Thanks go, once again, to Baroness Knight of Collingtree! The Baroness has raised LCP in debate in the House previously
The Baroness is listed to speak once more on Monday -
Monday 5 November at 2.30pm
to ask Her Majesty’s Government what procedure will be adopted in carrying out the proposed NHS inquiry into the Liverpool Care Pathway.
We hope and we pray that she will be rewarded by her efforts.
WE hope and we pray that she will not be thwarted at every turn as have we.
It is not just the procedure of the proposed inquiry that needs to be looked at; it is the matter of who is to conduct it. Would you ask the fox to investigate the raid on the chicken house? An independent inquiry is called for.
Such an inquiry should be awarded a broader remit to look into the intrusion and spread of the CQUIN payments system across all areas of care. The Mail continues to draw attention to the CQUIN system in the hospital setting but, as has been reported in these pages, this now extends into District Nursing. CQUIN is, no doubt, also involved in the spread of the GP death lists and the use of LCP in St. Mungo's and elsewhere.
An independent and thorough investigation into the intrusion of the CQUIN payments across all care services is demanded now!
We commented previously that, despite her good efforts, the Baroness was
bamboozled with flaccid, blatant denial of what is patently – and well-known to be by its victims - the truth!
We hope and we pray that she will not be so demeaned and dismissed in her attempts to debate the conduct of the proposed inquiry.
From experience, they will pout verbatim the textbook response!
A letter is reproduced below, sent in response by a representative to her petitioner. What appears in this letter - and this is really quite typical - is the sort of flaccid and limp response the Lady Baroness may expect to encounter in her debate. That is quite clear. At a glance, much of what the representative has written has been 'lifted' word for word from LCP resource documents and DOH statements concerning LCP.
And these people represent us? Really? Really!
The letter follows -
Elizabeth Truss MP
Member of Parliament for South West Norfolk
32 Bridge Street, Thetford, Norfolk IP24 3AG
Thank you for your email, I am extremely sorry to read of the death of your father earlier in the year. My office has no record of you calling either the Westminster office or the constituency office. You highlight concerns about the The Liverpool Care Pathway (LCP). LCP is an established and respected tool that provides clinicians with an evidence-based framework to guide the delivery of high quality care for people in the last days or hours of their life, to ensure that they die with dignity and respect and minimum distress.
The LCP requires senior doctors and nurses involved in the patient’s care to agree that death is very likely to be imminent and that being placed on the LCP would reduce patient distress, discomfort and pain. That decision should involve the patient if possible, and family members if not. A clinician should always choose the best approach to care for an individual patient, whether curative, palliative, or a mixture of both. The LCP is just one option for managing this care. To ensure it is used properly, the LCP emphasises the importance of staff receiving appropriate training and support in its use as well as accessing relevant end of life care training and education programmes.
However ministers recognise that some people who have been on the LCP have received poor care. The LCP is not of itself a guarantor of the best quality care. It has consistently been made clear in the guidance for implementation of the LCP, or similar tools, that they are in no way a replacement for clinical judgement, and should not be treated as a simple tick box exercise. Rather, the LCP is a useful framework to guide the delivery of care, complementing the skill and expertise of the practitioner using it.
Elizabeth Truss MP
The concluding paragraph implies an acceptance that second-rate care has occurred, does occur, but that this is not an issue and may be tolerated. If it was an issue, the honourable member of Her Majesty's Parliament would surely raise it in response to her petitioner's letter.
This is the very real worry, that LCP may not be questioned in itself and that anything untoward in its connection occurs only through the manner of its application, not the actual application of the LCP itself. In other words, it is the driver, not the vehicle.
And that is the very real worry, that this shall be the finding and the outcome of all these ongoing investigations, both official and journalistic.