A HOSPICE for patients in north Essex has defended its use of a controversial end of life care plan after it was announced it will be scrapped.

St Helena Hospice uses the Liverpool Care Pathway at its inpatient unit in Highwoods, Colchester, and at patients’ homes.

A report on an independent review recommend the pathway should be phased out over the next six to 12 months.

Serious concerns had been raised that the pathway had been wrongly implemented and patients were wrongly being denied nutrition and


It looks set to be replaced by a personalised end of life care plan.

Mark Jarman-Howe, chief executive of St Helena Hospice, said: “At St Helena Hospice we support the appropriate use of the Liverpool Care Pathway.

“It is not in any way about ending life, but rather about supporting the delivery of excellent care in the last days of life.

“We will act swiftly to review our current approach, to ensure we continue to provide excellent and best practice care, once new national guidance on individualised care plans is available.”

Mr Jarman-Howe said following the release of the report he was aware there may be some concerns amongst those in the local community.
He added: “St Helena Hospice has never received a complaint about its use here.

“On the contrary, we receive hundreds of letters and cards every year commending the care we provide.

“We would like to take this opportunity to reassure people that our patients would never be placed on the pathway without prior conversation and consultation with themselves or their family and/or carers."

• If anyone has any questions about the use of the pathway at St Helena Hospice, contact Ray Wilson, Director of Patient and Family Services, or Dr Kath Oakley, acting Medical Lead, on 01206 845566.