Palliative Care Health Services Delivery Framework


Led by Cancer Care Ontario, the Palliative Care Health Services Delivery Framework (Delivery Framework), recommendations for a model of care to improve palliative care in Ontario.

The Delivery Framework is a model of care for adults with a life-limiting illness who are living at home or in community settings and their families/caregivers. It is designed to enable care to be delivered according to the quality standard for Palliative Care. The goal of the Delivery Framework is for the palliative care needs of patients, families and caregivers to be met in a timely and effective way, allowing them to experience care at home as long as possible, if that is their choice.

Unanimously endorsed by the four OPCN Partners – CCO, LHINs, Health Quality Ontario and the Quality Hospice Palliative Care Coalition of Ontario – and the result of 18 months of system-wide engagement, the model’s 13 recommendations reflect the best evidence, and collective expertise of our many provincial, regional and local community partners. The 14 Regional Palliative Care Networks, interdisciplinary healthcare providers from across the province, healthcare organizations at the provincial and local levels, and patients and family/caregivers played a key role in shaping the Delivery Framework. Their shared commitment and active participation will be crucial in realizing its successful implementation. In addition to the Delivery Framework, the OPCN is releasing the following companion resources:

  • Tools to Support Earlier Identification for Palliative Care: To ensure that individual needs are addressed in a timely manner, this document provides preferred identification and assessment tools to help providers determine when palliative care should be introduced.
  • Ontario Palliative Care Competency Framework: This document clarifies the competencies for each type of healthcare professional and volunteer providing palliative care. In addition to guiding future education and training for healthcare professionals, it will ensure that patients will receive palliative care from healthcare providers and volunteers who possess the appropriate knowledge and skills to deliver high-quality palliative care.
  • Most importantly, the Goals of Care Resources for patients and providers will help start conversations that make sure treatment decisions align with a patient’s wishes, values, and beliefs for their care. The resources are available on the OPCN website under “Resources” – “Palliative Care Toolkit” and can be accessed using the following links:
  1. Making Decisions About Your Care: Patient Resource
  2. Person-Centred Decision-Making: Resource for Healthcare Providers
  3. Approaches to Goals of Care
  4. Advance Care Planning, Goals of Care, and Treatment Decisions & Informed Consent FAQs


The implementation of the Delivery Framework will require commitment, collaboration and resources at every level – provincial, regional and local – as we continue to work together to transform the delivery of palliative care in Ontario. Next steps for the OPCN in this collective effort include working with local sites to conduct a current state and readiness assessment against the model’s prioritized areas in order to provide new information about the status of interdisciplinary team-based palliative care, and inform potential future investments and policy changes.

If you have any questions related to this message, please contact Angelika Gollnow, Director of Ontario Palliative Care Network Secretariat at