Saturday, 3 December 2011

Liverpool Care Pathway – More On The Telegraph Road

Telegraph Road

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.

In the year 2000, I raised concerns about this in the Sunday Times. Reference 2nd April 2000 Elderly Helped to Die. At the time, the matter failed to be investigated by the Department of Health or the General Medical Council.

11 years later, the issues still continue  to compromise patient care. The Department of Health has failed to accept that patients are needlessly placed on these kinds of pathways - involving DNR/NFR notices and failure to inform the patients relatives/or indeed the patients. Essentially, the NHS has been in constant denial. A cynic could say it is cheaper to push patients - especially the elderly or the vulnerable onto these pathways so they disappear forever and are not even recorded statistically. The article above addresses the lack of information to families. My concerns were largely regarding the many individuals who don't have families to advocate for them.

In 2006, I wrote about my experiences in the NHS and again, what I said was ignored

Not so long ago, the GMC tried Jane Barton but did not strike her off. The deaths that happened at Gosport were unforgivable. The expert supporting Barton was none other than Karol Sikora [ of El Magrahi fame]. . Given this case, we question why the General Medical Council is not taking an active role in ensuring vulnerable people's rights are not violated.

It should be noted by the public that many of us have worked hard to raise these important issues in the public forum. The medical establishment has neglected to improve matters and the NHS has its head in the sand hoping the media furore will disappear.

My question is this - how many people have needlessly died through these pathways, through DNR/NFRs and how many of these people lived alone without relatives? Dr Rita Pal

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