The Liverpool care pathway: what students should know
After months of bad press the official review concluded it must be scrapped. What next?
- By: Eva Dumann, Richard Thorley, Helen Macdonald
No matter where you are in your medical training, you will most likely have heard of the Liverpool care pathway (LCP), the protocol used in the United Kingdom to facilitate end of life care. After months of bad press the government ordered its review earlier this year. “More Care, Less Pathway,” the review presented by Baroness Neuberger in July, wasn’t entirely negative, accepting that the LCP could “provide a model of good practice for the last days or hours of life for many patients,” and that, “before the widespread introduction of the LCP into hospitals, the care that patients received was variable and there were many examples of poor care.”1 However, Neuberger said that the application of “generic protocols” such as the LCP to the care of all dying patients is inappropriate, and in the review’s damning conclusion, “it is clear that in the wrong hands, the LCP has been