Liverpool Care Pathway roundtable results in independent review

Categories: Care.

Care and Support Minister Norman Lamb said he has committed to appoint an independent chair to review how end of life care is working and to oversee the reviews into the LCP. 

Claire Henry, Director of the National End of Life Care Programme, commented on the discussion and the work to be done. 

“The minister’s roundtable provided a great opportunity to discuss care in the last days of life in a constructive way. We were pleased to contribute to an informed debate on how improvements can continue to be made,” Claire said.

“We were able to update on the work we’re co-ordinating to learn from people’s experiences and we strongly welcome the minister’s announcement of an independent chair to help deliver these reviews. This is crucial if the findings are to be viewed credible by all.

“A main priority is to ensure that this work is undertaken transparently. We look forward to working with the appointed chair to publish findings in the new year.”

The LCP and hospices

Help the Hospices also welcomed the independent review, highlighting the effective use of the LCP in hospices and the training clinical hospice staff receive.

Heather Richardson, national clinical lead for Help the Hospices, said: “This review is hugely important given the many different experiences and views of the Liverpool Care Pathway (LCP), many of which were expressed at yesterday’s roundtable discussion. The stories of its poor implementation are distressing, and efforts are required by everyone involved in end of life care to reduce their incidence and promote good practice.

“Hospices are well placed to assist in this work. There is local evidence that the use of the LCP by hospices is appropriate, flexible and assists in the delivery of high quality care. This is due in part to the training, supervision and support available to clinical staff working within hospice care.

“Hospices can share their learning about how to identify patients most likely to benefit from being on the pathway, as well as on the structures and processes which ensure an individualised and flexible approach to its use. Hospices are also well placed to share their expertise in working and communicating with patients and families to achieve common goals relating to care at the end of the patient’s life and support for bereaved families and carers. 

“We look forward to contributing to the development of a stronger evidence base to guide future development of the LCP. We also welcome the Minister’s commitment to hear the views of patients, families and carers as well as professionals throughout this process.”

Talking about death

The Marie Curie Palliative Care Institute, Liverpool, (MCPIL) also attended the roundtable and have expressed their support to continue working with the Department of Health, the National End of Life Care Programme and other national bodies to improve the care and support give to all dying patients and their families.

Newsnight featured the Liverpool Care Pathway on Monday night (26 November 2012), with a report mentioning that the aim is to import the high standards of hospice care into busy NHS wards. In the programme ‘How is the Liverpool Care Pathway working?’, shown during Newsnight, Dr Kate Granger speaks out in support of the Liverpool Care Pathway, saying it allows doctors to give patients a comfortable, dignified death.

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