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Paramedics Providing Palliative Care at Home Project

Expanding services to improve access for palliative clients and their families

The Paramedics Providing Palliative Care at Home Project is expanding services and connections among care providers so that palliative clients who require emergency medical services will connect with paramedics who can provide care in alignment with the clients’ wishes.

A Need for Expanded Services

Regional statistics

• Primary care providers register approximately 20 new clients with the regional palliative care program every month.
• At any given time, the palliative care program is supporting 80-100 clients and their family members. The vast majority of clients (75 to 85 per cent) have identified a desire to die at home.
• The palliative care program supports 200-250 clients annually. Approximately 80 per cent of clients are living with cancer diagnoses.
• Of Canadians who have a preference, 75 per cent would prefer to die in their home.1 Only 15 per cent have early access to palliative home care.2
1. What Canadians Say: The Way Forward Survey Report December 2013. 
2. Access to Palliative Care in Canada. Canadian Institute for Health Information 2018.

Project Objectives

Enhance paramedic education with palliative care training
Improved connections to support:
• integration of primary health care, palliative care, home care and paramedic services to ensure a consistent and collaborative approach to support clients’ palliative goals of care
• care providers’ access to current client information when and where it’s needed

Project Benefits

Clients and Families

• Expanding care options to improve palliative and end of life care for clients who wish to die at home
• Medical and emotional support available when needed

 Care Providers – General

• Increased ability to be aware of and support client’s desired goals of care
• Increased collaboration among care providers and improved pathways to support integration of care and access to patient information

 Care Providers – Paramedics

• Increased knowledge, comfort and confidence in providing palliative care in clients’ homes within current scope of practice
• Increased access to necessary supports for delivery of palliative care
• Increased job satisfaction

 Health Care System

• Reduced palliative care client visits to emergency departments (EDs) for clients who prefer to remain at home
• Ongoing improved delivery of palliative care services to meet growing demand

Next Steps

Engaging Project Participants
Perspectives of palliative care clients, their families, health care providers and community members will be incorporated as project advisors.

Project Background

Provincial and federal partnerships rooted in the desire to enhance care

The Canadian Foundation for Health Care Improvement (CFHI) and the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer (CPAC) are jointly providing up to $5.5 million over the next four years to improve patient care by expanding access to palliative and end-of-life care through projects in six provinces.

In February 2017, CFHI and CPAC issued a call for expressions of interest from organizations wanting to undertake projects in their province. The Paramedic Association of Manitoba (PAM), working with Interlake-Eastern RHA and the EMS branch of Manitoba Health Seniors and Active Living, successfully obtained approval to submit a detailed project proposal. PAM asked Interlake-Eastern RHA to assume the role of lead partner. In fall 2018, the project was approved and a tripartite agreement was established among IERHA, CPAC and CFHI to design, develop and implement a sustainable regional palliative care service to support the provision of palliative and end-of-life care at home. The intent is to establish this service throughout Interlake-Eastern RHA by 2022, within the approved budget of just over $700,000.

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