STRENGTH IN NUMBERS

Strength in Numbers dedicated to my late mother Kay

New death guidelines ‘worse than Liverpool Care Pathway’

One of the first medics to raise concerns about the now discredited Liverpool Care Pathway says new protocols to replace it are more dangerous, and could hasten patients’ deaths

New NHS guidelines on “end of life” care are worse than the Liverpool Care Pathway and could push more patients to an early grave, a leading doctor has warned. Prof Patrick Pullicino, one of the first medics to raise concerns over the pathway, said the national proposals would encourage hospital staff to guess who was dying, in the absence of any clear evidence, and to take steps which could hasten patients’ death.

The Liverpool Care Pathway – which meant fluids and treatment could be withdrawn, and sedation given to the dying – was officially phased out last year, on the orders of ministers. It followed concern that under the protocols, thirsty patients had been denied water and left desperately sucking at sponges.

Last week the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (Nice) published new 32-page guidance for hospital staff on end-of-life care.

Click on the link to read

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/health/news/11779213/New-death-guidelines-worse-than-Liverpool-Care-Pathway.html

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Filed under: Elderly, NHS, , , ,

‘Death test’ could predict chance of dying within 30 days

Health experts say a new test will prevent futile and expensive medical treatments which prolong suffering

 A test to determine if elderly patients will die within 30 days of being admitted to hospital has been developed by doctors to give them the chance to go home or say goodbye to loved ones. Health experts say the checklist will prevent futile and expensive medical treatments which merely prolong suffering. The screening test looks at 29 indicators of health, including age, frailty, illness, mental impairment, previous emergency admissions and heart rate and produces a percentage chance of death within one month and 12 weeks. Researchers say the aim of Critera for Screening and Triaging to Appropriate aLternative care, or CriSTAL for short, is to kick-start frank discussions about end of life care, and minimise the risk of invasive ineffective treatment.

“Delaying unavoidable death contributes to unsustainable and escalating healthcare costs, despite aggressive and expensive interventions,” said lead author Dr Magnolia Cardona-Morrel, a researcher at the University of New South Wales.

Click on the link to read more

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/science/science-news/11363731/Death-test-could-predict-chance-of-dying-within-30-days.html#disqus_thread

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A death test which predicts if elderly people will die within 30 days could allow them to go home and say goodbye to family members Photo: Alamy

 

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