Compassion in Dying has welcomed the panel of independent experts announced by Baroness Neuberger this weekend to run a review into the Liverpool Care Pathway (LCP). Compassion in Dying also endorsed the call for the public’s input into the investigation and encourages people to submit evidence.

The Liverpool Care Pathway has received noticeable attention since the review was announced by Care and Support Minister Norman Lamb last November. The pathway is intended to reduce the suffering that a patient goes through at the end of their life by making the dying process more comfortable. Implemented correctly this does not accelerate a patient’s death but facilitates the best end-of-life care in the last hours, or sometimes days, of their life.

Danielle Hamm, Executive Director of Compassion in Dying said:

“I am pleased that the appointed panel reflects a broad range of expertise and experience and I strongly urge the public to take the opportunity to have their voices heard in the review.

“It is important to note that criticism of the Liverpool Care Pathway’s implementation does not mean disapproval of the pathway itself. One of the alleged criticisms of the LCP appears to be a lack of communication and we strongly believe that patients, where possible, should always be involved in their end-of-life decision making, and when a patient has lost the ability to communicate loved ones should be consulted.

“The need for a review highlights the importance of advance care planning, so that the control of care rests with the patient concerned. This is especially important if the ability to communicate is lost and shows why people need to be made aware of their legal end-of-life rights, which can be exercised by making an Advance Decision or appointing a Lasting Power of Attorney.”




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Further information:

Compassion in Dying Compassion in Dying is a national charity (no. 1120203) that aims to support people at the end of life to have what they consider to be a good death by providing information and support around their rights and choices. We are a leading provider of free Advance Decisions in the UK and we also conduct and review research around patient rights and choices in end-of-life care.

Advance Decisions An Advance Decision is a written document that states the treatment you would want to consent to or refuse if you lost mental capacity or could not communicate. Advance Decisions used to be called living wills or advance directives.