End of life care: Alarming figures expose London hospitals unable to provide basic information on vulnerable patients
Four in ten health trusts in London cannot provide any information whatsoever on patients over the age of 65 who are being cared for on the Liverpool Care Pathway (LCP).
Data from 21 London health trusts uncovered by Andrew Boff, Leader of the GLA Conservatives, shows:
- 38% of trusts (8) could not say how many patients were on the LCP
- 81% of trusts (17) could not provide the number of patients who were removed from the LCP and/or survived
- 81% of trusts (17) could not give the longest and shortest periods that patients were on the LCP
- 38% of trusts (8) could not provide any of the requested information on patients on the pathway
The figures have been used in a new report, Unheard Voices: The Liverpool Care Pathway, which has exposed a lack of clear, reliable and publically accessible information over how the LCP is applied in hospitals.
Andrew Boff, Leader of the GLA Conservatives, Londonwide Assembly Member and author of the report said:
“It is a scandal that we could not find basic information on the some of the most vulnerable people, those over 65 years of age, on the Liverpool Care Pathway. We are talking about straightforward figures that should be readily available in the public domain – the number of deaths of patients on the LCP, the length of time that patients are cared for on it, and the number of patients that are removed from it. Trusts should be required to record this information regularly, clearly and concisely, and the clinical commissioning groups should make sure that they do this.
The report also recommends that independent advocates be made standardly available to patients without friends or family to represent them when they are in hospital, and when decisions are being made about whether they should be placed on the LCP.
Notes to editors:
- A list of trusts who responded is available on request
- Andrew Boff is Leader of the GLA Conservatives, Londonwide Assembly Member
- Andrew’s report, Unheard Voices: The Liverpool Care Pathway, can be accessed at: www.glaconservatives.co.uk/uv
- About the Liverpool Care Pathway: The Liverpool Care Pathway (LCP) is a type of care used in hospitals when patients are at the end of their lives, typically replacing treatment with palliative care to make patients feel as comfortable and dignified as possible.
- There are an estimated 81,000 hospital deaths a year on the Liverpool Care Pathway. (Based on the latest figures from the National Care of the Dying Audit (2011))
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