Engaging with Primary Care Providers 

On June 1, 2015 the Central East LHIN appointed Dr. Paul Caulford as its Primary Care Lead to work with the LHIN, its primary care providers and Health Links to develop an integrated system of primary care that will better meet the health care needs of local residents.  Recognizing that engagement is essential to achieve the anticipated system integration and efficiency improvements for patients, primary care providers and other health service organizations, Dr. Caulford is continuing to reach out to Central East LHIN Family Physicians and Primary Care colleagues to share information and gather input.

A message from Dr. Paul Caulford - updated February 14, 2017

It’s clear that substantive change is unfolding across Ontario that will impact the work of Primary Care providers. The proposed changes are squarely focused on patient access to health care, equity, quality improvement and on improving population health in our local communities. The next phase of health system transition will build on solid progress we have made in primary care over the past ten years. 

On June 2, 2016, the government introduced Bill 210, containing the Patients First Act, 2016, to advance the plan to evolve locally integrated patient-centred health care delivery.  On September 8, 2016, Premier Kathleen Wynne announced that the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario accepted the Premier’s advice to prorogue the legislature. The Lieutenant Governor delivered a Speech from the Throne outlining the government’s plans for the new session on September 12, 2016

On October 6, 2016, Ontario re-introduced the Patients First Act in order to make changes that will enable the next stage of the Patients First Action Plan for Health Care, including quicker access to a doctor and improvements to home and community care.   Bill 41 was approved on December 7, 2016.

The Patients First: Action Plan for Health Care is Ontario’s plan to transform the health care system into one that puts the needs of patients at its centre.         

Ontario has made progress in all four Patients First priority areas: increasing access, connecting services, informing patients and protecting our health care system. But we can do more to put patients first. Better care for patients means we need to make some changes.

Ontario is designing a path to improve the patient experience and provide better access to care for Ontarians no matter where they live, including:

  • Improving communication and connections between primary health care, hospitals and home and community care for a smooth patient experience.
  • Making it easier for patients to find a family doctor or nurse practitioner when they need one, see that person quickly when they are sick, and find the care they need, closer to home.  
  • Making it easier for doctors, nurses and other primary care providers to connect their patients to the health care they need.
  • Ensuring there is local planning so health care providers are available to patients where and when they are needed.
  • Strengthening Indigenous involvement in the planning, design and delivery of health programs and services provided to Indigenous communities

As we work together to transition the CCACs into the LHINs, we are also readying the system for broader transformation, advancing integrated systems of care including primary care within our seven LHIN sub-regions. We know that to be successful in advancing integrated systems of care to help patients live healthier at home, the Central East LHIN must continue to establish effective working relationships with primary care providers in its seven sub-regions.

That's why I am so pleased that Drs. Judith Armstrong, Rahim Ladak, Avnish Mehta, Phil Stratford, Susan Taylor, Lubna Tirmizi and Sheila-Mae Young are partnering with me in working with their primary care colleagues to improve system access in their local communities (LHIN sub-regions).   Please watch for opportunities to be engaged in conversations in your respective sub-regions with the LHIN and the Primary Care sub-region physician leads.

To learn more about our new Primary Care Physician Leads please visit the LHIN leads page here

And, as this dialogue continues, please drop me a line - see "Staying Connected" below - if you have any questions or require more information.


Referral Guidance: KidneyWise Clinical Toolkit

I am pleased to share a valuable resource on behalf of our colleague Dr. Donna Birbrager who has taken on a leadership role in the LHIN's Durham cluster for advancing Ontario Renal Network’s (ORN) Chronic Kidney Disease toolkit.  

The KidneyWise Clinical Toolkit for Primary Care Providers and HSPs provides guidance to Primary Care Providers on which patients are at high risk of developing chronic kidney disease (CKD) and recommendations on how to properly diagnose and best manage the patient to reduce the risk for further disease progression with easy access to nephrology resources and information on referral processes. The KidneyWise Clinical Toolkit rolled-out Ontario-wide, and is supported by the MOHLTC and Ontario College of Family Physicians.

Staying connected

Communicating effectively with family physicians and nurse practitioners across our LHIN is essential. As well, keeping you informed of changes to the healthcare system, especially those that may impact you and your practice. At the present time, I am only able to reach 1 in 3 of you by email.  Because it is so important that primary care be engaged and a have a strong voice, I am requesting that you send your preferred email address to me so that I can add you to my confidential distribution list. Please extend the invitation to your colleagues to share their email address with me. It is my commitment to you that I will keep your e-mail address confidential and messages will be concise.

  • To send me your email address, please click HERE.

Health Links

Health Links are moving forward with evolving opportunities for Family Physicians and Primary Care providers to engage vulnerable complex patients and work better with partners in providing co-ordinated care planning and service delivery.  This is aligned with the LHIN's 2016-2019 Integrated Health Service Plan

  • To learn more about Health Links, please click HERE. 

Resources to support your practice

If you are a primary care provider, the Central East CCAC can help by coordinating your patients' care in the home and the community. See more by clicking HERE.

Are you struggling to keep track of all of the services that are available to you and your patients? Check out the CentralEasthealthline - your one-stop shop for information on health services, news and events from across the LHIN.  

The Central East BSO regional website http://centraleast.BehaviouralSupportsOntario.ca provides information on behavioural support services such as: specialized long-term care behavioural support teams, geriatric mental health outreach teams, community support services, Alzheimer Society support and education, counseling, and a variety of other programs. This site supports the information needs of patients, families, and caregivers, as well as service providers and primary care practitioners.   To learn more about the BSO project, please click HERE.

- Dr. Paul Caulford, Central East LHIN Primary Care Lead, MSc., MD CCFP, FCFP