“The view of Pediatric Palliative Care is to ensure that since the diagnosis all pediatric patients living with a chronic, complex, limiting or life-threatening chronic disease and their families receive care that meets their needs, desires and preferences, to and beyond death.”

In Report of the Working Group of the Office of the Assistant Secretary of State of the Minister of Health, December 2014.

The Mobile Home Support Units have been operating since 2006 in partnership with national public hospitals:

  • Santa Maria Hospital (Lisbon)
  • D. Estefânia Hospital (Lisbon)
  • Fernando Fonseca Hospital (Lisbon)
  • S. João Hospital (Porto)

At the end of 2017, the FIRST PALLIATIVE PEDIATRIC CARE UNITS AT HOME (S. João Hospital and Centro Materno Infantil do Norte – CMIN)

The chronic and incapacitating illness can prolong the period of hospitalization and lead to the overload of hospital and family resources.

Continuity of pediatric health care at home can prevent unnecessary hospitalizations and prevent, at the outset, the psychosocial degradation of the patient and the family.

Based on a multidisciplinary approach, UMAD teams specialize in pediatric palliative care, increase comfort levels, control symptoms and administer the necessary therapies in a more protected and adapted environment for the sick child.

Through the home support service provided by the several UMADs, it has been possible to improve the general health of the child, to foster social empowerment of the family and to allow a better emotional balance of the entire household, namely:



  • Stabilization of disease;
  • Reduction in the number of hospitalizations;
  • Improvement of the child’s physical well-being.



  • Reinforcement of family empowerment and autonomization of the family;
  • Prevention of situations of psychosocial degradation and social exclusion;
  • Promoting return to “normal” life;
  • Viability of their return to school.



  • Increased caregiver and family self-esteem;
  • Improving parental relationships and family dynamics;
  • Increased feeling of support through technical follow-up and contact with parent groups.

Without UMADs many children would be required to remain hospitalized for indefinite periods until the family was able to ensure their clinical, social and emotional follow-up.


Proven Results:

  • Reduction of 45% of rehospitalization frequency;
  • Increase in the emotional well-being of the child by 62%;
  • Increased physical health of children by 48%;
  • Increase in the clinical autonomy of families by 46%;
  • Increase in the degree of feeling of clinical support of families by 42%.

Source: SROI Rating


The UMAD project has proven to be highly effective in improving the comfort and quality of life of the pediatric patient, and in optimizing hospital resources.

The benefits generated by the project with the child, the family and the hospital environment have been successively recognized by the partner entities, entities linked to the health sector and international organizations.




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