Scots develop care pathway
Feb 4, 2013 in In the News
February 4 – Scottish researchers say they have developed a new care pathway to help community nurses work with terminally ill patients in preparing for their last months. The “Dignity Care Pathway” has been launched as a government investigation gets under way into the Liverpool Care Pathway. The Liverpool pathway faced criticism amid complaints from families that they did not understand what was proposed – especially when treatment was withdrawn. Researchers at Dundee University say their system provides support to the nurse and to the patient.
Researcher Dr Bridget Johnston, a nursing lecturer, said the system would enable highly personalised care.
She said: “This is a time of life where patients can have very different concerns and needs and where a trusting, constructive relationship with the community nurse can be both a comfort and a help.
“The system helps build a pathway of very personalised care, catering to the concerns and needs of each particular patient.
“It can also help build a strong relationship between nurse and patient, which our research has shown to be very important in this area of palliative care.”
Dr Deans Buchanan, a consultant in palliative medicine at NHS Tayside, said the new pathway provided a “safe, structured” approach.
He said: “This tool also gives a framework to aid the confidence of the professional to know how to respond in a compassionate, evidenced and effective way to such issues.
“Our experience in this study has re-enforced the usefulness of the tool as a gateway to such conversations occurring and was welcomed and acceptable to patients.”