..a briefing by Director of Patient Experience and lead for Nursing and non-medical professionals, Gwyneth Wilson
Media interest has recently been generated nationally around the Liverpool Care Pathway (LCP). This is a guideline used throughout the NHS and hospice network to ensure that someone approaching the end of their life should be able to do so in comfort and with dignity.
Two of the stories appearing in regional and national stories have related to patients from The Queen Elizabeth Hospital Kingís Lynn. These have been investigated thoroughly to check that we have followed correct procedures and to see if the way we communicate information with next-of-kin can be improved. Our procedures are completely correct but we will be looking at further ways in which we might help the families of patients to retain and understand the information they have been given.
As a nurse I can reassure you that we consider the best interests of our patients at all times and that we will always use the very best skill and care available to us to help patients recover.
End of life care only commences when all other treatments have been exhausted and, in the opinion of a multi-disciplinary team, the patient is dying. This is an emotive time not just for the family facing the death of a loved-one but also for the medical and nursing teams who have the task of explaining to the family what will happen next. Our aim is to make a patientís final hours as comfortable as possible.
You can view an outline of the Liverpool Care Pathway, which is supported by health, hospice and care organisations throughout the UK.
Richard Humphries, for The Queen Elizabeth Hospital King's Lynn NHS Trust