Frequently Asked Questions

April 2016

This frequently asked questions document is based on questions asked by diverse members of the community during our planning developments to date.

This Q&A is a “working document” that will be up-dated as new questions are asked and new information becomes available. We welcome questions on further topics that may not be covered below.




How is care in a hospice bed different than being in a hospital?






Patients may have differing care needs at various stages of end of life, and hospital and community based palliative care services are available to respond to these differing care needs.

Hospital-based palliative care for patients generally have more complex medical care needs. Their care requires the direct daily involvement of palliative physicians and other hospital-based palliative team members.

Patients in community-based hospice beds generally do not need to the level of care or intervention that would be provided in hospital. Hospice patients may be cared for by their primary health care professional, with consultation to a palliative physician or team.

How will people be chosen for admission to the residential hospice?

We recognize the need for timely and appropriate admissions and the need to make sure that the admission processes are effective during a stressful time for patients and their family. For this reason, the admission criteria for the hospice beds will be a collaborative approach with a multi-disciplinary team.

What is the nursing model of care?

The nursing model for seven hospice beds is one Registered Nurse (RN) and two Personal Support Workers (PSW) per shift. The nursing model is based on best practices outlined the Hospice Palliative Care Ontario 2012 Community Residential Hospice Clinical Standards.  A clinical working group is established to review any additional staffing levels and operational processes that will be required.

Is there a cost to be in a residential hospice?

No, there is no cost to patients to be cared for in a residential hospice.

What makes a residential hospice so unique?

Residential hospices are not unique in fact the St. Christopher’s Hospice was the first hospice to be built in London in 1967. There are 39 residential hospices in the Province of Ontario and 200 new hospice beds will be added by 2018/2019.

Residential hospices are an important part of the continuum of care in providing an essential choice to individuals for whom dying at home is not an option and alleviate the pressures on acute-care resources.

How many hospice beds will there be?


Hospice Kingston will open seven hospice beds based on available operating dollars from the Province.

Population data shows 10 hospice beds based on 100,000 population rate.

Our planning includes designing the building to accommodate ten hospice beds and only open seven based on available funding to date. If funding parameters change in the interim we are well planned to open the additional beds. If funding is not available at the time we open Hospice Kingston will continue to advocate for additional funding for three additional hospice beds. If there are wait lists this will be a valid indicator that should not be ignored.

Was there a residential hospice in Kingston before?

There has never been any community hospice beds in Kingston. When Hospice Kingston owned the property on Earle Street it was used for programs and services, and administrative offices. The property was known as Agnes Maule Machar.

How long has Hospice Kingston been reviewing the need to build a residential hospice?

The Board of Directors have been reviewing the development of a residential hospice since 2005. Under the 2005 Provincial End-of-Life Care Strategy Kingston was identified as a location for a residential hospice. Hospice Kingston was asked to conduct a Needs Assessment and Feasibility Study. A number of stakeholders came together to form a residential hospice task force to evaluate the initiative. After careful consideration, Hospice Kingston decided not to move forward with its plans until the parameters around operating dollars changed and it would always keep it as a long term goal.

Is the provincial government investing any funding to support this initiative?

The Ministry of Health and Long Term Care provides operating dollars for the clinical staffing (RN and PSW) only. We will receive funding in the amount of $652,000 for seven hospice beds. The remaining operating dollars will need to be raised by Hospice Kingston through donations, special events, grants and planned gifts.

Will Hospice Kingston be building a new building or renovating an existing building?

In 2013, the Board of Director’s created a small working group with a mandate to create a search criteria and research available properties, and make recommendations.  A broker was retained to lead the search and after an exhausted search of over 65 properties, including developed sites and vacant land, the Board of Director’s decided the only viable option would be to build a new structure, which would provide the flexibility in design, provide green space and gardens, parking, and have the flexibility to expand in the future if required.

Where will the residential hospice be built?

The residential hospice will be built at 1200 Princess Street. This property is owned by the Sisters of Providence of St. Vincent de Paul. The Sisters have a vision called “Providence Village” which is a concept that will co-locate healthcare, housing, and other social services in an inclusive community setting.

Hospice Kingston is waiting for site specific details in the months to come.