A Health Economics Response to the Review of the Liverpool Care Pathway

Philip Kinghorn, Joanna Coast

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
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Background: In 2011 the Palliative Care Funding Review highlighted concerns about the funding, provision, and quality of care at the end of life. Two years on, an independent review of the Liverpool Care Pathway—prompted by a storm of negative media coverage— has raised concerns around a lack of funding, availability of support for the dying and their relatives, and patient centered care. There are recommendations to increase funding through a national tariff for palliative care services, address inconsistencies, and replace the Liverpool Care Pathway with individual end-of-life care plans.

Objective: This paper explores the economic implications of the review's recommendations and links these to inadequacies with the current economic framework currently recommended for use in the United Kingdom by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, before highlighting aspects of ongoing research aimed at addressing these inadequacies.

Methods: As well as the published report More Care, Less Pathway, we draw upon preliminary qualitative evidence from 19 semistructured interviews conducted with academics specializing in economics and/or end-of-life care.

Conclusions: While there is a need for increased funding in the short term (highlighted in recent reviews), increasing funding to services that have little evidence base appears to be an irresponsible long-term strategy. Hence there should also be increased investment in research and increased emphasis in particular on developing economic tools to evaluate services.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1614-1616
JournalJournal of Palliative Medicine
Issue number12
Early online date7 Nov 2013
Publication statusPublished - 10 Dec 2013


  • Liverpool Care Pathway


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