Baroness Neuberger to chair Liverpool Care Pathway review

15 January 2013
The review of how the Liverpool Care Pathway (LCP) is being used in practice is to be chaired by crossbench peer Baroness Julia Neuberger, Care and Support Minister Norman Lamb has announced.

The review was announced following a period of negative media coverage of the LCP. 

It will examine various elements of the pathway, including:

  • The experience and opinions of patients and families
  • Local payments made to hospitals in respect of the LCP
  • The literature about benefits and limitations of the Liverpool Care Pathway

The National Council for Palliative Care (NCPC), lead charity of Dying Matters, supports the review and is leading on public engagement. In September 2012, NCPC was among a range of leading health and social care organisations who published a consensus statement on the LCP, which can be read here. The charity supports the appropriate use of the LCP and makes clear that it is not in any way about ending life, but rather about supporting the delivery of excellent end of life care. However, it must be used correctly and proper training and education are vital for it to be successful.

Eve Richardson, Chief Executive of the National Council for Palliative Care and the Dying Matters Coalition, said: "We welcome the announcement that Baroness Neuberger is to chair the review of the Liverpool Care Pathway and are confident that she will bring not only her wealth of experience, but also her proven commitment to improving end of life care.

"There is a real need to ensure everyone receives excellent care at the end of life and to take people’s fear away from dying and from the care they may receive in their final days, including through far more open communication about end of life issues. This requires meaningful dialogue between bereaved people and health professionals to better understand people’s fears and concerns. That is why as part of the review we are pleased to be continuing our work into understanding the experience of patients and their loved ones of the Liverpool Care Pathway and look forward to working with Baroness Neuberger on this.

"There also needs to be a much greater openness throughout society about talking about dying and death, with core end of life training for all staff working in health and social care and the care homes sector, genuine and sensitive discussions with people who are dying or their families about their end of life care and improved information available about dying and how to make your wishes known for all members of the public. There are real dangers of leaving it too late to talk about end of life issues, which is why all of us need to set out our wishes whilst we are able to.” 

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