Social work and end-of-life care

Social work is important in end-of-life care

Replacement of the Liverpool Care Pathway: useful guidance

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140830 Last stagesI have referred to controversy about the Liverpool Care Pathway in the press: the unwise decision of the Department of Health to roll this out widely has inevitably led, according to the Neuberger review of it, to a good deal of bad practice. The Leadership Alliance for the Care of Lying People has produced guidance with a rather less prescriptive, and therefore, woollier set of guidelines, and the NHS has put together a stack of useful guidance.

Unfortunately, the requirement to be more thoughtful and flexible, using professional judgement about the right way to discuss the issue of preparing patients and their families for the last phase of their lives in care and particularly in hospital, will probably mean that less is done because staff inexperienced in effective communication with patients and families and busy with other things will be less likely to read and inwardly digest the guidance. And, as I’ve said before in this blog, the lack of facilities for private discussion with patients and their families in many hospitals means that sensitive communication about complex and emotional matters is less likely to take place than it should.

Still, if you’re involved in training people, there is a host of good guidance available to call on.

Link to NHS general advice.

Link to resources on care in the last days of life.

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Written by Malcolm Payne

4 September 2014 at 1:40 pm

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