New model of care piloted in Kawartha Lakes for palliative patients

By Lindsay Advocate

The Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care announced a new model of care for palliative patients that will be implemented as a pilot including Kawartha Lakes, Peterborough, Northumberland, Haliburton and Region of Durham Paramedic Services.

This initiative will provide the option for patients receiving palliative care to have their symptoms managed in-home as an alternative to transportation to the hospital where appropriate.

Less than 60 per cent of patients in Ontario received palliative care services during their final 12 months of life. Palliative care relieves suffering and improves the quality of living and dying for people with life-limiting illness. Earlier palliative care can lead to better quality of life and palliative-specific home care has been associated with 50 per cent reduction in the likelihood of dying in hospital.

“Most patients with a life-limiting illness prefer to be cared for in their home. The familiarity of their environment and the ease of access for family members helps improve quality of life with the precious time they have left,” said Randy Mellow, chief, Kawartha Lakes\Peterborough County\City Paramedic Service.

“I am confident that this program will not only safely support patients when they need emergency care at home, but it will also help reduce the need for acute care services such as hospital admissions and emergency department visits.”

Paramedic services are working closely with palliative care partners in their respective communities to successfully launch this initiative by the end of 2021.

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