People who care

supporting people who care

Palliative Care for Children South Africa (PatchSA) is an inclusive and compassionate network that aims to share specialised knowledge, tools, resources and opportunities to ensure the best possible care for children with life-threatening and life-limiting illnesses, and to provide support to healthcare professionals, families and lay caregivers.

PatchSA is a registered non-profit organisation. NPO no: 124-201

And a Public Benefit Organisation. PBO no: 930047744

Serving Communities, Families & Healthcare Professionals

PatchSA welcomes any families, lay caregivers and child-caring professional including paediatricians, GPs, nurses, social workers, allied health practitioners, psychologists, teachers, clergy etc to join the network.



PatchSA community seeks to empower the broader community to support professionals and affected families through fundraising and
other practical initiatives.



PatchSA  supports families and lay-caregivers through referrals and sharing information, practical tools and experiences along their unique journeys.

Learn more



PatchSA supports healthcare professionals through sharing information, the development of resources, promoting and providing learning opportunities, advancing advocacy and participating in research opportunities.

Join Us

Become a member. PatchSA welcomes family members, caregivers, child-caring and healthcare professionals to join the network.

Support Us

Help us help children with life-threatening and non-curable illnesses, and their families, to have the best quality life possible.


Receive our monthly email newsletters with the latest news and events relevant to children’s palliative care in South Africa.

About Us

A wonderful scholarship opportunity

Footprints 4 Sam is offering 4 scholarships to complete 10 Patch Academy courses.

Samuel John Frederick Platt was born on 9 April 2015. He spent all 15.5 months of his short life in hospital and endured countless medical interventions. Following Sam’s death, Sam’s parents, Fred and Melissa, wanted Sam’s healthcare journey, which was far from perfect, to offer change, hope, dignity, mutual respect and connectedness for other children and families in similar situations. This was the start of Footprints 4 Sam.

The Trust fulfils this dream through a few simple initiatives aimed at serving underprivileged children and their families as each day they face the difficult journey of living with a life limiting condition. These complex conditions are often burdensome to the family and the Trust’s 6 key initiatives offer something tangible and beautiful in the midst of much pain and suffering. It is their mission to leave Footprints of change in neonatal and paediatric wards countrywide, through the cultivation of a healthcare culture of swift and broad-based intervention, early diagnosis and real and achievable family centred solutions, which promote excellence of life for both child and family. Changing lives one footprint at a time.

Find out more and apply

Palliative Care for Children – A PatchSA Guide

Purchase our recently published South African guide to Children’s Palliative Care. Palliative Care for Children: A guide for improving the quality of life of patients and their families is a useful and easy to read guide on the key elements of children’s palliative care written for doctors, nurses, social workers, psychologists, counsellors, spiritual leaders, teachers, therapists and anyone who interacts with and provides care for seriously ill children. The book can also be read for free online on the Bettercare website.

Purchase your copy of the guide

Learn online through the Patch Academy

Patch Academy is the education branch of PatchSA. It is an online learning platform created as an educational resource for all members of the multidisciplinary palliative care team providing care to babies, toddlers, children and young adults with life-threatening and life-limiting illnesses and conditions and to their families. All Patch Academy courses are CPD accredited through the Colleges of Medicine of South Africa (CMSA) with General and Ethics CPD points. Try our FREE course Introducing Children’s Palliative Care and earn 5 General CEU’s.

Visit the Patch Academy website

Take our latest online course on holistic care and palliative care planning, including advance care planning

Why take the course?

“Good children’s palliative care planning means hoping for the best and preparing for the worst. Without a full assessment and an agreed, achievable and realistic care plan it is very difficult to provide good children’s palliative care.”  Dr Justin Amery

This course aims to empower those who work with children needing palliative care to gain the skills and the knowledge that enables them to carry out holistic assessments of children and families and to use the information to develop realistic palliative care plans that, when needed, will include advance care and terminal care plans. The course also provides links to numerous helpful assessment and planning tools and resources that can be downloaded.

Learn more and register for the course

Watch our video on neonatal palliative care

Beginnings and Endings – a PatchSA film on the importance of neonatal and perinatal palliative care

“Dying is difficult…. the beginning is not supposed to be the end.”

In this film, set in Cape Town and made for PatchSA, three families courageously share their experiences of losing a child, and living with a child with a life-limiting condition and the support provided to them by their palliative care team. The film takes a close look at the enormous value of neonatal palliative care.

Learn more about the video

Find a children’s palliative care provider in South Africa

There are several services in South Africa dedicated to providing palliative care to children but these are inadequate to meet the growing need for paediatric palliative care provision on all levels. A number of predominantly adult hospices also have staff equipped and trained to provide hospice and palliative care services to babies, toddlers, children and adolescents. We have conveniently mapped and listed the names of all services who can provide palliative care to children along with their relevant contact details.

Find a Children’s Palliative Care Service in SA

Read our latest news

PatchSA is the only national organisation providing strategic support to healthcare professionals, allied healthcare practitioners and parents and lay caregivers in South Africa. Our diverse membership represents those who provide palliative care services to children around the country and we do our best to keep you up to date on what is happening in the field both within our borders and internationally. Read our latest news and stories and subscribe to our monthly newsletter if you want to be kept informed.

Read our latest news

Consult the PatchSA Paediatric Palliative Care Formulary

Based on the (APPM) Association of Paediatric Palliative Care Medicine Master Formulary created by Dr Sat Jassal, the PatchSA Paediatric Palliative Care Formulary provides medical professionals with a list of medicines appropriate in providing paediatric palliative care in South Africa. Many of the medicines are prescribed “off-licence” and “on expert opinion” as it is difficult to do studies in this vulnerable population.

Consult the PatchSA Formulary

Join our grief support group: Patch People who Care

The Patch People Who Care Facebook Group provides a safe, compassionate and supportive environment for parents, guardians/carers and family members who have suffered the loss of a child due to illness or accident. Members have access to the group whenever it is convenient and are able to share their grief, their challenges and heartbreaks and receive the support and compassion of people who understand. People who care. The group is associated with Palliative Treatment for Children South Africa (PatchSA) and membership is at the discretion of the organisation.
Join the Facebook support group

Access our COVID-19 Toolbox of Resources

In the midst of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, a concerning time for everyone, we are aware that parents of babies, children or young people with complex medical conditions and palliative care needs will have added concerns around safety and infection. We are also aware that the pandemic has left in its wake many thousands of children grieving the loss of a loved one.

We hope to answer some of your most pressing and frequently asked questions on this page and direct you to some helpful resources for more detailed information. If you have other questions, please feel free to send these to us on and we will do our best to respond and advise.

Access our COVID-19 Resources