Care pathways for the dying have been developed as a model to improve the end-of-life care of all patients. The Liverpool Care Pathway for the Dying Patient (LCP) is the most widely recognised and acknowledged integrated care pathway, and has been utilised and modified across the world.
In 2013 stories in the press and broadcast media concerning the LCP in the UK were highlighting where care had not been optimal and rather than initiate conversations with families and with each other, staff had taken a tick box approach. A review was subsequently undertaken, led by Baroness Julia Neuberger (chair) with over 40 recommendations for change.
It is worth noting that no pathway is set in stone. None of them should be prescriptive to the exclusion of common sense (and a patients’ changing condition). If this is the case, then inappropriate treatment and care can take place. Pathways, guidelines or frameworks should not take the place of impeccable assessment / re-assessment.