Letters Liverpool care pathway

Likelihood is high that the BMJ’s survey of the Liverpool care pathway is biased

BMJ 2013; 346 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.f1825 (Published 26 March 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;346:f1825
  1. Andrew M Solomon, locum consultant physician1
  1. 1Royal Free Hospital London NHS Foundation Trust, London NW3 2QG, UK
  1. andrew.solomon{at}nhs.net

The data on which the Liverpool care pathway is claimed to be “the doctors’ choice” came from 563 doctors, around 0.2% of those working in the UK, on a survey performed by and for the BMJ that had only a 21% response rate.1 That means that nearly four of five people invited to be surveyed may have had a different viewpoint to provide.

The cohorts included doctors in a specialty associated with dying patients (palliative care) and the “other specialty” group was not clearly defined in terms of which specialties and which grades were included. The data were commissioned and not peer reviewed.

The likelihood of bias is therefore high.


Cite this as: BMJ 2013;346:f1825


  • Competing interests: None declared.