Strengthening Primary Care in the South West LHIN

Ensuring primary health care is strengthened and linked with the broader health care system

The South West LHIN committed to an integrated health services approach, inclusive of primary care, when ‘Integrated Health Service Collaboratives’ were envisioned in developing the  Blueprint – Vision 2022. The Blueprint describes these collaboratives as serving the full population where they would educate, screen, assess, treat, and assist with navigation and support services.

Improving access to primary care is also a focus for the 2016-19 Integrated Health Services Plan (IHSP).  Through engagement of users of local health care services, health service provider leaders and governors and 8 community engagement sessions and 1 telephone town hall, the LHIN received feedback on the future direction of local health care to help inform our priorities.

Organized around a defined population, patient-centred care requires different parts of the health system to be coordinated to meet the needs and preferences of individuals and families. Through, inter-professional collaboration within primary health care and by facilitating access to the broader health care system, the South West LHIN and health service providers will ensure patients have access to the range of health services needed by individuals and families.

With the goal to improve access, accountability and performance, the LHIN will work with the Ministry to implement a multi-year collaborative reform strategy with primary care providers to better connect and integrate with other care providers. There is also a need for dedicated work to respond to the needs of currently underserviced Aboriginal communities.

Provincial reports such as Bringing Care Home, Health Quality Ontario’s Advancing Integrated Care, Patients First: Action Plan for Health Care, the Price Baker report and key reports from organizations such as the Ontario College of Family Physicians and the Ontario Medical Association, all emphasize the foundational role primary health care plays in coordinating care for people accessing the health system. This aligns with the LHIN’s Blueprint which calls for local care coordination and inter-professional support – where an integrated system of care includes primary care as part of the team.

Together with the LHIN, system partners will:

  • Work with the Ministry to implement a multi-year collaborative reform strategy with primary care providers.
  • Work towards same/next day access to primary health care.
  • Build capacity for primary health care to meet the needs of all populations within the LHIN.
  • Build capacity to identify and support people with chronic conditions in primary care.
  • Provide primary care physicians and their patients with more timely access to specialist care.
  • Advance the South West LHIN primary care network structure.

Primary Health Care Engagement Sessions
Strengthening Primary Health Care in the South West LHIN

Thank you to everyone who attended our engagement sessions. If you couldn't make it, you can watch the video below of our session in London, Ontario. Or you can review our powerpoint slideshow. 

The South West LHIN, the Ontario College of Family Physicians, and the Ontario Medical Association held five engagement sessions for all physicians, nurse practitioners, other allied health professionals and primary care administrators in the South West LHIN area. These sessions focused on ‘Strengthening Primary Health Care’ and on building an understanding of primary health care capacity and current primary care planning in the South West through presentations and interactive discussion. 

For more information, please email us your questions or feedback.