Policy and Political Action

Policy & Political Action

RNAO comments on Draft – Palliative Health Services Delivery Framework: Recommendations for a Model of Care to Improve Palliative Care in Ontario – Part 1: Adults Receiving Care at Home

RNAO appreciates the opportunity to provide feedback to the Ontario Palliative Care Network (OPCN) on the draft "Palliative Health Services Delivery Framework: Recommendations for a Model of Care to Improve Palliative Care in Ontario – Part 1: Adults Receiving Care at Home". RNAO's comments and recommendations are organized by the categories of recommendations contained in the report- Early identification, assessment of needs, and coordination; Palliative care team; Planning; Delivery of care; Supports for family and caregivers; and Palliative Care for First Nations, Inuit, and Metis population. Implementation considerations for each are also provided with the understanding that we will have further opportunity to comment.
General comments
RNAO supports OPCN's efforts to consolidate the multiple reports over the last decade that have highlighted persistent gaps in the delivery of palliative care services across Ontario.
Improving the care received at home starts with strengthening the primary care sector. RNAO has been a strong advocate for anchoring the health system in primary and community care, beginning with our 2012 report, Enhancing Community Care for Ontarians (ECCO 1.0), and again in ECCO 2.0. This transformation is central to achieving a high performing health-care system. The benefits of community care are clear and include greater alignment with patient preferences, improved patient outcomes, and reduced system costs.
RNs and NPs play a vital role in delivering community palliative care services. RNAO's recently-released database, 70 Years of RN Effectiveness, shows the positive impact RN care has on patient, organizational, and financial outcomes. This evidence demonstrates the importance of having RNs care for patients with complex care needs, such as those requiring palliative care. For more than four decades, NPs have delivered high quality patient care to meet the needs of Ontarians. Evidence collected over the last 50 years conclusively shows the positive value and impact NPs have on patient care and health system outcomes.
Given the important role that RNs and NPs have in the care of palliative patients in the home setting, RNAO insists that RNs and NPs are recognized consistently throughout the framework.
RNAO strongly encourages OPCN to take a public health approach to palliative care. This approach views the community as an equal partner in the provision of quality health care at the end of life. Addressing palliative care as a public health issue will ensure policy-makers view palliative care as an investment, rather than a burden. It will also help encourage a culture that honours those at the end of life.
For instance, creating compassionate communities is gaining support worldwide. Known for community development efforts that aim to accommodate death, dying, loss, and care into public health ideas, and creating supportive environments for those experiences, compassionate communities create an opportunity for person-centered care rather than one that is disease-orientated.

OPCN draft framework - RNAO comments1.05 MB
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