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RCGP supports move away from end of life pathway

RCGP (The Royal College Of General Practitioners) : 15 July, 2013  (Company News)
The RCGP responds to the findings of the Independent Review of the Liverpool Care Pathway in England, announced at the King's Fund.

Dr Clare Gerada, Chair of the Royal College of GPs, said: "The College has always supported the principles behind the Liverpool Care Pathway (LCP) as a useful, evidence-based framework to support the delivery of excellent care to patients in the last days and hours of their lives. However, we have expressed concern about the implementation of the LCP and so welcome many of Baroness Neuberger's recommendations to address this".


“We support the introduction of the term 'end of life plan' as our consultation with RCGP members found that the word 'pathway' is misleading and has contributed to the negative publicity that the LCP has received".


"The added focus on personalised, holistic care - including the emphasis on shared decision making and on delivering care to patients away from hospitals and into communities where they need and want it most - is a positive step forward in providing excellent palliative care.


"However, it is important not to throw the baby out with the bathwater. We need to take what has been shown to work from the existing LCP and make sure that it is implemented consistently across the country to ensure that all patients receive high quality and compassionate end of life care".


"GPs have a vital role in caring for patients reaching the end of their lives and we are committed to engaging with commissioners and other partners to understand the proposals for a named GP to take overall responsibility for patients who are dying in the community, and to consider what this would mean in practice and how it could be delivered".


"The College is already doing a lot of work to promote excellent end of life care for patients, and this has been a College priority since 2008. We have also recently appointed an End of Life Care Lead, Dr Peter Nightingale, to lead a new programme of work with Marie Curie Cancer Care, with a focus on equipping the GP workforce with the skills required to deliver high quality end of life care, developing advance care planning training and improving the co-ordination of care for all patients at the end of life".


"I know that Dr Nightingale will take the recommendations in the report forward as he builds on the progress that the College has achieved in this area."

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