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Developing capacity

After the Liverpool Care Pathway: What next for people with dementia?


There is little training in end of life care for people with dementia. Previous guidance from the Liverpool Care Pathway is being phased out, leaving practitioners who are inexperienced without a framework to guide their work. This study aims to develop and test heuristics (rules of thumb) for end of life care for people with dementia in home and hospital settings. The study will test the use of the heuristics in one hospital ward and one community team within a general practice of health care professionals. We will study the effectiveness of heuristics in helping practitioners deliver end of life care and the factors influencing their effectiveness.


2014 – 2016

Research team

Jill Manthorpe (SCWRU), Nathan Davies (Principal Investigator), Steve Iliffe, Jane Wilcock. Elizabeth Sampson (University College London)


Alzheimer’s Society and Marie Curie


Sites are being recruited to this study where teams have a case load and experience of providing end of life care for people with dementia. An advisory group from the Alzheimer’s Society is supporting the study. Practitioners are being invited to attend a focus group. A researcher will introduce heuristics derived from previous work, which will be discussed and refined by a research development group to produce a set to be tested in practice. The researcher will meet staff to discuss the agreed set of heuristics and provide examples of their use through the use of real cases amongst the team. The organisation will be asked to implement the heuristics for six months. After three months staff will be asked to provide feedback on their use, with the opportunity for detailed discussion. At six months the researcher will undertake individual interviews, to discuss the effectiveness and advantages or disadvantages of using the heuristics.

Findings and outputs

A package of heuristics was developed to help with the delivery of end of life care and provide some form of guidance which seems to be currently missing for practitioners (October 2016).


The study findings are set to inform clinical, practitioner and policy communities.

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