New end of life care plan is ‘outstanding’

Dr Andrea Whitfield and some members of her team at Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust
Dr Andrea Whitfield and some members of her team at Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust
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Controversial guidelines for the treatment of dying patients have been replaced with a new palliative care programme.

The Liverpool Care Pathway – a national model of care involving the withdrawal of food, fluids and medical treatment to ease suffering in patients’ final hours – was much debated in medical

circles, even being dubbed the “death pathway”.

The new scheme, called the Plan of Care for the Dying Person (PCDP), has been launched at Blackpool Victoria Hospital (BVH) today.

Earlier this year the Care Quality Commission (CQC) produced a report and found staff at BVH to be “outstanding” in delivering end of life care.

Andrea Whitfield, consultant in palliative medicine and clinical lead for end of life care for the trust, said: “The plan of care that we have developed acts as a guide to health care professionals.

“It is more flexible than the Liverpool Care Pathway. It is very much an individual plan of care for the patients and their families, rather than a generic document. The whole focus is on patient-

centred care.”

A new “end of life” website for the public and an intranet site, where staff can access the most up-to-date training and advice, are also being launched today.

Around 800 members of staff have been trained in the new process, after the LCP was phased out by the Department of Health.

The training has been very well received by all members of staff.

Andrea added: “Our new intranet site has an interactive algorithm (problem-solving application) for managing the care of the dying person.

“The site explains the training and has a lot of information about planning for the care needs of patients.”

The new website for the wider public features a huge amount of information on subjects including psychological support,

bereavement care, spiritual support, advice and points of contact.

To access the new public site go to http://www.bfwh.nhs.uk/visiting/eolc/.