Palliative Care Unit (PCU) 

What we do

At the Palliative Care Unit (PCU) in the Dr. Leonard A. Miller Centre in St. John’s, we provide palliative, symptom management and end-of-life care, including mental, emotional, physical, social and spiritual support for patients and families in a comfortable and home-like setting. 

Pain and symptom management

Some individuals may have symptomsthat are difficult to manage at home.  An admission to the Palliative Care Unit (PCU)  for pain and symptom management gives the palliative care team a chance to assess and/or adjust medications and other therapies to help improve symptoms.  Once symptoms are well managed and the individual is comfortable, a discharge home can be arranged.      

End-of-life care

End-of-life care in the Palliative Care Unit (PCU)  is focused on ensuring physical, emotional and spiritual comfort of the patient and family while allowing a natural death to occur.  Medications will continue to be given for pain, shortness of breath, nausea and any other symptoms, however, life sustaining therapies such as IV fluids are not typically provided.  Vital signs such as blood pressure, temperature and glucometer readings may be taken only minimally or not at all.   

Palliative Care Unit (PCU)

The unit has 10 private rooms with:

  • either a private or shared bathroom,
  • a sleeper chair for family members,
  • a flat screen cable TV, and 
  • Wi-Fi and telephone.  

Patients are welcome to bring personal items to further enhance the home-like atmosphere.  The Unit are also has two family lounges, one of which is equipped with a kitchen area, which are shared among all families.  The following video provides an overview of the palliative care unit, a tour of the unit and discusses questions you may have about palliative care.

Who we see

Anyone diagnosed with a life-limiting illness may be admitted to the Palliative Care Unit in St. John’s  for pain and symptom management  and/or end-of-life care.    

Our team

Our team consists of doctors, nurse practitioners and other health providers that have specialized training in managing pain and  symptoms that are common in life-limiting illnesses or conditions. Learn more.

How to access this service

A referral to the program can be made by a physician or nurse practitioner involved in the client’s care by sending a complete palliative services/symptom management referral form (PDF) to 709-777-8970.

Once a referral is received, the palliative care nurse navigator will contact the client to arrange an appointment and determine where services can be accessed.

Where are we

Dr. Leonard A. Miller Centre
Palliative Care Unit (PCU) – 3 North
100 Forest Rd.
St. John’s, NL
A1A 1E

How to reach us

Telephone: 709-777-7303 or toll-free at 1-855-690-7303

Frequently asked questions

If I am admitted to the PCU, am I permitted to leave for short periods of time?    

Under certain circumstances, patients may be granted a leave of absence for a few hours, an overnight stay or a weekend. Please discuss with your health-care provider.

What should I bring when I am admitted to the PCU?   

Patients being admitted to the PCU should bring their medications in their original bottles, their provincial health card (MCP) and their advance health care directive (if they have one).

Patients can also bring items to help them feel comfortable such as: 

  • Comfortable pajamas 
  • Razors 
  • Toiletries 
  • Slippers   

Can I use my cell phone in the PCU?  

Cell phones may be used in the patient rooms and/or family room areas.

Is there a cafeteria? 

The cafeteria is located on the main floor and is open from 8:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Monday to Friday (hours are subject to change). There is an ATM and a snack vending machine located in the cafeteria, both of which are accessible when the cafeteria is closed.

Where can I park?  

Visitor parking is available.

*Please remember to check signage in the parking lots to ensure you are parking in a designated visitor space.

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Last updated: 2023-03-17