Paper urges reforms to improve access to community-based patient care

CNW Group
October 22, 2014
By CNW Group
Oct. 22, 2014 – The Ontario Association of Community Care Access Centres (OACCAC) is calling for changes to improve patient care and make greater use of CCACs' proven ability to increase patient access, provide safe, high-quality care and deliver better value for public dollars.
The OACCAC, whose members provided home and community care to 700,000 patients in 2013/2014, makes the case for change in a white paper called Making Way for Change: Transforming Home and Community Care for Ontarians, which was released today.

Since 1997, CCACs have delivered affordable, high-quality services and supports to people who need help and health care at home. No matter where people live in Ontario, CCACs give them a single point of access to home and community care and placement into long-term care homes and other living supports. The number of people cared for through CCACs has increased 101 per cent since 2003/2004, and the number of patients with high needs and requirements for long-term support has grown 73 per cent since 2009/2010.

To better meet the diverse and evolving needs of Ontario patients and caregivers, OACCAC's white paper recommends changes to create a more flexible and streamlined system of home and community care supported by up-to-date laws, with regional funding better allocated and aligned to local patient care needs.

The recommendations in Making Way for Change call for action in four areas:

•    Create flexible, adaptable home-care service models that recognize and respond to the unique needs of patients

•    Stabilize sector funding to ensure more equitable, evidence-based and predictable funding decisions that support better patient care

•    Strengthen province-wide and regional health system capacity planning and ensure that future home and community care needs are built into long-term planning

•    Introduce a modern, patient-centred legislative framework for home and community care

"Home and community care is at a crossroads," said OACCAC CEO Catherine Brown. "Important work lies ahead for CCACs and health partners. Together we can make changes to improve the system so it responds better to patients' needs, while maximizing limited resources. The goal is to provide more Ontarians with accessible, integrated and sustainable care where they want it – at home."

With a growing focus on the importance of home and community care, CCACs want to put their experience and knowledge to use, lead a dialogue and undertake the hard work – together with government, health system partners, patients and caregivers – to deliver change that provides greater value to Ontarians.

"We know the public relies on a strong, stable and integrated home and community sector that puts patients' needs first," said OACCAC board chair Sandra Coleman. "CCACs take very seriously their responsibility for delivering the highest-quality care to patients and achieving value for government investment. CCACs are ready and eager to drive innovative improvements to make home and community care the best it can be for Ontario patients."

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