Guelph, Ont., March 22, 2021 – Guelph-Wellington Paramedic Services is receiving $6.1 million over four years from the Ministry of Long-term Care to provide accessible and safe non-emergency in-home care to seniors in Guelph and the County of Wellington.
“This program will make a difference to so many seniors who are waiting for residence in long-term care, or who require ongoing health care. Now they can receive medical support in the comfort of their current home,” said Stephen Dewar, chief of Guelph Wellington Paramedic Services, City of Guelph.
This program leverages the skills and expertise of paramedics and allows for some innovative care delivery models under physician delegation. Guelph Wellington Paramedics will collaborate with local health agencies on how best to support clients to ensure the best possible care from all providers.
“The provincial framework surrounding the funding is clear; the program must be 24/7, accessible, responsive and proactive, and our team is ready for the challenges, and looks forward to working closely with local health-care providers to assist more clients,” added Chief Dewar.
With this funding in place until 2024, Guelph Wellington Paramedics Service will recruit paramedics from within their team, make some capital investments, set up additional training for its members, and hire up to seven temporary paramedics to be ready to implement this program for April 1, 2021.
This program received one-time funding in October 2020 to determine if community paramedics could be of assistance to those on long-term care waitlists. Since then, more than 70 patients enrolled in the program demonstrating that individuals can be safely supported in their own homes.
Chief Dewar also noted that expanding on current programming, this funding will allow them to increase community paramedic hours within Wellington County and the City of Guelph with an expectation that approximately 900 individuals annually will use this service. Referrals to the program are made through health care providers including family physicians, home and community care or hospital discharge planners.
Community Paramedicine has been a part of the services offered by Guelph Wellington Paramedic Services since 2014. The program has grown over the past six years into a robust program that refers patients to home and community care or CMHA’s Here 24/7 services daily, remotely monitors COVID+ and chronic disease patients, and holds weekly wellness clinics in County of Wellington Housing buildings in collaboration with McMaster University. Community paramedics are now well integrated with health system partners such as primary care, Ontario health teams, home and community care, local hospitals, and the Canadian Mental Health Association.
Stephen Dewar, Chief and General Manager
Guelph-Wellington Paramedic Service
City of Guelph
519-822-1260 extension 2805