Monday, 31 December 2012

Liverpool Care Pathway – Saying It How It Is

Thankyou, Daily Mail, for saying it how it is -

Daily Mail COMMENT

A crass intervention

As new figures reveal 60,000 a year die on the Liverpool Care Pathway without their relatives even being told they have been put on it, Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt describes the controversial regime as ‘a fantastic step forward’ for the dying.

Given that its critics regard it as a ‘pathway to death’ and his own department is conducting an inquiry into its use, could he have been more crass?

In comments that appeared to prejudge an official inquiry into the LCP, the Health Secretary said ‘one or two’ mistakes should not be allowed to discredit the entire end-of-life system.

But Elspeth Chowdharay-Best of Alert, an anti-euthanasia group, said: ‘The Pathway is designed to finish people off double quick. It is a lethal pathway.
(Mail Online)

‘Mr Hunt has made a nonsense of the claim of his ministers that there is going to be an independent inquiry.’
(Mail Online)

Records from 178 hospitals also show that thousands of people on the pathway are left to die in pain because nurses do not do enough to keep them comfortable while drugs are administered.

An estimated 130,000 patients are put on the pathway each year.

Concerns have been raised that clinical judgments are being skewed by incentives for hospitals to use the pathway.
(Mail Online)

The national audit by Marie Curie and the RCP examined a representative sample of 7,058 deaths between April and June last year. The figures were scaled up to give a national picture.

It found that in 44 per cent of cases when conscious patients were placed on the pathway, there was no record that the decision had been discussed with them.
For 22 per cent, there was no evidence that comfort and safety had been maintained while medication was administered.

And it also revealed that one in three families did not receive a leaflet to explain the process. The LCP system was developed in a Liverpool hospital and has spread across the NHS over the past four years. The review is due to report in the new year.
(Mail Online)

1 comment:

  1. Oxford English Dictionary definition of 'fantastic':


    "Imaginative or fanciful; remote from reality.
    Of extraordinary size or degree..."

    "Origin: Late Middle English (in the sense existing only in the imagination, unreal)"

    "Informal meaning: Incredibly or extraordinarily good or attractive."

    ‘one or two’ mistakes should not be allowed to discredit the entire end-of-life system.' (Jeremy Hunt)

    Mr Hunt, attempting to sweep the many hundreds of complaints made by patients and families - and by you, yourself! - under the carpet in this manner will not reassure the public. It will merely increase public suspicion and dissatisfaction. Very serious complaints about the LCP and the general treatment of elderly patients have been made - and supported by your own NHS watchdog organisations.

    The DOH needs to recognise that nothing short of a fully independent Review will satisfy the public now.