Life or Limb Policy

The Life or Limb Policy embraces a philosophy of care for our sickest, most vulnerable critically ill patients, and promotes the patient's clinical condition as priority. The purpose of the Life or Limb Policy is to facilitate access to acute care services within 4 hours in order to improve outcomes for patients who are life or limb threatened. The adoption of the Life or Limb Policy will contribute to improving patient care, and will promote standardized processes within and across LHINs.

Provincial Neurosurgery Strategy

In early 2011, the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (MOHLTC) requested that Dr. Robert Bell (President and CEO, University Health Network) and Dr. James Rutka (Chair, Department of Surgery, University of Toronto) lead a planning process focused on developing a comprehensive neurosurgical system in order to meet the needs of adult and paediatric patients across Ontario. Their efforts resulted in a final report to MOHLTC (December 2011) which outlined recommendations aimed at improving the access, quality and responsiveness of neurosurgical care by:

  • Organizing services on a regional and provincial basis;
  • Actively engaging in performance management and measurement;
  • Creating and enforcing service level expectations; and
  • Increasing capacity for urgent/emergent and scheduled neurosurgical services.

Recommendations from the final report are being implemented through the Provincial Neurosurgery Ontario (PNO) Stakeholder Board, formed in 2012. PNO is comprised of representatives from each of the province’s adult and paediatric neurosurgical centres, as well as representatives from Critical Care Services Ontario (CCSO), CritiCall Ontario, ORNGE, Rehabilitation Services, Local Health Integration Networks, and eHealth Ontario. PNO is supported by MOHLTC through CCSO.

Paediatric Critical Care

A paediatric critical care patient is an infant, child or youth less than 18 years of age who suffers from a serious life-threatening disease or injury. These critically ill children often need to be transported in a timely and safe manner to tertiary care paediatric centres that have access to highly-trained critical care staff and specialized medical equipment.

Paediatric critical care was included in Critical Care Secretariat’s mandate in 2006. This led to the establishment of the Paediatric Critical Care Network. In 2012, the Paediatric Critical Care Network was rebranded as the Paediatric Critical Care Advisory Committee which functions as an advisory body to Critical Care Services Ontario, supporting a coordinated health system for the delivery of paediatric critical care services in Ontario. The Paediatric Critical Care Advisory Committee is engaged in developing strategies that will improve access, provision and quality of clinical care. This includes a focus on patient safety, quality improvement and enhancing patient outcomes.

Trauma & Burns

Over the last 15 years, trauma has gained recognition as a major public health problem. As injuries continue to increase, so too does the need to address current and future issues by providing equitable access to safe, timely, high-quality care. To address growing concerns, the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care (MOHLTC) inaugurated the Trauma Expert Panel in 2006. Their mandate was to assess and make recommendations on several aspects of the trauma spectrum. The Ontario Trauma Advisory Committee (OTAC), working closely with Critical Care Services Ontario, was formed to address and implement improvements in provincial and regional trauma system development. The mission of the OTAC is to guide a world class trauma system, focusing on reducing death and disability related to injury. This group will advise the development of a patient-centered, integrated, inclusive and sustainable regional and provincial trauma system. OTAC’s ultimate goal is to improve upon current processes to increase access and the provision of evidence-based clinical care for injured Ontarians.