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Doctors’ view of care pathway for dying patients clashes with audit findings

BMJ 2009; 339 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.b3799 (Published 16 September 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;339:b3799
  1. Zosia Kmietowicz
  1. 1London

Findings from an audit of nearly 4000 dying patients counter claims made by doctors last week that a care plan developed in a Liverpool hospice is “causing a national crisis in care.” The doctors claimed in a letter to a national newspaper that families and friends of patients were angry at witnessing the denial of fluids and food to patients.

However, the national care of the dying audit of hospitals, published this week, says that records show that most patients whose treatment followed the framework, known as the Liverpool care pathway, received high quality care and were comfortable in the last 24 hours of life.

The audit was carried out by the Marie Curie Palliative Care Institute Liverpool, in collaboration with the clinical …

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