Guelph-Wellington paramedics provide at-home palliative care in Guelph and Wellington County

Guelph, Ont., September 29, 2021– Starting October 4, Guelph-Wellington Paramedic Services (GWPS) will launch a new palliative care program in Guelph and Wellington County that offers end of life care at home for patients.

“We believe the palliative care program will improve patient comfort at the end of life stage and increase support for families,” explains Leanne Swantko, deputy chief of Guelph-Wellington Paramedic Services. “This program helps to respect the patient’s wishes, which is often to die in dignity at home, surrounded by the people they love and in places that are familiar to them.”

Paramedics are being trained for this service by palliative care physicians. The program provides paramedics with access to new medications to support end of life care and transportation for patients to the hospital if an emergency arises.

Adapted from programs currently running in Nova Scotia, the program is delivered in partnership with Hamilton Health Sciences, Centre for Paramedic Education and Research, Home and Community Care Palliative Care support teams and Hospice Wellington. Palladium Canada has provided course materials and program training to paramedics.

To participate in the program, patients must be registered with the palliative team of Home and Community Care.

In addition to this program, GWPS is one of the only paramedic services in Ontario able to transport registered patients directly to hospice through another Provincial pilot program which started May 1, 2021.

Quotes from program partners

“At the heart of this program is good, patient-centered care. Paramedics can spend more time at the bedside in the home supporting patients and families and allows them to coordinate more directly with the other members of the patient’s care team. This enables all of us to better support their goals of care including more flexibility around whether that care takes place in the home or hospital.” – Dr. Clare Francisco Wallner, Physician, Centre for Paramedic Education and Research

“This service will significantly improve the ability of patients to receive palliative care in their setting of choice in a dignified way. It will strengthen piece of mind for families and caregivers,  reduce caregiver burden, and allow families and caregivers to be present with their loved ones in a more positive way.” – Karyn Lumsden, Vice President, Home and Community Care Support Services Waterloo Wellington

Media contact

Leanne Swantko, Deputy Chief
Guelph Wellington Paramedic Services
City of Guelph
519-822-1260 extension 2105
[email protected]