Home-Care Program referral process
Our team of physicians is dedicated to caring for palliative patients in their own homes. Once in our Home-Care Program, a physician will be available to care for your patient — or help you care for your patient — day and night, 365 days of the year.
We serve people of all ages.
If your child is dying and you want to care for them at home, our doctors can provide specialized care, with the support from the Paediatric Advanced Care Team at the SickKids Hospital.
What if I am not sure if my patient is palliative?
If you need advice on whether your patient is right for our service, you can speak with one of our physicians by calling our office at 416.586.4800 x7884. You will be asked to provide your patient's home address so our administrative staff can connect you with the physician who would be responsible for your patient's care if you move forward with the referral.
If you want to continue as the primary caregiver for your patient, but need some advice on how to provide the best palliative care, you can use our staff as a resource. Click here to find out more about our palliative care phone support.
What areas of Toronto do you serve?
Unfortunately, we don’t have the resources to cover the entire Greater Toronto Area, so check the map to make sure your patient lives within our service area.
If your patient does not live in our service area, you can check out the Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association's Canadian Directory of Hospice and Palliative Care Services.
Is there a cost?
Our physicians' visits are covered by OHIP. There is no cost to your patient as long as they:
- have a valid Ontario Health Card
- are registered with another Canadian provincial or territorial health insurance plan, or
- have refugee status in Canada.
What is the referral process?
You must complete a referral form, which you can download from here.
To ensure that your patient gets seen in a timely fashion, you MUST:
- fully complete all sections of the referral form
- include copies of all relevant medical notes and test results.
Please fax the completed referral form and notes to our office at 416.586.4804.
For security reasons, we do not recommend that you email the referral to us unless you have consent from your patient. If you have consent, click here to email.
If you have any questions about the referral process, you can email us or call the office at 416.586.4800 x7884. If emailing, please do not include any identifying information about your patient unless you have consent.
When do I send the referral if the patient is still in hospital?
You can submit the referral form 1 or 2 days before the anticipated discharge date. We will put the referral on hold until we have received confirmation that the patient has been discharged. At this time, please fax us (416.586.4804) the discharge summary and any additional lab reports completed since submitting the referral.
If the discharge is canceled for whatever reason, please call the office at 416.586.4800 x7884 to let us know.
What happens after you receive the referral?
When we receive a completed referral form from you, we will assign one of our physicians, or a team with a shared practice, to your patient's care. Each doctor covers a specific part of the Greater Toronto area, so you will not be able to request a specific physician for your patient.
Your doctor will call your patient to arrange their first visit. Some areas have a short waiting list, so your patient may not get a call straight away. If their symptoms get worse and your patient needs immediate attention before our physician has had their initial visit, your patient will be instructed to contact you. We are unable to put them on our roster until the physician has had the initial visit.
What happens if my patient needs to be seen urgently?
To determine if an urgent visit is warranted, you will need to speak with the physician directly. Once our administrative staff have received the completed referral, they will provide you with the contact information to page the attending physician.
What hours do your doctors work?
Generally, our physicians work Monday to Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. However, each physician works different days and times depending on other commitments they may have, such as administrative or educational duties at the Latner Centre. When the physician first meets with your patient, they will let them know the specific days and hours that they work.
Regardless of when their physician works, there will always be a physician on-call to help your patient day or night, 365 days of the year.
How will I be kept informed of my patient's care?
As the referrer, the attending physician will provide you with regular written updates. If you want to speak to the physician, call our office at any time (416.586.4800 x7884) and you will be connected with them.
Is there anything else I should be doing to ensure that my patient receives the best possible care at home?
Firstly, we strongly encourage you to keep an active role in your patient's care. We will work closely with you to ensure the best care possible.
But, as you know, it does take a whole team of people to care for a patient in their home. The Community Care Access Centre (CCAC) will coordinate the services for your patient. We work very closely with the CCAC Coordinators, so you do not need to submit a referral to them.
If you want to know more about the team of home-care specialists that will looking after your patient, click here.