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Early work by the Senate of Canada on quality care of the dying resulted in 2 reports: Of Life and Death (1995) and Quality End of Life Care: the Right of Every Canadian (2000) and the formation of a Quality End-of-Life Care Coalition in 2000 to advocate for the changes and recommendations identified.
In 2004, the Ontario Minister of Health announced the plan to create a comprehensive and integrated system of care based on the needs of the “patient”. Coupled with this announcement was the development of LHINs, Local Health Integration Networks. Following this, came an announcement of a 115.5M End of Life strategy. The objectives were to shift care of the dying from acute settings to alternative appropriate settings for care, enhance client-centered and interdisciplinary service delivery in the community and improve access, coordination and consistency of service and support. The funding was used to enhance home care services, strengthen Hospice Volunteer services, fund Residential Hospices and establish EOL Networks.
In March of 2005, 16 regional End of Life (EOL) networks were formed, including the NSMPCN, to align with the LHIN areas in the province. The goal of the EOL networks was to establish broad system design, coordinate and integrate palliative services, monitor and assess community needs and promote service innovations.
Simcoe County and Muskoka developed End of Life (EOL) service plans and models separately until a joint meeting in March 2006 where the two groups came together to form the Simcoe Muskoka East Parry Sound Palliative Care Network.
In April of 2007, with the meeting of the whole Network, the name was changed to North Simcoe Muskoka Palliative Care Network and vision and mission statements were adopted. North Simcoe Muskoka Palliative Care Network became an incorporated board on July 7th, 2008.
Since 2013, Hospice Orillia and the North Simcoe Muskoka Palliative Care Network have been working towards amalgamation. On June 3, 2014, our Letters Patent of Amalgamation were approved by the Office of Government Services. This amalgamation included a new name: The North Simcoe Muskoka Hospice Palliative Care Network. This integration was completed to create administrative efficiencies which should translate into improved service delivery for both agencies. Hospice Orillia will continue to provide the same great hospice program the community has enjoyed for the past 25 years. It will operate formally as “Hospice Orillia – A Division of the North Simcoe Muskoka Hospice Palliative Care Network.”
Dame Cicely Saunders first conceived of the modern hospice movement in the United Kingdom in the mid 1960s to care for the dying. Balfour Mount coined the term “palliative care” in 1975 so that one term would be acceptable in both English and French as he brought the movement to Canada (from Latin palliare = to cloak or cover).
Both hospice and palliative care movements have flourished in Canada, and internationally. Palliative care programs developed primarily within larger healthcare institutions, while hospice care developed within the community as free-standing, primarily volunteer programs. Over time, these programs gradually evolved from individual, grass roots efforts to a cohesive movement that aims to relieve suffering and improve quality of life for those who are living with, or dying from, an illness.
To recognize the convergence of hospice and palliative care into one movement, and their common norms of practice, the term “hospice palliative care” was coined. While hospice palliative care is the nationally accepted term to describe care aimed at relieving suffering and improving quality of life, individual organizations may continue to use “hospice”, “palliative care”, or another similarly acceptable term to describe their organization and the services they are providing.