News and Events
Toronto Central LHIN Enhancing Palliative Supports in Long-Term Care Homes
The complexities of long-term care (LTC) resident needs have increased considerably over the last 10 years. There are noted areas of improvement for palliative care in long-term car that include, pain and symptom management, communication with residents and families, and access to palliative resources. Poor performance in these areas is often linked to unnecessary hospitalizations or deaths in acute care and poor resident and family experience with care.
In 2017/18, the Toronto Central Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) launched the Palliative Approach to Care in long-term care (PAC- LTC) Initiative, a three-year project to improve the quality of life of long-term car residents by strengthening the palliative approach to care. Toronto Central LHIN funding is advancing palliative care training to long-term care homes across our city. In its first year, this initiative reached one-third of the 36 homes in our region and work is now underway with the next cohort of homes.
The initiative offers each home:
1) Palliative Care Education;
2) Quality Improvement training;
3) Access to a Palliative Model for long-term care and resource toolkit;
4) In-home coaching and mentoring support; and
5) Access to a LHIN-wide Learning Collaborative.
The initiative aims to improve the quality of life of long-term car residents by strengthening the palliative approach in long-term care homes, increasing the number of people who receive palliative care in long-term care homes, and improving the palliative care experience of residents, caregivers, and long-term car home staff.
The long-term care homes who have participated now all have: a designated Palliative Lead; a Palliative Committee; completed assessments of areas for improvement; initiation of testing of home-specific QI initiatives; beginning of Comfort Care Rounds; and engagement of Family/Resident Councils in their improvement efforts.
As long-term care homes continue to strengthen and enhance the palliative approach to care, we anticipate longer-term system benefits from the initiative including reductions in long-term car resident ED transfers, reduction in hospital admissions and reduction in the number of long-term car residents dying in hospital.
Ontario Palliative Care Network launches new Action Plan
The Ontario Palliative Care Network (OPCN) recently released their 2017-2020 Action Plan. This plan outlines how OPCN, a partnership of community stakeholders, health service providers, health system planners, LHINs and Regional Palliative Care Networks will improve availability of, and ease of access to, equitable, high-quality, sustainable palliative care services for patients and their loved ones regardless of where they live or receive their services, their age or their illness.
Through the implementation of the 38 actions outlined in this plan, we will move towards a system that will:
- Enable patients and caregivers to have access to information about the palliative care services they need
- Allow healthcare providers to have the information they need to engage their patients in a dialogue about palliative care and know how to connect them to the services they need and want
- Help patients, their loved ones and care providers understand the benefits of a palliative approach to care and advance care planning
- Ensure that there is meaningful progress towards improving and strengthening hospice palliative care in the province
Toronto Central LHIN is working with OPCN and partners on the regional specific actions that pertain to Toronto Central, to plan and implement these actions at the local level.”
Ontario Palliative Care Network (OPCN)