Staffing a Specialist Palliative Care Service, a Team-Based Approach: Expert Consensus White Paper Academic Article uri icon

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  • Palliative care is an evolving field with extensive studies demonstrating its benefits to patients, families, and the health care system. Many health systems have developed or are developing palliative care programs. The Canadian Society of Palliative Care Physicians (CSPCP) is often asked to recommend how many palliative care specialists are needed to implement and support an integrated palliative care program. This information would allow health service decision makers and educational institutions to plan resources accordingly to manage the needs of their communities. The CSPCP is well positioned to answer this question, as many of its members are Directors of palliative care programs and have been responsible for creating and overseeing the pioneering work of building these programs over the past few decades. In 2017, the CSPCP commissioned a working group to develop a staffing model for specialist palliative care teams based on the interdependence of three key professional roles, an extensive literature search, key stakeholder interviews, and expert opinions. This article is the Canadian Society of Palliative Care's recommended starting point that will be further evaluated as it is utilized across Canada. For more information and to see sample calculations go to the Canadian Society of Palliative Care Physicians Staffing Model for Palliative Care Programs (


  • Henderson, John David
  • Boyle, Anne
  • Herx, Leonie
  • Alexiadis, Aleco
  • Barwich, Doris
  • Connidis, Stephanie
  • Lysecki, David
  • Sinnarajah, Aynharan

publication date

  • November 1, 2019