Palliative care

Sooner or later those suffering from an incurable illness, and those close to them, come into contact with end-of-life care. Good palliative care is needed to give them the best possible quality of life and to alleviate suffering.

The right care at the right moment

The World Health Organization (WHO) predicts that the number of people dying annually worldwide will increase from 51 million in 2015 to 70 million in 2030. Thanks to improved diagnostics and treatment most people live longer, continue living at home longer, with improved attention being given to the values, wishes and needs of patients and their families. Good palliative care focuses on these values, wishes and needs. We consider it important that every citizen is assured of palliative care in the right place, at the right moment, and by the right caregivers. This is why we invest in the optimisation of palliative care in physical, mental, social and spiritual terms.

What is palliative care?

Palliative care is the care given to patients and those close to them when confronted with a life-threatening disorder or vulnerability. This care improves the patient’s quality of life and, in the end, of dying through the prevention and relief of suffering, whether this is physical, mental, social or spiritual. The early identification and careful assessment and treatment of these problems is vital. More information can be found in the Quality framework for palliative care in the Netherlands (written in Dutch), which forms the foundation of the design of palliative care in this country.

Palliative care knowledge

In our Palliantie II programme we collaborate closely with parties active in policy making, research, education and practice. Knowledge development, ongoing palliative care professionalisation, and the valorisation of existing knowledge are important themes. In the coming years we will focus on the following areas:

Advance Care Planning

It is important that caregivers, patients and family those close to them have timely discussions about aims, wishes and needs with regard to future treatment, care and support in the palliative phase. This process of thinking ahead, planning and organising is called ‘advance care planning’. It focuses on the timely demarcation of this palliative phase, collective decision-making and active care planning.

Healthcare innovations and quality

We direct our attention towards the underpinning of existing interventions in symptom treatment, boosting the implementation of promising interventions, and stimulating quality improvements through learning and improving in practice. 

Organisation and continuity of care

We are committed to good cooperation and information exchange between all  parties involved in the care for and support of patients in the palliative phase and those close to them. This principally concerns transmural collaboration between first-line and second-line caregivers, links with the social domain, an individual care plan, and digital data exchange. 

Participation and support

We want to support patients, family caregivers, informal caregivers and professional caregivers. Therefore we stimulate research on how support can be offered to all when faced with overwork, moral dilemmas and other problems. 

Paediatric palliative care

We are committed to increasing the understanding of paediatric palliative care, the quality of this care, and understanding how, where and when caregivers can best provide palliative care to children. 



If you have any questions, you can find our contact details below.

Programme Secretariat Palliative care
palliatievezorg [at]
Programme Secretariat Palliative care
palliatievezorg [at]