Palliative Care Health Services Delivery Framework

This model of care applies to services for adult patients living in the community and their family or caregivers.

The Palliative Care Health Services Delivery Framework – Focus Area 1: Adults Receiving Care in Community Settings outlines a model of care that will:

  • 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 or caregivers.


  • Makes 13 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 or caregiver needs
  • Provides flexibility to support regional and local contexts and geographies
  • Makes tailored recommendations to improve access and care for the following groups:
    • Francophones
    • First Nations, Inuit, Métis and urban Indigenous peoples
    • People experiencing homelessness or those who are vulnerably housed
    • People living in long-term care homes
  • Clarifies roles for members of interdisciplinary palliative care teams

Extensive Province-Wide Engagement

Developed by a working group of health care providers, administrators, and patient and family advisors, the delivery framework reflects extensive province-wide engagement. The working group consulted with our advisory councils, regional palliative care networks and their partners and stakeholders to validate and refine the delivery framework. 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 was unanimously approved by the Ontario Palliative Care Network Executive Oversight partners (see Provincial Leadership and Governance).

The delivery framework is one of the actions in our Action Plan. It fulfills the commitment to establish palliative models of care to increase access and enable adoption of the quality standard for palliative care.