Advancing High Quality, High Values Palliative Care in Ontario. A Declaration of Partnership and Commitment to Action
A Message from HPCO Executive Director Rick Firth
I am very pleased to share with you a copy of the Declaration of Partnership and Commitment to Action, the initial output of the provincial hospice palliative care review initiated by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. In January, a polished version will be released with clearer graphics and bearing the signatures of the co-chairs of the various working groups.
The review process involved eighty-seven individuals from across Ontario. People from all care settings, from all professions, CEOs, executive directors and front-line staff, large institutions and small agencies, from rural and urban geographies, who came together with a common goal of advancing high quality, high value hospice palliative care in Ontario. Consumer consultations were also conducted to gather the perspectives and experiences of patients/clients and family caregivers. Hospice palliative care was examined by four perspectives: Integration and Shared Care; Accountability and Governance; Education, Mentorship and Specialized Support; and Care Pathing Across the Continuum of Chronic Disease Management.
The Declaration is a seminal document for hospice palliative care in Ontario. The Declaration will guide policy development at the Ministry, inform best practice and be a call to action for each one of us working in this field to lead real change. Change that will result in high quality, person and family directed integrated care delivery. Change that will improve system performance and sustainability; improve population health outcomes; and most importantly improve the quality and value of hospice palliative care for the people of Ontario. The vision for hospice palliative care in Ontario is “Adults and children with progressive life-limiting illness, their families and their caregivers will receive the holistic, proactive, timely and continuous care and support they need, through the entire spectrum of care both preceding and following death, to help them live as they choose, and optimize their quality of life, comfort, dignity and security.”
The Declaration of Partnership and Call to Action includes an updated and renamed Charter for Advancing High Quality, High Value Hospice Palliative Care based on the original HAO/OPCA Charter first developed in 2004. The document, which details many shared priorities and action commitments made by the participating organizations, is by no means the end of the process. MOHLTC and the participants have agreed to maintain a leadership collaborative to keep engagement high and to guide implementaion of the commitments and development of new initiatives. The leadership collaborative has committed to an update on progress to be delivered at the Annual Hospice Palliative Care Ontario Conference in April 2012.
The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care must be acknowledged for their leadership and innovation in this process. The Ministry team introduced a transparent collaboration process that significantly engaged all participants and guided the deelopment of the Declaration document. The process was a first for the Ministry and widely applauded by the participants. I had the privilege to present on behalf of the project management team, a certificate of appreciation to the MOHLTC team members Diane Allen, Debra Bell, Stephanie Lockert, Susan Paetkau, and Deborah Sattler for introducing an innovative model of leadership collaboration with the hospice palliative care community.
As we all move forward with our action commitments, you will have an opportunity to lead change in your local community by your local hospice palliative care or end-of-life network, through LHIN meetings, your professional colleges, and provincial networks like the Palliative Care Consultants Network and provincial organizations including Hospice Palliative Care Ontario, OACCAC and the Ontario Long-Term Care Association, and Cancer Care Ontario.
To quote from the Commitment to Action, “This is a complex, system change initiative. The Declaration of Partnership presents a vision of the future state that we aspire to create – one that could be applied as a population-based approach for Ontario’s health system, beyond a focus on advanced chronic disease and palliative care. Acknowledging that the evolution to a more integrated population-based system is complex, we understand that improvements will be iterative. However, we as a partnership are committed individually and collectively to moving forward immediately with a targeted focus that puts us on the path to achieving a more integrated future state.”
How will you lead change?
Read the full Declaration of Partnership and Commitment to Action, available in PDF format.