Improving care in the last days of life for older patients in acute geriatric hospital wards

The effects of the Liverpool Care Pathway (LCP) have never been investigated in older patients dying in acute geriatric hospital wards and its content and implementation have never been adapted to this specific setting. Moreover, the LCP has recently been phased out in the U.K. hospitals. For that reason, this study aims to develop a new care programme to improve care in the last days of life for older patients dying in acute geriatric wards. Phase 0 consisted of a review of existing LCP programmes from the U.K., Italy, and The Netherlands, a literature review to identify key factors for a successful LCP implementation and an analysis of the concerns raised in the UK. In phase 1, the authors developed a care programme for the last days of life for older patients dying in acute geriatric wards based on the results of phase 0. Results of Phase 0 resulted in the identification of nine important components within the LCP programmes, five key factors for a successful LCP implementation, and a summary of the LCP concerns raised in the U.K. Based on these findings the authors developed a new care programme consisting of: 1) an adapted LCP document or Care Guide for the older patients dying in an acute geriatric ward; 2) supportive documentation; and, 3) an implementation guide to assist health care staff in implementing the care programme on the acute geriatric ward.

Reference: Development of the care programme for the last days of life for older patients in acute geriatric hospital wards: A phase 0-1 study according to the Medical Research Council Framework

Full article available at BMC PALLIATIVE CARE | Online 9 May 2015

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