Intended for healthcare professionals

Rapid response to:

Spotlight Spotlight: Palliative Care Beyond Cancer

Achieving a good death for all

BMJ 2010; 341 doi: (Published 16 September 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;341:c4861

Rapid Response:

Re: Achieving a good death for all

I fully agree with Ellershaw's comments that 'a tool is only as good as the person using it', and echo his sentiments on the need for training. However, I find the fact that this was not put in place in 2003, when the LCP began to be used in the NHS a rather damning indictment of the Government's duty of care towards patients.

Any failure to train that leads to physical [or psychological] harm has always been a Health & Safety offence, but it could now lead to either individual NHS Trusts or Marie Curie itself (as they own the copyright to the LCP) being vicariously liable for damages under the Corporate Manslaughter Act (the DoH , but not charities, being exempt). I not only feel sorry for untrained members of staff who, having followed the LCP v.11 through as if it was a step by step guide, rather than a series of goals, now find their individual NMC /GMC registrations on the line.

Competing interests: No competing interests

30 June 2013
Donald Broadleigh
Lawyer (Retired)