Friday, 22 March 2013

Liverpool Care Pathway - And Calls For Review

They cannot sustain the pensions ‘black hole’; neither can they sustain the pensioners!

This is the Staffs Sentinel -

Calls for review of care system

The Sentinel                             Friday, March 22, 2013

I READ that the Association for Palliative Medicine which represents 1,000 doctors is seeking a major review into the 'Liverpool Care Pathway' (LCP) – a system of caring for patients in their final days.

Sections of the national press have highlighted the growing fear of relatives and many doctors that the care pathway is little more than a way of hastening the deaths of what are judged to be terminally ill patients.

Considering the hundreds of unnecessary deaths at Stafford Hospital, I find it strange that, as far as I recall, the LCP has apparently merited hardly a mention.

At some point in the 1990s, we were told that the ranks of the elderly were swollen to such an extent that their demands on the health service were no longer sustainable.

At a later point, the LCP was devised at the Royal Liverpool University Hospital and Marie Curie Hospice.

The system means that an elderly person considered to be terminally ill, would have fluids and food withdrawn, including medication, the whole process assisted by pain relieving drugs.

It is not difficult to see how the death of an ill patient could easily become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

However, the system was described by the Department of Health as 'best practice' and adopted by 900 hospitals nationwide.

But the LCP has been embroiled in controversy with some alleging elderly persons were being put on a 'pathway to death'.


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