Palliative praise

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May I, through your Letters pages, acknowledge the bravery of Donald Cameron (“Dignified Pathway to see out our lives”, 22 July) in being able to share his deeply personal experience of the Liverpool Care Pathway (LCP) when his wife died from metastatic cancer.

After the recent bad press regarding the LCP in England it is encouraging to hear a report of it being used appropriately and as intended.

I work as part of a district nursing team and the LCP is used in almost every palliative care case we are involved with following discussion with the GP and the family.

I would suggest that when the LCP has failed it is simply because this honest face-to-face discussion between a doctor who knows the patient well, and the family has not taken place or has been handled badly.

The LCP is an excellent tool in palliative care but the need for training in its use and good communication skills cannot be overstated.

Sandra Fleming


Kelso, Scottish Borders