Age UK comment on Liverpool Care Pathway
Published on 05 November 2012 12:30 PM
The Liverpool Care Pathway (LCP) was developed in the late 1990s by a hospital in Liverpool and a local Marie Curie hospice. The aim was to bring high quality hospice care for cancer patients to hospital settings.
There has been a great deal of press interest in the LCP recently and you can read more about it in our blog post Dying in hospital and the Liverpool Care Pathway.
Michelle Mitchell Charity Director General at Age UK says:
'We continue to believe that when used properly the Liverpool Care Pathway gives a dying person some of the highest standards of care and dignity at the end of life, and that this should at all times involve patients, relatives and carers in making decisions about care.
'However we are becoming increasingly concerned by recent reports that in some cases the pathway appears to have been used inappropriately, causing real distress to older people and their relatives which is unacceptable.
'We were pleased to learn that Minister Norman Lamb is listening to these families and he must fully investigate and find out where things have gone wrong and why as quickly as possible.
'As with any other medical procedure it should only be used in the right circumstances by people with the right skills to do it properly. What must happen is that bad practice is rooted out while not compromising the very real benefits the Liverpool Care Pathway can bring to people at the end of life.
'Death is a difficult subject to talk about at any time and more training and support to help all medical staff talk about these potentially difficult issues in the right way may well be needed. All too often older people are not treated with the care, compassion, dignity and respect they deserve and this needs to change across the system. We all need to do whatever we can to ensure wherever possible people are able to die peacefully, free from pain or distress.
'Any older person or those caring for them who needs further information about resolving problems with NHS services can contact Age UK's freephone advice line on 0800 169 6565.'
Media contact: Liz Fairweather
Tel: 020 3033 1718
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