All patients, irrespective of whether or not they are on the Liverpool Care Pathway (LCP) or any other integrated care pathway, should receive high quality, compassionate care in the last days and hours of life, and their families should be supported. But this is not always the case and we must address that inconsistency.
In the report by the independent review of the LCP the review panel called for a coalition of regulatory and professional bodies to lead the way in creating and delivering the knowledge base, the education, training and skills and the long-term commitment needed to make high quality care for dying patients a reality, not just an ambition. A Leadership Alliance for the Care of Dying People (LACDP) is being set up under the chairmanship of Dr Bee Wee, National Clinical Director for End of Life Care at NHS England, to do this.
NHS England, the Care Quality Commission (CQC), Department of Health (DH), General Medical Council (GMC), Health Education England (HEE), NHS Improving Quality (NHS IQ), Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) and the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) have already signed up to join the alliance to:
- support everyone involved in the care of people who are dying to respond to the findings of the review;
- be the focal point for the system’s response to the findings and recommendations of the LCP review;
- provide guidance on what needs to occur in place of the LCP;
- consider how best health and social sector can address the recommendations in the review about the accountability and responsibility of individual clinicians, out of hours decisions, nutrition and hydration and communication with the patient and their relatives or carers: and
- map existing guidance, training and development, as a prelude to considering how these impact on the care of dying people and the circumstantial factors that might affect the adoption of good practice.
The LACDP will engage extensively with both professionals involved in caring for dying people as well as individuals themselves and their families and other carers to gather views and ideas on good practice in caring for someone in the last days and hours of life.