Palliative Care

Hospice Palliative Care, also referred to as “palliative care,” is a philosophy of care that aims to relieve suffering and improve the quality of living and dying. It aims to help individuals and families:1

  • Address physical, psychological, social, spiritual and practical issues and their associated expectations, needs, hopes and fears.
  • Prepare for and manage self-determined end-of-life and the dying process.
  • Cope with loss and grief during the illness and bereavement.
  • Treat all active issues and prevent new issues from occurring.
  • Promote opportunities for meaningful and valuable experiences, personal and spiritual growth, and self-actualization.

Hospice palliative care services are provided in hospitals, residential hospices, long-term care homes, retirement homes and in people’s homes. 

The Patients First: A Roadmap to Strengthen Home and Community Care established goals and set out the following priorities for palliative and end-of-life care in Ontario:

  • Support greater patient choice for palliative and end-of-life care.
  • Expand access and equity in the palliative system.
  • Establish clear oversight and accountability.
  • Introduce new supports for caregivers.
  • Support enhanced public education on the issue of advanced care planning.

Ontario Palliative Care Network

In 2011, the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (ministry) released a document entitled: Advancing High Quality, High Value Hospice Palliative Care: Declaration of Partnership and Commitment to Action in Ontario. This document represents a plan to promote better care for Ontarians at end-of-life and improve the management of health care resources over time.

In March 2016, the ministry established the Ontario Palliative Care Network (OPCN) to build on this foundational document and advance patient-centred end-of-life care by developing provincial standards to strengthen hospice palliative care services in Ontario. 

The OPCN, which is a partnership of community stakeholders, including health service providers, health system planners, patients and their families, is accountable for the development of a coordinated and standardized approach for the delivery of hospice palliative care services throughout the province.

OPCN Mandate

  • Act as the principal advisor to government for quality, coordinated hospice palliative care in Ontario
  • Be accountable for quality improvement initiatives, data and performance measurement and system level coordination of hospice palliative care in Ontario
  • Support regional implementation of high quality, high value hospice palliative care

Click here to learn more about the OPCN

HNHB Regional Palliative Care Network

The provincial Ontario Palliative Care Network (OPCN) structure includes the establishment of Regional Palliative Care Networks (RPCN) under the joint accountability of the LHIN CEO and Regional Cancer Centre Vice President (RVP). 

Following the announcement creating the OPCN, the HNHB LHIN CEO and RVP in collaboration with the HNHB Regional Hospice Palliative Care Council Co-Chairs, moved quickly to transition and evolve the Council (established in 2014) to assume the mandate of the HNHB Regional Palliative Care Network.

In support of the provincial vision for hospice palliative care, the HNHB RPCN aims to develop a comprehensive, integrated and coordinated system of hospice palliative care throughout the LHIN.

The HNHB RPCN provides collaborative leadership to advance standardization, education, coordination and continuous quality improvement across all sectors, in alignment with the strategic directions and goals of the HNHB LHIN, HNHB Regional Cancer Program, OPCN, and ministry. The work of the HNHB RPCN also informs HNHB LHIN and Regional Cancer Program planning and decision-making.

Click here to learn more about the HNHB Regional Palliative Care Network.

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1. Quality Hospice Palliative Care Coalition of Ontario (2011). Advancing high quality, high value palliative care in Ontario: A Declaration of Partnership and Commitment to Action. Available at %20care_report.pdf