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More education ‘key’ to use of Liverpool Care Pathway

Members of the Royal College of Nursing have called for more training and education in end of life care for health professionals in light of the ongoing controversy surrounding the Liverpool Care Pathway.

Delegates at college’s annual congress today voted by a massive majority – 99.34% – in favour of a resolution for the RCN council to lobby for better training standards in end of life care.

Kiera Jones, a palliative care nurse and member of the RCN Swansea branch, submitted the resolution. 

She noted the recent criticism of the way the pathway was being used in England, which had sparked the government to set up independent review chaired by Baroness Julia Neuberger.  

She told the conference that “education is key”, noting that the Liverpool Care Pathway is “only a tool” and that its use relies on the skills of the clinicians implementing it. 

“Death and dying is everyone’s business. The Liverpool Care Pathway needs to be understood by all of us,” she said.

An emotional debate on the resolution followed, which saw a number of RCN members share their personal experiences of end of live care received by relatives.

Readers' comments (4)

  • michael stone

    She told the conference that “education is key”, noting that the Liverpool Care Pathway is “only a tool” and that its use relies on the skills of the clinicians implementing it.

    Yes - perhaps not calling it a 'pathway' would and be a start:

    http://www.dignityincare.org.uk/Discuss_and_debate/Discussion_forum/?obj=viewThread&threadID=676&forumID=45

    and if the link won't work:

    www.dignityincare.org.uk > Discuss and debate > View all Dignity Champions Discussion Forum threads > A Submission to the Independent Review of Liverpool Care

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  • Isn't it the media and the public that need more education?

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  • Just get rid of it and let's all use our nursing skills to help the ones with life-threatening, or life shortening illness. Better palliative care training for all is whats needed, not a "one for all plan". Palliative care is individual and should be treated as such.

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  • sally carson | 7-May-2013 1:49 am

    very well said Sally. this is how it used to be and how it should continue, using nursing skills, experience and clinical judgement to respect and care for the rights, needs and dignity of each individual.

    I have never used the LCP and just wonder whether one of its raisons d'être is, heaven help us, 'cost effectiveness' ? after all giving high quality care which is often one to one and sometimes just to sit with and accompany the patient does need a sufficient number staff! one of the problems of patients dying on hectic general wards.

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