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Dr Andrew Bishop slams media furore
A BASINGSTOKE hospital chief believes the controversy over the Liverpool Care Pathway has affected the number of patients who are being put on the end-of-life treatment.
Speaking at a Council of Governors meeting, Dr Andrew Bishop, pictured, medical director and consultant cardiologist at Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, was scathing about the national media furore surrounding the LCP.
Many relatives of patients who have been placed on the pathway have come forward in recent months to express their concerns. Some have claimed that their loved ones have been put on the pathway without their knowledge, and when they are not dying.
National headlines have slammed the LCP, with the Daily Mail – which has spearheaded a campaign against the practice – covering the issue in depth. One headline stated ‘60,000 patients put on death pathway without being told’, while another said: ‘Now sick babies go on death pathway’.
Mr Bishop told his fellow governors: “What’s going on publicly and in the press is poor and bad, and should not be happening.
“The number of people who die in hospital is decreasing on the Liverpool Care Pathway, and we can imagine why that is – the chatter that is going on outside.”
Mr Bishop said he had received reassurances from the palliative care team at the trust that much of the ethos behind the LCP would remain even if the pathway itself could not survive the public debate.
He said: “Happily, they (the palliative care team) think most of the values of the LCP have already become ingrained if the combination of chattering classes and vox pops does a death (to the LCP).”