"The Liverpool care plan."
About: The Great Western Hospital / Older people's healthcare The Great Western Hospital Older people's healthcare SN3 6BB
Posted by sovietski (as ),
I previously wrote a recent article entitled 'Upset by communications about my brothers care', but I now feel compelled to add another event to this which happened after my brother was transferred from Woodpecker ward to Saturn ward at the Swindon Great Western Hospital. I subsequently wrote to the chief executive of the hospital, and intend to do so yet again, after I have recovered from the shock of what has happened, and done all that I need to in the aftermath.
My 76 year old brother had been ill for about 3 1/2 weeks with pneumonia and signs of renal failure as his passing of water although it had shown signs of slight improvement had not recovered any further so we were told by the doctor on his rounds last Friday.What happened next was unbelievable as whilst my wife and 14 year old autistic son were around my brothers bed side, the doctor said to him, 'we would have expected your kidneys to have responded to the antibiotics and other drugs that we have been giving you, but there has been little or no improvement and so we consider that it is pointless continuing with the treatment, and so we will not put any more tubes in to you, as your condition will gradually worsen and all we can do is make you as comfortable as possible'.
This as you can well imagine was extremely frightening for my brother, and alarming for my wife and my son.
The doctor then took us to the patient day room to add to what he had already said to my brother, and said that my brother was now on what was referred to as 'The Liverpool care plan' which means that any further treatment does not happen from that point onwards and is supposed to be made as comfortable as possible until the inevitable happens. I felt like they might have well have said that to save the cost of any further treatment, we have decided not to bother.
I found this decision shocking and appalling, as every deserves the right to receive treatment for as long as possible no matter what their age may be, just in case they do happen to turn the corner and recover.
Sadly my brother lost the battle for life that evening, but the ordinary nursing staff were really excellent, and are in no way to blame for what I now perceive as being cost cutting especially when it comes to the elderly. If you have an elderly relative in hospital I would consider making it clear that you wish their treatment to continue until there is no chance of recovery, and I would reject the Liverpool care plan.