Vancouver, BC – By 2036, one-quarter of BC’s residents will be over the age of 65, and studies indicate these older adults want to age safely at home, and to have a say in their care when faced with serious illnesses—a desire that will burden the current health care and social systems in BC.
A first-of-its-kind report, Hospice Care in British Columbia: The Path Forward, proposes a series of actions to prepare hospice organizations to work together to address the needs of British Columbians affected by aging and serious illnesses in local communities. These actions aim to leverage and sustain the community-based, volunteer-driven hospice services already in place. Hospice care complements the medical services already provided by the health care system by focusing on the unmet psychosocial, practical and spiritual needs of their clients including families, and supporting them to live the best possible quality of life in the place of their choice.
The report was released today by The Provincial Hospice Working Group (PHWG), a collective of leading hospice and palliative care organizations in BC. A collaborative effort, the report is the result of a year-long project including research activities and extensive consultation with key stakeholders in the health system and community.
The report highlights the current state of hospice care in BC and calls for collective action to enrich existing strengths, build sustainable infrastructure, and develop new capacity and skills for hospice organizations. The report lays out a 10-step action plan for achieving this. The first step is to form the Hospice Care Alliance of British Columbia, which will include representatives from hospice organizations, government, health authorities, professional and community-based organizations, researchers, as well as patient and family groups, to bring the vision of The Path Forward to life.
About The Provincial Hospice Working Group (PHWG) – The Provincial Hospice Working Group (PHWG) is a collective of leading hospice palliative care organizations who took the initiative to coordinate the development of a path forward to improve access to high quality, fully integrated, and sustained hospice care for all British Columbians. The founding members of the PHWG are representatives of the British Columbia Centre for Palliative Care, British Columbia Hospice Palliative Care Association, Sovereign Order of St. John of Jerusalem, Knights Hospitaller, Victoria Hospice, and Vancouver Island Federation of Hospices.
Dr. Eman Hassan, Executive Director of the BC Centre for Palliative Care
Phone: (778) 788-7767
Kevin Harter, Executive Director, Victoria Hospice, and Board Member of British Columbia Hospice Palliative Care Association
Phone: (250) 208-6522
“I am pleased that key stakeholders within the Hospice Palliative Care community, have come together to present this report on hospice palliative care with the goal of furthering access to BC’s residents.”
MP, Ron McKinnon, Chair of the Standing Committee on Health, Canada
“Hospice organizations are well positioned and have the agility to respond quickly to the immense needs for compassion, support, and care in local communities. This well-timed report lays out a step-by-step path recommended by stakeholders to empower hospice organizations to play a leading and impactful role in leveraging community care and support for all British Columbians, particularly for older adults and people with serious conditions.”
Dr. Eman Hassan, Executive Director, BC Centre for Palliative Care
“In light of this pandemic, this report is timely and highlights the challenges, gaps and resiliency of hospice palliative care in our province. But more importantly, it shines a light on how hospice societies within our communities can further aid during this pandemic and future crisis with collaborative and stakeholder support.”
Donna Flood, President of the British Columbia Hospice Palliative Care Association
“This report and the recommendations from the round table will set the necessary foundation for hospices in BC to step forward and fulfill their role in this essential collaboration. The current and future needs of our communities require that all sectors work together to ensure a 360-degree approach to meeting these needs. ”
Kevin Harter, CEO Victoria Hospice
“The “Path Forward Report” and its recommendations recently developed by the Provincial Hospice Working Group on hospice care is a great leap forward in providing a practical road map to expand and improve the integration of quality hospice services across BC. It provides for collaboration at all levels to help realize best practices to optimize the management of those challenged with a life -limiting condition as well as end-of-life care for all our citizens.”
Dr. David Hunt, Palliative Care Physician and Commander, Sovereign Order of St. John of Jerusalem, Knights Hospitaller