Government of Ontario Funding Community Paramedicine in NorthumberlandPublished on February 21, 2020
Program part of the province’s plan to end hallway health care and support better patient centred care
COBOURG, ON – Today, David Piccini, Member of Provincial Parliament for Northumberland-Peterborough South, joined by members of Ontario Health Team – Northumberland, Northumberland County staff and frontline paramedics announced that the Government of Ontario is funding Community Paramedicine in Northumberland as a part of the province’s plan to end hallway health care and support better patient centred care.
“Today’s announcement means our residents will have improved access to care and the community support services they need,” said MPP David Piccini. “Community Paramedicine helps patients get the right level of care at the right time, reduces unnecessary emergency room visits and hospital admissions. This program will also help seniors and patients with chronic conditions better manage their conditions and stay healthy.”
Building on Northumberland Paramedics’ provision of industry-leading pre-hospital care, the Community Paramedicine program will expand the role of paramedics, enabling them to apply their training and skills beyond the traditional focus of emergency response to roles including:
Providing home visits to seniors or individuals known to call emergency services frequently, to provide a range of pre-emptive services (for example, ensuring they are taking their medications as prescribed).
Educating seniors in their homes about chronic disease management and helping connect them to local supports, such as Diabetes Education Teams.
Helping refer patients to Community Care Northumberland so that they can be provided with the appropriate support services to remain independent within their own homes and communities.
This news comes on the heels of the recent Ontario Health Team – Northumberland announcement made in Colborne in December. The province is introducing Ontario Health Teams, a new model of care that brings together health care providers to work as one team. Community Paramedicine was one of a handful of year-one priorities for Ontario Health Team - Northumberland and aligns with two vital pillars in the Province’s plan to end hallway health care:
Prevention and health promotion: keeping patients as healthy as possible in their communities and out of hospitals.
Providing the right care in the right place: when patients need care, ensure that they receive it in the most appropriate setting, not always the hospital.
“This investment in Community Paramedicine will enable Northumberland’s paramedic professionals to use their full range of skills, expanding their practice beyond pre-hospital emergency care to also deliver illness prevention and health promotion services. Through the Community Paramedicine program, Northumberland Paramedics will collaborate with community partners to deliver a more coordinated continuum of care for patients, while reducing demands on the emergency response system and alleviating chronic pressures within the health care system. We are very excited to play an active role in local efforts to improve health outcomes as well as patient and caregiver experience of healthcare in our community.” Bill Detlor, Chief of Northumberland Paramedics
“Northumberland County identified their vision for a Community Paramedicine program at our very earliest OHT-N conversations. The opportunity to improve access to care through a Community Paramedicine program was compelling, particularly for the most vulnerable residents experiencing barriers to health care within the County. As such, the OHT-N partners prioritized Community Paramedicine as one of three Year One projects. We believe this will have a direct impact on reducing hallway health care. On behalf of all the OHT-N partners we applaud the province for this investment, we commend Northumberland County and Northumberland Paramedics for their vision and perseverance, and we look forward to demonstrating positive system-level results, together.” Linda Davis, spokesperson for the Collaborative Planning Table of the Ontario Health Team of Northumberland
The Government of Ontario is investing $342,000 to support the delivery of Community Paramedicine in Northumberland.
Less than two months after announcing that Northumberland was one of the first 24 Ontario Health Teams, local projects identified by Ontario Health Team - Northumberland members are already being rolled out.
Further information on Ontario Health Team – Northumberland’s Year One priority projects, including a detailed Community Paramedicine Backgrounder, will be found on the Team’s website, www.ohtnorthumberland.ca.
Ontario Health Teams will be responsible for delivering care for their patients, understanding their health care history, directly connecting them to the different types of care they need, and providing 24/7 help in navigating the health care system.
Ontarians can be confident that they can continue to contact their health care providers as they always have to access the health care they need.
The first wave of Ontario Health Teams are being approved after an extensive readiness assessment process, which involved significant time, collaboration, research and effort from partners across the health care sector.
The government will continue working with its partners to review their applications to become an Ontario Health Team.