Ontario Improving Access to Hospice and Compassionate Care in Huron County
November 19, 2021
The Ontario government is investing $190,000 to help Huron Hospice continue to provide compassionate end-of-life services and care to people and their loved ones. This one-time funding represents a 45% increase from last year and brings the 2021-22 investment to $610,000.
“I am very proud of the service Huron Hospice has been providing to families in Huron County for more than 25 years now,” said Huron-Bruce MPP Lisa Thompson when making the funding announcement at the hospice in Clinton. “The volunteers are incredible and have been so dedicated; giving compassionate care and emotional support where needed. This is why I am also very proud to share this important news.”
Thompson also announced two other hospices are getting one-time bump ups as well: Jessica’s House will receive an increase of $142,000, which brings their 2021 – 2022 funding to $457,500 and Huron Shores Hospice will receive an additional $47,000, bringing their 2021 – 2022 funding to $152,500. Both of these increases are also 45%.
Huron Hospice has acquired Level II Accreditation for the visiting hospice program, which is the highest level of accreditation awarded by Hospice Palliative Care Ontario.
Huron Hospice Volunteer Service was established in 1993 as a newly formed agency from existing programs in Clinton, Goderich and Seaforth. Huron Hospice continues to be a volunteer supported agency, and is governed by a Board of Directors which is drawn from the surrounding communities.
Huron Hospice applied for a venture grant in 1998, becoming a United Way agency. In 2005, Huron Hospice was approached by the Wingham and Area Palliative Care Board of Directors to consider merging the two agencies. It was decided this was a positive solution for both agencies and the WAPC became known as Huron Hospice, Wingham Site.
In 2006, Huron Hospice obtained a Trillium Grant to expand visibility and board representation to Wingham and Goderich. Huron Hospice moved the administrative offices to Clinton Public Hospital in November 2014. In May 2018, the hospice opened its four-bed residence just outside Clinton, on Hwy 8.
“This one-time funding will really assist us given that our fundraising has been hampered by COVID-19,” said Willy Van Klooster, Executive Director of Huron Hospice. “We very much appreciate the support of MPP Thompson.”
Hospice palliative care plays a vital role in Ontario’s health care system, providing people with additional options for high-quality end-of-life care outside of hospitals. This year the provincial government is investing up to $23 million in eligible hospice residences across the province as part its comprehensive plan to end hallway health care, ensuring that people can access high-quality care in the right settings now and in the future.
The funding will be used to address additional costs associated with COVID-19, including the procurement of personal protective equipment. This is in addition to the province’s annual investment of over $74 million per year in palliative care, and ensures all eligible hospices received a minimum increase of 30 per cent this year.
“As part of our plan to end hallway health care, our government is building capacity to create an integrated health care system centred around the needs of patients, families and caregivers, including compassionate end-of-life care,” said Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. “This funding will help Ontarians receive the respect, dignity and care they deserve at every stage of their lives, while ensuring the province’s hospices have the tools they need to continue to provide high-quality care throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Since 2018, the Ontario government has invested $40 million to add over 200 new hospice beds across the province that support high-quality care for more than 7,000 additional patients per year. Once opened, these beds will be supported by an annual investment of $23 million in operating funding. To date, 149 beds have been opened and are supported by $15.5 million in annual funding from the province.
- The province has increased its dedicated investments in hospice expansion and palliative care quality improvement initiatives from $67 million in 2018 to over $74 million in 2021. This represents a 10.5 per cent increase.
- Hospices provide compassionate end-of-life services to people and families in their communities. Services can include 24/7 professional nursing and personal support services, caregiver supports, and pain and symptom management.