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Int J Palliat Nurs. 2006 Sep;12(9):414-21.

The Liverpool Care Pathway in hospices: an exploratory study of doctor and nurse perceptions.

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  • 1Marie Curie Palliative Care Institute-Liverpool, Marie Curie Hospice, Speke Road, Woolton, Liverpool L25 8QA, UK.



The Liverpool Care of the Dying Pathway (LCP) was developed to transfer the hospice model of care into other care settings. It is a multiprofessional document providing an evidence-based framework for the dying phase. Widely used in hospitals it has now been adopted for use in hospices.


A qualitative study exploring hospice doctors' and nurses' perceptions of the impact of the LCP using semi-structured interviews of a purposive sample were undertaken in a 30 bed hospice in the north-west of England. Data was thematically analysed for emerging themes.


Eleven interviews were undertaken (eight nurses, three doctors). The results suggest that despite some initial scepticism the LCP has a valuable place in the hospice setting according to the doctors and nurses sampled. Alongside the potential for use in audit and research, perceived benefits include improving documentation, promoting continuity of care and enhancing communication and the care of relatives. Maintaining ongoing education and feedback on the use of the document were highlighted as important mechanisms for ensuring that the delivery of care remained optimum.

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