News in brief: April 2013
The Liverpool care pathway has been given an overwhelming vote of confidence by UK palliative care consultants, with 89% agreeing that it represents best practice in the care of dying patients in a survey conducted by the BMJ and Channel 4’s Dispatches programme.
Results of the survey, to which 563 doctors responded (18% response rate), showed that the same proportion of palliative care consultants would choose the pathway for themselves, and 97% thought that, when implemented correctly, it allowed patients to die with dignity.
The Liverpool care pathway is an integrated care pathway that guides end of life care. It has been criticised in the press after accounts emerged of the withdrawal of food and fluids from patients and of financial incentives being offered to hospitals to use the pathway. It is the most widely used integrated care pathway for end of life care. Nearly three quarters of doctors who