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Palliative Care Health Services Delivery Framework – Focus Area 1: Adults Receiving Care in Community Settings

The Ontario Palliative Care Network has developed a model of care to improve palliative care services. It applies to services for adult patients living in the community and their family/caregivers. Unanimously approved by the Ontario Palliative Care Network Executive Oversight partners (see Provincial Leadership), and reflecting extensive province-wide engagement, the Health Services Delivery Framework (delivery framework) sets out an innovative model of care to:

  • enable patients to remain at home as long as possible
  • reduce unnecessary hospitalizations
  • improve overall coordination and quality of palliative care in Ontario

The model of care is a guide for continued evolution of palliative care across Ontario. It builds on existing capacity and supports local flexibility. Ultimately, it leads towards sustainable, equitable and coordinated palliative care for Ontarians experiencing a life-limiting illness and their family/caregivers.

Delivery Framework Highlights:

  • Makes 13 key recommendations to guide future organization and delivery of palliative care, from identification of patients who would benefit from palliative care through to end of life
  • Emphasizes patient and family/caregiver needs
  • Provides flexibility to support regional and local contexts and geographies
  • Makes tailored recommendations to improve access and care provided to the following groups:
    • Francophones
    • First Nations, Inuit, Métis and urban Indigenous peoples
    • People experiencing homelessness and/or who are vulnerably housed
    • People living in long-term care homes
  • Clarifies roles for members of interdisciplinary palliative care teams

The delivery framework was developed by a working group of healthcare providers, administrators, and patient and family advisors. To validate and refine the Health Services Delivery Framework, they consulted with our advisory councils and their partners and stakeholders. They also asked for input from the following groups:

  • Patient and family advisors
  • French language health planning bodies
  • Indigenous communities
  • Providers supporting the vulnerably housed population and people in long-term care

The delivery framework is one of the actions in the Ontario Palliative Care Network’s Action Plan (2017 to 2020). It fulfills its commitment to establish palliative models of care to increase access and enable adoption of the quality standard, Palliative Care: Care for Adults with a Progressive, Life-Limiting Illness.

Health Services Delivery Framework

Companion Reports

Tools to Support Earlier Identification for Palliative Care

Ontario Palliative Care Competency Framework

Quality Standard: Palliative Care: Care for Adults with a Progressive, Life-Limiting Illness (Health Quality Ontario)

Patient and Family Advisor Journey Mapping Exercise Summary

Supporting Resources

Patient Scenario

Patient Pathway