This site is intended for healthcare professionals only

Palliative care should move away from a 'tickbox' model

Written by: | Published:

Palliative care patients need person-centred care Palliative care patients need person-centred care

Nurses who provide care to patients at the end of their lives should move away from the ‘blanket’ approach of the Liverpool Care Pathway (LCP) and towards a more individualised form of care, according to new NICE guidelines.

The guidelines were created after the LCP was withdrawn after a government review identified failings in areas such as the provision of medication and evidence of medical treatment being given without prior warning. The new guidelines emphasise the need for healthcare professionals dying to put the patient at the centre of decisions about their care, so that they can be supported in their final days in accordance with their wishes.

‘Until now we have never had guidelines in this country on how to look after people at the end of life,’ said professor Sam Ahmedzai, Emeritus Professor of palliative medicine at the University of Sheffield and chair of the guideline development group. ‘This evidence-based guideline provides a good overview of how to give good end of life care in any setting in the NHS.’

A key recommendation in the guidelines is that a terminally ill patient should be assessed at least once every 24 hours. They state that a patient, and their family, should be given accurate information about their condition, an opportunity to discuss their fears and anxieties, and information about how to contact members of their care team.

Additionally the guidelines cover assisted hydration stating that a dying person should be able to drink water if they are capable and want to.

‘The main way this guideline differs to the LCP is that it stresses an individualised approach rather than a "blanket" method of using the LCP in an unthinking way,’ added Professor Ahmedzai. ‘The guideline also stresses that the patient should be reviewed daily, and the person should always be taken as an individual.’

What do you think? Leave a comment below or tweet your views to @IndyNurseMag

This material is protected by MA Healthcare Ltd copyright.
See Terms and Conditions.



Please view our Terms and Conditions before leaving a comment.

Change the CAPTCHA codeSpeak the CAPTCHA code

Most read articles from Practice Nursing Journal

Practice Nursing Journal latest issue and most read articles.

Click here to read a selection of free to access articles from Practice Nursing Journal


Sign up to the newsletter


Independent Nurse is the professional resource for primary care and community nurses, providing clinical articles for practice nurses and prescribers.


Subscribe to our newsletter and stay up to date with the latest nursing news.

Stay Connected

Stay social with Independent Nurse by following us on Twitter, liking us on Facebook or connecting on LinkedIn.


Need access to some of our older articles? You can view our archive, or alternatively contact us.

Contact Us

MA Healthcare Ltd.
St Jude's Church, Dulwich Road
London, SE24 0PB

Tel: +44 (0)20 7738 5454
Registered in England and Wales No. 01878373

Meet the team


Find out how to contribute to Independent Nurse here.