Palliative Institute
Palliative Care Matters
Palliative Care Matters

Palliative Care Matters

Palliative Care Matters is a national research campaign led by the Palliative Institute, in partnership with Health Canada, Pallium Canada, the Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association and 13 health care organizations across Canada between 2016 and 2019.

Centred on a national Consensus Development Conference in November 2016, researchers conducted public opinion research and questioned experts on how to improve the delivery of palliative care.

Palliative Care Matters has proceeded along a following five-stage approach:

  • Phase 1: Listening to Canadians – Ipsos survey of Canadian views on palliative care (October 2016)
  • Phase 2: Reaching a Consensus – PCM Lay Panel recommendations (November 2016)
  • Phase 3: Creating Change – Conference Board of Canada report (March 2017)
  • Phase 4: Developing a Common Agenda – PCM action planning workshop (January 2018)
  • Phase 5: Together, Stronger – PCM analysis of stakeholder demographics, opinions and capabilities (December 2019)

Among the 20 specific recommendations made was that there needs to be a comprehensive public awareness campaign about palliative care in support of a national palliative care strategy.

Specific recommendations stemming from Palliative Care Matters included the following calls to action:

  • Acknowledge patients and the public as experts in their own care.
  • Develop a better understanding of the landscape: Palliative and end-of-life care is evolving. More people are dying outside of hospital settings than in the past, and this has implications for care provided in homes, communities, and long-term care settings.
  • Move from organic to strategic to implementation: Access to quality care is uneven within and across jurisdictions, with some populations significantly underserved. Strategic frameworks and plans can be effective in addressing quality and access.
  • Recognize that workforce planning is essential: The future demand for palliative and end-of-life care services means governments and other stakeholders must develop workforce capacity.
  • Foster current opportunities in home and community care: Canada needs to immediately develop enhanced palliative and end-of-life capacity in home, community, and long-term care settings.

These calls to action helped inform the parliament’s Bill C-277, “An Act providing for the development of a framework on palliative care in Canada,” which was enacted in November 2017 and provided further impetus to move forward on an integrated palliative care strategy.

You can read more about this campaign on the Palliative Care Matters website.