Regional Palliative Care Network of North Simcoe Muskoka
The Regional Palliative Care Network of North Simcoe Muskoka provides planning and strategic implementation of palliative care resources and services at the local level to ensure a system-wide approach to palliative care that’s patient focused. It is made up of local partners such as home care agencies, hospitals, long term care, primary care, hospices and other organizations to improve palliative care for patients and families.
The Regional Palliative Care Network provides leadership, direction and structure to facilitate the development of a comprehensive, integrated and coordinated system of palliative care within the North Simcoe Muskoka Local Health Integration Network, which will support the provincial vision of hospice palliative care as outlined in Advancing High Quality, High Value Palliative Care in Ontario: The Declaration of Partnership and Commitment to Action.
In September 2018, the Regional Palliative Care Network (RPCN) of North Simcoe Muskoka team was renewed and is now complete. The team includes Tara Moffatt, Director, who is dedicated to providing full-time oversight and coordination of planning and information analysis, developing relationships with local partners, and championing the importance of including palliative care in system planning, integration and sustainability for our health care system. She is also responsible for facilitating and leading the NSM Regional Palliative Care Network Steering Committee in collaboration with the Clinical Co-leads.
The Clinical Co-leads -- Rebecca Ellerson and Dr. Kate McLachlin - are recognized leaders in palliative care and work in close partnership with Tara Moffatt to achieve regional initiatives. They have in-depth and up-to-date knowledge of clinical and system level issues and the creation of strategies to address these issues across the region
The RPCN is accountable to the LHIN’s Chief Executive Officer and Cancer Care Ontario Regional Vice-President, who in turn are accountable to the Ontario Palliative Care Network and the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. Each of the 14 Regional Palliative Care Networks in Ontario is supported by a Network Director and two Multidisciplinary Clinical Co-Leads.
For more information on the Triad members, click here to read their full bios.
- To provide recommendations for change to the NSM LHIN and the NSM Regional Cancer Program on the development of an integrated and coordinated system of palliative care.
- The NSM RPCN Steering Committee will support the provincial vision for palliative care as outlined in the Province’s Declaration (Advancing High Quality High Value Palliative Care in Ontario: A Declaration of Partnership and Commitment to Action).
- A palliative care system that is high quality, integrated and made for the patient.
Update- February 2019
The Regional Palliative Care Network of North Simcoe Muskoka has been very busy in the last six months on patient-focused initiatives. This Network is the principal advisor on high-quality palliative care in North Simcoe Muskoka (NSM) and helps to inform planning and decision-making in the delivery and sustainability of quality palliative care services.
In addition to the establishment of the Triad team, the network has been busy in establishing Palliative Working Groups in each sub-region which will be responsive to regional and local needs in palliative care. The chair of each of these groups will report back to the Regional Palliative Care Network Steering Committee. These working groups have been busy getting established, finalizing a work plan for the remainder of this fiscal year, and making progress on the goals identified to improve palliative care in their sub-regions. The members of these groups consist of dedicated and knowledgeable front-line providers and local leaders who understand the needs of their communities because they are living and working there every day.
A significant accomplishment of the Regional Palliative Care Network this year, led by one of our Clinical Co-Leads, was the implementation of Primary Level Palliative Care within the chronic kidney disease population at Orillia Soldiers’ Memorial Hospital’s (OSMH) dialysis unit.
Project goals included getting 50 per cent of patients on dialysis at the hospital to have goals of care documented in their Electronic Medical Record, compared to a baseline of zero. The project met and exceeded its goals in all areas, including an over 300 per cent increase in earlier referrals to palliative care for these patients.
With the help of the project team’s mentorship, there has been a positive shift in recognizing that palliative care is not just about helping people die comfortably, but to help people diagnosed with a life-limiting illness to live with dignity and comfort, and to talk about what is important to them in their health care and their lives. The project team is now focusing on how to sustain this positive momentum and spread the success to other satellite centres.