The Ottawa Hospital Cancer Program (TOHCP) was established as a fully integrated program of the Ottawa Hospital in 2002. As such, TOHCP provides outpatient and inpatient care at several sites in Ottawa as well as care across our region of ~ 18,000 km2 thus serving a population ~ 1.2 million people. TOHCP aims to provide each person affected by cancer world-class care, exceptional service and compassion that we would want for our loved ones. We provide high quality cancer care from prevention throughout the trajectory of disease (cancer assessment, treatment, support, follow up, palliative and end of life care). We have a fully integrated Supportive and Palliative Care Team that works collaboratively with other inter-professional teams in both inpatient and outpatient settings to provide care for oncology patients.
State of the art facility is comprised of and offers the following services:
- Two outpatient cancer centre sites, which have chemotherapy and radiation therapy treatment units, as well as outpatient clinics in: Medical Oncology, Radiation Oncology, Haematology Oncology, Gyne-Oncology, Supportive and Palliative Care ((half day clinics), Psychosocial Oncology.
- Designated outpatient Complex Cancer Pain Clinic with a focus on interventional pain management.
- A regional CARE (Chronic Ascites and Recurrent Effusion) program providing outpatient care for those with malignant effusions and a Dyspnoea Clinic.
- 8 week outpatient Palliative Care Rehabilitation program
The hospital has designated Oncology inpatient units for:
- Medical Oncology (32 beds)
- Radiation Oncology (20 beds)
- Acute Malignant Haematology - Blood and Marrow Transplant (36 beds)
- Gyne-Oncology (12 beds)
- To further service these units there is an inter-professional inpatient Supportive and Palliative Care consultation team available 24/7.
- All nurses on the consult teams both inpatient and outpatient have formal Hospice and Palliative Care training
- A Psychosocial Oncology Program whose primary focus is on the alleviation of psychological distress supported by social workers, dieticians, physiotherapists, speech language pathologists, psychologists, and psychiatrists.
- Access to 10 multi-faith chaplains and priests to offer spiritual counselling as required.
- Home care services are coordinated regionally with our community partners, the Community Care Access Centre (CCAC) and the community Palliative Pain and Symptom Management Consultation Service. Both services provide support for patients, families and family physicians as required.
Areas of specialisation
The Ottawa Hospital Cancer Program is a regional program. We address all disease types including haematology but have specialized expertise in Supportive and Palliative Care, Psychosocial Oncology, interventional pulmonology, interventional pain management, minimally invasive surgery, robotic surgery and the use of cyber knife technology in radiation. We are the tertiary referral centre in Eastern Ontario for blood and marrow transplant. We have a Cancer Assessment Clinic that provides a central point of referral for those patients with lung, colorectal, prostate and breast cancer. This central intake is the beginning of the patient’s journey along the continuum of care and treatment throughout the course of their disease. Supportive services are provided by both the Psychosocial Oncology Program and our Supportive and Palliative Care Program at any point in this continuum of care. We view our patients holistically, placing them within the context of their family, offering services to family members as well. Our Supportive and Palliative Care team is comprised of Advanced Practice and specialist nurses, social workers, and Palliative Care physicians. We offer a unique palliative rehabilitation program, continuity of care providers across inpatient and outpatient settings as well as an award winning CARE program for those with malignant effusions. We also work in close collaboration with the Palliative Care Unit at Bruyère Continuing Care and hospices to arrange admissions for acute palliative care crises, or provide support at the end of life for patients and families. We also strive to ensure those who wish to die at home receive the required home care services under the care of their family physician through Community Care Access Centre (CCAC) as well as the Palliative Pain and Symptom Management Consultation Service.
Palliative and supportive care
Our Supportive and Palliative Care Team actively promotes care for patients with distressing symptoms, not only for those at the end-of-life or with very advanced disease. Our philosophy states that “Palliative Care is active care that is for the living and starts at the date of diagnosis” Many of our patients are still receiving treatment to control and even cure their disease. Our focus is on improving their quality of life by managing distressing symptoms, addressing psychosocial, practical and spiritual issues, providing advice and support for goals of care discussions, and helping with advance care planning, grief and bereavement. Supportive and Palliative Care in the TOHCP is based on an inter‐professional approach to care in close collaboration with colleagues across the entire region to provide seamless care close to home.
It has been proven that early Palliative Care improves the overall quality of life and that is what our team brings to the equation. We focus on the patient and their family and the best interventions for them, including pain and symptom management, psychosocial interventions, discussions on end-of-life, family meetings, or treatment options. Our SPC team works in collaboration with oncologists and other health care professionals on both inpatient and outpatient settings. This continuous collaboration provides better care for our patients and their varying needs. Our Supportive and Palliative Care Team is also well networked with hospices and community services to ensure smooth transitions of care to the community.