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Assessing the uptake of the Liverpool Care Pathway for dying patients: a systematic review
  1. Shan Shan Vijeratnam,
  2. Harriet Bush,
  3. Ayomide Esan and
  4. Carol Davis
  1. 1 Department of Palliative Care, Southampton General Hospital, Southampton, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Shan Shan Vijeratnam, Earl Mountbatten Hospice, Halberry Lane, Newport, Isle of Wight, PO30 2ER, UK; Shan.Vijeratnam{at}

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We read with great interest the review from Stocker and Close1 assessing the uptake of the Liverpool Care Pathway for dying patients (LCPDP). We performed an analysis of 51 deaths occurring in a coastal UK hospital from January to March 2012. We reviewed the case notes and identified that 32 of the 51 patients were expected to die within their hospital admission due to the nature of their illness or comorbidities. While Stocker and Close were unable to elicit the rationale for non-uptake of LCPDP, we reviewed the reasons why those patients who were expected to die were not placed on LCPDP. Most commonly, 57% (18/32) died in the ‘out-of-hours’ (OOH) period, that is, from 17:00 in the evening to 9:00 on weekdays, and anytime at the weekend. There are a number of factors which may influence the …

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  • Collaborators Harriet Bush, Ayomide Esan and Carol Davis.

  • Contributors SSV was involved in reporting of this letter response. HB and CD were involved in the final editing of this letter response. CD and HB were involved in the planning of the case notes review of the 51 deaths occurring in a costal hospital from January 2012 to March 2012. SSV, AE and HB were involved with data collection and analysis of the results obtained from the case notes review.

  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.