New funding will scale up training of paramedics to deliver palliative care in the home for Canadians

by Nadine Morris | Jul 11, 2018

The Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Improvement (CFHI) and the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer (the Partnership) have signed a contribution agreement to fund and collaborate on Paramedics and Palliative Care: Bringing Vital Services to Canadians.

The two organizations will jointly provide up to $5.5 million over the next four years to expand access to paramedics trained in providing palliative and end-of-life care to people in their homes. CFHI and the Partnership will support provincial health authorities and organizations across the country to adopt and adapt best practices.

By spreading this approach, CFHI and the Partnership aim to increase capacity and capability in the delivery of palliative and end-of-life care at home, potentially avoiding a trip to the hospital. Paramedics and Palliative Care is part of ongoing efforts by CFHI and the Partnership to ensure high-quality healthcare is delivered to those in need, and to support innovative programs that make the delivery of health services more sustainable.

This collaboration is the next phase of the Paramedics Providing Palliative Care at Home Program which was implemented in Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island (PEI) in 2013, as well as a similar initiative in Alberta. A review of the program found that having paramedics provide palliative and end-of-life care to people in their home reduced avoidable trips to emergency departments and improved the experience, comfort and quality of life for people with chronic and debilitating illnesses, as well as their families.

This program will run from 2018-2022. More details will be released in fall 2018.  

About the Paramedics Providing Palliative Care at Home Program

CFHI collaborated with the Alberta Health Services and Nova Scotia-PEI paramedics projects to support their ongoing evaluation by incorporating a return on investment (ROI) analysis in April 2017. In 2017, CFHI also issued an Open Call for Innovations in Palliative and End-of-Life Care where the paramedics providing palliative care in the home programs ranked highly.  From 2012-2017, the Partnership supported implementation of the Paramedics Providing Palliative Care at Home Program in Nova Scotia and PEI.

This collaboration between CFHI and the Partnership will support the shared priority of improving access to appropriate services and supports in the home and the community.