The RCGP has launched a new three-year programme of work to improve end-of-life care in primary care, in the light of the controversy over the Liverpool Care Pathway.
It will be led by a new clinical lead for the end-of-life Care, Lancaster GP Dr Peter Nightingale. Dr Nightingale succeeds Professor Keri Thomas, who left the post in March.
These changes after an independent review of the Liverpool Care Pathway called for it to be scrapped, following controversy over the way it was being used to withdraw treatment in some cases.
Dr Nightingale will head a programme of work alongside Marie Curie Cancer Care with the aim of bettering primary care provision for patients who are close to the ends of their lives. This includes patients who are particularly vulnerable, for example those with learning disabilities and dementia.
Dr Nightingale said: ‘I am very happy to be working with Marie Curie Cancer Care in leading the College’s work in this challenging but also potentially immensely rewarding area of GP work.
‘GPs now have a remarkable opportunity to not only help patients live out the end their lives with dignity in the place of their choosing but also, through commissioning, to promote the best possible end of life care.’