Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Liverpool Care Pathway - The Open Secret

This is BBC News -

22 January 2013 Last updated at 13:43

Liverpool Care Pathway: More than 10,000 patients placed on plan

A hospital ward
More than 10,000 patients across the East have been put on the plan
Almost half of the acute hospital trusts in the East have been offered incentives by the government to put dying patients on a programme that allows doctors to withdraw treatment.
More than 10,000 patients in the region have been put on the Liverpool Care Pathway (LCP) in the last three years, a BBC investigation has found.
The programme was designed to ease the suffering of people at the end of their lives, but the Government has ordered an independent review after complaints that some patients and their relatives were not being told they were on it.
LCP is approved by the Department of Health, and hospitals say it remains a compassionate approach to end-of-life care.

It was designed to ease the suffering of terminally ill patients, but it has become controversial after a number of high-profile complaints about its use, including concerns that clinical decisions could be linked to financial incentives.
Denise Charlesworth-Smith
 Denise Charlesworth-Smith did not know her father
Philip had been put on the Liverpool Care Pathway
The BBC investigation found that some hospitals were offered money to meet targets in relation to LCP.
But the hospitals said the decision to put a patient on the pathway was always a clinical decision, and never related to any financial incentives.
Bonus payments
About 55,000 people die in the East each year. Half die in hospital, usually with a chronic illness such as heart disease, cancer or stroke.
The BBC sent Freedom of Information requests to 20 NHS trusts requesting details about their use of LCP.

Freedom of Information requests?

It is quite extraordinary how ministers have continued to express seeming shock or dismay that the DOH has provided financial inducement to put people on the Death Pathway. 

DOH and EoLC publications and reports are freely available on-line to view. They do change their weblinks, and have done so since this was last reported on these pages, but they are still trackable. For example, The DOH End of Life Care Strategy Third Annual Report -

Page 8 begins –

"Dear Secretary of State..."

On page 57, this can be found -

"Liverpool Care Pathway - CQUIN 

A CQUIN for the Liverpool Care Pathway (LCP) was introduced into acute contracts within NHS South Central for 2009/10. This has led to an increase in the number of people dying on the pathway and in the education of staff on the LCP."

This clearly states: CQUIN payments have resulted in an increase in the number of people dying on the pathway...

This clearly states that staff have been 'educated' in the use of LCP...

"Dear Secretary of State...", did you not confirm this with Mark Roland at his email -

"Dear Secretary of State...", how could you not know? 

"Dear Secretary of State...", how could you cruelly mislead those who petitioned your support in their just cause?

"Dear Secretary of State..." how could you so enamour those who sought you out, bereft with grief, that they still bask under your spell in the false belief that their voice has been heard and their just cause rightly addressed?


  1. Hello, I have written about a similar problem in Canada. However, in this country, there is no recognized pathway and so our struggle is more difficult: it is hard to point fingers at something that we're being told doesn't actually exist. I have a series of articles I wrote about this problem. If you would like to read one of them, here is the link:

    1. It is very good that you have been able to point that out. Your links with the UK and the Liverpool care pathway should strengthen your campaign. One of my concerns is, how come epidemics like `care paths to death`, are global? This does suggest to me that there are those `in the know`, in the hierarchies of power who are communicating with each other. I say this, because of the parallels that can be made regarding care of the elderly and care of children. The UK and Canada have failed certain groups in similar ways. Also other commonwealth countries, like Australia. I do not want to make too much of this, but think it should pointed out.

      I mean there are people in other countries who are shocked at the way the UK treats children and the elderly.