netFormulary Dorset NHS
The Dorset Formulary has been developed in associations with
NHS Dorset Clinical Commissioning Group
Dorset County Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
Dorset Healthcare University NHS Foundation Trust
Poole Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
 Formulary Chapter 21: Palliative Care Formulary - Full Section

The medicines team has been made aware of shortages of some strengths of diamorphine ampoules in some areas. In order that patients are able to access essential palliative care medicnes it is recommended that prescribers and palliative care staff check availability with local pharmacies before sending patients or relatives to collect prescriptions. Where possible and appropriate, prescriptions should be written to order the strengths that are available. Prescribers may need to amend prescriptions accordingly. The diamorphine prescription may need to be written on a seperate prescription to other palliative care medicines. Nurses and carers are reminded to carefully check ampoule strengths if doses need to be made up from smaller amps or where wastage of parts of larger amps need to occur, following best practice when wasting part amps. If diamorphine is unavailable then prescribers are advised to convert to morphine, using the conversion tables in the front of the BNF or on Seek the advice of local pharmacies and the listed palliative care pharmacies in the out of hours period. 15th June 2017

The Palliative Care Handbook

Advice on clinical management - Edited by the Wessex Palliative Physicians

Palliative care:

  • is the active total care of patients and their families, usually when their disease is no longer responsive to potentially curative treatment, although it may be applicable earlier in the illness
  • provides relief from pain and other symptoms
  • aims to achieve the best possible quality of life for patients and families
  • responds to physical, psychological, social and spiritual needs
  • extends as necessary to support in bereavement

This handbook contains guidance to help GPs, community nurses and hospital staff as well as specialist palliative care teams. It aims to provide a checklist for the management of common problems in palliative care, with some information on drug treatment. It is not a comprehensive textbook.

National Service Frameworks for heart failure, renal failure and other conditions are increasingly emphasising the importance of providing good palliative care to these patient groups as well as to those with cancer. The material in this Handbook is intended to apply across a range of diagnoses

Chapter review date:

 Useful Links
Numbers in brackets indicate counts of (Formulary items, Non Formulary items)
21 Palliative Care Formulary Drugs (10,0)