Intended for healthcare professionals


Five priorities of care for dying people replace Liverpool care pathway

BMJ 2014; 348 doi: (Published 27 June 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;348:g4299
  1. Jacqui Wise
  1. 1London

Five priorities for care of a dying person, which are based on individual needs and wishes, will replace the Liverpool care pathway in England, the government has announced.

In July 2013 the Liverpool care pathway was criticised in an independent review headed by the rabbi and peer Julia Neuberger.1 2 It found that where the pathway was used well it delivered good care but that, in many cases, it was regarded as a tick box exercise. In many cases relatives and carers did not feel involved in discussions about the care plan. The review by Neuberger recommended that the Liverpool care pathway should be phased out over 6-12 months.

A coalition of 21 organisations, known as the Leadership Alliance for the Care of Dying People, has now published its response to that review, called One chance to get it right.3 This response focused on giving compassionate care and emphasised that, in many cases, planning for death should start well before a person reaches the end of life. The priorities outlined in the …

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