According to Health Quality Ontario’s Palliative Care at the End of Life report, of the 54,000 Ontarians who received palliative care services between April 2014 and the end of March 2015, about half (47.9%) began receiving palliative care in their last month of life. Nearly two-thirds (64.9%) died in hospital, and about one-quarter (25.8%) spent half or more of their last month of life in hospital.
As these numbers indicate, Ontario has faced a number of challenges in ensuring equitable, integrated access to quality hospice palliative care, including inadequate support for caregivers, a lack of accountability for the delivery of this care and a lack of integration of care across the system. Though there are examples of patients and families experiencing excellent care, there is a recognized need across the health system for improvement.
To address these gaps, and to improve the consistency and quality of hospice palliative care in the province, the Ontario Palliative Care Network (OPCN) was launched in March 2016. Funded by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, the OPCN is a province-wide partnership of patients, families and caregivers, healthcare providers and organizations, and health system planners who are working to ensure all Ontarians have access to high-quality hospice palliative care, regardless of their age or illness, or where they live in the province.
- The OPCN is building on the tremendous work captured in the report Advancing High Quality, High Value Palliative Care in Ontario: The Declaration of Partnership and Commitment to Action.
- OPCN website
- Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care news release
OPCN communication tools