Dewsbury axes controversial 'death' pathway for patients

A CONTROVERSIAL end-of-life care plan used at Dewsbury District Hospital is to be axed next month.

The Press exclusively revealed in November 2012 that the Liverpool Care Pathway (LCP) is used on an elderly care ward.

It involves withdrawing food and water from patients not expected to survive, supposedly in order to relieve suffering.

We previously highlighted the case of Marian Ainsbury, a 75-year-old former cleaner at Chickenley Junior and Infants School.

In a coma after a stroke, she was put on the LCP against the wishes of her family – but recovered after six months.

Now bosses at Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust have confirmed a new strategy is to be put in place.

Divisional Clinical Director Dr Dinesh Nagi said: “We are following the national policy of phasing out the Liverpool Care Pathway in June this year.  We are currently finalising a new pathway to care for people at the end of their lives which will be in place soon.”

Following the case of Mrs Ainsbury the trust brought in new procedures. The personal wishes of palliative care patients can be registered and made available to all health workers involved.

A pilot project at three hospices, including Kirkwood in Huddersfield, was also started. This allows anyone on a Mid Yorkshire care plan access to round-the-clock palliative care.

Similar procedures were recently recommended in a report from the Royal College of Physicians and Marie Curie Cancer Care.

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