Friday, 2 December 2011

Liverpool Care Pathway – Doctors Continue To Play God

Two new reports from the Telegraph confirm the high-handed practice of keeping the patient and their kith and kin out of the loop.

Loved ones not always told their relative is on controversial 'death pathway'

Kevin Fitzpatrick, spokesman for the campaign group Not Dead Yet, said: “It is very worrying that in any situation less than 100 per cent of families are being consulted before patients are being put on the Liverpool Care Pathway. It is a shock for families to find that out.

“In some situations doctors are prepared to do it without consulting families because they think they know what is best and questions arise as to why they think it is OK to do that. Families have the right to know why a loved one is being put on the LCP.”

NHS must come clean over use of 'death pathway'

A leading doctor has called for the NHS to reveal the true extent of the use of the controversial 'death pathway' after a report found up to half of families are not informed of its use.

Dr Patrick Pullicino, a consultant neurologist at East Kent University Hospitals, said it was vital that more information was made available about the use of the Liverpool Care Pathway in the NHS.

He said: "We need to know how frequently it is being used. Data should be released showing the proportion of patients who die in hospital who were on the Liverpool Care Pathway and how many were on it against their will or that of their family."

Both articles err by their implication -

Tens of thousands of patients with terminal illnesses are being placed on a “death pathway”, almost double the number just two years ago, the Royal College of Physicians has found.

It is not at all the case that these 'tens of thousands' of patients placed on the Liverpool Care Pathway are necessarily patients diagnosed with terminal illness. That may be the case within the Hospice setting, but not so outside. There is also good reason that the number placed on this Death Pathway has doubled in just two years.

That is plainly a result of DOH funding via the CQUIN payments being conditional upon full implementation of LCP.

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