Health professionals defend the Liverpool care pathway

BMJ 2012; 345 doi: (Published 06 November 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;345:e7511
  1. Zosia Kmietowicz
  1. 1London

Attacks on the Liverpool care pathway (LCP), the widely used protocol for the care of dying patients, could damage the compassionate care that they now receive in the United Kingdom, doctors and palliative care specialists said this week

John Ellershaw, professor of palliative medicine at the University of Liverpool and director of the Marie Curie Palliative Care Institute, with which he helped develop the pathway, told the BMJ that without the pathway there would be a vacuum in the care of these patients.

“If we didn’t have the LCP in place just what would care be like? Over the last decade the LCP has brought with it a training and education programme to improve the care of patients dying in hospitals,” he said.

The Daily Mail has been running a highly critical campaign against the pathway for the past five months, suggesting that thousands of NHS patients were being put …

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