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Tuesday, January 18, 2022
HomeNewsKawartha Lakes To Be Part Of Paramedics Providing Palliative Care At Home...

Kawartha Lakes To Be Part Of Paramedics Providing Palliative Care At Home Pilot Project

KAWARTHA LAKES-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% 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% 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,” commented 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.”

Under the Treat and Refer model, specially trained paramedics treat palliative care patients on-site in their home, which can include administering medication for pain or dyspnea, hallucinations or agitation, terminal congested breathing, and nausea or vomiting. Once the patient has been treated, paramedics would directly coordinate follow-up care with a local hospice or the patient’s primary palliative care team to provide longer-term treatment options.

Patient eligibility criteria varies from model-to-model. Paramedics responding to 9-1-1 calls for select palliative care patients will conduct an assessment on-scene for eligibility to participate in new models of care.

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

“Under this pilot, paramedics can provide direct care to palliative patients and refer them to alternative health care destinations. This is another example of how our government is continuing to find solutions to challenges COVID-19 presents while helping to shape our health care model for the future.” said Laurie Scott, MPP for Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock


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Pamela Vanmeerhttps://www.kawartha411.ca/
Pamela VanMeer is a two time winner of the prestigious Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA) Award. Her investigative reports on abuse in Long Term Care Homes garnered international attention for the issue and won the Ron Laidlaw Award. She is a former reporter and anchor at CHEX News, now Global Peterborough and helped launch the New CHEX Daily, a daily half hour talk show. While at CHCH News in Hamilton she covered some of the biggest news stories of the day.

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