Hospital doctors’ understanding of use and withdrawal of the Liverpool Care Pathway

Twigger, S. & Yardley, S.J. Palliative Medicine. Published online:  December 8 2016

B0007006 Doctor
Image source: Marina Caruso – Wellcome Images // CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

Background: The Liverpool Care Pathway was used in UK hospitals (late 1990s to July 2014) in an attempt to generate hospice-style high-quality end-of-life care in acute settings. Despite being widely established, there was limited research or contextual evidence regarding this approach or its impact. Growing criticism from the public, media, politicians and healthcare professionals culminated with a critical independent review (July 2013) and subsequent withdrawal of the Liverpool Care Pathway.

Conclusion: Future initiatives in hospital end-of-life care must address doctors’ fears, (in)abilty to tolerate medical uncertainty, communication skills and understanding of the dying phase, in order to provide optimum care in the last days of life.

Read the full abstract here


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