Thursday, 14 May 2015

Liverpool Care Pathway - The Final Word

You cannot be serious...!
But you won't die laughing...

Correspondents continue to vilify the Mail...

Here's David Oliver in HSJ 
The Daily Mail’s Dignity for the Elderly campaign does more to ramp up fear and anger around do not resuscitate orders than it does for facilitating productive end of life care discussions, writes David Oliver. 
I never thought I’d see the headline “Hospitals bribed to put patients on the pathway to death” outdone, but the Mail’s front page on 27 April managed it. In bold 60 font “Over 75? Sign here if you’re ready for death”.
Foul infamy

David Oliver gets quite indignant:
This didn’t leave much room for prose but those not already choking on their breakfast with indignation could turn to page 4 for the detail.
This is the article on Mail Online –

David Oliver continues -
Reading on, the story concerned “new NHS guidelines urging GPs to draw up end of life care plans for over 75s and younger people suffering from cancer, dementia, heart disease or serious lung conditions” and allegedly doctors being “told” to ask all over 75s if they “agree to a do not resuscitate order”.

I got pretty concerned myself then reading of “nurses in some surgeries cold calling patients and asking them over the phone if they want resuscitation”.

Let me be clear, if this has been happening anywhere, I find it as unacceptable and insensitive as the Mail does. Its bound to upset many older people and their families.

The article carried on with barely related “while we’re at it” content – harking back to 2013 “Liverpool Care Pathway-gate”.
What does the Mail actually say...?
In some surgeries, nurses are cold-calling patients over 75 or with long-term conditions and asking them over the phone if they have 'thought about resuscitation'.

Other patients have spoken of the shock of going in for a routine check-up and being asked about resuscitation.

The extraordinary new guidance has been brought in despite the outcry over the use of 'do not resuscitate' orders under the Liverpool Care Pathway (LCP).

But can this be true you are really choking on your cornflakes Mr. Oliver?

Last year...
Liverpool Care Pathway - The 'Art' Of Good Grooming
District nurses HAVE been sent to the homes of patients aged over 75 to ask such questions.

Just ask Roy Lilley, health policy analyst for the King’s Fund. He actually witnessed this for himself.

Mr. Lilley was at his mother’s house when the nurse visited. He described the policy as ‘callous’ and called for it to be banned. And here we are, a year later, and it is being extended.

Mr. Lilley commented: “People will be frightened to death thinking the district nurses know something they don’t and will feel obliged to sign the form so as not to be thought a nuisance.”

Age UK have been working with a dodgy pro-euthanasia group doing likewise. See, for instance, -
Liverpool Care Pathway - A New Hope...? 
Liverpool Care Pathway - The Importance Of Remaining Zeke
This dodgy pro-euthanasia group have even had a report, Divided in Dying, published by both the King's Fund and Age UK.

GP practices are being awarded accreditations.

Doctors are assessing patients during routine consultations...
Liverpool Care Pathway - A Perverse Symmetry
The Mail actually goes on to say -
The discredited pathway was scrapped last year after the Mail revealed that doctors were placing 'DNR' notices on patients without their knowledge and depriving them of food and fluids.
Well, no, actually...

David Oliver gets to the point and confirms what we have been saying in these pages all along:
Not much room for prose

Anyone challenging risks being slapped down and vilified – just check journalist Melanie Phillips’ condemnation of clinicians who took issue with her initial Liverpool Care Pathway “exposés” in 2013.

These created the momentum that ultimately led to the pathway being killed off after the Neuberger report – though it was, in effect, resuscitated.

No DNR  for the Pathway...
Hospitals continue to document palliative care decision making in dying patients much as they did before rather than pretending it doesn’t matter for fear of further accusations. The Mail seems to find this a problem.
Yes, David Oliver admits it. The Review was all but a sham to shut everyone up.

What have you to say to Mr. Lamb?

The Lamb has been silenced by the electorate. His party squeezed from power, he is pushed from post to be pilloried for his shamble of a Review!

And Denise...

Denise, Denise, what a slap in the face for you and all your good efforts.

But what of you, Mr. Hunt? You are still in post. Are we going to see some movement on Health & Safety and some belated prosecutions at long last?

Or are you going to pass us from pillar to post?

Here's what Gloria Hunniford thinks about it, Mr. Oliver –

Appearing on ITVs’ Loose Women yesterday she said: “My fundamental premise is I want to live and if anyone cold-called me and said will you tick this box to say do not resuscitate me, I’d say on your bike.
"First of all I want to be resuscitated.
“My sister had a heart attack at one point and my brother rang me to say they wanted to switch off the machine. I flew over there and I said under no circumstances.

“My sister had at least two, maybe two-and-a-half years more with her family and more importantly her family enjoying her.

“I would hope that once it comes to the point when it’s about resuscitation that my lovely family will take that decision for me.

“This is a really bad message to send out, it’s like ‘You’re too old now, go away’, I hate that.”
It isn't just 'cold calling' though, Gloria. It's connived grooming as well.
This is all so unreal it's surreal. It's like some Pythonesque black comedy...
And it gets worse.
This is the Mirror –
A family has been forced to sell their home to pay for treatment to help their daughter fight an aggressive tumour that leaves her screaming in agony every night.

Luke and Stephanie Henry revealed how they have taken the drastic step because medication that would help nine-year-old daughter Bethany is not currently funded by the NHS.

The youngster suffers from a condition called tuberous sclerosis which causes tumours on her brain, kidneys and liver and leaves her suffering up to 50 epileptic fits a day.

A drug, called everolimus, is licensed to reduce the tumours and stop more from growing but Bethany's doctor is unable to give it to her due to NHS red tape.

In a cruel twist, the family is also unable to bid for "exceptional funding" for the drug because the condition is not rare enough as there are more than 30 patients in urgent need of it.
You cannot be serious, man!!!

This condition is both too rare and not rare enough for her to be prescribed the drug which would provide relief.


What can I say?

This has to be the final word that vindicates Professor Patrick Pullicino...

This is Mail Online -

A father who doctors ‘gave up’ on following a stroke is now recovering after The Mail on Sunday highlighted his plight.

Doctors applied four times to place a ‘do not resuscitate’ order on the medical notes of Paul Scoble, 48, after he suffered the devastating stroke last August.

It meant they would not have tried to restart his heart if he had gone into cardiac arrest, and would have left him to die.
This bears repeating...

As if once was not enough, doctors, sworn to do no harm, applied FOUR times to have this man put down on a DNR!

A final word -
Liverpool Care Pathway – CQUIN Quotas

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