AIDAN KEHOE is unequivocal about his support for the controversial Liverpool Care Pathway, saying that he would want to be on it himself.
The Liverpool Care Pathway (LCP) is an integrated care pathway used at the bedside to increase a patient’s comfort in the last hours and days of life.
Developed by the Royal Liverpool Hospital and the Marie Curie charity, the idea is that the best quality of care for the dying, as practised in hospices, is taken into other clinical areas, no matter where the person is dying.
It is regarded as a model of best practice by the NHS.
Mr Kehoe said: “ The key thing here is the word ‘care’ for people in their last hours and days of dying. That’s where the focus is.
“Yes, there are cases of it not being applied correctly, but there are many more where LCP has worked very well.
“If you go back to a time before the LCP, people often died a death without the dignity they deserved.
“There has been good quality of coverage of the LCP by the local media, but I believe that some of the national media coverage of it has been unfair, which is very disappointing.
“A great deal of thought goes into end-of- life care and we work hard to improve it.”
Mr Kehoe said what the hospice movement has achieved has been “fantastic”.
He added: “We just want to make sure people get the right care at the right time. Without doubt, when the time comes, I would want to be on the LCP.”
Besides being the Royal’s boss, he is keen to emphasise another role – as user.
“Three of my family have used the hospital in the last two years,” he explained.
“The level of care was excellent and we were kept informed about what was happening.”