is anticipated that the Ombudsman will give some weight to the definition of “palliative care” that is used by the World Health Organisation. This definition provides that “palliative care is an approach that improves the quality of life of patients and their families facing the problem associated with life-threatening illness, through the prevention and relief of suffering by means of early identification and impeccable assessment and treatment of pain and other problems, physical, psychosocial and spiritual”. Weight is also likely to be given to the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) definition, which provides that “palliative care is the active holistic care of patients with advanced progressive illness. Management of pain and other symptoms and provision of psychological, social and spiritual support is paramount. The goal of palliative care is achievement of the best quality of life for patients and their families. Many aspects of palliative care are also applicable earlier in the course of the illness in conjunction with other treatments”.

245.A palliative care service is a service the main purpose of which is to provide palliative care. The term is therefore not intended to cover services that provide a degree of palliative care but where such care is incidental to the main service being provided. It is intended, however, to capture a wide range of palliative care services ranging from community based services to palliative care hospitals. Section 64 provides that an independent palliative care provider’s actions include actions taken by the provider’s staff and others acting on the provider’s behalf.

Back to top


Print Options


Explanatory Notes

Text created by the Welsh Government department responsible for the subject matter of the Act to explain what the Act sets out to achieve and to make the Act accessible to readers who are not legally qualified. Explanatory Notes accompany all Acts of the Welsh Parliament.


More Resources

Access essential accompanying documents and information for this legislation item from this tab. Dependent on the legislation item being viewed this may include:

  • the original print PDF of the as enacted version that was used for the print copy
  • lists of changes made by and/or affecting this legislation item
  • confers power and blanket amendment details
  • all formats of all associated documents
  • correction slips
  • links to related legislation and further information resources