Hospice Palliative Care in the North East LHIN

In 2011, the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care (MOHLTC) issued a policy document called Advancing High Quality, High Value Palliative Care in Ontario: A Declaration of Partnership and Commitment to Action.

Since then, all 14 Local Health Integration Networks (LHIN) have been working with their community stakeholders to roll out the objectives and action items contained in this roadmap for change.

The North East LHIN, has created the North East Hospice Palliative Care (HPC) Steering Committee to oversee this work, advise the North East LHIN on service gaps and report to the MOHLTC on our progress. The Steering Committee is made up of representatives from all North East districts and sectors involved in delivering palliative care services and education.

  • Click here to see the membership of the North East HPC Steering Committee

Advocacy from a North East perspective

The NE HPC Steering Committee and the local palliative planning tables have provided input into provincial surveys and working groups including the design of the Current State Assessment Survey of Palliative Care Services, the Provincial Palliative Clinical Standards, and to the Provincial Residential Hospice Working Group for its report Strengthening Ontario’s End-of-Life Continuum: Advice Regarding the Roles of Residential Hospices. The report focuses on strengthening the continuum of care and support for Ontarians at the end-of-life and on how best to optimize residential hospices to support those who cannot be cared for at home but do not require hospital care in the days and weeks prior to their death. 

The North East HPC Steering Committee has selected seven priority projects to work on for 2015/16:

  1. Develop residential hospice beds
  2. Establish a regional education collaborative
  3. Develop community palliative expert teams
  4. Standardize hospice volunteer visiting programs
  5. Support local palliative planning tables to promote advanced care planning
  6. Enhance grief, loss and bereavement services to improve caregiver support

Education Delivery Strategies Working Group

Hospice palliative care focuses on supporting the person with a life-limiting illness, and their family, through all of the dimensions of dying – be they physical, emotional, social, practical, spiritual, grief or bereavement. This working group provides recommendations to the Steering Committee on the delivery of consistent and standardized HPC education and competency requirements for all levels of care, across all care settings.

“When people have access to hospice palliative care services, they report fewer symptoms, better quality of life, and greater satisfaction with their care. The health care system reports more appropriate referrals, better use of hospice care, fewer emergency room visits and hospitalization and less use of ineffective intensive interventions in the last days of life.” - The Way Forward National Framework, CHPCA 2013

Residential Hospice Working Group

There are close to 40 residential hospices in Ontario, with two in the North East Region. The working group recommends models for residential hospice care to the North East HPC Steering Committee for each district taking into account rural, northern and remote considerations.

Integrated Delivery of Care Working Group

The Working Group was developed to recommend opportunities to the NE HPC Steering Committee for shared care approaches and resources in each district in order to enhance the coordination and transitions of care; integrate primary care providers with specialized hospice palliative care resources through an interdisciplinary professional team approach; and, identify barriers and needs for additional resources.

Hospice Volunteer Visiting Working Group

This group recommends opportunities for enhancing the role of volunteer visiting services within the local communities for each district. It has surveyed the eight programs in the North East to create a comprehensive profile of existing hospice volunteer visiting services, with questions around services, staffing, volunteers, referral and intake processes and training offered. The group has explored standardizing processes, documentation and service standards so that all programs have same approach in each district. It has also looked consolidating back-office resources so that programs can focus on core service, which is client intake and matching.

Palliative Pain and Symptom Management Working Group

The purpose of the Working Group is to review the palliative pain and symptom management program (PPSM Program) with a view to making the consultant positions more effective. There are 39 consultants across the province and only two FTEs in the North East. The biggest area of potential improvement is ensuring equity of service for all Districts and structuring the services to meet population-based needs. 

For more information contact the North East LHIN’s Hospice Palliative Care Lead Lianne Valiquette at lianne.valiquette@lhins.on.ca

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