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I never believe what the newspapers say, which is why half the time i dont read them, and today proved that. There was a report about 60,000 people being put on the dying pathway, also known as the Liverpool Care Pathway (LCP). For those not in the know, it is a document that nurses and doctors use when the patient in a hospice / hospital are deemed to be very poorly, and have not got long to live.
In real terms, and as a hospice nurse, all it means is that we are condensing down all the care plans we have to write, into one document. If we put someone on the LCP, it is after families have been spoken too, where we have told them, that their loved one is less well, and time is short. We dont always tell them we are putting the patient on the LCP, since in real terms, it means nothing. The care, the treatment, doesnt change. It is just a document for us, that also allows future nurses looking at the care notes, to be able to access certain information quicker, and acts as a guide, that this particular patient will need more observation than others.
If people go on it, certainly from a hospice perspective, treatment such as infusions, further radiotherapy etc, will have been discussed on initial contact to the ward. So like i say the LCP doesnt change anything.
Well i just thought i would write this here, since i am not on any other websites, Facebook etc, but for those who saw that headline today, dont be afraid, that we are condoning people to death. Its never that straight forward. But for those who want to know more, feel free to email me here.