Background Over the last year, concerns have been raised about the care of patients on the Liverpool Care Pathway (LCP). In July 2013 an Independent Review recommended that the LCP should be phased out and replaced by an individual end of life care plan. It is crucial we have an understanding of how clinical staff perceive the LCP to develop robust training around end of life care.
Aim To evaluate clinical staff's perceptions regarding the LCP.
Method Two wards in Gateshead Health NHS Foundation Trust were randomly chosen. In June 2013, all their staff were invited to complete an anonymous survey.
Results General Views
47% of clinical staff responded. 57% thought the LCP should only be used in the last 48 hours of life. 94% felt the LCP ensures patients are treated with respect. Only 1 staff member felt that the LCP speeds up dying.
Care whilst on LCP
71% of clinical staff felt that they would consider treatments depending on the clinical situation. 80% would regularly monitor patients with 94% checking for signs of improvement. 86% would stop the LCP if the patient recovered.
Limitations Our results are based on less than 50% response to the survey and may therefore not represent the full views of all staff.
Discussion 57% of staff can recognise when to commence the LCP. Once in use, a majority of staff are able to decide on treatments and monitoring. Confusion can however arise if all are not clear of the application of the LCP. This can lead to some of the issues raised in the Independent Review.
Conclusion This survey has shown that clinical staff know when and how to apply the LCP. End of life training needs to continue to support staff in this.
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