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New approach to care for the dying published


A new approach to caring for dying people based on the needs and wishes of the person and those close to them has been launched today and welcomed by Care and Support Minister Norman Lamb.

It takes the form of five new Priorities for Care which succeeds the Liverpool Care Pathway (LCP) as the new basis for caring for someone at the end of their life.


The new approach focuses on giving compassionate care and is a move away from previous processes and protocols. It recognises that in many cases, enabling the individual to plan for death should start well before a person reaches the end of their life and should be an integral part of personalised and proactive 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
  • 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. This priority includes the fact that a person must be supported to eat and drink as long as they wish to do so, and their comfort and dignity prioritised.


The aim is to promote a stronger foundation for good care and a culture of compassion in the NHS and social care. The priorities put people and their families at the centre of decisions about treatment.


The new priorities have been created by a coalition of 21 organisations known as the Leadership Alliance for the Care of Dying People (LACDP). The priorities form part of the Alliance’s overall response, called ‘One Chance to Get it Right’, to an independent review of the Liverpool Care Pathway led by Baroness Neuberger.


Care and Support Minister Norman Lamb, said:


"The new priorities will mean that care is focused on dying people’s wishes – rather than processes. This will make sure that their voices, and those of their families, are heard at all times.


"The poor care given to some people and their families on the Liverpool Care Pathway must never happen again. There are many shining examples in the NHS of excellent end of life care, and I am committed to making sure that care in the last few days and hours of life is tailored to the needs of each individual.


"It’s also important that, where possible, planning for dying should start well before the last few days and hours of someone’s life, where they want to have those discussions.


"We need to change the way that the NHS and society approaches end of life care and I’d like to thank Alliance members for their commitment to making this happen.”

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