Doctors have used a controversial end-of-life care regime "as an excuse for poor-quality care", an independent review has concluded.
Experts have recommended that the Liverpool Care Pathway (LCP) should be axed, the review of the pathway was chaired by crossbench peer Baroness Neuberger who said hydration problems were the "biggest issue" raised by people who gave evidence to the review.
The same stories keep emerging of poor care, appalling communications and oft a lack of attention or compassion.
Among the worst stories were of people on the Liverpool Care Pathway for days going into weeks without communication or review or discussion.
And also desperate stories of desperate people who are longing for a drink of water who were, through misunderstanding of the LCP and poor care, denied a drink.
– Baroness Neuberger
Care and support minister Norman Lamb confirmed that the pathway would be phased out in coming months.
An official review by Baroness Neuberger is expected to be published next week, and is understood to be highly critical of aspects of the Liverpool Care Pathway system, according to The Telegraph.
Norman Lamb, the care minister, said: “Care for the dying is an emotive issue and it is not an easy subject to bring up. We all want our loved ones’ final hours of life to be as pain free and dignified as possible. And the thought that might not be happening is a frightening one."
A Department of Health spokeswoman said an independent review into end of life care system the Liverpool Care Pathway, was commissioned last year by Care and Support Minister Norman Lamb and backed by Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt.
I took the decision to launch this review because concerns were raised with me about how patients were being cared for and how families were being treated during this difficult and sensitive time.
We took those concerns very seriously and decided that we needed to establish the facts of what was happening so we could act where needed.
We need a new system of better end-of-life care tailored to the needs of individual patients and involving their families.
– Care and Support Minister Norman Lamb
It is likely to recommend that the LCP is phased out over the next 6 to 12 months.
An independent review of a controversial end-of-life regime is likely to recommend that it is phased out, it has emerged.
The review of the the Liverpool Care Pathway (LCP), chaired by crossbench peer Baroness Julia Neuberger, has been hearing evidence from patients, families and the health industry.
The LCP - which recommends that in some circumstances doctors withdraw treatment, food and water from sedated patients in their final days - has come under intense scrutiny.
Reports have suggested that doctors have been establishing "death lists" of patients to be put on the pathway. Articles have also claimed hospitals might be employing the method to cut costs and save bed spaces.
The independent review into end of life care system the Liverpool Care Pathway, commissioned last year by Care and Support Minister Norman Lamb and backed by Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt, is likely to recommend that the LCP is phased out over the next 6 to 12 months.
The review panel, set up by ministers following reports from families concerned about the care of their loved ones, is due to report back on Monday.
It is expected to say that when used properly the LCP can give people a dignified and peaceful death, but that they found numerous examples of poor implementation and worrying standards in care which mean it needs to be replaced.