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Scottish Partnership for Palliative Care responds to the report of the independent review of the Liverpool Care Pathway (LCP), 'More Care, Less Pathway'.


The SPPC welcomes this report on the use of the LCP in England. The independent review process has provided an important opportunity for the voices of patients and families to be heard, and also an opportunity to learn from the experiences of staff who are involved in providing care for people who are dying.

The LCP was developed in the 1990s as a response to poor care of people who were dying in hospital. It is important that none of the improvements which have been achieved in recent years are lost, whilst remaining open to learning from the experiences of patients, families and those who care for them.

Mark Hazelwood, Director of the SPPC said:-

“There is a lot of very good care provided for people who are dying in Scotland, but it is vital to ensure that everyone receives such care. We therefore welcome the commitment of the Scottish Government to consider the recommendations of the report and to take forward any relevant learning for Scotland. The SPPC will lend any support it can to that process.”

He continued:-

“The LCP is designed to make sure that when someone is dying:-

    • They are kept as comfortable as possible
    • They and their family are kept informed and involved
    • Any necessary medicines are quickly and easily available
    • They don’t undergo medical procedures which maybe distressing and which aren’t going to provide any benefit.
    • Their condition and individual needs are assessed/reviewed regularly.

These principles of good quality care at the end of life need to be retained. The LCP is designed to help staff deliver these things. Where these elements of good care haven’t been achieved then it is vital to understand why and then address the issues.”


For more information contact Mark Hazelwood, SPPC Director, 0131 2290538.


For more background on what the LCP is and isn’t visit the SPPC website

About the SPPC

The Scottish Partnership for Palliative Care (SPPC) is the umbrella body for organisations with an interest in palliative care in Scotland. Our 54 members include all the territorial NHS Boards, all of Scotland’s hospices, 18 national health voluntary organisations and a range of professional associations.

About Palliative Care

Palliative care is an approach that improves the quality of life of people and their families facing the problems associated with life-threatening illness, through the prevention and relief of suffering by means of early identification and impeccable assessment and treatment of pain and other problems, physical, psychosocial and spiritual.

  • Palliative care is not just for people with cancer: whilst ¼ of people die of cancer, more people die of frailty/dementia (⅓) and organ failure (⅓) including heart failure and respiratory disease.
  • Palliative care is not just for people who are near death or ‘terminal’ – it is about maximising the quality of life which remains, however long that may be.
  • Around 54,000 people die in Scotland each year.

Specialist palliative care focuses on people with complex palliative care needs (e.g. complex pain management or psychological support) and is provided by a team of professionals who specialise in palliative care (e.g. consultants in palliative medicine and clinical nurse specialists in palliative care). Hospices provide specialist palliative care, as do parts of the NHS. General palliative care forms part of the routine care of people and support for carers. It may be part of the work of a range of health and social care practitioners including GPs, care assistants and hospital staff.

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