Palliative Care Partnerships

Palliative care helps people with serious and life-threatening illnesses live well. It improves quality of life, enhances dignity and wellbeing, reduces caregiver distress, facilitates the provision of goal concordant care, and reduces health-care costs. Unfortunately, very few people have access to palliative care where and when they need it, and even fewer have access to specialist palliative care for more complex needs. The FLA region has increased need for palliative care resources because it has an older population living multiple serious health conditions and higher death rates than the provincial average.

The Palliative Care Partnership Working Group is striving to improve this situation.

Current Challenges

  • Access to palliative care is inadequate for many populations. those particularly underserved include: persons who are Indigenous, homeless and vulnerably housed, incarcerated, and those in rural and remote communities.
  • There is a lack of palliative care for those who want to stay at home for their end of life journey.
  • Providers need better training and digital support to carry out the complex care for quality end of life.

What we are working towards

Having a connected and equitable, community-based program for palliative care that will: 

  • enable people to remain in their homes and communities
  • be accessible 24/7 with a palliative care resource nurse who will be a single point of contact for patients, families and other healthcare providers
  • support providers with the training and tools needed

The Palliative Care Partnership is working with Health Homes and primary care providers to increase training and capacity for palliative care. This includes building a regional palliative care pathway for primary care providers.​​

Palliative Care Partnership Projects

New Model of Care:

The Palliative Care Partnership team has put together a business proposal that was endorsed by the FLA OHT and submitted to the Ministry of Health for funding to build:

  • a new regional model of integrated palliative care based on national and provincial standards for palliative care 
  • a new role for palliative care resource nurses, who function as an added layer of support for patients, caregivers and the healthcare team as a single point of contact 24/7

Provider Training

Online and in person educational courses are being offered to provide practical tips for how to provide holistic palliative care in the region; the first course was led by Dr. Leonie Herx and Dr. Justyna Nowak in Winter 2021.  Education programming is also being developed to address particular needs of Indigenous, incarcerated, and homeless/vulnerably housed people.

Digital Care Plan

An electronic coordinated palliative care plan is being developed so FLA health-care providers have a standardized way of identifying people who need palliative care and of coordinating care.

Quality Improvement

The Palliative Care Partnership has started working specific projects to improve palliative care in the FLA region. For example:

  • Kingston Community Health Centre has partnered with Queen’s Palliative Medicine to start providing palliative outreach support to clients in need of palliative care at the Integrated Care Hub
  • The Primary Palliative Care Capacity Building project has been able to match patients with palliative care needs, who lack a family doctor, to a primary palliative care provider

Who's involved?

Community members, hospice agencies, long term and community care organizations, academics, primary care teams, palliative care specialists and municipalities from across the region are working together.

Community members may include people with lived experience of palliative care, family, caregivers, Indigenous urban and rural locations, spiritual health, and others.

Share your thoughts or get involved!