Thursday, 6 December 2012

Liverpool Care Pathway – A Corrupting Pathway

Pecuniary Gain obtained for instituting proposals and protocols is bribery. Bribery is corruption.

Lord Howe did not mince his words. Let us not do so.

Here is Ellesmere Port Pioneer 

Bishop of Shrewsbury welcomes Liverpool Care Pathway inquiry

A DECISION by the Countess of Chester Hospital to accept funding to place dying people on its wards on the controversial Liverpool Care Pathway has been highlighted by the Shrewsbury diocese.
The Rt Rev Mark Davies, Bishop of Shrewsbury, has welcomed an announcement by the Government of an independent inquiry into the controversial initiative.
Bishop Davies issued a statement to say the decision to open an inquiry was the correct one.
“Many serious concerns have been raised by families as to how the Liverpool Care Pathway is being implemented in our hospitals,” he said.
“These concerns as to how the most vulnerable patients are being cared for need to be urgently addressed.
“All of us need to have confidence that medical and nursing practice is upholding in our hospitals the value and dignity of human life until the moment of natural death.”
The Liverpool Care Pathway (LCP) was devised in the city in the late 1990s as guidance for treating cancer patients in their final days and hours.
It often involves heavy sedation and the withdrawal of life-prolonging treatment, which under British law may include food and fluid.
But critics say the system is dangerously flawed because, in many cases, it is not scientifically possible to predict when a patient is dying.
Some doctors and families have claimed the pathway is used to deliberately hasten the deaths of patients, sometimes to free up beds to save money.
Some of them have said they have rescued patients from the pathway, who later recovered and others have more frequently complained that relatives were placed on the pathway without their knowledge.
Concerns have soared since it was revealed NHS hospital trusts are being paid millions of pounds to implement the pathway, often by hitting targets on percentages of deaths on the LCP.
The pattern is national and involves hospital trusts in the diocese. The diocese points out responses from Freedom of Information requests show that last year 44.5% of patient deaths at the Countess were on the pathway.
Two years previously the trust received in the region of £300,000 in cash rewards in connection with adopting the pathway.
Other hospitals in Wirral had used the pathway but had not receive payments.

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