A new approach to the care of people who are dying based on the needs and wishes of the person and those close to them has been launched today by the Department of Health and welcomed by CQC.
Five new Priorities for Care will replace the Liverpool Care Pathway (LCP) as the new basis for caring for someone at the end of their life. The new approach recognises that in many cases, enabling the individual to plan for death should start well before a person reaches the end of their life.
Five new Priorities for Care
The new Priorities for Care mean that:
- The possibility that a person may die within the coming days and hours is recognised and communicated clearly, decisions about care are made in accordance with the person’s needs and wishes, and these are reviewed and revised regularly by doctors and nurses.
- Sensitive communication takes place between staff and the person who is dying and those important to them.
- The dying person, and those identified as important to them, are involved in decisions about treatment and care.
- The people important to the dying person are listened to and their needs are respected.
- Care is tailored to the individual and delivered with compassion – with an individual care plan in place.
The aim is to promote a stronger culture of compassion in the NHS and social care – one that puts people and their families at the centre of decisions about their treatment and care.
One chance to get it right
The new priorities have been created by a coalition of 21 organisations known as the Leadership Alliance for the Care of Dying People (LACPD), of which CQC is a part of. The priorities form part of the Alliance’s overall response – called One Chance to Get it Right – to an independent review of the LCP led by Baroness Neuberger.
Commenting on the publication of One chance to get it right Professor Sir Mike Richards, CQC’s chief inspector of hospitals, said: "The ethos of the Alliance’s five priorities for care is mirrored in CQC’s new inspection approach to make sure that people receive safe, effective and compassionate care at the end of their life.
"Where we care for someone who is dying – whether that is in a hospital, a nursing home or in a person’s own home – is irrelevant. What is important is that the person receives individual care based on their needs, delivered with compassion and sensitivity by health and care professionals and that there is regular and effective communication between staff and the dying person and their family. These are priorities which must be embraced across the whole NHS – and by other care providers – for it to make a real difference.
"CQC is fully committed to ensuring the quality of end of life care continues to improve. End of life care is one of the eight core services we are looking at during each hospital inspection, and we plan to include end of life care in our inspections of other services where it is delivered."
We are also carrying out a review of end of life care, looking specifically at the experience of patients with non-cancer diagnoses and multiple co-morbidities, as well as people with dementia, mental health needs, learning disabilities, people from black and minority ethnic backgrounds, homeless people, and people from lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities.
The findings will be published in the Spring of 2015.