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Liverpool Care Pathway Independent Review: The CSI responds

The Independent Review into the Liverpool Care Pathway was released on 15 July 2013. The Review, entitled "More Care, Less Pathway" was led by Baroness Julia Neuberger. Leading academics from the Cicely Saunders Institute have now responded.

The response from Professor Irene Higginson, Dr Fliss Murtagh, Dr Barbara Daveson, Dr Jonathan Koffman and Dr Katherine Sleeman highlights the importance of high quality end-of-life care and evidence to support best practice.  

Dr Richard Harding welcomed the review and emphasised "We believe that robust research must underpin any new methods, combined with an intensive programme to strengthen training and education in specialist palliative care for healthcare professionals."

Professor Irene Higginson continued by stating: "It is crucial that patients receive the best possible care at the end of life and it is important that their families, who share so much of the burden, are recognised and supported."

The review highlighted concerns regarding care for older adults. Professor Higginson shared that: “The aims of our older-adult research programme, now in its seventh year, are to improve palliative care for this group, by building capacity in the area through PhD studentships, lectureships and senior lectureships, and developing research into understanding and determining the palliative care needs of older people, and developing and evaluating new interventions and services to improve palliative care for older people. For example, we developed and tested dignity therapy for people in nursing homes to find ways to improve their care, and tested this in a randomised trial and through interviewing people in nursing homes, their families and others.”

“We believe, as Dame Cicely Saunders said: ‘you matter because you are you, and you matter all the days of your life’. Our approach to palliative care research embodies this belief through our continuous focus on the best care for patients and families, without shortening life or hastening death".